Chandrashekhar temple is located around 15 kms from Chamba
town in Saho village in Himachal Pradesh. The temple dedicated to
Chandrashekhar or Shiva looks modern with slate roof and whitewashed pillars.
The temple was rebuilt after the devastating floods of 1900. The temple is famous for a Natural big Shivling
and miracle Nandi.
Natural Big Shivling Of Saho Chandrashekhar Temple
A big Shivling – 24 feet long – is worshipped in the sanctum
sanctorum or garbhagriha. It is believed that the Shivling dates to the 10th
century CE or before. The Shivling is made out of natural stone and copper
plating has been done to its outer surface.
During the construction of the temple, the Shivling started
to expand. The structure plans of the temple had to be continuously altered to
fit the growing Shivling. But the Shivling continued to grow. Then the king of
the region did intense meditation and penance to find a solution. It is said
that Shiva appeared in the dream of the king and asked him to stop the
construction of the temple and leave it in the present form. It is said that
the Shivling stopped growing from then onwards.
A Nandi is etched on the
pedestal on which the Shivling is worshipped.
The entrance of the temple shows Shiva in two forms an angry
Shiva with three heads, stands on a corpse and wears a garland of skulls. The
second form is of benign avatar holds a flower, rosary, trident and pot of
water in his four arms.
Carvings on the entrance pillars include a Nataraja – dancing
form of Shiva – in which though the sculpture is small in size, the sculptor is
able to portray the dancing Shiva engrossed in dancing with a feeling of joy.
Miracle Nandi Of Saho Chandrashekhar Temple
The temple courtyard has a black, stone Nandi facing the
temple. The divine bull and vehicle of Shiva wears a loving, friendly
expression, tinged with mischief. This is miracle Nandi Bail. It is said that the
Nandi was made out of copper but later it turned to stone. The bell of the around
the Nandi bell looks like stone but it produces metallic sound.