Drive to elusive submerged temples of Bathu Ki Ladi…..!!!

22nd May 2017…Masroor-Jawali-Bathu Ki Ladi (35 km)-Amritsar (160 km)

The main reason for the trip during the hot summer day was the mysterious temples locally known as Bathu Ki Ladi. After having an amazing time at Nagrota Surian wetlands, a surprise ride to gumnam island Rancer and a brief visit to Rock Cut Temples at Masroor, I drove to the busy town of Jawali.

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Lalpari on the way to Bathu Ki Ladi

Since I wanted to reach Bathu Ki Ladi before sunset, did not stay for long in Jawali and straightway headed towards Bathu Ki Ladi. The narrow, 6-8 kilometer road, Jawali-Dhan-Guglara-Dukhi-Bathu Ki Ladi passed through busy markets and colonies.

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Bathu Ki Ladi

From Dukhi road bend, the left road goes to Dukhi village and the straight one leads to Bathu Ki Ladi. This stretch of 4 kilometers is an uneven dirt trek and seems to go under water during the peak water level in the reservoir.

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Warning, don’t go near the water

It was good to see few cars parked just outside the temple premises. It was comforting to know that I was not alone. The visitors looked very excited and having great time.

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The instruction board

The temples looked so amazing. It was hard to believe that they remain underwater for 8-9 months every year for the last 35 years and still surviving. It was not less than a miracle.

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The Minar

The Minar or the tower is the highest building of all the surviving temples. A door lead to very steep stairs inside that go all the way to the roof. Many people climbed the stairs and seen clicking pictures at the roof of the Minar. It was very windy at the top as well and a board placed at the entrance has a warning for all the climbers to this fact.

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The Minar and a small temple

Bathu temples known locally as ‘Bathu ki ladi’ is a cluster of temples in the Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh. These temples were submerged in Maharana Pratap Sagar, a reservoir created by Pong Dam in 1970s.

The main Shiva Temple

Since then these temples are reachable only in the months of May–June when the water level decreases. One can reach these temples by boat from Dhameta and Nagrota Surian and by road from Jawali.

The main Shiva Temple and the Minar.

There are many stories about the origin of the temples famous among the local people. Some believe that the temples were built by Pandavas during their exile, while others believe that they were built by some local kings. But nothing authentic is know about these temples.

Main Shiva Temple and Minar, another view
Group of five temples on the opposite side, the ladi.

There were already a number of visitors present at the site. Most were awestruck at the beauty of the temples and mystery surrounding it. Despite nothing concrete was known about the origin of the temples yet everyone was just amazed to see its sheer beauty and strength of survival.

The vast vistas and lurking rain clouds

It was very windy evening. I saw an excited woman running towards the lake with the strong wind almost carrying her into the air. Everyone’s heart came to their mouth as she barely survived being blown away and into the lake.

Hazy sun setting on Dhameta side

Although a number of boards placed at the site and a diya lit in the main premises meant the premises are under some sort of management yet later in the evening I noticed, everyone left the place and no one was left behind.

Bathu Ki Ladi from far end of the land mass
Another view Bathu Ki Ladi

From the site Rancer Island was visible to the left and Karu Island to the right. The town of Dhameta also looked closeby. One of those days, I will return back and visit the area from Dhameta side and see how the temples look from that side.

A Fishing Boat

Suddenly clouds started building up and it became quite dark. Everyone present at the site left and I was left alone. I stayed back as I wanted to see the temples in fading light. Soon it started raining heavily, luckily it did not last for long.

Bathu Ki Ladi, another view
Lalpari at Bathu Ki Ladi
Lalpari, the man and bathu Ki Ladi.
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A part of the temple giving up
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The board informing installation of Shivling in the temple after a gap of more than 45 years.
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View from the Minar
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Another view from the Minar
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Beautiful evening landscape at the Pond Dam lake
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Tractor Trolley
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Lalpari hiding behind the temple
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The road back to Jawali

I stayed back at the temple till around 7.30pm and when the place started looking deserted and menacing, I decided to drive back to Jawali. Drive back to jawali was little difficult as the kutcha road got drenched in the rain and water had logged at few places making the road muddy and slushy.

Bathu Ki Ladi in the evening light

Reached Jawali at around 8pm and since I hadn’t any further plans and sleeping inside the car with so much of heat was not feasible, I decided to drive back home in Amritsar but not before enjoying half a kilogram of local fried fish.

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The road back to Jawali

Enjoyed driving back home Amritsar through the beautiful Jawali-Pathankot-Amritsar highway. Reached Amritsar at 12pm midnight after a whirlwind 34 hour drive visiting gumnam island Rancer, Rock Cut Temple, Masroor and mysterious Bathu Ki Ladi…..!!!

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Dukhi Road Bend
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Map of the route followed from Masroor to Bathu Ki Ladi
Map of the route from Jawali to Amritsar

2 thoughts on “Drive to elusive submerged temples of Bathu Ki Ladi…..!!!

  1. I had heard about these temples but did not know where exactly they are and how to reach them. Thank you once again for this elaborate write-up. This is certainly on my bucket list now 🙂

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