Wooden Artistic and Architectural Traditions of Himachal Pradesh

in Module
Published on: 09 March 2017

Chandramolle Modgil

Chandramolle Modgil is a research scholar at School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. She is an admirer of the visual arts with an interest in ancient and medieval art and architecture.

This module elucidates the phenomenon of temple building in wood in the state of Himachal Pradesh.


We have evidence that shrines for local, tutelary and puranic deities were originally made in wood, and the tradition has continued in contemporary times as well. The development of temple and secular architecture over the centuries saw influences of changing dynasties and invasion, borrowings and taking-on of traits and characteristics from neighbouring states, and influences of Buddhist traditions on the form and style of monuments. Not only was wood used as raw material in buildings, beautiful intricate wooden carvings (narrative, sculptural and ornamental) across frames and lintels, on doors and windows, and on furniture, seem to have been a highly popular artistic tradition in the area.