Krimchi, Udhampur, Mar 15 : Picturesque complex of seven ancient temples, locally known as 'Pandavas Temples', located some 10-kilometres from Jammu-Srinagar National Highway in Udhampur district is a mesmerising destination to visit especially for the nature lovers but unfortunately, the poor road connectivity is the major hiccup and keeping tourists at bay from the site.
The road connectivity work is in progress on Pancheri Road that leads to village Krimchi and further the link roads to the temples but the slow pace of work upsets the visitors reaching to this place, which seems to be ‘out of the world’. Although the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department has tall claims of promoting tourism sector, but the picture on ground has a different fate to describe. Locals expressed resentment over the slow progress of road connectivity work claiming that in such a situation, nobody prefers to visit these temples and it remain a “neglected destination” despite having its historic values from ancient period.
"Earlier there was no 'pakka' road to reach to Krimchi temples but nearly an year back, road connectivity work started," Angrez Chand, a local villager told the correspondent. He said that the work of macadamisation of road is very slow and the tourists visit to this place once, never plans his second trip, adding, "temples are located on the height and around 1.5 kilometre away from the main road leading to village Pancheri, a hilltop and an unexplored tourist destination." "The link road to the temples from the main road is not macadamised and visitors face difficulties reaching to temples site," Ghulam Mohammad, a member of a nomadic community said.
He added, "these are historic temples. States like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, preserve their heritage but we are not even able to give better road connectivity to the visitors to make their travel safe and smooth." Gharo Devi, a local resident, at the temples site said, "when it rains, the road becomes excessively slippery and dangerous." "The site doesn't have even basic facilities to the tourists," she added. As per locals, there are so many unexplored destinations in Udhampur district but are either not developed or facing negligence.
"Jammu and Kashmir has rich tourism potential and it should be tapped more to attract tourists from across the country, which will not only bring these destinations on tourism map but also generate economy and employment to youth," another local suggested. Deputy Commissioner Udhampur, Dr Piyush Singla when contacted here told UNI, "Promotion of Krimchi temples is among one of our top priorities. There was some old dispute over road connectivity, which has been sorted out and in another 3-4 months, work will be completed."
"There are two routes leading to the temples and one is being undertaken by the Public Works Department at an estimated cost of Rs 39 lakhs, which is the main link whereas the another one is being constructed under PMGSY," said the Deputy Commissioner. The service route will also be completed on time once the school and anganwadi centre are shifted elsewhere to widen the road, said the district head. He also mentioned that Krimchi temples site is being looked after Archeological Survey of India and an entry ticket is charged from the visitors but on his request, school-going children were exempted and their fee was waved off.
"The road connectivity work on both sides is in progress and in coming months, macadamised road with black-topping will be ready," he said. As per official records, the temples are believed to be over a thousand years old. According to the Archaeological Survey of India, these temples were constructed during 8th or 9th century AD. Locals say mythologies behind the temples go back to the protagonists of the Mahabharata War or a late Pandava dynasty that ruled in Jammu and Kashmir. The complex consists of four large and three small temples.
The main temple is 50 feet tall and is dedicated to Shiva, Ganesha, Vishnu and Parvati. The architecture resembles classical Kashmir temples. The design of the temples shows distinct Greek (Hellenic) influences. As per the legends, Raja Kichak of Mahabharat was said to be the creator of town Krimchi and the Kingdom. It is also said that Pandavas while in exile remained there for a long period. These temples are situated on a stone complex and a small stream flows nearby. A trip to Krimchi consists the natural choice of travelling to Sudhmahadev-Mantalai Shrine. Also, at a little distance from Krimchi lies Pancheri, a picturesque Hill Resort. (UNI)