In yet another fire incident, the ancient historic Shangchul Mahadev temple and three houses were engulfed in a blaze on April 6th in Patahar village, Himachal Pradesh, rendering 18 families homeless.
According to sources the fire erupted due to short circuit, while the police are investigating into the incident.
Murtis made of gold and other metals, cash and other valuable turned into ashes, however, the rath (palanquin) of the deity was preserved.
Witnesses claim the fire started from the temple and engulfed adjoining houses. There was no loss of life or livestock. The village is connected by a forest road, which was inaccessible to fire tenders or other vehicles. Besides, the nearest fire station is in Kullu, it takes over two hours for fire brigade vehicles to reach the Sainj valley.
As a measure of interim relief, Rs 10,000 each had been given to the affected 18 families and blankets provided to all the 56 members of these families. Free ration of 15 days has also been provided to the affected persons and they had been temporarily accommodated in adjoining houses by villagers.
It was one of the oldest temple of Himachal Pradesh in the village founded by the Pandavas from Mahabharata.
In December of 2014, the ancient temple of Mata Jawali ji, revered deity of Kashmiri Pandits was gutted in a fire caused by yet another “short-circuit” in Pulwama district of South Kashmir. No further investigative report is available after preliminary findings.
All Parties Migrants Coordination Committee (APMCC) appealed to the government to take preventive steps over reports of “mafia encroaching upon the temple properties” in Habba Kadal and other places in Kashmir Valley.