Katarmal is a village located in Almora District of Kumaon division, Uttarakhand, India. The village is known for it’s Surya Mandir or Sun Temple. The temple is at a distance of 20 km from Almora and 30 km from Ranikhet. Katarmal village is known for it’s ancient and rare Surya Mandir (Sun temple). The Katarmal Surya temple was constructed by the Katyuri Kings in the 9th century CE. The pristine village of Katarmal is snuggled in a spectacular position with uncut Himalaya View. The place is crowned by lush green forests.
The Sun Temple of Katarmal is dedicated to Lord Burhadita or Vriddhaditya (Sun God). The temple is perched at an altitude of 2,116 m. The present idol of Surya (Sun) in the temple dates back to 12th century. It was built in the 9th century by the Katyuri Kings.
Architecture and History of Katarmal Sun Temple:
The Katarmal Sun Temple is popular for its magnificent architecture. The idols of Shiva-Parvati and Lakshmi-Narayana are also present in the temple. The building faces the east in such a way that the first rays of the sun fall on the Shiva Lingam. Stone-built walls, intricate figures, beautiful pillar carvings and exquisitely cut out wooden doors are among the distinctive features of the Sun temple.
The carved wooden doors and panels were transported to the National Museum, Delhi, after an idol from the 10th century was stolen. The temple is surrounded by 44 smaller temples around the main idol of Surya, which is called as Burhadita or Vraddhaditya. The temple is well known for its unique architecture. It has become a center of attraction for the devotees of every part of the country. The temple is now preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Interesting Facts About Katarmal Sun Temple:
- The name of the temple is Katarmal Sun Temple because it was built by the Katyuri king Katarmalla.
- The temple and the village is also popular among trekkers. It is only 19 km from Almora and 30 km from Ranikhet.
- Because of a robbery in the temple complex, the ancient and rare relics from the temple were then moved to the National Museum in New Delhi to keep them safe.
How to Reach Katarmal Sun Temple:
Katarmal Sun Temple is almost 20 km away from the city of Almora and 3 km away from Kosi village.
Almora is well connected by motorable roads with cities like Delhi (360 km), Lucknow (437 km) and Dehradun (346 km). Buses to Almora and Haldwani can be taken from ISBT Anand Vihar, Delhi and ISBT Dehradun. Almora is linked with NH 87 and NH 87E. Taxis to Almora are easily available from all the major cities.
Kathgodam railway station is the nearest railhead from Almora, which is 82 km away. Kathgodam and Haldwani are well connected to major destinations of India like Lucknow, Delhi and Kolkata. Trains run frequently to Kathgodam as it is the gateway to Kumaon region. Buses and Taxis are easily available to Almora from Kathgodam.
Pantnagar airport is the nearest airport to Almora, which is at 116 km away. Taxis to Nainital, Haldwani and Almora are easily available from Pantnagar Airport. Buses to Almora are also available from Haldwani, Kathgodam and Nainital.