The "younger" temple is that of Chakreshwar, a local deity. It is a pretty, two-storeyed structure currently squeezed between the homes of the inhabitants of Janog. Like many I've seen in Himachal, it has attractive embellishments: beautiful floral, curlicue patterns edging its sides. As always, wooden tassles, alternately coloured pink, blue, yellow and white, dangle and sway in the light breeze. Also as in Himachali temples, one has to rest content with looking at the structure from outside as noone but the temples caretakers are allowed inside.
The local pujari informs me that Sankranti, a festival falling on 13th January, is an important one for this temple. This is the day when the Gods are taken out to meet the devotees. This confluence of the sacred and the secular is an intriguing one, especially since the presiding deity is expected to troubleshoot on behalf of the devotee. The diwaan of Janog informed me that usually a goat is sacrificed on the occasion, not on the express wish of the deity, but so as to allow the locals to enjoy a hearty celebration meal afterwards!
What you see below is the "older" temple, or the deora. Hindu temples are never de-consecrated, so to that extent this remains a holy spot. However, locals have long since abandoned it in favour of the newer version. It has a little place for the homa, the sacred fire lit for special prayers, and while parts of it are still cheerfully coloured, it wears the slightly folorn look of someone whose time has passed. Devout men and their religious texts do not sound a canting peal in its walls, yet, there is a sense of the resting of spiritual oars here.
This is the frontal aspect of the temple. This is yet again, a pretty example of the attractive sloping-roof style with its typical projecting horizontal pillar.
The roof is graven with a thousand images of joyous celebration, men and women holding hands as they dance to the tune issuing from myriad musical instruments.
The pillars and the cross-beams hold faith firm and encircle the temple sanctum with affectionate gravity. There are no walls to shut out the clamour of the outer world and direct the mind to higher realms. Yet, the mundane and the sacred meld into one here.