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Himachal's hilltop shrine damaged in fire

Posted on Feb 15 2014 | IANS

Kangra (Himachal Pradesh), Feb 15 : An ancient hilltop wooden shrine in Himachal Pradesh was damaged in a fire, officials said Saturday. The temple is closed in winter owing to heavy snowfall.

The Aadi Himani Chamunda temple, situated amid the majestic Dhauladhar peaks, has been reduced to ashes, temple official Surjan Singh told reporters.

The temple premises caught fire Thursday night and the residents said they informed police the next day. The area surrounding the temple is under three feet of snow.

"We have requested the district administration to send a team there to immediately start temple restoration work," he said, adding the temple has been closed since last December.

Kangra Deputy Commissioner C. Paul Rasu told IANS that the administration received information about the incident Friday.

"The cause of fire is yet to be ascertained. A team of officials will be sent there when the snow melts," he added.

The shrine can be reached only through an uphill trek of about 16 km from the famous shrine of Chamunda Devi near Dharamsala town, some 250 km from the state capital Shimla.

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