I don’t know if it was the story of a Kuldevi Temple located deep in the forest or the numerous small temples I saw during my recent trips to Kumaon or a combination of both or something else. However sitting alone in my room in Leh last month, I knew this is what I wanted to do. And as I came to terms with the sheer enormity of the project, I devoted my next 5 years to it, with plans of adding more years if the need be.
I was extremely serious about this project, since it not only connected with me on photographic and traveler level, but also spiritually, philosophically and at such deep personal level that I doubt more than a handful of people in my life can actually understand how important this project is for me.
Yet I couldn’t understand the depth and significance of it, since I only saw it from my personal view point. Maybe that is the reason why I haven’t yet been able to make a single trip regarding it, because God feels I do not yet understand all the facets of it and I haven’t yet gotten the permission from the “Unknown”, who spoke to me during my first trip in Search of Unknown.
Idea behind Temples of Kumaon was fairly simple; I was going to document all the old and ancient temples of Kumaon, be it the famous ones or small temples belonging to remote villages that no one except the locals know about.
Because these temples are part of the culture and history of India and there is a very real chance that we can end up losing them over the years due to natural disasters or even neglect, as rural population continues to shift to urban areas.
And I wish to document them for the future generation and in a way learn about the history and mythology of the land I have begun to love and respect over the past few months.
I announced the beginning of this project last week on Diwali with the launch of official Facebook page and since then I have received feedback, suggestions and congratulations from scores of people. This has not only boosted my moral, but also given me unique perspective and feedback, which has enabled me to better understand and learn what I am actually aiming to do and how to go about it.
I do not yet have all the answers and I do not expect to have them either any time soon, but I know this is going to be one of the if not the most important work of my life and I intend to do it at all costs.
For this is passion, love, devotion and a tribute in the truest sense as far as I can see and also a chance for me to leave behind a legacy, which might be remembered long past my last breath and maybe even after the last memory of me in my loved ones, stops existing on this planet.
So wish me luck and in case you have any suggestions, recommendations or criticism, please feel free to let me know here or through email at [email protected]. In case you know of any specific temple in Kumaon, please let me know as well.