The bottleneck in the development of Himani Chamunda temple has been cleared. The Forest Department has diverted 25 kanal forest land around the Himani Chamunda temple to the temple trust. The move will pave the way for expansion and development of the temple located at a height of about 12,000 feet from sea level.
The Himani Chamunda temple, considered by some as the original Chamunda Devi temple, is a small structure built from hill stones. There is no power and water connection in the temple and only those willing to trek uphill about 12 km from the present Chamunda Devi temple visit the area. The other major problem was that there was no place for stay of pilgrims or tourists either in or around the temple.
The successive state governments had announced that the Himani Chamunda temple would be developed and brought on a par with the Vashno Devi temple in Jammu and Kashmir to boost religious tourism. With this in mind heli taxi service was flagged off to Himani Chamunda temple. However, attempts failed as helicopter service could not continue most of the year due to the prevailing climatic conditions.
The present government had planned to develop a ropeway to Himani Chamunda temple and allocated work to Usha Brackel company. However, till date the company has not even submitted its detailed plans on developing the ropeway project.
Though the Forest Department has given 25 kanal land for developing the project, more forest land would have to be diverted in case the ropeway to Himani Chamunda temple was to be developed.
Sources here said the temple trust that comprises mostly locals would develop pucca temple structure and halls for pilgrims and tourists coming to the temple, enabling night halt possible. However, for this the temple trust would also require liberal grants from the government.
Last year lightening had struck the temple in which most its assets were either destroyed or damaged.