The first ‘Masroor Festival’ in the precincts of the majestic monolithic rock-cut temple will be inaugurated by Chief Minister on 21st December, 2011. This festival is going to be an annual affair. These 15 richly carved rock temples at Masroor sculpted in the splendid style of the Kailash temple at Ellora, dates back to 8th century.
Herman Goetz has termed these structures ‘as ambitious a feat as the relief carving of Arjuna’s penance in Mahabalipurram of the sixth century and Ellora of the seventh century.’
State Government is striving to have these structures declared as ‘world heritage’. This architectural marvel is a forerunner of Angkor Wat of Cambodia. On 18th January, 2011 the Department of Tourism & Civil Aviation had organized a seminar on Masroor and Prof N.K. Singh, who based upon his research has concluded that these temples are dedicated to the Coronation of Shiva & Parvati while all Gods and Goddesses are in attendance, a theme depicted only in Masroor (Kangra, H.P).
Masroor Festival will have a cultural evening and the temple manifestations will be brought out by distinguished artists through dance and drama. Various legends including the exile of Pandavas still continue to enrich the folklore.
Masroor festival will also be the culmination of the first rural circuit under ‘Har Gaon Ki Kahani’ (HGKK). Beginning at Nerti village where the story of beheaded King has been depicted in Kangra paintings, a rural theatre interspersed with local delicacies would greet the tourists. En route is the famous Machhial associated with the divine powers.
The vertical cliff popularly known as the ‘Saukan–ka-Ghatta’, where the ‘keep’ of a popular royal had been pushed down to her death by his wife and who had also fell down in the act, is also in this circuit. Tatwani and Salol two places with hot natural water are simply out of this world.
The first batch of the tourists would be received by the dignitaries including the Hon’ble Chief Minister, members of the Cabinet, Members of Legislative Assembly, local villagers and the officers of the state Govt. at Masroor.
The traditional ‘dham’ would follow the cultural capsule. The Department of Tourism & Civil Aviation, Himachal Pradesh is upgrading the various activities in the area and a sum of Rs Four crore is being spent on these. This rural circuit is likely to result in the prolonging of stay enhancing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 20 % in this area alone.