Photographer's Note

In Churah valley of Chamba district, a village water spring is a sacred place -- fount of life, as it were. Traditionally, a water spring was venerated and beautified with artefacts such as stone statues, stone carvings in relief and ornately chiselled stone water spouts.
Unfortunately in the past half century or so, these exquisitely executed artefacts embellishing village water springs have vanished by stages, either vandalized or stolen to be sold as antiques.
I came across a village water spring last summer which had been modernized with drab concrete walls, GI pipes for water spouts and RCC water troughs for animals to drink from. To my surprise, I found a few stone carvings in relief embedded somewhat indifferently into the cement walls. Apparently, the mason at work had given some thought to preserving them.
The figures in relief here seem to me both male and female, going by the apparel they have been depicted in. The iconography does not look religious at all; the figures look like custodians of the water spring, protecting it from whatever it needed to be protected from in the native folk lore.
Image cropped to focus on this set of images only. Obviously, there are more which I intend to post later.

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Additional Photos by Ram Thakur (ramthakur) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 366 W: 86 N: 321] (1521)
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