Bageshwar: Sacred Temples & the Beautiful River Saryu

The sacred town of Bageshwar finds its mention in the Skand Puran and people living on this ‘Dev Bhumi’ believe that one who dies here attains salvation.

River Saryu at Kaptkot, Bageshwar
River Saryu at Kaptkot, Bageshwar

And beyond the religious and sacred importance, Bageshwar is also a beautiful town which is situated at the confluence of River Saryu, Gomati and the latent Bhagirathi.

River Sarayu flowing at Bageshwar
River Sarayu flowing at Bageshwar

While the east and west is flanked with Bhileshwar and Nileshwar Mountain range and the sacred Surajkund and Agni Kund located at its South, Bageshwar has the backdrop of the mighty Nanda and Himalayan Ranges, that makes it an ideal holiday destination.

Bageshwar: Himalayan Ranges insight
Bageshwar: Himalayan Ranges insight

History of Bageshwar: According to Skanda Puran, Rishi (sage) Basistha  (also referred as Sage Vasistha) was asked to bring down River Saryu by Lord Brahma. But as Rishi Markendaya was meditating on its path it was not possible for Saryu to flow. So Rishi Basistha prayed to Lord Shiva and asked for his help. Lord Shiva took the form of a Lion (Byaghra) and came down on this place along with Maa Parvati (in the form of cow (Gau). The Byaghra (Lord Shiva) attacked the Gau (Maa Parvati) in front of Rishi Markendaya, who after hearing the fight opened his eyes and saved the Gau.

River Saryu, Bageshwar
River Saryu, Bageshwar

As soon as Rishi Markendaya left his spot, Saryu flowed freely and came down. Lord Shiva in the form of Byaghra (lion) answered to Markendaya rishi and the pious spot was established as Baghreshwar which later was made Bageshwar. Baghreshwar originally meant the adobe where lord Shiva appeared as Byaghra (lion) but the term Bageshwar denotes Bag (tiger). Later in 1602, a Chanda dynasty king Laxmi Chanda established the temple of Bageshwar.

Most important Temples located at Bageshwar are Baijnath, Bagnath, Chandika and the Nileshwar Temple.

Bagnath Temple: Not many know but this is the ancient temple that was built by King laxmi Chand in 1602 and is located right at the junction of the river Gomti and Saryu.

A Birds View of the Bagnath Temple located at the Confluence of 2 rivers
A Birds View of the Bagnath Temple located at the Confluence of River Saryu and River Gomti

Sanskrit inscription here confirms the construction details. The main shrine has an idol of Bageswar or Vyagreswar, the ‘Tiger Lord’ – an epithet of Lord Shiva. There are idols of gods and goddesses that date back to 7th & 16th Century. The other important idols are of Chaturmukhi Shiva Linga, Trimurti Shiva Linga and Dasavatar.

BagnathTemple-bageshwar
Bagnath Temple, Bageshwar

Legends and locals folk tell that the Shiva Linga could not be installed in the temple shrine and whoever tried to do so, were either punished or died. It was finally installed by a local man – Shri Manorath Pandey who belonged to Palayan Village after he performed hard penance and got blessed by lord Shiva himself. Since then the festival of Shivaratri is celebrated here at the temple with a lot of zeal.

The other temples and shrine in this temple complex include Bhairav temple, Dattatreya Maharaj, Ganga Mai temple, Hanuman temple, Durga temple, Kalika temple, Thingal Bhairav temple, Panchnam Junakhara and the Vaneshwar temple are considered notable.

Baijnath Temple: is one of the most significant temple of the state and is located 26 kms from the main town of Bageshwar in a village called ‘Vaidhyanatha’ which is another name of Lord Shiva. It is situated on the left bank of River Gomti and the temple complex is constructed in Tailihata architecture and dates back to the 7th Century.

Main Shiva Temple at Baijnath Image@Rakeshdogra
Main Shiva Temple at Baijnath Image@Rakeshdogra

According to legends, Baijnath Temple is where, Ravana (King of Sri Lanka) had worshipped Lord Shiva to achieve invincible powers. Read More on the legend HERE

Do see the Temple of Bamani (originally refered as Bharmani) that is located just before the main temple complex and is right below the Mahanta house. This was a temple constructed by a Brahmin Woman who was kidnapped by a Kshatriya. She was a devotee of Lord Shiva and asked him for the expiation of her sins.

The Temple Complex at Baijnath
The Temple Complex at Baijnath

Bageshwar is also referred as Dev Bhomi as there are plenty of other temples located in the region. The other important and significant temples that may be visited include Ramghat Temple, Agni Kund Temple, Ram Ji Temple, Jwaladevi Temple, Sitladevi Temple, Venimahadev Temple, Trijuginarayan Temple, Radha krihna Temple, Hanuman Temple, Bhileshwar Dham, Suraj Kund, Swargashram, Siddarth Dham. Gopeshwar Dham, Golu Temple and Praktishwar Mahadev.

Places to See in and Around Bageshwar

Vijaypur: (30 kms from Bageshwar) offers you a panoramic view of the snow-capped Himalayan Ranges.

At Vijaypur one can see the Himalayan Ranges - Bageshwar
At Vijaypur one can see the Himalayan Ranges – Bageshwar

 

Pandusthal: has a natural ground over the top of a mountain (20 Kms trek from a place called Jakhera) and offers a close view of the Himalaya’s.  The view from the Pandusthal is so grand that you can even see the dangling glaciers near the peaks! There is a bus service from Garur to Jakhera that is opted by trekkers. Another way is to first reach Baisani by a bus or a car from Bageshwar (25 km) and then take the 15 kms trek to Pandusthal. It can be done in a day but it is recommended to stay overnight and explore this beautiful spot for a while longer.

Glacier Treks from Bagehwar: The beautiful town is also a delight for adventure sports lovers as the famous Pindari, Sunderdunga, Namik and Kafni Glaciers can be reached via Bageshwar.

Stay Options at Bageshwar

There are plenty of Hotels and Guest Houses available for all kinds of Budget Travellers and few of these are as follows:

Hotel Prashant: has 16 rooms, each offering spacious and comfortable stay and caters to all amenities.
Tariffs: 1000 INR for Standard, 2500 INR for a Luxury Room and 3500 INR for a Family Suite. Packages Start at 4500 for 2 Nights & 3 Days that includes Bed Tea, Breakfast and Dinner.
Website: www.hotelprashantbageshwar.in
Contact: +91-9927787777, +91-9756474444
Email: info@hotelprashantbageshwar.in

KMVN: For Budget travellers there is a KMVN TRH, Bageshwar. It is located just 1 Km from the Bageshwar Bust Stand and offers clean rooms and is often opted by backpackers. More Details HERE

Another option is to stay at KMVN TRK Baijnath, Bageshwar. It is situated on the banks of River Gomti and just a walking distance from the Baijnath Temple.

For more Stay Options at Bageshwar by Holiday IQ Click HERE

Camping in Bageshwar

Camp Shaama: is a is a Wildrift Adventure Camp located 3.5 kms uphill from Shaama (50 kms from Bageshwar) at a village called Gyandhurra (height of 7500 ft). Operational throughout the year with snowfall in winters. Experience the Pahadi village life and enjoy the mountains, the beautiful valley and green meadows. Click here for Travel Guide on Camp Shaama

Camp Site: Gyandhurra Village, Perched up on the Mountain
Camp Shaama Site: Gyandhurra Village, Perched up on the Mountain

Home Stay in Bageshwar

Kanda: (25 Kms from Bageshwar) is a picturesque village surrounded by beautiful mountains and terraced fields. Kanda also offers a Rural Eco-Tourism Home Stay option  – ROSE, Sonargaon (also known as Jeewan Lal Verma paying Guesthouse) and is preferred by many locals and foreigners alike. The rooms are spacious and quite comfortable. An ancient Bhadrakali temple is also located nearby. Tariffs starts at 1000 INR

Rose Home Stay at Kanda, Bageshwar
Rose Home Stay at Kanda, Bageshwar

Numerous volunteers have visited and stay here to participate in community living activities and enjoying the friendly village atmosphere. Click HERE for Current Volunteering Opportunities at ROSE.

Volunteering Activities at ROSE Guest House, Kanda
Volunteering Activities at ROSE Guest House, Kanda

At ROSE, Kanda you can also see the local artisans make woollen carpets, dried flower garlands and other artistic works. There is also an opportunity to learn to cook local cuisines and also attend classes that help you identify and learn about the medicinal herbs and plants.

This region still practises Astabali, Panchabali – goat and buffalo sacrifice during religious festivals and special occasions.

The Lush Green Fields of Kanda Village
The Lush Green Fields of Kanda Village

Even if you don’t stay at this Homestay at Kanda it is recommended that you do visit this scenic village and get a chance to see the local Kumaoni culture.

Distance Chart for Bageshwar

RoadwaysLogoBy road: Bageshwar district has a well-developed road network to connect with major cities like Pithoragarh, Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Almora, Nainital and Rudrapur in Uttarakhand state.

  • Binsar: 48 kms
  • Almora: 55 kms
  • Kausani: 31 kms
  • Rudraprayag: 100 kms
  • Nainital: 89 kms
  • Chamoli: 79 kms
  • Bagnath Temple From Bageshwar: 1 kms
  • Baijanath Temple From Bageshwar: 22 kms

RailwaysLogoBy rail: Kathgodam railway station Nainital is 149 Kms from Bageshwar town. Tourists must apply roadways from Kathgodam railhead to go to any parts of Bageshwar district.

AirwaysLogoBy air: Pantnagar airport Udham Singh Nagar is the nearest airport 180Km from Bageshwar town. Roadways must be applied from Pantnagar airport to reach any parts of Bageshwar.

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