Dedicated to Hindu Lord Shiva, Baijnath temple is a holy shrine situated in Baijnath, a small township 16 kilometers away from Palampur in Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh. Earlier known as Kiragrama, the town lies on National Highway 20 in the midway of Kangra and Mandi. The place lies in the Dhauladhar range of mountains of western Himalayas and on the left bank of river Binwa, a tributary of Beas River. The town got its present name Baijnath owing to the popularity of Baijnath temple or the Vaidyanath Temple.
The temple has inscriptions on its walls which reveal that it was constructed in about 1204 A.D. by Ahuka and Manyuka, the two native merchants. There are two more inscriptions in the porch of the temple according to which there existed a shrine of Lord Shiva even before the temple was constructed age ago.
The amazing architecture of the temple exemplifies early medieval north Indian Nagara style of temples. The Sivalinga present in the holy shrine is of the type of Svayambhu. It has five projections on each side and has a tall curvilinear Shikhara surmounted on it.
The Svayambhu form of Sivalinga is present in the sanctum of the temple and it has five projections on each side and is surmounted with a tall curvilinear of the Shikhara. The entrance to sanctum is from the vestibule that has a large square Mandapa in front with two massive balconies one each in north and south. In order to enter the main temple area, you need to pass through a four pillared foyer having an enormous square shaped Mandapa in the front. The area is preceded by an effigy of Nandi, the bull who was also the carrier of Lord Shiva and his greatest devotee. The foyer has two large balconies, one in north and the other one in south direction. Several images of Gods and Goddesses are carved on the temple walls. The sanctum of this temple is also a house to one of the 12 Jyotirlingas.
The ‘Lord of Physicians’ – Shiva is believed to possess immense powers of relieving people from all kinds of illness and sorrow. The water of temple is also considered to be extremely pious and capable of medicinal and curative effects.
Legend and History of Baijnath temple –
Hindu mythology has it that Ravana, the demon wanted to be immortal and indomitable. He was a great follower of Lord Shiva and worshipped him in the Himalayas to please him. He also devoted his heads in havan to please Lord Shiva and asked him to accompany him to Lanka. Shiva agreed and converted himself into a Ling. He asked Ravana to carry this Ling in his hands and not keep it on the ground at any time during the journey. But unfortunately Ravana had to hand it over to a shepherd to answer nature’s call. When shepherd could not hold it for long, he kept it on the ground. This Ling was established here in Baijnath. People here are prodigious believers of Lord Shiva and do not burn the effigy of Ravana during the Dussehra festival because it was he who brought Shiva Ling to Baijnath.
Festivals and best time to visit
Baijnath Temple is a pilgrim that devotees visit all the year round in large numbers. In the festival of Makar Sakranti which falls on 14th January every year, gritmandal (column of butter) is layered on the Shiv Ling for 8 days. It is believed to get empowered with medicinal properties and is distributed among devotees on completion of 8 days. During the month of March, Shivratri festival is celebrated here with great enthusiasm. This is the time when believers of Lord Shiva throng this place to seek his blessings. Other festivals when this temple is visited the most include Saavan melas ( July-August) and Khor Maar (October- November).Connectivity- Baijnath temple is well linked with all the major towns and cities of India.
How to reach
Air – The nearest airport is Gaggal, 50 kilometers from Baijnath. There are a number of flight to and from Delhi to this airport every week.
Rail – The nearest railway station is Kangra. A toy train from Pathankot to Baijnath is also available for easier connectivity.
Road – Baijnath is very well connected with all-weather roads from Delhi via Chandigarh and from Manali via Mandi. Regular state transport buses are also available from all major towns and cities of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.
- Location → Kangra District – Himachal Pradesh
- Dedicated to → Lord Shiva
- Main Attraction → Baijnath temple
- Main Festival and Fair → Makar Sakranti and Shivratri,
- How to reach by Air → the nearest airport – Gaggal & Chandigarh
- How to reach by Rail → Nearest railway station – Kangra
- How to reach by Road → The temple is well connected with all wather road from Delhi via Chandigarh and from Manali via Mandi.