The ancient Shiva Temple is situated in Kathgarh, a small village in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. This temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati also connoted by the two Shiv Lingas that this temple is famous for. The temple houses two Shiva Lingas of 6’ and 4’-7” in height made up of light grey sandy stone. These Lingas are in the North-West direction and have an octagonal base with each side measuring 1’3”. From the bottom, they are 3 ½” apart and incline towards each other with distance between them at the top being just 2”. Built in Roman style of architecture, the temple has its entrance towards the east.
Legend and History of Kathgarh Shiv Temple
As per the legend of ‘Shiv Purana’, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu once had a war with each other as to who among them was superior. Both were just about to use the ‘Pashupat’ which could have brought huge devastation to the universe. In order to resolve the fight, Lord Shiva appeared between the two in the form of a fire pillar. Both the Gods calmed down and were inquisitive about what this fire pillar actually was. They decided to go in opposite directions to find out about the fire pillar. Lord Brahma disguised himself as a swan and flied into the sky while Lord Vishnu became a Shukara and went to the bottom. Lord Vishnu couldn’t reach the end point whereas Lord Brahma returned with a ‘Ketki’ flower which he found on the top end of the pillar. After the two Gods conformed, Lord Shiva appeared happy and satisfied. He conferred Lord Vishnu equal to himself and this fire pillar came to be known as the Shiva Linga of Kathgarh temple.
It is believed that Bharat, the younger brother of Lord Rama also used to offer his prayers at this temple. History also has it that Maharaja Ranjit Singh was also a devotee of these Shiv Lingas. Even Alexander visited this temple after a furious war and impressed by the peacefulness and divinity of the shrine and Shiv Lingas and returned back to Greece.
Facilities at the temple
Besides the medium range guest houses located near the temple complex, the facilities of free langar, parking, canteen, library, dispensary, toilets and Sarai are offered by the management and trust at the temple premises.
Festivals and fairs
The Mahashivratri Parv is celebrated here with great excitement. The fair spread over an area of about two kilometers lasts for three days. Besides, the festivals of Chaitra Navratras, Sharad Navratras and Janmashtami are also celebrated here.
- Location → Kathgarh- Kangra district → Himachal Pradesh
- Dedicated to → Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati
- Main Attraction → The immensely tall Lingas of Shiva and Parvati
- Main Festival and Fair → Mahashivratri
- How to reach by Air → the nearest airport – Pathankot
- How to reach by Rail – Nearest railway station →Ghiala and Mirthal
- How to reach by Road → Mirthal is a place at a distance of 4 kms from the temple which is connected with NH1 (Pathankot-Jalandhar highway). Taxis and Buses are easily available thereafter.