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  • Pramod Pant
  • 18-Apr-2018
blog post


Jageshwar is considered one lndia’s twelve sacred jyotirlingas and is three kilometres from the main road from Chitai and Almora. Known as Shiva’s winter abode, the temple town of Jageshwar Dham lies among the Kumaon Hills at a height of about 1,900 metres above sea level, and has more than 200 temples. Jageshwar has a rich heritage with 124 shrines dating from the 5th to the 18th centuries. The forest protects and watches over the temples of Jageshwar that lie in a beautiful narrow valley among the ancient deodars, where the murmur of the rivulets adds to the sanctity of this place. The three main shrines here are Jageshwar, Mahamrityunjaya and Pushtidevi.

The Jageshwar Temple is about 100 kilometres from Nainital. Sculpted
dwarpals can be seen at the entrance of this temple and a strong Buddhist influence is visible in the carvings, even though a deity of Shiva resides in the temple. Nandini and Surabhi are the two streams flowing down the hills and meeting at this sacred spot. The Mahamrityunjaya Temple is the oldest and the main puja takes place here. The Dandeshwar Temple complex enshrines a large natural rock as a linga and is one of the biggest temples. A huge fair is held every year during the monsoons at Jageshwar. The Jata Ganga which was a medieval Lakula Shaivism centre is considered to be a sacred teertha in the Kumaon region. Thousands of devotees flock here during Shivratri in March-April and for the Shravan Mela in July-August.

Of the 400 temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, only 124 have survived and are now being renovated by the Archaeological Survey of lndia (ASl).