Pilgrimage in Himachal Pradesh: Baijnath Temple
Baijnath (32° 3’ N and 76° 41’ E), a small township in the Dhauladhar range of western Himalayas, 16 km from Palampur and 36 km east of Kangra in the Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh is famous for its 13th century temple dedicated to Siva. The temple was built by Built by Raja Sansar Chand in 1204 AD.
Set amidst a backdrop of snow-clad mountains and lush green valley the temple is visible from a far distance.
Located on the stretch of Mandi – Palampur road, the temple of Lord Shiva is famous for the Linga (embodiment of Shiva). Every year large number of devotees flock to Baijnath temple to get blessings from Lord Shiva, especially during the month of March tourist visit to this holy destination of Kangra to enjoy the colorful ‘Shivratri’ festival. Originally known as Kiragrama, the town lies on Pathankot-Manali highway (National Highway No. 20) almost midway between Kangra and Mandi.
The present name Baijnath became popular after the name of the temple.
Apart from the main deity, the temple houses the images of Goddess Chamunda, Surya (the Sun God), Kartikeya (son of Lord Shiva) and a massive structure of Nandi (Carrier of Lord Shiva). One of the 12 Jyotirlingas are also located in the sanctum of the temple.
Location of Baijnath Temple
The temple is easily accessible via road from Dharamshala, Palampur, Kangra and all the major cities of Himachal Pradesh. Tourist can hire private taxis or take state transport buses to reach this holy destination of Himachal Pradesh.
It is about 130 Km from Pathankot, the nearest broad gauge rail head. The nearest airport is Kangra airport at Gaggal near Dharamshala. It is 60 Km from Baijnath.
Architecture of Baijnath Temple
The temple is constructed in the Nagri style of architecture. The roof of the temple is in the shape of pyramid with 2.5 sq meter from inside and almost covering the area of 5.5 sq meter from outside the temple premises. The conical shaped dome (Mandap) of the temple gets support from the four artistic big pillars. The temple is a unique example of Kangra architect.
Besides the serene surroundings and salubrious climate of middle range hills of Baijnath, tourists interested in adventure can also enjoy paragliding at nearby (about 10 km) Bir and go for trekking in the region.
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