Char Dham Yatra 2024

Jageshwar Temple, Jageshwar, Uttarakhand

Jageshwar Dham is known as one of Jyotirlinga (Ashtham Jyotirlingas – Nagesham Darukavane), according to many traditional scriptures, it is revered as one of twelve original Jyotirlingas. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Jageshwar Dham is set against a backdrop of flourishing mountains amidst dense Deodar forest and the holy stream of Jat Ganga flowing at its backyard. Jageshwar is situated at an elevation of 1,870 mts above sea level, at a distance of 37 kms from the Almora district of Uttarakhand. Also known as Valley of Gods, Jageshwar dham dates back from 7th to 14th centuries.

This temple is a heritage site protected under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the temple complex has around 125 temples and around 174 sculptures including stone idols of Lord Shiva and Parvati adorned intricately with jewels.

It was customary for pilgrims on the Kailash Mansarovar route to stop and worship Lord Shiva here and seek his blessings.

Temples of Jageshwar Dham

The main temples of Jageshwar include Chandi-ka-Temple, Jageshwar Temple, Dandeshwar Temple (the largest), Kuber Temple, Mrityunjaya Temple (the oldest), Nau Durga, Neelkanth Temple, Nava-grah Temple (Temple Dedicated to the nine planets), a Pyramidal shrine, Hanuman Temple, Jagannath (Jyotirlinga), Pushti Mata Temple (Shakti Peeth as per Devi Bhagwat at 83 nos) , Lakulisa Temple, Kedarnath Temple, Batuk Bhairav Temple, Surya Temple and many more.

Sri Vriddha Jageshwar temple is situated 3 km north of Jageshwar. This temple is situated at the top of the hill and comes after an uphill trek. It is contemporary to the Jageshwar group of temples in Uttarakhand.

Dandeshwar Temple

Dandeshwar Temple which is located at a distance of about 2 km from Jageshwar is believed to be one of the tallest and the biggest temples in the Kumaon region and is also the largest temple of the Jageshwar Dham temples. The temple is different in architecture from all the other Nagar style temples in the region and houses a big uncut natural rock, which is worshipped as Shiva Linga.

Mrityunjaya Temple

Mrityunjaya Temple is believed to be the oldest of all the temples in the complex facing the east direction. This temple houses a huge lingam in the unique eye- shaped opening and the linga is worshipped as a saviour from death.

Jageshwar Mahadev Temple (The Main Temple of the Complex)

The Jageshwar Mahadev temple, also known as Tarun Jageshwar or Bal Jageshwar, is dedicated to the younger form of Lord Shiva. It is believed that Lord Shiva had once come to this site for meditation. On knowing the presence of lord shiva, the women folk of the village gathered to catch a glimpse of him. The men folk were infuriated at this situation and to bring everything under control, Shiva converted himself into a child. Since then he is worshipped in his child avatar. Thus the main temple of the Jageshwar temple complex is dedicated to Bal Jageshwar or Child Shiva. The shivling in the sanctum sanctorum of this temple is divided into two parts with the larger part depicting Lord Shiva and the smaller one depicting Goddess Parvati.

Kot Ling was originally selected as a place by Shiva for meditation, the place is at around 2kms of mountainous trekking distance from the main temple complex here. Kot Ling is situated at the sangam of Jata Ganga and Sam Ganga River. This temple is now in a ruined state.

History Associated With Jageshwar Dham

The temples are estimated to be about 2,500 years old. According to the ASI they belong to the post- Gupta and pre- mediaeval eras. These temples were mostly built and renovated by the Katyuri dynasty king Shalivahan Dev. The Katyuri Kings also donated villages to the temple priests for its maintenance. Numerous Jageshwar temples were also constructed or restored during the Gurjara Pratihara era. The Chand Kings of Kumaun were also patrons of the Jageshwar temple. The Samshan ghat of Jageshwar is also the cremation ground of the erstwhile Chand Kings. It is also believed that Guru Adi Shankaracharya visited the Jageshwar Dham, renovated and re-established many temples before leaving for Kedarnath.

Over 25 inscriptions of different periods are inscribed on the walls and pillars of the Jageshwar temples. Most of these belong to the period between the 7th century AD to 10th century AD. The dialect of inscriptions is Sanskrit and Brahmi. The inscriptions include the ones of Malla Kings on the main temple premises indicating their devotion to Jageshwar.

History of Lakulish Shaivism

Pilgrims who came after Saint Lakulisha considered Lakulisha (Shiva with a wooden stick) as the last of twenty- eight incarnations of Lord Shiva. Jageshwar was also the centre of Lakulisha Shaivism, a revivalist sect worshipping Lord Shiva. This faith flourished later under Bharashiva and Vakataka dynasties of southern and central India. Origin and history of Lakulish traverses back to Gujarat region of current India.

Architecture of The Temples

The temple architecture belongs to the Nagara style that is strongly characterized by a tall curved spire surmounted by an amalaka (capstone) and a kalasha crown.

A doorway leads you to the square sanctum sanctorum, it is carved and leads you to a tall curvilinear spire shikhara, surmounted by an amalaka (capstone) and a kalasha crown. Some ashtadhatu images are also present in the premises. Ekamukhalinga, one of the rarest specimens in northern India, can also be seen here. Most of the temples have the stone lingams and stone images around the altar. Over 25 inscriptions have been found on the walls and pillars of some of these temples.

Recently, a red sandstone pillar has also been discovered here that has figures of humans and spiritual figures engraved on them. The pillar is said to be built in the 1st century BC.

Rituals At The Temple (Chronology)

After taking a bath (or a Snana) at the Brahma Kund near the Temple, Pilgrim should first visit the main Jyotirlinga, followed by Dakshin Mukhi Hanuman Neelkanth Temple, Surya Temple, Navagraha Temple, Pushti Mata Temple, Mrityunjaya Temple, Hawan Kunda, Lakulisha Temple, Tarkeshwar Temple, Kedarnath Temple, Navdurga Temple. After this come back again to Jyotirlinga, then Batuk Bhairav Temple and Kuber Temple that stands near the Brahma Kund.

There are also 7 experiential trips have been devised as the Seven- Chakra Tours to realise one’s own potential

  • Jageshwar to Koteshwar – 3 km (Muladhara Tour)
  • Jageshwar to Dandeshwar – 2 kms (Svadhishthana Tour)
  • Jageshwar to Mantola – 2 kms (Manipura Tour )
  • Jageshwar to Hariya Top – 7 kms (Anahata Tour)
  • Jageshwar to Jata Ganga Udgam Sthal – 6 kms (Vishuddha Tour)
  • Jageshwar to Jerawat Cave – 6 kms (Ajna Tour)
  • Jageshwar to Jakhar Saim – 8 kms (Sahasrara Tour)

Location and How to Reach Jageshwar

Many years ago, Jageshwar used to be a pilgrim halt en-route to the famous Kailash- Mansarovar pilgrimage.

How To Reach Jageshwar

Jageshwar Dham has a network of well connected motorable roads. The Pantnagar nearest to Jageshwar, situated 150 kms from it. Taxis, buses and cabs ply regularly and are easily available to Jageshwar from Pantnagar Airport. To reach Jageshwar, one can take buses to Haldwani and Almora right from ISBT Anand Vihar, Delhi. The Jageshwar Dham is at a distance of 35 km from Almora and 400 kms from Delhi (takes 10 hours)i. It takes around 4 hours from Kathgodam (near Haldwani). Kathgodam is the nearest railway station situated at a distance of 125 kms. Buses and cabs services are easily available to Almora and Jageshwar from Kathgodam.

Best Time to Visit Jageshwar (Almora)

Jageshwar draws crowds during the Jageshwar Monsoon Festival, in the month of August, and during the Shivratri Mela, in spring. The Jageshwar Monsoon Festival is held between 15 July to 15 August takes place at Jageshwar during the month of Shravan and the annual Maha Shivratri Mela, which takes place during spring, is an important festival of Kumaon region.

Weather in Almora

With an average temperature of 25°C in the summer season, this beautiful hill station is the perfect destination for those who live in high temperature regions. It is one of the most beautiful towns of Uttarakhand with a jaw dropping landscape and pleasant weather throughout the year.

Almora receives a large amount of rain during the monsoon season and the temperature drops further. Like all the other hilly regions, this is not an ideal time to visit this place as landslides are quite common. It is suggested to check the weather reports of the region you plan to travel to before you leave for a trip. The rainy season starts in July and lasts till September. The temperature stays between 21°C to 29°C. On July 15th the place would be set to celebrate the Jogeshwar monsoon festival in Jogeshwar temple. This is a prime attraction and receives more tourists during monsoon also.

Winter starts from November and this lasts till February. December and January are the coldest months, the temperature drops down till -2°C, snowfalls occur during this time. Generally, the temperature holds an average amount of 7°C to 20°C. In the months of December and January, the weather may be uncomfortable for sightseeing and activities held here.

Daily Temple timings: 4 AM to 6 PM

Places/ Temples Near Jageshwar

  • Katarmal Sun Temple
  • Chitai Golu Devta Temple
  • Nanda Devi Temple
  • Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Govind Ballabh Pant Government Museum
  • Archeological Museum
  • Pandukeshwar Temple
  • Vridh Jageshwar
  • Sri Mahamrityunjaya Temple
  • Kubera Temple Complex
  • Dandeshwar Temple complex

The Archeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum near the temple is another popular must see place in Jageshwar. The museum is run by Archaeological Survey of India and houses around 174 sculptures dating from 9th to 13th century AD. The museum has two galleries and some of the prominent sculptures of the museum are Uma-Maheshwar, Surya and Navagraha.

What is The Jageshwar Dham Famous For?

  • Jageshwar is known for its temple complex comprising 124 large and small stone temples dating 9th to 13th century AD.
  • Culture enthusiasts and historians visit the place to learn more about the ancient shrines and dynasties that built them.
  • Because of its tranquil and calm environment free from the hustle-bustle and city clammer and surrounded by dense deodar, Jageshwar is an ideal place for meditation where one could come close to nature.
  • Camping is another good way to spend time with your family and friends to spend some quality time in the lap of nature.
  • The shivling inside the temple is known as the World’s first Shivlinga. It also has the unique eye opening shape of the Shivling.
  • It has unique & ancient carvings on its walls & pillars written in Brahmi & Sanskrit Languages, which were written between 7th and 13th
  • It has Rich Archeological history of temples in Jageshwar District of Uttarakhand
  • It has a twin stem tree which is known as the symbol of Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati.

Jageshwar Dham Temple Can Be Visited During The Char Dham Yatra

Kedarnath is considered to be one of the most sacred pilgrimages of Lord Shiva situated in Rudraprayag district of Garhwal region in Uttarakhand. Kedarnath is situated in the lap of the majestic mountain peaks and near the head of river Mandakini. Kedarnath range stands one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. The main attractions here is the Shiva Temple, which is a popular Hindu shrine and pilgrimage, attracting devotees from all over the world. There are more than 200 shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva in the area itself, the most important one is Kedarnath. Jageshwar is one such temple dedicated to lord Shiva situated in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand.

The pilgrimage to Jageshwar was considered as sacred as the famous Char Dham Yatra.

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