Baijnath Shiv Temple
Baijnath is a well-known and renowned town in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. This temple is about 50 kilometres from the hill-station Dharamshala which is famed as the district head quarters. The very popular ancient temple of Lord Shiva- Baijnath is located here, which gave the town its name .And because of this, the main attraction point of Baijnath is an ancient temple of Lord Shiva. The places near to this town are Palampur Kangra and Joginder Naga in Mandi district. As per the Hindu legends, it is a belief that during the Treta Yug, The great Ravana in order to have invincible powers worshiped Lord Shiva in the Kailasha Parvat(Hill). In order to please the almighty (Lord Shiva), he offered his ten heads in the Havan kund at the same time. Highly influenced by this extra ordinary deed of the Ravana, Lord Shiva not only restored his heads but also bestowed him with powers of invincibility and immortality.
How to Reach:
This temple is easily
accessible via road from Dharamshala, Palampur, Kangra and all the major cities
of Himachal Pradesh. Devotees and the tourist can hire private taxis or take
state transport buses to reachthis holy destination of Himachal Pradesh. The
temple 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
Lord Shiva is commemorated here as Vaidyanath (the Lord of Physician) and is placed in the form ofLingam; (phallic form of Lord Shiva). The main sanctum comprises five projections on every sideand a tall curved shikhar (spire). The history of Baijnath temple is inscribed on the stone slabs insidethe complex. As per the beliefs, Ravana (King of Lanka) had worshipped Lord Shiva in this temple.
People say that the
history of the ancient Baijnath Temple is hazy and the two long inscriptions
fixed in thewalls of the mandapa of the temple gives us account of the temple.
The temple was constructed in Saka during 1126 (CE 1204) by two brothers
Manyuka and Ahuka in devotion to Lord Vaidyanatha. Inside the temple, the inscriptions
tell us that a Sivalinga known as Vaidyanatha already existed on the spot but
was without a proper house so the present temple and a porch in its front was built
.One of the British Archaeologists Alexander Cunningham noticed an inscription
of 1786 in the temple referring to its renovations by king Sansara Chandra. And
an inscription on the wooden doors of the sanctum of the temple provides the
date as samvat 1840 (AD 1783) that is very near to Cunningham’s date. The
distastrous earthquake that shook the entire region of Kangra on 4 April 1905
also caused severe damage to the shrine, which has been reported by J. Ph.
Vogel and has since been repaired. Now,
the temple is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India but
the performance of worship and rituals are under a local board at Baijnath with
SDM as its chairman.