Baijnath Temple


Baijnath temple is a 13th century architectural site located in the town of Baijnath in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. This ancient temple is built in the Nagara Style of temple architecture and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The architectural style has been imbibed from Orissan style, which is very much unique in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The exterior walls of the temple have numerous alcoves with images of gods and Goddesses from the Hindu pantheon.

Lord Shiva is commemorated here as Vaidyanath (the Lord of Physician) and is placed in the form of ‘Lingam’ (phallic form of Lord Shiva).

The main sanctum comprises five projections on every side and a tall curved shikhar (spire). The history of Baijnath temple is inscribed on the stone slabs inside the complex. As per the beliefs, Ravana (King of Lanka) had worshipped Lord Shiva in this temple.

The demon King Ravana was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Once, he performed a huge penance to gain the blessings of Lord Shiva in order to obtain the kingdom of Lanka. While doing the penance, Ravana cut off his ten heads and offered it to the sacrificial fire. So, Lord Shiva was very pleased with Ravana’s devotion and not only gave him the boon but also fixed all of his ten heads. It is said that Lord Shiva transformed as ‘Vaidhya’ (doctor) and healed the injuries of Ravana. Hence, he is worshipped in the form of Vaidyanath.

In order to enter the temple, one has to cross the vestibule that has a large ‘Mandap’ in the centre and two huge balconies on either side. The temple has fortifications, leaving space for two entrances in the north and the south. Just before the Mandapa, there is small porch placed on four columns. Here, a huge image of Nandi (the bull of Lord Shiva) is placed. The door leading to the sanctum is speckled with many images of artistic nature.

Besides the shrine of Lord Shiva, there are many other small shrines dedicated to Gods and Goddesses. In the early 20th century, the temple was suffered from an earthquake. Raja Sansar Chand made an effort to renovate the temple after the calamity. The temple complex acquires lush green gardens, which makes a perfect foreground to the ancient and unique structure of this temple.

The water of this temple is believed to contain medicinal properties, which can cure diseases of people. Due to this reason too, Baijnath Temple receives thousands of people every year.

Shivratri is the major festival that is observed at this temple with full gusto and fervor. Devotees visit the temple during this time to seek the blessings from the God.



Leave a Reply