Monday, September 25, 2023

Explore the Beauty of Baijnath Temple Kangra, Himachal Pradesh

Looking for an off-beat destination for your next vacation? Well, let’s put Baijnath on your radar. The sleepy little town in the Himalayas has a lot to offer, from great locales to temples. Join us, as we discuss all things Baijnath [Himachal Pradesh] for you to plan an unforgettable trip, whether alone or with family.

Baijnath Town: An Overview

You might first dismiss Baijnath as just another hill station. But once you dig deeper, you’ll realize how special a destination it is. Tucked away in the Himalayas, the quaint little town affords some breathtaking locales to refresh your eyes and a calm environment to soothe your soul.

Just immerse yourself in the spiritual vibes of Baijnath temple and experience the cleansing effect on your mind, body, and soul. Think of it as a jumping-off point for a journey into the inner self.

The two Baijnath Prasastis (stone inscriptions) in the temple’s Mandapa, will transport you into the past. If that fails to impress you, the culture, food, and people will keep you coming back for more.

Open: All year round Avg. Temperature: 22°C
Area: 296 Sq. Km. Best time to visit: Summers
Closest Airport: Kangra Airport (25 km) Closest Rail Station: Amb Andaura (67 km)
Population: 125,702 (Estimated in 2023) Literacy Rate: 92.91 Percent
Things to do: Pilgrimage, Trekking, Camping, and Sightseeing

Baijnath Town: Geography

Nestled in the lap of the Dhauladhar ranges, Baijnath has a perfect location for a hill station. You need to travel into the remoteness of the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh to get to this hidden gem of a place. The nearest township is Palampur, 16 kilometers away. Other significant towns nearby include Kangra (39 km), Dharamshala (42 km), Hamirpur (48 km), Kullu (50 km), Mandi (52 km), and Joginder Nagar (20.2 km). Despite Baijnath’s secluded location, it is open all year round.

Located in the Kangra district, the town offers a peaceful environment, perfect for self-realization. It is a sight to behold, with the Dhauladhar range in the backdrop and greenery scattered all around. Even the temple from which Baijnath gets its name isn’t just another temple. It is one of the most significant religious centers in the region, with a history dating back to the 13th century. Legend also links the temple to Ravana, the demon king of Lanka who abducted Sita.

Tehsil: Baijnath District: Kangra
State: Himachal Pradesh Coordinates: 32.05°N 76.65°E
Elevation: 998 m (3,274 ft) Pin Code: 176063

Baijnath Temple: Etymology

The area where Baijnath is located was once named Kiragrama. That changed to Baijnath only after the Baijnath temple came up in the 13th century. As a side note, the term, Bainath, is a distortion of Viadyanath. It’s one of the many names of Lord Shiva that depicts him as the “Ultimate Physician.” According to some historians, Lord Shiva at the Baijnath temple is worshipped in the form of a physician only because of the healing qualities of the water flowing from the temple premises.

Baijnath Town: History

Sadly, the history of the town isn’t well documented. Little we know about the town’s history comes from several inscriptions fixed on the Baijnath temple’s mandap and historical sources related to the erstwhile Kangra state. However, folklore traces the town’s history back to the age of Ramayana. Despite the uncertainty, we can safely say that it is an ancient settlement that evolved into a local business and cultural hub over the years. The temple had a definite role in its development.

Back in the day when Baijnath was Kiragrama, it was a part of the historic Trigarta kingdom. As a side note, Trgartha was a powerful kingdom with a history dating back to ancient India. You can find mention of the kingdom in Mahabharata, Puranas, Rajtaringini, and other literary works. Three rivers (the Satluj, the Beas, and the Ravi) ran through the region, which gave it the name, Trigartha. Even some parts of the modern-day Jalandhar district were once a part of the Trigartha kingdom.

The earliest historical records suggest that King Jayachandra, the ruler of Jalandhar, appointed the local chieftain, Lakshmanachandra as the governor of Trigartha. Kiragrama, a part of Trigartha, came under his direct control. Lakshmanachandra was a distant cousin of Jayachandra. During the reign, the iconic Biajnath temple came up early in the 13th century.

Baijnath Temple: (बैजनाथ मंदिर)

There is a reason why Baijnath is a tourist destination. Located in the heart of the town, the ancient namesake temple keeps a steady stream of devotees all year round. The deity is merciful enough to set free his devotees of worldly miseries and pain while also granting them nirvana. Just set foot on the premises, and experience the overpowering spiritual vibes and liberating aura of Lord Shiva.

As of now, it is under ASI’s protection, alongside 3,800 other historical monuments across India. A local board, headed by the SDM, is responsible for running the day-to-day affairs of the temple. The puja & other rituals are carried out by a family of purohits that has served the deity for generations.

Baijnath Temple: History

The site where Baijnath temple stands today was once occupied by a smaller yet “historic” Shiva temple. The mythologies link the original temple to Ravana, the mighty demon king from the epic, Ramayana. However, no historical record can prove or disprove the presence of any pre-existing structure on the premises. Thankfully, there are historical records of the temple we see today.


One of the two Baijnath Prasastis (stone inscriptions) at the temple entrance tells us that the temple was a vision of two well-off traders, Ahuka and Manyuka. Out of sheer love for their deity, they funded the structure at the end of the 12th century. The temple was opened to the public in 1204 AD. According to the inscriptions, the traders were brothers born to Siddha and Chinna.

Besides commissioning the construction, the siblings gifted oil-extraction equipment, a shop, and some acreage in the nearby Nauri hamlet. Donations also came from Rajanaka Lakshmanachandra for erecting the shrine. Even the chieftain’s mother pledged some land for the construction.


The inscriptions further tell us about the renovation work undertaken by Raja Sansar Chand (1765-1823). After driving the Mughal governor, Saif Ali Khan, out of Kangra, Sansar Chand commissioned the renovation work. He even added certain features to the structure, giving it the present form.

Another prominent name associated with the Baijnath is Alexander Cunningham (1814 to 1893), a Briton who founded the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). He stumbled upon the inscription that links the temple renovation work to Sansar Chand. However, it is hard to believe that locals weren’t aware of the inscription before being discovered by Cunningham. That’s forgery at its best.

Baijnath temple had the bear the brunt of a devastating earthquake in 1905. An epigraphist and an employee of the ASI from 1901 to 1914, Jean Philippe Vogel discussed the plight of this run-down temple in his works. The renovation was again undertaken to restore the structure to its former glory. However, you can still find the imprints of the devastation on some parts of the temple.

Baijnath Temple: The Ravan Connection

Like any ancient Indian temple, Baijnath has its share of mythologies. The temple strongly connects with Ravana, the demon king with ten heads. Legend has it that he performed an intense Tapasya (penance) at Kailash Parvat to please his beloved deity, Lord Shiva. When Lord Shiva played hard to get, Ravana sacrificed his ten heads one by one. The ploy worked, forcing Lord Shiva to appear.

Besides restoring Ravana’s ten heads, Lord Shiva asked him for the desired boons. However, Ravana wasn’t content with wisdom and strength as boons. He made an unprecedented demand, asking his beloved deity to make Lanka his permanent abode. Ravana would become powerful enough to rule the three worlds with impunity if that were to happen. So, Maya came into play to dodge the bullet.

The all-knowing Lord Shiva agreed to Ravana’s demands. He manifested into a Lingam that Ravana was supposed to carry with him to his kingdom. However, he put forth a condition to which Ravana agreed. The condition was not to place the Lingam on the ground until he reached his kingdom.

Ravana’s Journey Back Home

There are two separate legends about what happened on Ravana’s journey from Kailasha to Lanka. One legend states that Ravana couldn’t resist his urge to urinate just when traveling through Kiragrama. So, he requested a beggar to hold the Lingam while he could urinate. However, upon his return, Ravana found the Lingam on the ground, as the beggar could not withstand its weight. The beggar was Lord Vishnu in disguise, who wanted to prevent Lord Shiva’s exit from Kailasha.

As you can guess, this was the “Maya” at work. Had Ravana established the Lingam in Lanka, he would have become a formidable opponent for the gods to defeat. However, as per the other version of the legend, Ravana requested a shepherd boy, Baiju to take charge of the Lingam so he could answer nature’s call. As the Lingam was too heavy for him, he put it down. Ravana tried hard to pick the Lingam but in vain. Disgruntled, he left the Lingam at the spot where it stands today.

A temple was later built around the Lingam. For many, the name, Baijnath came from the shepherd boy, Baiju. To corroborate the fable, walk a mile from the temple to Tara Siddh Peeth where Ravana’s footprints are preserved. Since Lord Shiva restored Ravana’s ten sacrificed heads, the deity is known as Vaidyanatha, the ultimate healer. That’s why the temple receives an influx of visitors seeking health and well-being. Even the water here is said to have healing properties.

No Goldsmiths, No Dusherra

Ravana is a revered figure in this part of the world. While the demon king’s act of kidnapping Sita didn’t go well with the rest of the world, the people of Baijnath think otherwise. Had Ravana not been there, the Lingam and the temple wouldn’t be there either. The locals do not celebrate Dusherra, even though it marks the victory of good (Lord Rama) over evil (Ravana).

Talk to a local; he will tell you that some people tried to set on fire the effigy of Ravana on Dusherra but met a tragic end. However, I failed to establish how authentic the story is. Baijnath isn’t the only town to stay away from Dusharra. Places like Paraswadi (Maharashtra), Mandsaur and Ravangram (Madhya Pradesh), Mandore (Rajasthan), and Bisrakh (Uttar Pradesh) also do the same.

Interestingly, you won’t find a single goldsmith in Baijnath town. Again, it has an obvious Ravana connection. The act of Lord Hanuman’s torching the city of gold, Lanka, did not go well with the people of this holy town. As a resentment of the event, the locals prefer not to involve in jewelry-related business or goldsmithing. Anyone who dared to get involved attracted Ravana’s wrath.

Baijnath Temple: Architecture

The most striking feature of Baijnath Dham is its Nagara-style architecture. The elite craftsmanship and attention to detail will keep you spellbound and wondering how medieval engineers pulled it off. Nagara is a prominent architectural form in North India with roots in the Gupta period. However, the temple also features some aspects of the Odisha school of architecture, which sets it apart.

As you approach the temple, a magnificent stone structure resting on an elevated platform greets you. You need to take the stairs to get to the modest entrances, one in the north and the other in the south. As in all Shiva temples, Lord Nandi sits on the porch gazing at the Shivalingam inside the sanctum sanctorum. When passing through the Mandap, you’ll come across exquisite carvings.

The presiding deity, Lord Shiva sits pretty in the form of Shivalingam in the Garbagriha, surrounded by the intricate sculptures on the walls depicting instances from several Hindu mythologies. From the idols of Ganesha and Harihara (Half Vishnu and Half Shiva) to Kalyanasundara (wedding of Shiva and Parvati) and Lord Shiva’s triumph over Asura Andhaka, there’s so much to witness and cherish.

Interestingly, a select few idols even predate the temple’s construction. Like all Nagara-styled temples, Baijnath temple also features a curvilinear Shikhara (spire) right above the Garbagriha. Featuring iconographic details, the 80 feet tall Shikhara is also a sight to behold. Even though expansive boundary walls are missing, the premises features lush, well-manicured gardens.

Over the centuries, the structure has witnessed multiple renovations and restorations while upholding its architectural integrity. Surprisingly, the entire structure is kept together with a mortar of Urad ki daal (lentil) and cement. Coupled with great engineering, the mortar has ensured that the structure withstood earthquakes, elements of nature, and the test of time. Amazing, isn’t it?

Why is Baijnath a famous site?

Baijnath is a queer mix of nature, history, and spirituality. Come, visit this off-beat destination to return home with memories cherished for a lifetime. Whether you need reasons or assistance to plan a trip to this sleepy little town, Duniakagyan is here to help. Here’s what to do in Baijnath.

Baijnath Temple: Top Places to Visit

1. Quartz Himalayan Brothers

Experience comfort and luxury in the lap of mountains by staying at this property, offering free wifi and parking facilities to guests and other luxurious amenities.

2. Tatva Bir tents and Hotels

If you are an adventure enthusiast, hire a tent and experience the joy of lighting a bonfire while camping in the middle of the mountains.

3. Mohinder and Mahindra Homestay

Become a guest of the hosts as they serve you lip-smacking food and warm hospitality. If you are a budget traveler, the homestay is the best option for you as it will not burn a hole in your pocket and, at the same time, you will feel homely by the warmth of the hosts and the special attention they give you.

Top Hotels in Baijnath

Even Baijnath is a famous place for religious place. There is several sacred places where you can stay. Also, several luxury hotels. For complete ideas about hotels in Baijnath, explore the blog section.

Baijnath Temple: Activities

While the Baijnath temple is a paradise for travelers seeking peace and spirituality, many activities are nearby to keep you hooked.

1. Billing Paragliding

A world-famous paragliding spot, Billing Paragliding offers you an unbeatable adventure as you descend from an unparalleled height of 1525 meters.

2. Palampur Tea gardens

Palampur Tea gardensPalampur is popular for its tea gardens, located against the Dhauladhar mountain ranges’ backdrop. Visit these gardens for an offbeat experience and learn about tea plantations and cultivation.

3. Billing adventures

Apart from paragliding, Bir Billing offers an exciting opportunity to indulge in adventurous activities like trekking, rock climbing, horse riding, and much more.

4. Trekking

Himachal Pradesh offers unbeatable treks, and on your visit to Baijnath temple, you must not miss out on the opportunity to walk one. Experience the raw form of nature by trekking in Kangra as views of snow-clad mountains enchant you during your sojourn.

Best Resort in Baijnath

When we are with our family, friends, and people, we usually prefer resorts to hotels. In Baijnath, there are several beautiful resorts. Some of them mentioned here are Rakkh Resort, Araiya Palampur, Prakriti Aalya, and so on. For more, please go through the blog section of

Best Food / Cafe In Baijnath

1. Café Ilaka

Café IlakaIf you want to munch on some melting snacks near Baijnath temple, visit Café Ilaka, located 6 km from the temple. The café serves on-the-move snacks, including Italian and continental cuisines.

2. Musafir, a traveler’s café

Musafir, a traveler’s caféIf you are a person who chooses ambiance, Musafir is the place for you. Experience the rugged ambiance of the café, offering you an old-world charm in the café as you munch on some delicacies in the mountains.

3. Cloud 7

Cloud 7The hotel offers Indian and Asian cuisines and drinks, making your mountain visit memorable. Cloud 78 is a paradise for vegans as the restaurant offers several delicious vegan dishes to customers.

Baijnath Temple: Conclusion

In this blog, we have tried to provide all the required detail. Which one do you need to know before going to Baijnath? Baijnath is one of the well-known religious sites, and you can go here with your family or friends.

Since the author is a resident of Himachal Pradesh, expect first-hand information and tips.

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Rohit Kumar
Rohit Kumar
Passionate about content quality and attention to detail, Rohit has penned over 15,000 copies for some of the leading online and offline publications in his eight-year career. Currently heading the content team at Dunia Ka Gyan, he believes in team spirit, ingenuity, and reader satisfaction.

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