Friday, December 9, 2022

Jageshwar: History, Famous Places, Food & Temperature

As evidenced by numerous ancient monuments, temples, and manuscripts, India has always had a rich archaeological heritage. The inscriptions on the walls and the sculptures on display have aided in the identification and comprehension of India’s rich cultural heritage.

Jageshwar, a rich Indian legacy, is nestled in the lush, peaceful woodlands of the Kumaon region. This mysterious settlement is surrounded by dense deciduous trees, with a beautiful stream in the background. The Jageshwar Shiv Temple, the most prominent landmark here, appears to be an ancient shrine with tremendous religious, cultural, and architectural significance.

Let’s go over the temple’s history, significance, nearby attractions, and much more. The goal is to improve your knowledge of the area and assist you in properly planning your trip.

Jageshwar: An Overview

Jageshwar Dham is around 36 kilometres from Almora in the Uttarakhand state of India. It is located at an elevation of about 1,871 metres above sea level. Think of the small town as one of the top tourist attractions in Kumaon, attracting legions of visitors each year. It is set in a deep deodar forest, with a stream flowing through its backyard.

Jageshwar is the eighth and most important Jyotirling among the twelve. Jageshwar is a temple city comprising stone temples ranging from the 9th to 13th centuries AD. Several of them are under the aegis of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Jageshwar’s massive collection of stone temples dedicated to Lord Shiva inspired the city’s common name, “Valley of Gods.” The temples, some minor and others colossal, are notable for their architecture and are set against a backdrop of lush forests, highlands, and the glistening Jat Ganga stream. The ASI-protected temple compound contains over 125 temples and approximately 174 sculptures, including idols of Lord Mahadev and Parvati.

On the pillars and columns of some of these shrines, over 25 inscriptions have been discovered. According to the ASI, the structures are around 2,500 years old and date from the post-Gupta and pre-medieval ages. The Katyuri monarchs built and reconstructed the majority of them. In the past few years, a red sandstone pillar with etched human and spiritual motifs has also been uncovered here. The pillar is thought to have been erected in the first century BC. Jageshwar comes to life during the Jageshwar Monsoon Fair in August and the Shivratri Mela in March.

Jageshwar Weather

Except for monsoons and a few harsh winter weeks, the weather in this beautiful, mystical hamlet is enjoyable all year round. The weather is influenced by the position of the highlands and the Himalayan range.

Summers:

The summers in Jageshwar are beautiful, and tourists and followers of Lord Shiva thrive on them. The skies are clear, allowing you to see the dawn and dusk without being concerned about thunderstorms. Summer temperatures range from 12 °C to 24 °C, offering a nice and welcoming setting for you to explore the town and the temples.

Wet Season:

From July to August, the monsoons are laden with heavy rainfall. The weather is hot and humid, with cold, rainy evenings. The temperature fluctuates between 16 and 25 degrees Celsius, and the area is prone to landslides and flash floods. During this season, the mobility of tourists and worshippers is frequently restricted.

Autumns:

The autumn season is an excellent time to visit the highlands. During this time of year, devotees throng the place in large numbers to seek blessings, which normally increases footfall. The fresh conifers, verdant forests, and serene hills are a sight to behold. In late September and October, the mercury hovers between 7 and 19 degrees Celsius.

Winters:

Winters are characterised by cold, chilly mornings, foggy days, and snowy terrain. The mercury often dips below the freezing point with the possibility of snowfall. During the winter, temperatures range from roughly -6 to 8 degrees. When compared to other winter months, January is typically fairly chilly.

History and Significance of Jageshwar

We lack any historical documentation of the Jageshwar temple structures. However, if ASI is to be believed, they came up in the post-Gupta and pre-medieval periods. That makes them around 1500 years old and one of India’s oldest temple complexes. The temples date from the 8th century during the Katyuri reign to the 18th century, during the Chand Dynasty.

During the tenure of Katyuri Monarch Shalivahandev, these temples in Almora were rebuilt. On the main temple grounds, there are engravings of Malla Kings indicating their devotion to Jageshwar. The Katyuri Kings also gave lands to temple priests to help them maintain the shrine. The Kumaon Chand Rulers were also supporters of the Jageshwar shrine.

Before departing for Kedarnath, Adi Shankaracharya is said to have toured Jageshwar and restored and re-established several shrines. The primary shrine of Jageshwar Mahadev is devoted to Bal Jageshwar, or “Little Shiva.” On the upper hills, there is also a shrine dedicated to Vridh Jageshwar, or Elder Shiva.

As per legend, Shiva came for meditation here, and when the ladies of the hamlet learned about this, they promptly abandoned their household work to see him. When the males of the town heard about this, they were enraged and came to find out who this sadhu was. When Shiva saw the ruckus, he assumed the appearance of a kid, which is why he is still idolised in this appearance here.

Places to Visit around Jageshwar

Below is the list of the temples and places you can explore in Jageshwar, Uttarakhand.

1. Dandeshwar Temple

Dandeshwar TempleIt is around 2 kilometres from the city centre. The Dandeshwar Temple is the acme of Nagar style construction, standing as high as you can stretch your neck. It is thought to house Lord Shiva’s temple as the staff bearer, thus the title Dandeshwar, or the bearer of the “dand,” the stick.

The divine idol is a giant uncut natural stone, in keeping with the common practise of adoring the gods in their unmodified natural form. It is an architectural beauty that serves as an engaging storey to tell.

Highlights
  • Elevation – 1870 metres
  • Timings – Nil
  • Distance from the city centre – 2 km
  • Best time to visit – Apr to June, September to November

2. Jageshwar Archaeological Museum

Jageshwar Archaeological Museum

It is approximately 3 kilometres from the town centre. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) manages the Archaeological Museum, which houses a wonderful collection of anciently crafted statues and old-world deity depictions.

The most famous figures in the galleries, dating back to the ninth and twelfth centuries AD, are those of Uma-Maheshwar. These are the regional names for Parvati, Shiva, and the Sun God, as well as the Nava Graha, or the 9 planets, which feature as gods in Hindu mythology.

The museum is undoubtedly worth visiting, not only for those who practise the faith or are fascinated by its intricacies but for anybody curious about the genuine origins of the third-largest religion. The most notable character is Pona Raja, a ruler who is still very much revered in the region.

Highlights
  • Elevation – 1870 metres
  • Timings – visiting hours 10:30am- 4:30pm. Closed on Monday
  • Distance from city centre – 4 km
  • Best time to visit – Apr to June, September to November

3. Jageshwar Mahadev Temple

Jageshwar Mahadev TempleThis temple, about 5 kilometres from the city centre, is by far the most popular in the compound and is dedicated to Shiva’s infant avatar. According to legend, Shiva was the perfect man for all of the women in the hamlet where he meditated. Shiva disguised himself as a child in order to avoid offending Hamlet’s males.

The temple is divided into two halves, one dedicated to Shiva and the other to his consort, Goddess Parvati. The entrance is flanked by statues of the sanctum sanctorum guards, Nandi and Skandi, complete with armaments. This adds to the temple’s magnificence, making it worthwhile to visit.

Highlights
  • Elevation – 1870 metres
  • Timings – visiting hours 10:30am- 4:30pm. Closed on Monday
  • Distance from city centre – 5 km
  • Best time to visit – Apr to June, september to november

4. Jhankar Saim Mahadev Temple

Jhankar Saim Mahadev TempleOne of the most well-known temples in Almora’s Jageshwar main temple complex is Jhankar Saim Shiva. This temple is located south of Jageshwar, approximately 5 kilometres from the town centre. According to legend, demons interrupted Lord Shiva’s devotion while he was contemplating. Then God Jhankar Saim appeared as Trinetra and sent his ganas to exterminate devils. The beautiful surroundings of the temple entice visitors to fall in love with the area.

Highlights
  • Elevation – 1870 metres
  • Timings – nil
  • Distance from city centre – 6.4 km
  • Best time to visit – October to April

5. Lakulisha

LakulishaIn this complex’s largest and oldest temple, Lord Shiva is revered as the liberator from death. Its stone linga sits between the openings of an eye and is notable for its intricate workmanship. The temple’s facade features old statues. There are around 24 inscriptions on its walls and pillars that date from the 7th to the 10th centuries. Its official languages are Sanskrit and Bramhi.

Highlights
  • Elevation – 1870 metres
  • Timings – 6am-9pm
  • Distance from city centre – 52 km
  • Best time to visit – During shravan month and maha shivratri

6. Mirtola Ashram

Mirtola AshramIn the 1930s, Sri Yashoda Ma, a housewife turned ascetic, founded Mirtola Ashram. The monastery of Mirtola is also referred to as “Uttar Vrindavan.” This location attracts spiritual pilgrims from all over the world. Because it is surrounded by so many other religious sites, it provides a convenient package for visitors.

Visiting Mirtola monastery is very divine, and tourists will get to experience a tranquil and pleasant environment in which to sit and admire the scenic view of such a location. Usually, there’s always someone to look after the ashram, and if there isn’t, attendants will assist you with any questions you may have.

Highlights
  • Elevation – 2118 metres
  • Timings – nil
  • Distance from City Centre – 52 km
  • Best time to visit –

7. Vriddha Jageshwar

Vriddha JageshwarThe Vriddha Jageshwar temple compound is located just upstream from the Jageshwar main temple. This temple, called the Old Shiva temple, is about 3 kilometres uphill from Jageshwar and is claimed to be Shiva’s residence before he went down to Jageshwar. Among the most fascinating qualities of Vriddha Jageshwar is the unending peace they exude. This place is a heavenly sight for all the visitors.

Highlights
  • Elevation – 1900 metres
  • Timings – nil
  • Distance from City Centre – 3km uphill from jageshwar
  • Best time to visit – April to june, september to november

Things to do in Jageshwar

Apart from the many spiritual activities available around the temple, one can easily explore the surrounding area for a variety of other adventures.

Trekking – The complete temple complex spans roughly 4 kilometres along the Jata Ganga river. Trekking is the ideal way to tour the entire area on foot while also exploring the lovely forest along the river.r.

Stargazing – The location, situated in a valley and surrounded by deciduous trees, provides an ideal backdrop for camping and stargazing by the stream. A bright night sky and a pollution-free atmosphere provide various opportunities to appreciate natural scenery.

How to reach

You can visit Jageshwar via rail, road, and air. Jageshwar is accessible by road from Pithoragarh, Almora, Kathgodam, and Haldwani. Kathgodam, about 125 kilometres away, is the nearest railway station. State-run UTC buses, private jeeps, and taxis travel to and from Jageshwar on a routine basis.

  • Air– Pantnagar airport, located around 150 kilometres away, is the nearest airport. There are numerous public and private transportation options for getting to Jageshwar.
  • Rail– The Kathgodam railway station is 90 kilometres away and serves as a connecting station to Jageshwar. From here, you can travel to major cities such as Delhi, Kolkata, and Lucknow. Taxis from the Kathgodam railway station to Jageshwar are readily available.
  • Road– Jageshwar is the most easily accessible town in the Almora district and can be reached from any part of India. State-run Uttarakhand Transport Corporation (UTC) buses and rental cabs are commonly available. Ranikhet is 83 kilometres away, Binsar is 54 kilometres away, and Kausani is 84 kilometres away.The highways are a gift for a memorable road trip with friends and family.

Distance Chart:

Wondering how far is Jageshwar from your city? Due to the hilly terrain, roads are only an ideal option to get to Jageshwar.

Table: Road Distance to Jageshwar from different cities

City Distance
Delhi 412 Kilometre
Chandigarh 540 Kilometre
Dehradun 374 Kilometre
Shimla 628 Kilometre
Jaipur 652 Kilometre
Lucknow 478 Kilometre
Noida 386 Kilometre
Mumbai 1651 Kilometre
Chennai 2354 Kilometre
Bangalore 2321 Kilometre
Kolkata 1491 Kilometre
Gurgaon 421 kilometre
Rishikesh 344 Kilometre
Nainital 98 Kilometre
Hyderabad 1730 Kilometre

Hotels

Jageshwar has a wide variety of hotels, guest homes, and motels to suit all budgets. Hotels in Jageshwar are few and far from the main town area.

Hotels Price range (in INR) Google Rating
Bharat Residency 1500-2500 4.2/5
Imperial Heights, Binsar 5500-6500 4.3/5
The Green Village Eco Resort 4200-4800 4.3/5
Sundowners Campsite 1200-1600 4.5/5

Food

At reasonable prices, Jageshwar is a tiny town in the district of Almora that has various regional food establishments and dhabas that provide local, Indian, and famous cuisines. There is no conventional dining in town, but you can be guaranteed to enjoy a full lunch with a gorgeous backdrop.

You can visit the Dhaba just adjacent to the famed Tara PhotoShop for a substantial meal of aloo curry and puri, yellow lentils with basmati rice, a type of long rice. Those with an insatiable sweet tooth will be delighted. The Almora area, where Jageshwar is located, is home to several of the state’s most traditional desserts. Balmithai, made with milk and sugar cane and topped with tiny sugar balls, is a favourite local delicacy, as is khoya singori, made with milk and coated in mallu leaf.

Best Time to Visit

Janeshwar is accessible throughout the year. The pleasant weather makes trekking and sightseeing much more enjoyable. Jageshwar is best visited between April and June, and September and November. The springtime and early monsoon season are the best times to visit Jageshwar, simply because of the beautiful day and night climate, which is ideal for extended touring and further investigation. The two most popular Shiva celebrations are also held during the same seasons. The Shivratri Festival is held in the spring, while the Jageshwar Carnival is held in the monsoon season and attracts both visitors and locals.

Conclusion

If you’re an archaeologist with a penchant for delving into the deeply rooted mythological beliefs that form the foundation of Indian society, the location will mesmerise you and leave you with an insatiable need for more. The temples and the Himalayan highlands are ideal for a weekend getaway with family and friends.

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FAQs

1. Why is Jageshwar famous?

Jageshwar is well-known for its temple complex, which contains 124 large and small stone shrines dating from the ninth to thirteenth centuries AD. Culture enthusiasts and historians interested in learning more about the ancient temples and the kingdoms that built them visit the site.

2. Is Jageshwar Dham open for tourists?

The monuments are available to the public from sunrise to dusk. At the entrance to the monument, visitors must present photo identification in its original form. Inside the premises, no foodstuffs are permitted.

3. Who built the Jageshwar temple?

The temple cluster consists of 124 small and large stone temples that were built between the 7th and 11th centuries CE, primarily by Katyuri monarchs.

4. What is the altitude of Jageshwar?

Jageshwar is located at an elevation of about 1875 metres above sea level.

5. Where is Jageshwar?

Jageshwar is located in Uttarakhand’s Almora district, amidst a deep deodar forest, with a creek running through its garden. It is located 37 kilometres from Almora.

Shalvee M
Shalvee M
Being in love with reading her whole life, Shalvee now reflects it in her writing. She is involved in poetry writing and aspires to pave a way for blogging. Project Management is her basic skillset. She is currently an undergraduate in B.tech and will be an Electronics Engineer in the time ahead.

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