Baijnath is a town in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. It is about 50 kilometers from Dharamsala, which is the district headquarters.
The ancient temple of Lord Shiva (Baijnath) is located here and this city has been given its name.
Baijnath is famous for its 13th-century temple, which is dedicated to Shiva as Vaidyanath, ‘Lord of the physicians’.
Originally known as Kigramama, this village is located on the Pathankot-Mandi Highway (National Highway No. 20), which is almost between Kangra and Mandi.
The current name is popularly known as Baijnath Temple.
This village is situated on the left bank of the river Benawa, which is a corrupt form of ancient Binduka, which is the tributary of the River Beas.
Baijnath Temple 1204 AD Has been under constant worship since its creation.
Two long inscriptions in the verandah of the temple indicate that there was a temple of Shiva presently before it was constructed.
The present temple is an example of early medieval North Indian temple architecture which is known as Nagra style of temples.
In the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, the self-sacrificing form of Shivalinga is infinite, on which there are five temples on each side and a long curve is Shiva.
The entrance of the sanctum is through a Vestibule, in which there is a large square “pavilion” with two huge balconies on one large scale in the north and south.
There is a small porch in front of the Mandapaula hall, which is hinged on the front four pillars, there was a bull in a small column before the idol of “Nandi”.
The entire temple is surrounded by a high wall along the entrance to the south and north.
There are many deities in the outer walls of the temple. Many pictures are fixed or carved in the walls.
Along with the outer entrance to the porch, the interior door leading to the sanctum of the temple is also equipped with a large number of statues of graphical significance.
Some of them are very rare that are found elsewhere.
The temple attracts tourists and pilgrims from all over the country and abroad throughout the year.
In addition to the season of special festivals and festivals, a special prayer is done every morning and evening.
Makar Sankranti, Maha Shivratri, Vaishakh Sankranti, and Shravana are celebrated on Monday with enthusiasm and grandeur.
Every year, a five-day state-level function is organized on Maha Shivratri.
Shiva Temple of BAIJNATH :-
The main attraction of Baijnath is an ancient temple of Shiva. The neighboring city is Palampur Kangra and Joginder Nagar in Mandi district.
According to legend, it is believed that during the Treta era, Ravana worshiped Lord Shiva in Kailash for invincible powers.
In this process, in order to please Almighty, he offered his ten heads in the havan kund.
Impressed by this extraordinary work of Ravana, Lord Shiva restored not only his head but also bestowed on him with the powers of unselfishness and immortality.
Upon receiving this unparalleled blessing, Ravana also requested Lord Shiva to be associated with him. Shiva agreed on Ravana’s request and converted himself into Shivling.
Then Lord Shiva asked him to take Shivling and warned him not to keep Shivling on the ground in his own way, because Shiva said that wherever you will keep me, in this Shivaling form, I will rest there, Shivling only will Stay there.
Ravana proceeded towards Lanka towards the south and reached Baijnath.
He was thirsty and he saw Lord Ganesha, was disguised as a shepherd and asked for water.
Lord Ganesha requested Varuna of the water of God / God (sea) that he should offer Ravana in small utensils of whole water.
On drinking it, Ravana requested to respond to the call of nature and handed Shivling to Ganesh and went away to free himself.
Lord Ganesh placed the penis on the ground, and in this way, Shivalinga got established and it is in the form of Ardhanarishvar ( as half male and half female).
Dashera festival in Baijnath city, where traditionally the statue of Ravana is prepared for flames, is not celebrated throughout the country, it is celebrated as the honor of Lord Shiva’s devotion to Ravan.
Another interesting thing about the city of Baijnath is that there are no shops of goldsmiths here.
Another version also shows that when Ravana was descending from the Himalayas on Shivling, Lord Shiva had honored him after the worship of the years, which was to be now established in Lanka, from which he (Ravana) unlimited powers Will also be received.
During the journey, the gods were not kept anywhere, even while resting, Ravana was betrayed by a deity (Gods), who stood as a beggar and wanted help from Ravan and promised to keep Shivling with him Had he (Ravan) could have got some food for the beggar.
Presented in the form of a beggar, God placed Shivling on the ground in the absence of Ravana.
The Shiva idol or Shivlinga in the Baijnath temple is the same Shivling that was kept by Dev after dodging Ravana.
Architecture of Baijnath Temple:-
The architecture of the Baijnath temple gives an early medieval north Indian style, which is popularly called ‘Nagara’.
This technique has been mixed with architectural styles which are mainly popular in Orissa.
Therefore, such an artistic mix of Himachal Pradesh is unique to the state.
There are two gateways on either side, a large terrace in the north and south and middle, with balconies on both sides.
This is the mandap. Before the mandap, there is a small porch which is based on four pillars.
Nandi on this porch is the mountain or thunder of Lord Shiva. The inner sanctum, where the Shivlinga lies, is surrounded by walls which are spotted with artistic illustrations and paintings.
The history of the temple of Baijnath is inscribed in the stone walls of the premises.
Inscription on the temple walls indicates that before the present temple, a temple of Lord Shiva rested at that place.
The lush gardens and manicure lawns make an ideal foreground for this unique and ancient structure.