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Jageshwar temple complex

An engineering marvel of 8th century in Almora

Kamlesh was doing all the hard work, driving while I was enjoying the seamless drive amidst the dense forests of tall Deodars almost touching the clouds, amazing weather & majestic landscapes.
 Intrigued by the beauty around, I almost went into a trance, searching deep within myself. I was abruptly brought back as the car took a sharp curve and a huge architecture appeared out of nowhere. The moment my eyes landed on this beautiful building, Rain-god Indra welcomed us with a loud, heart shaking clap of thunder. I was awestruck after looking at this magnificent feat of architecture, but to my surprise there was a sign board saying ‘Temple ahead’. The thought that an even grander building lay ahead thrilled and elated me and I wondered about the magnificence of the main building.
 

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We drove down the enticing curves of the valley for around 2 more kms, and emerged in a small village having tiny houses and shops. We went past and came across this marvelous wonder of medieval engineering.
The famous Hindu pilgrimage, Jageshwar is among the 12 Jyotirlingas. Lord Shiva resides here and is called by the name Nagesh, it is around 35kms from Almora.
 

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This temple consists of 124 large and small stone temples dating from 8th to 13th century, many of them are preserved by ASI (Archaeological survey of India).
 

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Oldest shrine is Mrityunjaya temple & the biggest shrine is Dandeshwar temple. Jageshwar is located at 1870mtrs above sea level on the banks of Jataganga river.
Jageshwar monsoon festival takes place between 15th July & 15th Aug & during the Hindu calendar month of Shravan & the annual Mahashivratri mela takes place during spring is an important event for Hindus and the people of Kumaon region.

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Jageshwar is the home of Nagesh, 8th among the 12 Jyotirlingas, which is stated to exist in the forest of Deodar or Daruka.
The Katyuri kings donated villages to temple priests for its renovations, The Chand kings of Kumaon were also the patrons of the temple.
The main temple has two Dwarpalas (door guardians) in the form of Nandi and Skandi.
 

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This is a West facing temple of Lord Shiva, here Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of Nagesh/Jageshwar. In the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, the Shivlinga is divided into two parts, the larger one depicts Shiva and the smaller one his consort Parvati. An Akhand jyoti (an immortal flame) burns in the temple.

Tall Deodars trees and huge mega structures of the temple are the proof of what quality our medieval engineers had and the supremacy of nature over humans
Two Ashtdhaatu statues of Chand kings Deepchand & Tripalchand are established in the standing posture behind the Shivlinga.
It is also believed that Adi Guru Shankracharya visited Jageshwar and renovated and re -stablished many temples before leaving for Kedarnath.
Jageshwar can be accessed all the year through roads, the nearest railhead is Kathgodam only 125kms from here, staying options at Jageshwar are also present or one can stay at Almora & drive down to Jageshwar.

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