There is no definite dating of the construction of Jageshwar group of temples but according to the ASI they are estimated to be about 2500 years old. These temples range in the period from the 8th century to the 13th century.
There are 124 temples and hundreds of magnificent statues of exquisite craftsmanship. The oldest shrine is of the Mrityunjaya dating back to the 8th century AD and the biggest shrine is of the Dindeshwara.
It is believed that when Shiva would meditate, all the women of the villages surrounding the area would flock up to see this handsome youth in trance. This infuriated the jealous men but by the time they went to see for themselves, Shiva had taken the form of a child. The main temple is still famous as Bal Jageshwar or Child Shiva. There is also a temple dedicated to Vridh Jageshwar or Old Shiva, situated on the higher slopes.
Jageshwar Dham is by the side of river Jata Ganga at a height of 1870 meter there are 125 group of ancient temples known as Jageshwar temples. The main shrine is near the market. The main temples are dedicated to Maha Mrityunjaya, Mahisasur Mardhini, Kedarnath, Baleshwar, Surya, Navagraha, Mahakali, Navdurga etc. Vridha Jageshwar 12 KM from Jageshwar is the source of Jata Ganga river. Temple opens at 4 AM in the morning and remains open till evening. Morning at 10 AM there will be Puja and evening Arati ( Puja ) held at 6.45 PM. You can offer donations and all your family details will be recorded here for puja. There is a Akhanda Jyoti ( lamp still burning from age old ). The lamp is glowing at belly height after descending from head and it is believed that it will be end of the universe once the lamp touches ground.
It is believed that Adi Shankaracharya visited Jageshwar and renovated and re-established many temples before leaving for Kedarnath. The Samsan ghat of Jageshwar is also the cremation ground of the erstwhile Chand Kings. It is possible that sati, the act of self-immolation, may have been performed here. The temples architecture belong to the Nagara [this link is not to an appropriate entry] style, characterized by a tall curved spire surmounted by an amalaka (capstone) and a kalasha crown. Most of the temples enshrine a stone lingam, surrounded by stone sculptures of various deities. The pilgrimage to Jageshwar was considered as sacred as the famous chardham yatra.
The Jageshwar Monsoon Festival, held between 15 July to 15 August takes place at Jageshwar during the Hindu calendar month of Shravan and the annual Maha Shivratri Mela (Shivratri festival), which takes place during spring has an important place in the calendar of the entire Kumaon region.
The folklore in the regions around Jageshwar tells us a gripping story about building the Main temple Near Kot Linga Temple Complex. Shiva selected this place to be his abode. During the Tapasya by Shiva, Demons obstruct His penance. Then God "Sam" come into being as Trinetra and send His Ganas to kill the demons. It is believed that Sam will come to Kot Linga temple premises to save humanity and Jageshwar in Kalyuga. Adi Shankacharya tried to build the maim temple at Kotlinga but to no avail as Sam wanted Kotlinga to be specifically reserved for the meditation of Shiva. Old ruins of a temple structure can be found near Kotlinga. Local people still believe that Sam or Lakulisha, the Lord with a stick shall come and built the real Jageshwar temple near Kotlinga and thus save the mankind from adversities of Kalyuga.
The statue of Lakulisha; meaning, the Lord with a staff or mace or club or stick; is back at Jageshwar after almost 50 years. Lakulisha has been stated to have born in Gujarat and propagated Saivism.
The resemblance in kumaoni language and Gujarati are actually an indication of Lakulisha and his disciples visiting and influencing people and culture of not only Jageshwar but entire Kumaon region.
From Pantnagar Airport, Jageshwar Dham is 154 Km from Kathgodam railway station 125 km. Jageshwar has direct road links with Almora (35 km), Haldwani (131 km.), Pithoragarh (88 km) and Kathgodam. State transport, and private jeeps and taxis ply from these place for Jageshwar regularly.
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