Bageshwar – A Sacred Town in Uttarakhand

Bageshwar, a hill district, is situated in the eastern Kumaon region in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Positioned about 73 kms from Almora, Bageshwar is famous for several places of historical and religious importance. The municipal board and district headquarters of Bageshwar are located in Bageshwar city. Sited at a height of 1004 mts, the district is bordered by Almora district in the south, Chamoli district in the west & northwest and Pithoragarh district in the east & northeast. Situated at the confluence of two pious Gomti River, Saryu and the underlying Bhagirathi, Bageshwar is a greatly venerated place blessed by Lord Shiva himself. In the north of Bageshwar is located the popular Suraj Kund and in the south is present Agni Kund with Bhileshwar and Nileshwar mountains adorning the east and west. This temple to this date holds an annual fair called the Uttarayani, which draws people from all corners of the hilly region.

Bageshwar City at Night


The quaint town of Bageshwar abounds in spiritual myths, celebratory events and marvelous ambiance. Renowned mainly as an important Shaivaite enchantment, Bageshwar has its share of devoted expressions and illustrative interludes. Since time immemorial, this land of Shankar and Parvati is considered pious and has remained a symbol of faith for even the neighboring regions. According to Puranas, Bageshwar is the ‘Abode of Gods’ and is a place gifted with the power of liberating souls from the perpetual burden of life and bereavement.

The town was named Bageshwar after the famed ancient Bagnath temple which is located in the heart of the city. The fable behind the temple states that a saint Markandey living in the region prayed to the lord for his blessings and Lord Shiva who is considered as the destroyer of the Hindu trinity, appeared in the form of Bagh or Tiger. Thus the place came to be known as ‘Bageshwar’- the land of Tiger lord. At that place a temple was built by the rulers of Chand dynasty in 1450. But after several unsuccessful attempts to set up the Shivling, Shri Manorath Pandey of Palain village carried out a prayer of sacrament on the occasion of Shivratri and only then a Shivling was mounted in the sanctum of the temple. Since then, Shivratri festival during the month of February is celebrated here with pomp and vigor to memorialize the event. A huge fair is held during this time and thousands of pilgrims flock to the shrine during this time to seek the blessings of the god. Also, it is considered auspicious to visit the temple on every Monday of the holy month of ‘Shravan’.

Places to Visit:

Bageshwar is a place that is bestowed with a large number of temples and the list is endless. The important ones that are a must include:

Baghnath Temple

Bagnath Temple

The most important of them all, this temple is the place from where Bageshwar gets its name. The annual fair, Uttarayani on Shivratri is a big affair and is a very important day for the locals.

Chandika Temple

This is a shrine devoted to the deity Chandika, an incarnation of Durga, the Goddess of Power. The main attraction of the temple is the fair at the Navratris, when people come here to pray, give sacrifices or express their gratitude.

Shri Haru Temple

The people have enormous faith in the power of this temple, which is believed to fulfill everyone’s wishes. An annual fair is held each year on Vijaya Dashmi where devotees come in hope of getting their wishes fulfilled by Shri Haru. The temple is situated just 5 kms from Bageshwar.

Baijnath Dham

Baijnath Temple

Mesmerized by the ancient temples of the Katyur dynasty, which are found here in Baijnath, in the Katyur valley. The most famous is the Shiva temple, adorned by a magnificent statue of goddess Parvati.

Bageshwar is an important pilgrim centre for Hindus and is worth a visit during the important festivals.

Glacier Treks:

Bageshwar is also famous for one more thing: the world famous glaciers that are a trekker’s paradise. The famous Pindari glacier is easily accessible from here, the base camp Song, being 35 kms away and connected by road.

Another Glacier is the Sunderdhunga Glacier, the trek being tougher than on Pindari.

How to Reach

By Air: The nearest airport is Pantnagar, 200 kms from here, from where taxis can be hired.

By Rail: The nearest railway station is Kathgodam, 165 kms, taxis and state buses are available from here.

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