The Hindu pilgrimage town of Jageshwar sits, as though frozen in time, perched at an altitude of 6135 feet. Believed to be the abode of one of the twelve ‘Jyotirlingas’, it is one of the most important religious places for Hindus in Kumaon. Legend has it that Lord Shiva would come down from his abode and meditate here, surrounded by the thick Deodar forest. Jageshwar consists of a cluster of 124 exquisite stone carved temples dating between the 8th and the 13th Century. It is said that originally four hundred temples existed here but only a quarter survived.
Jageshwar is located in the narrow Jat Ganga river valley. Snow-capped mountains form a perfect backdrop for this beautiful temple site. Caressed by the two streams, Nandini and Surabhi which converge near a sacred spot in the temple complex, this site is a visual treat.
The mystical and tranquil setting of Jageshwar makes it an ideal holiday destination to explore, meditate and rejuvenate the body and mind.
Many years ago, Jageshwar used to be a pilgrim halt en-route to the famous Kailash-Mansarovar pilgrimage. Today, easy access from Delhi via train to Kathgodam and then just a two-three hour drive along beautiful Kumaoni villages and deodar forests makes it a great off-the-beaten track kind of destination. For travellers not having the time to go way upto Badrinath and Kedarnath dhams, it is a convenient option. Jageshwar is also a great stopover for Himalayan jeep safari trips.
One can see the simple Nagara style evident in the temples at Jageshwar. Although the presiding deity at
Jageshwar is Shiva, a strong Buddhist influence is visible in the carvings. Most of the temples have the stone lingams and very impressive stone images around the altar. A carved doorway leads you to the square sanctum sanctorum. There is a tall curvilinear spire shikhara, surmounted by an amalaka (capstone) and a kalasha crown. Some ashtadhatu (an alloy of eight metals) images are outstanding. One of the rarest specimens in northern India, the Ekamukhalinga can also be seen here.