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Jageshwar Temple At Almora

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Jageshwar Temple

Jageshwar is a Hindu pilgrimage town in Almora district, Uttarakhand, dedicated to Lord Shiva, located 36 km northeast of Almora, in Kumaun region. The temple city comprises a cluster of 124 large and small stone temples, dating 9th to 13th century AD, with many preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which include Dandeshwar Temple, Chandi-ka-Temple, Jageshwar Temple, Kuber Temple, Mritunjaya Temple, Nanda Devi or Nau Durga, Nava-grah temple, a Pyramidal shrine, and Surya Temple Alphabetical List of Monuments - Uttranchal (Uttarakhand) - Dehradun Circle Archaeological Survey of India. amongst which the oldest shrine is the 'Mrityunjaya Temple' and the biggest shrine is the ' Dandeshwar Temple'.Places around Almora - Jageshwar Almora district Official website. Once the centre of Lakulish Shaivism, Jageshwar is located at an altitude of 1870 mts, in the Jataganga river valley near a Deodar forest (Cedrus deodara) starting from Artola village on Almora–Pithoragarh highway, where two streams Nandini and Surabhi flow down the hills in the narrow valley and meet near the sacred spot.

Many Hindus believe that Jageshwar is the place of Nagesh among the forest of Deodar, 8th among the Dwadasa Jyotirlingas: the twelve resplendent lingas of Lord Shiva established by Lord Vishnu-

History

The ancient treatise Prasadmandanam describe this place as an abode of Lord Shiva. There is no definite dating of the construction of Jageshwar group of temples but according to the ASI, they belong to the post-Gupta and pre-medieval eras and are estimated to be about 2500 yrs old. These temples range in the period from the 8th century (early Katyuri Dynasty) to the 18th century (Chand Dynasty).

Jageshwar Temple At Almora

The temples were renovated during the reign of Katyuri King Shalivahandev. There is an inscription of Malla Kings on the main temple premises indicating their devotion to Jageshwar. The Katyuri Kings also donated villages to the temple priests for its maintenance. The Chand Kings of Kumaun were also patrons of the Jageshwar temple. Numerous Jageshwar temples were constructed or restored during the Gurjara Pratihara era. Brajesh Krishna (1990). The art under the Gurjara-Pratihras. Harman Pub. House. p. 66. ISBN 81-85151-16-4, ISBN 978-81-85151-16-8.

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. Before the construction of roads, pilgrims passed through Jageshwar en route to Kailash and Mansarovar. Due to the restrictions on pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar in the past, pilgrims were diverted towards Kedarnath; however, this center has re-attained its past glory.

Inscriptions

Over 25 inscriptions of different periods are inscribed on the walls and pillars of the Jageshwar temples. Most of these belong to the period between the 7th century AD to 10th century AD. The dialect of inscriptions is Sanskrit and Brahmi.

The temples are surrounded by the lusting greenery of pine and fur forests. The musical breeze brings a seclude atmosphere to this temple lawn. The Jageshwar Shiva temple has a special archaeological significance also as the architecture of this temple is exceptionally different and demands a closer look. The architecture and superb carvings reflect the cultural efficacy and Buddhists influence.