The spired temple of Baijnath, set against the splendid backdrop of the legendary Dhauladhars, continues to attract people from all corners of the world. The temple is dedicated to Shiva Vaidyanath (Lord of Physicians. It was built by two merchant brothers-Manyuka and Ahuka in 804 AD. The temple of Baijnath has become synonymous with mystic invincibility. The faithful aver that no earthquake can ever damage the temple. It is indeed a remarkable monument in the Beas Valley and lends its name to the rustic township, which has emerged from what was originally a picturesque village called Kiragrama. Baijnath is located near Kausani, a small town 53 km to the north of Almora.
Baijnath retains much of its original mountain beauty. The snow capped ranges of the Dhauladhars tower in the north. Closer to Baijnath, the scenery becomes mellow with line of hills together with velvety meadows. There is a profusion of ferns and wildflowers, which remain in full bloom from the spring, through the cool summer, until autumn.
The scenery is enhanced with the river Beas, the wandering shepherds, slate-roofed homesteads and watermills grinding grain. There are the forests of oak and cedar and the Indo-German Forestry Project. The tea gardens at Palampur and elsewhere add to the gentle, soothing beauty of the Kangra Valley.
Shrine – The temple of Baijnath is remarkable for its unique, highly imaginative design and skilled workmanship. However, it has undergone changes and many of its old features-planned by two gifted craftsmen from the town of Kangra-have disappeared during renovations. Inscriptions record that Navaka and Thoduka constructed the lofty temple of Shiva. They fashioned it in the shape of a mandapa. On it glitters the figures of the crowd or ganas (the people).
The shafts of the pillars are classically designed. Deities in stone, including the statues of Ganga and Yamuna, stand at the door of the temple. In a place on a wall can be seen the striking image of Surya-the Sun God-wearing a delicately laced jacket. Graceful balcony windows, ornamented foliage and carvings lend variety to the stately structure.
The lingam of Vaidyanath (Lord Shiva) resides inside. Many people travel to Baijnath in the hope that the Lord of Physicians will cure them of their ailments. The water at Baijnath is reputed to possess remarkable digestive properties and it is said that until recently the rulers of the Kangra Valley drank water only obtained from Baijnath.
How to Reach?
By Air:- Gaggal Airport (66 km) at Kangra is the nearest airport to Baijnath in Himachal Pradesh.
By Rail:- Pathankot (130 km) is the nearest broad gauge railway station to Baijnath. Trains leave daily from the Old Delhi railway station for Pathankot. Some important trains between the two destinations are Delhi Pathankot Express (8 am), Tata Jat Express (9.05 pm), Dauladhar Express (10.10 pm) and Jammu Mail (9.25 pm). The narrow gauge Kangra Toy Train runs twice daily between Pathankot and Baijnath (4.10 am, 4 pm).
By Road:- The HRTC runs regular bus services from New Delhi, Chandigarh and Pathankot to Baijnath in Himachal Pradesh.