A Beautiful PHOTO JOURNEY to Jageshwar Temple in Almora region of Uttrakhand State, INDIA || First PHOTO JOURNEY by Gaurav Sharma

We started this journey on the night of 7th June to Nainital. I had read about Jageshwar in few blogs and was eager to see this beautiful place. We reached Nainital at 6 am, 8th June, took a room and rested for a while, we started to Jageshwar around 12:30 pm. It took us 1 and half hour to get out of Nainital because of traffic jam as there was no planning by administration to cope with this tourist rush. Jageshwar is located 36 km northeast of Almora, around 99 Kms. from Nainital. We reached Jageshwar around 4 pm. My friend insisted we should leave tonight, though I was willing to stay there for night and spend at least a day. There are options for stay and food or you can come back to Almora. But one should at least plan for 2 days to visit places nearby as well.

We reached Nainital around 6 am in the morning and took a walk around the lake, weather was cloudy and there was fog all over the lake. This is the early morning view of lake when the fog cover lifted.

 On the way to Almora, I saw this old structure by the road side and was amazed to see that it is a 'Dharamshala', a very old one nearly a size of small room. Feels like lot of people might have taken shelter in this place when this wasn't a motorable road.

Above picture was clicked from the car somewhere between Almora and Jageshwar, the afternoon sun was playing hide and seek with clouds. The curvy road though the pine forest seems to be leading to something divine. This is a very beautiful and slow drive and you see lot of Pyramid like structures when you are close to Jageshwar. 

This is the view from a corner the slated temple is the main Jyotirlinga temple and there are other temples like Chandi-ka-Temple, Kuber Temple, Mritunjaya  Temple, Nanda Devi or Nau Durga, Nava-grah temple, a Pyramidal shrine, and Surya Temple, amongst which the oldest shrine is the 'Mrityunjaya Temple', the one  on the right hand corner with wooden structure on it. 

 This is the Joytirlinga temple, the temple has two dwarapalas in the form of the armed Nandi and Skandi. This is a west facing temple of Lord Shiva. Here,  Shiva is worshipped in the form of Nagesh/Jageshwar. In the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, the Shivlinga is divided into two parts. The larger one depicts Shiva and smaller one his consort Parvati. An Akhand Jyoti burns in the temple. There are two Asthadhatu statues of Chand Kings Deepchand and Tripalchand in the standing posture behind the Shivlinga. We are not allowed to photograph inside the temple.

This is one of the stone carving placed on top of a temple entrance.

This is one of the carvings depicting Shiva in the dancing mudra.

This is one of the temple in the complex which is in ruin and just one side of the wall still standing and the Shivalinga is still there. I felt as this is Shiva's main place instead of the other temples. There is something divine in the place itself but his specific temple attracts you like Shiva is himself sitting there in meditation.  

 This Deodar tree is at the corner of the walled complex adjacent to the Kedarnath temple and a board on it indicates the diameter as 8 meters. Seems like it is standing there from eternity and sole witness of the history of this place.

The walled temple complex from the main road, there is a small stream beside the temple. There is a small museum run by Archaeological Survey of India, houses idols and statuettes removed from Jageshwar...
This is a small temple with four faced stone carved structure in front of the Dandeshwar temple. The evening sun was glowing one of the face.

This was a old temple on the hill side, seems to be closed as no one visited this for years.

This is the view of Dandeshwar Temple.' Dandeshwar Temple' is the biggest shrine. It is slightly upstream from the Jageshwar temple complex, the Dandeshwar  temple complex is in a dilapidated condition. The stone lingam is a natural rock, and, unlike the lingams of the Jageshwar complex, is not carved. 

Babaji live in the Jageswar temple complex and from Juna Akhara. One of my friend commented after seeing this picture that - 'seems to be a man with lot of  stories' and I believe he is. Though we didn't get a chance to talk much as he was surrounded by lot of people. He just asked us -'Kahan se aaye ho, aaj yahin rukoge'. And when I asked if I can take his picture - he asked what will I do with his picture - and I replied I'll cherish this moment.  

This campus comprises of a cluster of 124 large and small stone temples including 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, amongst which the oldest shrine is the 'Mrityunjaya Temple'. Jageshwar is believed to be the site of first of the twelve Jyotirlingas, Nageshvara Jyotirlinga.

Various inscriptions from varied time-perdiods are inscribed on the walls and pillars of the Jageshwar temples. The dialect of inscriptions is mainly Sanskrit and Brahmi. The main temple in this campus is  Jageshwar Mahadev which is dedicated to Bal Jageshwar. Bal Jageshwar is also related with Child Shiva. There is also a temple dedicated to Vridh Jageshwar, which refers mainly to Old Shiva, situated on the higher slopes. It seems Lord Shiva came to meditate here and took a form of child  to maintain sanity in the villages around. This is one of the main reasons due to which Shiva is still worshipped in his child form here

Source - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jageshwar.

Gaurav can reached out at https://www.facebook.com/4gash for more details...

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