Baijnath is a small town in Bageshwar district of Uttarakhand in India. It is located on the banks of the Gomati river. It is 26 km away from Bageshwar. The town of Baijnath is most popular for its ancient temples, which have been recognized as Monuments of National Importance by the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI). Baijnath has a rich history and heritage. The town was once the capital of the Katyuri Kingdom in the medieval era of Indian history. Most of the ancient temples in Baijnath are in ruins today.
Baijnath or Vaidyanatha also draws its name from the famous Lord Shiva Temple built by the Kumaon Katyuri king in 12th century . This temple holds great significance. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva and Parvati were married at the confluence of River Gomati and Garur Ganga.
The temple is situated on the banks of the Gomti River. The main temple has an amazing idol of Parvati, which is chiseled in black stone.
Baijnath group of temples has a main shrine of Lord Shiva and 17 other shrines called as Kedareswar, Lakshmi-Nayanay, Brahmini Devi and so on. The Baijnath temple complex is actually a group of temples which have the idols of Lord Shiva, Ganesha, Parvati, Chandika, Kuber, Surya and Brahma.
The temple of Bhagwati Mata, Kot Bhramri Devi Temple or (Kot Ka Mandir), which once was a fort owned by the Katyuri Kings is located 2 km away from Baijnath temple.
Accrding to a legend, Adiguru Shankaracharya stayed in this temple for one night while traveling to Badrinath.
Other belief among the locals is that the goddess Kot Bhramri Devi’s face should not be shown to anyone except the priest of the temple. If this is not followed the entire Katyur Valley will face a massive disaster.
For this reason only backside of the goddess is worshipped, except during the annual festival of “Nandaashtmi” during Bhadrapad Ashtami or Radha Ashtami during September month or when the Raj Jaat Yatra takes place, once in twelve year.
Since the last 150 Years the villagers used to sacrifice buffalo and Lamb. But thank god this has been stopped by The Honorable High Court of Nainital on a Public Interest Litigation filed by Animal Protection.
The temple is 26 kms away from the headquarters of Bageshwar district. Once you reach Bageshwar, there are countless taxis and local buses, which will take you to Baijnath.
Kathgodam railway station is the nearest railhead. It is 171 km from Bageshwar.
Closest airport is Pantnagar Airport, which is about 205 km from Bageshwar.