Temples

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Mahakali Temple of Gangolihat : Tehsil and block Gangolihat is at a distance of 77 Km. from Pithoragarh. It is rich in folk culture, music and religious traditions and had been chosen by Sankaracharya for the installation of Mahakali shaktipith. Amidst the cluster of pine trees is situated the shakti temple. The Goddess Kali as represented in her fierce form conquering the demon, is offered sacrifices of lambs and goats. In the direction opposite of the Kali temple about 2 Km. away is situated the Chamunda temple which is believed to be in the centre of an area of wilderness exclusively possessed by spirits and demons conquered by the Goddess in her fierce aspect. The temple has an aura of mystery and weird charm and during the dark hours of night the spirits are believed to have a free sway outside the temple premises.

Patal Bhuvaneshwar : The exposure of Patal Bhuvaneshwar (Lord Shiva in the underground temple complex) is one of this unique way to help mankind. 16 Km. to the north-east of Gangolihat and 20 Km. to the south of Berinag is situated the Patal Bhuvaneshwar cave temple. It is 91 Km. away from the district head quarter and situated at a height of 1350 meters above sea level. The temple place comes under village Bhuvneshwar which is in the tehsil Didihat.The way to the temple is through a narrow tunnel shaped cave, giving a very thrilling experience. The main passage way opens into several small caves which have in them the stone carvings of many traditional Gods & Goddesses and can evoke weird romantic fancies and images in the religiously inclined person. The cave temple of Patal Bhuvaneshwar is traditionally believed to be the abode of thirty three crore deities.

 

Mostamanu : Some six Km. by bus and then 2 Km. on foot to the north of Pithoragarh is situated the temple dedicated to Mosta God. The temple premises are a center of a big lively fair held in August - September every year.

Nagmandir of Berinag : About one Km uphill to the south of Berinag proper in a romantic setting flanked in the north by a cluster of trees and to the further south by a ravine, is the location of the famous snake temple which is dedicated to one of several manifestations of Lord Vishnu. Legends say that the place was named Berinag after the Nagveni King Benimadhava. It is believed that when the pants from Maharashtra came to settle here they saw coiled snakes of allcolours in a very large number and as a mark of reverence to them they built a snake temple sometimes in the fourteenth century. It is a popular belief that Lord Krishna after conquering Kalinag advised him to leave river Jamuna and settle somewhere amidst the snowy peaks, and that, Kalinag followed by many others came to a place somewhere around here.

 

Sirakot : Built by Reka Kings, the Sirakot fort cum temple is situated at a distance of 2 Kms away from Didihat town which is some 52 Kms from the district headquarters.The outer part of the fort was used by the King as household accommodation Sirakot temple near Didihat Sirakot Temple Photo : Deep Chauhan where the temples of Shiva & Bhairab were built in the inner part. They are now in a state of ruins. The hilltop on which the fort is situated offers a remarkably clear and fascinating view of the Himalayan ranges.

Ghunsera Devi Temple : The Ghunsera caves are located in the middle of a lofty hill on the top of which is situated the Asurchula temple. The stone images of Gods and Goddesses are believed to have been installed by the Khol kings of Kartikeya pura. Two of the stone images found here are said to belong to the Gupta period.

Thal Kedar : Eight Kms on motor roads to the south of Pithoragarh and thence after a climb along a narrow pathway flanked by dense vegetation is reached the Kedar temple situated at a height of 2000 meters.

Nakuleshwar Temple : This temple has its location at a place about two km. removed from the village Shiling which it self is about four Km away from Pithoragarh. The word Nakuleshwar is derived from a combination of two words : Nakul Statue of Mahishasur Mardini at Nakuleshwar meaning Himalaya and Ishwar meaning God and hence, Shiva the Himalaya God. The architectural design of the main temple is splendid and appears to have been modeled on the stylistic pattern of Khajuraho. In all, there are some thirty eight stone images of Shiva-parwati, Uma-Vasudev, Nauvarga, Surya, Mahishasur mardini, Vaman, Kurma, Narsingh etc. many of which are broken and disfigured because of neglect and age.

Kamaksha Temple : To the north east of Pithoragarh at a distance of about 7 Kms near the army contonment base is situated the Kamaksha temple on the top of a hillock over looking the surrounding mountain ranges.

Kapileshwar Mahadev : In the Soar Valley right above the villages of Takaura and Takari overlooking Pithoragarh town, is situated the cave temple dedicated to Mahadeva. The legend goes that the great sage kapil meditated here. The passage through the cave is very long and branches out to several indeterminate destinations and has hence been closed. The temple is situated some ten meters deep inside the cave. There is another cave temple of this kind also dedicated to Mahadev at a place called Rai which is about half a Km to the north-east on Dharchula-Pithoragarh road.

Ulkadevi Temple : On Pithoragarh chandak motor road close to where the tourist rest house is situated stands the Ulkadevi temple besides which has also been built a memorial for the martyrs who laid down their lives in defense of the mother land. The temple offers a remarkable view of the sprawling Soar Valley.

 

Jayanti Temple Dhwaj : Eighteen Km from Pithoragarh on Didihat road is situated a place called Totanaula from where after a 3 Km long steep and tough climb is reached the Jayanti temple. On the way, some 200 ft. below the main temple, is situated the cave temple of Lord Shiva. From the hill top where the Jayanti temple is situated the Panch-chuli and Nandadevi peaks of Himalayas in all their splendour can be clearly sighted.

Arjuneshwar : Ten Km from the west of Pithoragarh town on the top of a hill at a height of 6000 ft. is situated the Shiva temple called Arjune- shwar believed to have been built by Arjuna the great warrior & the supreme archer.

The principal among them are Laxminarayan temple and Shivalaya in the town and Shiva, Hanuman, Chatkeshwar, Gurna Devi and Igyara devi around the town. Then again there are temples dedicated to local Gods like Gangnath, Bhumia, Airi, Chamu, Badan, Haru, Balchan, Churmal, Gabila, Chipla and so on. These latter Gods are a class apart from the divine order and are Gods restricted to specific areas, families and castes.

 

 

 

KOT GARI Devi : Situated about 9 Kms from Thal the temple of Kotgari is held to be the final divine court of appeal for the deprived and the victim of cruelty and injustice.