Temples of Kumaon to be visited once in your lifetime कुमाऊं के प्रसिद्ध मंदिर

Temples of Kumaon to be visited once in your lifetime कुमाऊं के प्रसिद्ध मंदिर


Uttarakhand is known for its ancient temples. A lot of tourists visit these temples round the year. Divya Joshi gives us a glimpse of some of the most famous temples of Kumaon region….


K

umaon is one of the two regions and administrative divisions of Uttarakhand, a mountainous state of northern India, which includes the districts of Almora, Bageshwar, Champawat, Nainital, Pithoragarh, and Udham Singh Nagar. Kumaon is much known for its culture, fresh environment, food, people etc. Important attraction of the region are its beautiful temples.


No matter how busy we might be, we can’t deny the pleasure and peace of being in the temples. The moment we enter the God’s home, we feel so relaxed and the experience is so soothing. There is some magic in the ambience which makes us forget all the pain and embraces us in its warmth.


Although one can see numerous temples once in this part of the state, I will talk about the prominent ones over here. To start with let’s find out the temples located in the district of Nainital. Whenever you get a chance to visit the famous tourist destination Nainital, never miss the chance to be at the famous ‘Naina Devi’ temple.

naina devi

Naina Devi Temple, Nainital


The word Naina is synonymous with Goddess Sati’s eyes. Not only we Kumaoni’s but even the biggies of the tinsel town are fascinated with this temple. Many of the sequences from popular movies have been shot here. Naina Devi temple is located in the northern shore of Naini lake in Nainital.


At the main entrance of the temple, there are two statues of lions. Inside the temple, devotees have darshan of three deities. On the extreme left is Mata Kali Devi, the centre representing two Netras or eyes is Maa Naina Devi and to right side is idol of Lord Ganesh. Though the temple is named after Naina Devi (another name for Sati), the biggest social occasion here is the festival held in honour of Nanda Devi. Maa Naina Devi Temple is considered to be one of the most revered Hindu temples in Uttarakhand.

ghorakhal temple

Golu Devta Temple, Ghorakhal


Another famous temple is the ‘Golu Devta temple’ in Ghorakhal, approximately 36 km from Kathgodam and 4 km from Bhowali. ‘Ghorakhal ‘ literally means ‘a pond for water to horses’. It is a picturesque site, with natural serenity and placidity. The temple is always in news for the unique rituals performed here. One such ritual is that devotees make petitions at the temple, using stamp papers, to seek desired decree in litigations. On accomplishment of their wish, the deity is shown gratitude by hanging bells or making animal (goat) sacrifice. People from all over the region consider Golu Devta, the presiding deity of the temple, to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva and ‘the God of Justice’. So whenever you are here, do not miss it.

garjiya devi

Garjiya Devi Temple


Another noted temple is the ‘Garjiya Devi Mandir’ located in the Garjiya village near Ramnagar, on the outskirts of the Jim Corbett National Park. The temple is one of the most famous temples of the Nainital district and is situated over large rock in the Kosi river. The temple is visited by thousands of devotees during Kartik Poornima, a Hindu holy day celebrated on the 15th lunar day of Kartik (November–December). One more attraction to the place is a statue of Lakshmi Narayan of 9th Century, that statue is made from black granite.

jageshwar

Jageshwar Temple


Now let’s move towards Almora district and talk about the very famous ‘Jageshwar Temple’.  Jageshwar, a cluster of large and small temples and one of the Swayambhu (Jyotir Linga) Lingas to be found in India, is at a distance of 36 kms on the Almora-Pithoragarh road. Leaving the main road behind, one moves into the beautiful valley of Jataganga at Aartola and passes by the Dandeshwar temple along the way. Innumerable Deodar trees tower above the grand temple complex. The temple comprises a cluster of 124 large and small stone temples.

Jageshwar is home to Monsoon Festival held in the Hindu month of Shravan (Aug-Sept). It is also a home to a Mahashivratri Mela in spring (Februry-March). Jageshwar is also believed to be home of Nageshwar, one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples.

chitai temple

Golu Devta Temple, Chitai, Almora


Another famous temple here is the ‘Chitai  Temple’, the sacred temple of Gollu Devta , situated 6 kms from Almora. The Kumaoni’s have great faith in the presiding deity of this temple which is virtually laden with bells. This temple was at one time, a virtual law court, for the deity receives many pleas from the distressed and oppressed.

poornagiri
From Almora lets head towards the Champawat district of Kumaon. Champawat once the capital of the rulers of the Chand dynasty, is famous for natural beauty and well known temples. The famous ‘Purnagiri Temple’, situated at a height of 831 mts and 20 kms from Tanakpur and 92 kms from Champawat is visited throughout the year by devotees from all parts of the country. One can see large number of visitors coming in during Chaitra Navratri in the month of March.

barahi temple

Bagwal festival at Barahi Temple


Another famous one in the same district is the ‘Barahi temple’ in Devidhura, situated at a distance of 45 kms from Lohaghat. Barahi temple is known worldwide for the traditional Bagwal (fair) which is held once every year on the festival of Raksha Bandhan where thousands of devotees come to visit this auspicious place during this time. In the Bagwal fair people dance, sing and through stones at each other to express their joy.

patal bhuvneshwar

Patal Bhuwaneshwar temple caves


Let’s move towards Pithoragarh, the attraction we shouldn’t miss in this beautiful district is ‘Patal Bhuwaneshwar’ temple caves which is at an elevation of 1350 mts. The way to the temple is through a narrow tunnel shaped cave. The main passage opens into several small caves which have in them the stone carvings of many traditional Gods and Goddesses and is highly revered by the religious persons. The cave temple of Patal Bhuwaneshwar is traditionally believed to be the abode of thousands of deities of the Hindu pantheon.

The list is never ending and will go on like this, however I have spoken about all the distinguished ones. I would urge you all to visit these places once and experience the unique serenity, tranquility, deep peace and radiant joy.


Divya Joshi
Divya Joshi, who hails from Uttarakhand, is a Delhi-based PR professional.

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