35 kms north east from Almora, Jagehswar is in the middle of beautiful wooded valley of deodar. Starting from Artola village on Almora-Pithoragarh highway, where two streams Nandini and Surabhi flow down the hills in the narrow valley and meet near the sacred cluster. The temple city comprises a cluster of 124 large and small stone temples, dating 9th to 13th century AD, with many preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), amongst which the oldest shrine is the ‘Mrityunjaya Temple’ and the biggest shrine is the ‘ Dandeshwar Temple’.
Popular Legend with the place is that several centuries ago, King Vashrat the father of Parvati (wife of Lord Shiva) conducted a Hawan in which he invited all but Shiva. Parvati got angry and reached the place to enquire the reason for not inviting Shiva. In reply the King insulted the Mightiest of all Lord Shiva saying “who lives in jungle is not worthy enough to be invited”. PArvati could not stand this and SHE offered HERSELF to the Hawan-Kund, for bringing disgrace to her husband.
Lord Shiva, intensely disturbed with the event left HIS responsibility of managing the World and wondered from place to place. During this phase HE reached Jageshwar, where the women of Rishi Sapt-Rakeshwarof, saw HIM nude in jungle and got scared. When Rishi came to know the reason of their Scare – he got angry and made the Lord Shiva to be distributed in Lings as punishment. Result of which is the Jageshwar.
A walk of 3kms in the woods from Jageshwar will lead you to Vridh Jageshwar temple, which has its own importance and is graced by the beautiful view snow clad Himalayan range
WHAT TO SEE
Vridh Jageshwar: For splendid Himalayas view and an old temple for the interest of the tourist.
Mritola Ashram: A centre of spiritual and natural beauty, this ashram lures many foreign disciples. It is a 10kms trek from Jageshwar to Shokiathal and Mritola Ashram. One can reach Mritola Ashram by road till Vridh Jageshwar then trek 2kms.
HOW TO REACH
Air: Nearest airport is Pantnagar,
Rail: The nearest railhead is Kathgodam 125kms.
Road: Directly linked with Almora-35kms, Haldwani-131kms, Pithoragarh-88kms and Kathgodam private jeeps and taxi are also available.