Situated at an elevation of 1004 meters above sea level, Bageshwar is a city known for its beautiful convergence of Saryu and Gomati rivers. The city is adorned with numerous temples dedicated to various Gods and Goddesses, which are located in close proximity. Bageshwar is surrounded by majestic mountains like Bhileshwar and Nileshwar on the eastern and western sides, while Suraj Kund and Agni Kund mark the northern and southern boundaries.
Located at a distance of 470 km from New Delhi and 332 km from the State Capital Dehradun, Bageshwar is famous for its picturesque beauty, glaciers, rivers, and temples. It serves as the administrative headquarters of Bageshwar district and was once a prominent market for trade between Tibet and Kumaun, frequented by Bhotia traders who bartered Tibetan wares for local produce.
Bageshwar holds significant religious, historic, and political importance. It is mentioned in various puranas as being associated with Lord Shiva. The annual Uttarayani fair, which was once the largest fair in the Kumaon division and visited by around 15,000 people in the first half of the twentieth century, became the epicenter of the Coolie Begar Movement in January 1921.
According to the Shiva Purana’s Manaskhand, Bagnath Temple and the surrounding city were built by Chandeesh, a servant of Lord Shiva. Another Hindu legend states that Sage Markandeya worshiped Lord Shiva in Bageshwar, and Lord Shiva blessed him by appearing in the form of a tiger.
Some of the popular tourist attractions in Bageshwar include:
- Bagnath Temple: This ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located on the banks of the Gomati river. It is believed to be one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in Hindu mythology and is a prominent pilgrimage site for devotees of Lord Shiva.
- Baijnath Temple: This temple is located about 26 kilometers from Bageshwar and is known for its intricate architecture and historical significance. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is believed to be built during the 12th century.
- Kausani: Located about 38 kilometers from Bageshwar, Kausani is a picturesque hill station known for its panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks including Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Panchachuli. It is also famous for its tea gardens and is often referred to as the “Switzerland of India”.
- Pindari Glacier: This popular trekking destination is located about 55 kilometers from Bageshwar and is known for its breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and alpine meadows. It is a challenging trek that takes you through pristine Himalayan wilderness and is a must-visit for adventure enthusiasts.
- Chandika Temple: Located about 18 kilometers from Bageshwar, this ancient temple is dedicated to Goddess Chandika, who is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Durga. It is a revered place of worship and is known for its tranquil surroundings and religious significance.
- Gauri Udiyar: This sacred spot is located on the banks of the Saryu river and is believed to be the place where Goddess Parvati performed penance to win the heart of Lord Shiva. It is a popular spot for devotees to offer prayers and take a dip in the holy river.
Apart from these, Bageshwar also offers opportunities for camping, trekking, and exploring the natural beauty of the region. The local culture and traditions of Bageshwar, with its fairs, festivals, and handicrafts, are also worth experiencing for a complete cultural immersion.
Bageshwar, a serene destination in Uttarakhand, is well connected by various modes of transportation. Here are some ways to reach Bageshwar:
By Air: The nearest airport to Bageshwar is Pantnagar Airport, approximately 183 kilometers away. Regular flights connect Pantnagar Airport to major cities in India. From Pantnagar Airport, one can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Bageshwar.
By Train: The nearest railway station to Bageshwar is Kathgodam Railway Station, approximately 166 kilometers away. Kathgodam is well connected to major cities in India by regular train services. From Kathgodam, one can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Bageshwar.
By Road: Bageshwar is well connected by road and can be reached by buses, taxis, or private vehicles.
- From Delhi: Bageshwar is approximately 470 kilometers away from Delhi. One can take NH9 from Delhi to Haldwani, and then follow NH109 and NH309A to Bageshwar.
- From Dehradun: Bageshwar is approximately 332 kilometers away from Dehradun. One can take NH7 from Dehradun to Haridwar, and then follow NH34 and NH309A to Bageshwar.
- From Kathgodam: Bageshwar is approximately 166 kilometers away from Kathgodam. One can take NH109 from Kathgodam to Bageshwar.
It is advisable to check road conditions and weather before embarking on the journey, especially during monsoon or winter months, as the roads in hilly areas of Uttarakhand can be challenging. Hiring a local taxi or using public transport is a convenient option for reaching Bageshwar and exploring the nearby attractions.