Ancient and Ekaant : Jageshwar

I remember watching Ekaant on Epic Channel. One interesting feature was Jageshwar Temple complex situated amidst tall deodar trees near Almora in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. In the episode it was a secluded place with few people around thus lying in Ekaant. Thanks to the makers of TV show ‘Ekaant’ for showing me this place. Since then I wanted to visit the enchanting temple complex.
Well, to my very surprise, I didn’t find this temple complex in Ekaant. Instead there were so many devotees like really so many that we had to walk around 3 km to reach the temple amidst the line of cars. I thought that I will definitely ask Akul Tripathi (Ekaant’s anchor) how did he feature this place in Ekaant! Also my father who had been here before was surprised to see so many cars and crowd. Then mind struck and I realized I am visiting the place during the holy Shraavan month and also when the Shraavani Mela at this place is in full swing. During Shraavan, devotees will find Mahadev anywhere and everywhere. Thus the reason for flocking devotees. The police man on duty also confirmed that very few people visit this place on ordinary days. Anyhow nothing could have stopped me from paying a visit to Mahadev this time.
I was in Nainital for family holiday. The day was Sunday the 14th August 2016 when we decided to visit Jageshwar. The day was sunny and very clear. But as we reached our destination it started to rain and also we were greeted by traffic jam and such jams in hills are pathetic. So we walked, parking the car right there. As we were approaching the complex the weather suddenly changed and it started to rain. Heavily and making me realize that dude that’s why Shraavan month. Stopping wasn’t an option so we purchased bulk umbrellas and started walking enjoying the drenching (oh yes umbrellas are not so useful). Just as we reached the complex we were greeted by temples of all sizes. Two of them being main ones.. Mrityunjaya Mahadev and another Nageshwar Jyotirling (yes jyotirling). Apparently ‘Nagesham Darukavane‘ has been confused with Nageshwar temple in Gujarat. (Okay I don’t know which one is the original. but now I have been to both and any place with Shivalaya is great).
In the Nageshwar Temple the pandit ji enthusiastically told us that it is one of the 12 jyotirling.. Nagesham Darukavane.  It has been confused with the one in Gujarat. Centuries year old complex with so many temples at one place amidst tall deodar trees was such a pleasant sight. The road leading us there was full of enchanting greenery and serenity. Though I wished I had my absolute Ekaant moment. I thought it will be really difficult to get darshan but due to rain many people hid under the shed and only few of us were walking and enjoying the beauty and darshan hassle free. May be due to the Shraavan fair there were many temporary shops otherwise that area seemed really secluded with a few guest houses here and there. But nevertheless, enjoyed the prakriti of aadi purush Mahadev. The rains made it more magical and devotees in numbers made the place lively and energetic. Upon returning, we stopped at the museum maintained by ASI. There were kept many idols dating 9th to 13th century that were recovered from Jageshwar. The staff told that government woke up late and thus we had lost so many of our idols in the hands of smugglers. He wished that people here should respect the heritage more and at least learn this from foreigners. The idols those of Shiv, Parvati, Surya, Ganesh, Kartikeya were so enchanting and well crafted. They were recovered from the temple complex.
It is believed that Adi Shankaracharya visited Jageshwar and renovated and re-established many temples before leaving for Kedarnath. There are many temples of various sizes. Most of the temples enshrine a stone lingam. The Mahamrityunjay temple is the largest and oldest temple in the Jageshwar temple complex. The unique linga has an eye shaped opening.
Travel always brings in something new and memorable. And our gods have chosen some of the amazing locations to call their abode to inspire us mortals to travel and learn.

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