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Baijnath

Baijnath is a town in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. It is about 50 kilometres from Dharamshala which is the district headquarters.The very famous ancient temple of Lord Shiva (Baijnath) is situated here giving the town its name.GeographyBaijnath is located at. It has an average elevation of 1,314 metres (4,311 feet). It is a small township in the Dhauladhar range of western Himalayas, 16 km from Palampur in the Kangra District of Himachal PradeshHistoryBaijnath is famous for its 13th-century temple dedicated to Shiva as Vaidyanath, ‘the Lord of physicians’. Originally known as Kiragrama, the town lies on the Pathankot-Mandi highway (National Highway No. 154) almost midway between Kangra and Mandi. The present name Baijnath became popular after the name of the temple. The town is located on the left bank of the river Binwa, a corrupt form of ancient Binduka, a tributary of river Beas.The Baijnath temple has been continuously under worship ever since its construction in 1204 A.D. The two long inscriptions in the porch of the temple indicate that a temple of Shiva existed on the spot even before the present one was constructed. The present temple is a beautiful example of the early medieval north Indian Temple architecture known as Nagara style of temples. The Svayambhu form of Sivalinga is enshrined in the sanctum of the temple that has five projections on each side and is surmounted with a tall curvilinear Shikhara. The entrance to sanctum is through a vestibule that has a large square "Mandapa" in front with two massive balconies one each in north and south. There is a small porch in front of the mandapa hall that rests on four pillars in the front preceded by an idol of "Nandi", the bull, in a small pillared shrine. The whole temple is enclosed by a high wall with entrances in the south and north. The outer walls of the temple have several niches with images of gods and goddesses. Numerous images are also fixed or carved in the walls. The outer doorway in the porch as also the inner doorway leading to the sanctum of the temple are also studded with a large number of images of great beauty and iconographic importance. Some of them are very rare to be found elsewhere.
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