The town of Bageshwar is 69 kms from Chaukori and is situated at the confluence of the Gomti and Saryu rivers at a low level of 960 mtrs. Here there is a grand temple of Lord Shiva, known as the temple of Bagnath, the presiding deity of the area. This ancient temple was constructed in 1602 by the Chand king Laxmichand. For all good reasons this town is called the Kashi of Kumaon and I fully agree with this title as one can see a large number of temples here the way it is in Kashi and Uttarkashi. A big mela or festival is held here every year on the day of Uttarayani with participation of thousands of colourfully dressed women and men from the surrounding areas. The festival is held to offer prayers to Lord Shiva the creator, preserver and destroyer of this universe. And associated with this mela is one of Kumaon’s greatest love stories of Rajula the daughter of rich Johari merchant, Sonpati Sauka and Malu Shahi the prince of Chand dynasty. The folk lore is popularly known as “Rajula – Malu Shahi”.
Bageshwar is the capital of the district of the same name and an upcoming town with necessary infrastructure for modern living. Many of the mountain areas are rich in minerals and Bageshwar is known for its high quality soap stone. For trekkers going to Pindari, Kafni and Sunderdhunga glaciers this place is the base for last minute preparations including purchases for the trek. A tourist bungalow and some hotels provide good clean accommodation.
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