Katyuri Valley- The Heritage of Ancient Hindu Temples in Uttarakhand
- The Katyuri Valley is a low-altitude Himalayan valley that has long been recognized by the Katyuri dynasty who ruled here between the 7th to 10th centuries.
- This glorious heritage valley sprawls along the Gomati River in the state of Uttarakhand. The Katyuri valley region is very popular as a valley of the heritage of ancient Hindu temples and for its stunning architectural beauty.
The Katyuri Valley is the socio-cultural heritage region in the hills of Kumaon Uttarakhand. The remains of those magnificent ancient heritage temples lie along the Gomti river in the valley. The Katyuri valley is popular for its ancient and magnificent stone-cut architecture of the Hindu temples, which belong to particularly Shaivism.
Katyuri Valley Temples
1- Jageshwar Group of Temples
- Jageshwar group of temples belong to Lord Shiva and popular as Jageshwar Dham & it is one of the finest examples of Himalayan architecture in Uttarakhand.
- There are more than124 big and small temples in the same premises that give a stunning divine view with an enchanting backdrop of rolling down verdant sceneries mountains and rushing Jata Ganga water.
- According to the Archaeology Survey of India, all temples dating back to the pre-medieval era, and it is believed to be 2500 years old temple.
- The stone-carved Shiva lingams, other sculptures, and wood carving are the theme of the temple. The location of the temple is perfect for spiritual practices & meditation as well.
Suggested Read – Jageshwar Dham: The group of temples of Lord Shiva
2- Bageshwar Group of Temples
- Bageshwar is an ancient cultural headquarter of the Kumaon region and Uttarakhand as well. The Bageshwar is the ancient cultural capital town of Katyuri kings of Uttarakhand.
- There is Bagnath Temple is dedicated to Shiva & lies at the confluence of the Sarayu and Gomati rivers.
- There are many ancient inscriptions and idols dating back to the eighth to the tenth century. The temple complex includes idols of Shiva, Ganesha, Vishnu, Chaturmukhi Shiva, Teen Mukhi Shiva, Panch Mukhi Shiva, Mahishasura Mardini, Sahasra Shivalinga, Ganesh, Karthikeya, Panchdevapath, Navagraha, etc.
Suggested Read – Bageshwar Temples: The Path Where Gods Live
3- Baijanth Group of Temples
Baijnath Shiva Temple is built in the North Indian Nagara & Dravidian-styled architecture. Baijnath is also known as Kartikeyapura in ancient times. The Katyuri dynasty ruled over here combining both divisions of Garhwal and Kumaun of Uttarakhand.
Suggested Read – Biajnath Temple Kausani Uttarakhand
4- Dwarahat Group of Temples
- A scenic town, Dwarahat is famous for its ancient temples and cultural landscapes. It is a very important tourist spot in the Uttarakhand Himalayas. There are hundreds of temples but few are living like Vimandeshwar Temple, Mrityunjay Temple are dedicated to Lord Shiva.
- As per ancient folklore, Vimandeshwar Temple is the second abode of Lord Shiva after the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi. Dwarahat is also popular for YSS Ashram among Kriya Yogi.
5- Dunagri Temple
- Dunagiri Temple marks out as one of the most divine temples. The devotees come here from all parts of Uttarakhand to pay homage to the goddess Dunagiri.
- The temple’s complex perches on a very small hillock near Dwarahat town. This holy shrine is dedicated to the goddess Durga.
- The architectural style is wooden and stone used to make a stairway of 500 steps to reach the temple.
6- Mahavatar Babaji Cave
- Mahavatar Babaji Cave is the birthplace of Kriya Yoga, located in Dunagari Mountain near Kukucchina village. approx 25 km from Dwarahat town.
- The cave is very small but very popular among Kriyaban Yogi, where Mahavatar Babaji appeared to revive the Kriya Yoga ( A forgotten Science of Breathing ) through Lahiri Mahasaya.
- The cave is maintained by the Yogoda Satsang Society & Ashram, Dwarahat. The best time to visit Babaji is from September to June.
Suggested Read – Mahavatar Babaji Cave: A Walk Through An Abode of Kriya Yoga
7- Pandavkholi Cave & Temple
- Pandavkholi lies near Mahavatar Babaji cave and about 3 km far from the Kukucchina Village. It is the very cave where the Pandavas from the Mahabharata passed some days during their exile.
- The place is stunning but you need to trek 3 km to reach the cave & temples, where some Sadhus & Babas are living.
7- Gwaldham 0r Gwaldam
- Gwaldam or Gwaldham perches on the borderline of Garhwal and Kumaon divisions of Uttarakhand.
- This small town is dotted with Hindu temples, Buddhist temples, apple orchards, potatoes farming, Bdhangarhi Temple, and many more. It sits at an elevation of 1,629 m approx 40 km far from the Kausani.
- Gwaldham hosts some enchanting views of some famous peaks of the Himalayas such as Nanda Ghunti, Nanda Devi, and Trishul. Gwaldam facilitates a stop-off for the Roop Kund trek and many more.
Suggested Read – Exploring Dhan Kharak : An ace of Gwaldam