In between the mountains of the Dauladhar range of the Himalayas, there lies a small town call Baijnath named after the centuries-old temple of Lord Shiva. In this Temple, Lord Shiva is present in the form of ardh-nareshwar, the first Jyotirlinga on earth. The location of the temple and its exotic beauty, its ancient history, and legends are the things that attract tourists from every part of India. This temple is centuries old and no one knows who built this temple. This temple has such positive peaceful vibes in its air that provide inner happiness whenever anyone visits this temple. This Temple has two entrances, one facing to the north and another facing the south. In front of the temple, there is a beautiful porch while the large walls of the temple stand there with pictures of Gods and Goddesses and some verses from ancient texts.
The legend behind this temple's origin dates back to Treta Yug and to "Ravana", King of Lanka. It is believed that Ravana who was the most powerful admirer of Lord Shiva. He pleased Lord Shiva with his prayers and asked him to accompany him to Lanka. Lord Shiva, who lived in Kailash Parvat (which is currently in China), accepted the request of Ravana and converted himself in the form of Shivling and asked Ravana to pick that Shivling and travel on feet from Kailash to Lanka without placing that Shivling on the ground for a second. Lord Shiva made deal with Ravana that if he placed that Shivling on the ground, the shivling will remain there forever. So Ravana accepted the deal and took that Shivling in his arms and started to walk. But Lord Ganesha was not happy with this decision of his father so he tried to trick Ravana. Lord Ganesha turned himself into a beggar an appeared before Ravana asking for food. Ravana being kind requested Lord Ganesha to hold that Shivling meantime he searches for food. Lord Ganesha placed that Shivling in Baijnath. So this is how the Temple originated.
Old texts in Hindu history shares another legend regarding the origin of this Temple. It is believed that when Ravana started walking with that Shivling, one of the Gods of Hindus disguised as normal person tricked Ravana by convincing him that Ravana can trust him with that Shivling for the time he takes rest. Ravana got convinced and handed over the Shivling to that God and the God placed that Shivling in Baijnath. This is how Lord Shiva is present in this temple in this ardh-nareshwar roop. Some legends say that this temple was built by two brothers who used to worship Lord Shiva as Vaidyanath.
The city around this temple, named after the temple, is located at such a higher altitude that it mostly rains in every season. This small town of Baijnath is 50 kilometers distance from Dharamshala. The great landscape, the beautiful environment and the history of this Temple are what attracts tourists the most. This is a must visit place if you are planning to spend your summer vacations in Dharamshala. Do visit this temple.