Baleshwar Temple in Champawat
The temple is located in Baleshwar, Uttarakhand, 76 kilometers from Pithoragarh, in the city of Champawat. It is the area’s most artistic temple. Baleshwar Temple, built by the rulers of the Chand dynasty, is a magnificent example of stone carving. Lord Shiva, also known as Baleshwar, is honored at the main Baleshwar temple. In the Baleshwar compound, there are two other temples, one dedicated to Ratneshwar and the other to Champawati Durga. These temples’ exteriors are carved with posters of local deities.
The temple is a fine example of South Indian architecture, with beautiful stone carvings. There was a freshwater resource called ‘Naula,’ which has now dried up. Since 1952, the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has looked after this temple, which has been designated as a National Heritage Monument. It is built in the style of South Indian architecture. The temple used to have intricate structural elements as well as a sanctuary with a mandap. The intricate carvings on the ceilings of these temples can still be seen. It demonstrates their ancient glory and artistic excellence. This location is mentioned in the first story of Kumaon’s Man-Eaters.
The ancient capital of the Chand rulers is said to be well known for its temples and natural beauty. The Champawat district is the source and origin of Uttarakhand’s religion and culture. Lord Vishnu is said to have appeared as the ‘Kurma avatar’ in Champawat. As a result, Kumaon became known as Kurmanchal. Although there is no historical manuscript that dates the Baleshwar temple, it is thought to have been built between the tenth and twelfth centuries AD.
The temple’s legends are about various Gods and Goddesses. It has the unique distinction of being the holy land of Gods, and as a result, temples of varying sizes dedicated to various gods, including local deities and demons of limited influence, are scattered across the entire expanse. It is open to the public at all times, and Mahashivratri is one of the festivals celebrated with a colorful fair on the temple grounds. The temple is open from 9 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.