Bishweshwar Temple is the largest and the most attractive stone temple of Kullu Valley. This temple, built in the ninth century in pyramid style, is built on Shankaracharya Paddhati (style) of Panch Dev Puja. It is said that the Pandavas during their exile constructed this temple in just one day. Due to its wonderful architecture, it withstood the sever earthquake of 1905. This temple has been declared as a protected monument.
The temple of Bishweshwar Mahadev (or Vishveshvara Mahadev) is located at Bajaura 5 Km south from Bhuntar on Kullu-Manali National Highway No. 21. There are about twenty recorded stone-temples in Kullu of which the Bajaura temple of Lord Shiva (Lord of Universe) is the largest one. The famous archeologist, Dr Vogel has described this temple in detail in his report to the Archaeological Survey of India (1909-10). He says “The excellent workmanship of the large bas-reliefs and, in fact, all the sculptural decoration on Bajoura temple, points to an early date”. [Bas-relief is a sort of sculpture where the sulpture has less depth behind the faces or figures than the actual faces or figures would have, when measured]
Mandanjeet Singh, an Indian art historian, in his book Himalayan Art (UNESCO, 1968), opines that the temple was built in eleventh century. The temple looks a bit squat with an unusually flat Shikhara. The outer surface of the temple is covered with the carvings.
There is no pillared hall attached to this temple though such adjuncts are common in Mandi temples. The sanctum of the temple called Garbha Griha is approached directly by an open doorway on the east side of the temple and contains the “linga” of Shiva set in the “yoni” of his female power (shakti), Devi, the daughter of Himalaya.
There are magnificent carvings of gods on the remaining three sides of the temple. The niche to the west has a standing figure of Vishnu.
The niche to the south has a beautiful Ganesha.
And the side facing north (the eternal snows of Lahul) has Devi Durga with her eight arms wielding different kinds of weapons.
Exquisite carvings on the bulging tower of temple.
No animal sacrifice is made at the Bajaura temple.
Approximate Distances from:
Kullu-Manali Airport at Bhuntar: 5 km
Kullu town: 15 km
Manali town: 55 km