The Bagnath Temple in the middle of the town of Bageshwar derives its name from the incident of the celebrated sage Markandeya being visited Lord Shiva in the form of a tiger.
Bagnath, literally translates to The Tiger Lord, made from joining the hindi words, 'bagh' meaning tiger, and 'nath', the hindi word for a higher celestial being. The temple was constructed in 1450, by the then ruler of Kumaon, Laxmi Chand, and stands at the breathtaking point where the river Gomati and Sarayu converge. Every year in the memory of the sage being visited by the god, a fair is held in the Hindu calendar month of Shravan, thronged by thousands of people who come to take a dip in the holy waters. The entrance is head lined by huge bells, which reverberate throughout the day, owing to the wish granting ability of the tiger-god.
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