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The Best Guide to McLeod Ganj

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Bhagsunag Temple, McLeod Ganj

Bhagsunag Temple, McLeod Ganj is an important and decorative Hindu temple that is located on the source of a natural mountain spring. The waters that flow from beneath the temple are believed to heal illness and the freezing waters have been channeled into large tanks in which devotees may bath to cleanse aliments.

pools of the Bhagsunag temple

The pools of the Bhagsunag temple

The Bhagsunag temple complex is vibrant, colorful and provides stunning views over the surrounding mountains. The short hiked from McLeod Ganj is less than 2km and the entire trip makes for a pleasant excursion from Dharamsala.

Visitor Information for Bhagsunag Temple McLeod Ganj

At the heart of the temple complex are two sacred pools in which devotees are able to bath in. The water is fresh mountain spring water filtered through layers of limestone which lie below the Dhauladhar mountain range. The water is pumped into the pools via large pipes and is extremely cold so only the deeply religious should consider bathing. Close to the temple is the Bhagsu Waterfall and most visitors combine both sights in one trip from McLeod Ganj.

Bhagsunag village

Bhagsunag village close to McLeod Ganj

The temple is one of the oldest in the region but the present day reincarnation is heavily influenced by Nepalese design styles. The Bhagsu Nag temple has stronger Nepalese design features than classical Hindu styles as the ferocious Gurkhas of Nepal captured the entire Kangra Valley. With the arrival of the British the Nepalese were amalgamated into the Indian army but the temple remained an important spiritual site for the Gurkhas. The clearest example of the Nepalese design are found at the pipe mouths which have been shaped into dragons heads.

History of the Bhagsunag Temple

The Bhagsu Nag temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva but also the serpent god (Nag). The village, temple and water fall are named after the king who discover the spring (king Bhagsu) and the serpent god who guarded the region (lord Nag). The two were involved in a forceful battle as the king required the water for his drought hit lands.

Bhagsu Waterfall

The Bhagsu Waterfall is a popular hiking route from McLeod Ganj

The king had enrage the Serpent lord Nag after his sneaky approach to steeling the water and it was Nag who ultimately won the battle. Where the king submitted to the serpent waters miraculously sprung from the ground where he stood and these are the springs that the temple is constructed upon. The region is named after both the king and the serpent - Bhagsunag.

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