BAIJNATH, HIMACHAL PRADESH
The faithful often turn to deities for consolation in times of disease and illness. Himachal Pradesh’s Baijnath Temple was built to shore up the health of Shiva’s devotees. Here ‘the God of Destruction’ is worshipped as ‘Vaidyanath’, the Lord of Physicians. Devotees believe even the water here can cure their anguish. While some believe the lingam here is one of the original 12 jyotirlingas, the claim is often contested. The temple was built by two merchants, Ahuka and Manyuka, in 1204, and everything from its doorways and walls to its sanctum and porch has been carved to depict Shiva’s beneficence and his significance in Hindu mythology.