Bageshwar district in Dev Bhoomi Uttarakhand is considered to be the abode of lord Shiva, thus highly pious and this pious land is believed to lead one to salvation. The Neel Parvat (blue himalaya) seen from Bageshwar is the view that frees the soul from the cycle of birth and death. Highly honored by the people of Kumaun, Bageshwar is the land mentioned in Hindu mythology Skanda Puran as the most pious land on earth blessed by lord Shiva and the home of lord Shiva next to Baranashi. Skanda Purana mentions that Bageshwar was formed as another Baranasi in the order of lord Shiva. The holy confluence of Saryu, Gomti and Bhagirathi rivers has the capacity to liberate the souls.
History and legend of Bageshwar District
Bageshwar was formerly a tehsil of Almora district. On 15th September 1997, Bageshwar tehsil was separated from Almora district to form an independent district Bageshwar.
Bageshwar gets its mention in Skanda Puran, the Hindu mythology as being the place where gods and sages came to meditate to lord Shiva. Bageshwar region is considered pious and devotees believe that the one who dies in Bageshwar attains salvation.
According to Skanda Puran, Rishi (sage) Basistha was bringing the pious Saryu river as per the direction of lord Brahma. Rishi Markendaya was meditating the very time, thus it was not possible for Saryu to come. Basistha prayed to lord Shiva for help. Lord Shiva came to the place in the form of lion (Byaghra) and goddess Parvati came in the form of cow (gau). The Byaghra attacked the gau and gau cried which made rishi Markendaya open his eyes and help gau. When Markendaya left his spot, Saryu got way to flow or come down. Lord Shiva in the form of Byaghra (lion) answered to Markendaya rishi and the pious spot was established as Baghreshwar which later was made Bageshwar. Baghreshwar originally meant the adobe where lord Shiva appeared as Byaghra (lion) but the term Bageshwar denotes Bag (tiger). Later in 1450 AD, a Chanda dynasty king Laxmi Chanda established the temple of Bageshwar.