Holy Bhagsunag Temple And Bhagsunag Waterfall, Mcleodganj

Holy Bhagsunag Temple And Bhagsunag Waterfall, Mcleodganj

The Bhagsunag temple is an ancient and revered temple near the Bhagsunag waterfall in Mcleodganj, Dharamshala, read its legend and history.

Holy Bhagsunag Temple And Bhagsunag Waterfall, Mcleodganj

The road that leads to the Bhagsunag Temple is lined with shops selling colourful wares. Multicoloured flags and buntings sway in the breeze, as we make our way to the Bhagsu Nag temple and the Bhagsunag waterfall in Mcleodganj near Dharamshala.

Way to Bhagsunag Temple in Mcleodganj
Way to Bhagsunag Temple in Mcleodganj

The Bhagsu Nag temple is one of the ancient and sacred temples of Himachal Pradesh and along with temples like the Baijnath Shiv Temple, Chamunda Temple, Hidimba and Vashisht temples of Manali, and many more. Read on to know more about the Bhagsunag temple which is sometimes also referred to as the Bhagsunath temple, its history, and the legends associated with it.

Bhagsunag Temple, Mcleodganj  

Holy Bhagsunag Temple And Bhagsunag Waterfall, Mcleodganj

The Bhagsunag temple stands against the backdrop of lush green hills about 200 metres from the Bhagsunag temple car parking. It is about 6 kilometres from Dharamshala and is a temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva and also to Nag Devta. A mystical aura surrounds the temple and a visit to the temple makes for a serene and soothing experience.

Bhagsunag Temple History – Legend of Bhagsu Nath

Bhagsunag Temple History – Legend Of Bhagsu Nath

The Bhagsunag temple is located in the village of Bhagsu or Bhaksu and gets its name from the temple. There is no historical evidence about the origins of the temple, but local myths and folklore trace the origins of the temple to a duel between a king named Bhagsu and the snake God or Nag Devta.

According to legend, a king named Bhagsu ruled over Ajmer, Rajasthan. He was demonic in nature and possessed skills of witchcraft and sorcery. It so happened that there was a drought in his kingdom and the scarcity of water was taking its toll. The people of his kingdom appealed to him to do something or else they would all be forced to leave his kingdom. King Bhagsu left his kingdom, vowing that he would return with water for his people.

King Bhagsu reached the mighty Nag Dal lake high up in the Dhauladhar mountains. The sight of the huge lake brimming with water, pleased the king. He had with him a magic pot and using his tricks of sorcery, the greedy king diverted the water of the Nag Dal lake into the pot, leaving the massive lake entirely dry and without a drop of water. He then started his journey back to his kingdom, carrying the pot of water. He stopped on the way to rest for some time.

Meanwhile, Nag Devta arrived at the Nag Dal lake for his customary visit and seeing the empty lake was livid with rage. He saw the footprints of King Bhagsu leading away from the lake and followed their trail. He soon came upon the king sleeping, cradling a pot in his arms. He challenged the king to a duel and a fierce battle ensued. The earth shook, and the living beings cowered in fear, the wind paused in its path, as the battle between King Bhagsu and the snake God raged on.

Nag Devta soon overpowered King Bhagsu and fatally wounded him. King Bhagsu begged for forgiveness while in the throes of death. Nag Devta was touched by the sincerity of the king’s repentance and granted him a last wish. The King asked that his kingdom get sufficient water and never go dry, he also wanted people to remember him forever.

Nag Devta granted his wish and also told him that from henceforth, the place where they were would be known as Bhagsunag, and people would take the king’s name before his own. In the melee of the fierce fight, some of the water from the magic pot spilled out and flowed as springs.

Water spring near Bhagsunag Temple Dharamshala
Kund near Bhagsunag Temple Dharamshala

From that day, the place was known as Bhagsunag, and water springs perenially flowed creating a sacred Kund or pond.

The Nag Dal lake got its water back, and in course of time, a temple was built at the place that came to be known as Bhagsunag. The temple was dedicated to Nag Devta and also Lord Shiva. it is interesting to note the existence of a high-altitude lake near the Indrahara Pass which is known as the Nag Dal Lake or Cobra Lake.

Visiting Bhagsunag Temple Dharamshala

Arch at Bhagsunag Temple Dharamshala

A paved walkway leads to the Bhagsunag temple. An arch welcomes you to the temple. The insignia of the 1st Gorkha Rifles (The Malaun Regiment), can be seen on the arch. It is interesting to note the connection between the Gorkhas and the Bhagsunag temple. In the early 19th century, the Gorkhas arrived in these parts with the British.

The headquarters of the Malaun regiment is at Subathu in Himachal Pradesh. The Gorkhas revere the ancient temple and elements of Nepalese architecture can be seen in the temple. Once you pass beneath the arch, towards your life, a flight of marble steps leads to a small temple.

Bhagsunag Temple Mcleodganj

The sacred Hindu symbol ॐ (Om) is painted prominently in red on the whitewashed shikhara of the temple.

Bhagsunag Temple Mcleodganj
Bhagsunag Temple Mcleodganj

Inside the temple is a rare Pancha Mukha Shivling. A small white Nandi statue can be seen outside the entrance to the sanctum.

Guru Dattatreya at Bhagsunag Temple
Guru Dattatreya at Bhagsunag Temple

A figurine of Guru Dattatreya enclosed in a glass case stands on a pedestal outside the sanctum. Behind the temple can be seen the verdant vistas of the Dhauladhar mountains, topped with coniferous trees.

Kund near Bhagsunag Temple in Mcleodganj
Kund near Bhagsunag Temple in Mcleodganj

To the right of the temple is a small pond that is filled with three spouts that must have been originally made in the shape of tigers’ faces, but their shape has eroded with time. Water from a natural spring flows into the pond through these spouts. This water is then directed to a swimming pool beside the ancient Kund, where devotees can bathe.

It is believed that the water from the spring has divine curative properties and bathing here is considered beneficial in many respects.

Lord Ganesh idol near Bhagsunag Temple
Lord Ganesh idol near Bhagsunag Temple

There is an unusual figure of Ganesha, near the pond. Lord Ganesh is depicted with four hands. He is holding a bow in one hand, an arrow in the second, a trident (Trishul) in the third, and an axe in the fourth. The normally affable and lovable Ganesha can be seen as an aggressive warrior, in a standing posture, as if he were guarding the holy pond.

Bhagsunaag Temple | Bhagsunag Waterfall – Bhagsunath Temple, Kangra

Bhagsunag Waterfall
Bhagsunag Waterfall

Right behind the Bhagsunag temple, there is a narrow path that leads to the Bhagsunag waterfall. It is about a kilometre long, though flat at the beginning, inclines upwards after some time, there are steps to the waterfall, that lead to the bottom of the walls. The path gets steeper if you want to go further and reach the top of the waterfalls.

Bhagsunag Waterfall

In the month of December, when we visited the Bhagsunag waterfall, the water was not much, and actually looked like a trickle from the distance. However, the waterfall would be in full glory in the rainy season.

Near Bhagsunag Waterfall, Mcleodganj

On the way to the Bhagsunag Waterfall is a place where ziplining activity is available. We were also impressed with the word, “CHANGE”, which was formed by using plastic trash.

Images of Bhagsunag Temple

Images of Bhagsunag Temple
Images of Bhagsunag Temple

Here are photos of Bhagsunag temple.

Bhagsu Nath Temple Images
Bhagsu Nath Temple Images

Other Places To Visit In Mcleodganj And Dharamshala

St John In The Wilderness Church Dharamshala

There are many lovely places to visit in McLeodganj and Dharamshala, apart from enjoying the mountain air and the vibes of the Dhauladhar ranges. Here is a list of places that you must visit in Dharamshala.

  • St John In The Wilderness Church
  • Dal Lake
  • Naddi Village
  • Naddi Sunset Point
  • HPCA Cricket Stadium
  • State War Memorial
  • Triund
  • Dalai Lama Temple or Namgyal Monastery

How To Reach Bhagsunag Temple, Dharamshala

Shop selling puja items opposite Bhagsunag Temple

  • Bhagsunag Temple, Mcleodganj, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh
  • Bhagsunath temple is about 6 kilometres from Dharamshala
  • McLeodganj is about 124 kilometres from Dalhousie
  • McLeodganj is about 90 kilometres from Pathankot

By Air

The nearest airport to Mcleodganj is Kangra Airport in Gaggal, at a distance of about 18 kilometres. It is a regional airport and has flights to and from Chandigarh, Hisar, and Delhi. Alternate airports are Pathankot at a distance of about 91 kilometres.

By Rail

The closest broad gauge railway head to Mcleodgang is Pathankot. There is a narrow-gauge railway from Pathankot to Jogindernagar. Kangra Mandir is a railway station on this line which is at a distance of 38 kilometres from Mcleodganj.

By Road

Mcleodganj is well connected by road to other towns and cities of Himachal Pradesh. Himachal Roadways buses to Mcleodganj are available from Delhi and other places.

If you are planning a visit to Mcleoganj, you can book your flight tickets right here through, TripAdvisor or CheapAir or Cleartrip or Makemytrip or Priceline and fly to Pathankot or Amritsar. If you are thinking of a  road trip, do check out the rental car and bus options.

Where To Stay When Visiting Bhagsu Naag Temple

Hotel In Dharamshala Mcleodganj – Spring Valley Resort
Hotel in Dharamshala Mcleodganj – Spring Valley Resort

We stayed very near the Bhagsunag temple at the Spring Valley Resort. There are many options to stay at Mcleodganj and Dharamshala to suit your preference and budget, including The Bhagsu Mcleodganj, which is a hotel of the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation.

You can book Hotels in Mcleodganj, Hotels in BirHotels in DharamshalaHotels in Palampur or any destination right here through any of the options below: TripAdvisor or Cleartrip or Makemytrip or Priceline and save a lot by getting the best deals on booking your stay.

Click to book the best hotels in Mcleodganj or the best hotels in Himachal Pradesh

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Bhagsunag Temple And Bhagsunag Waterfall, Mcleodganj

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6 thoughts on “Holy Bhagsunag Temple And Bhagsunag Waterfall, Mcleodganj”

  1. The story of king and nag devta is really new for me. Thanks for bringing always great information which is unknown.

  2. Never heard about this temple before. What a fascinating story of king and nag and the way he managed to bring water to this place. Would love to visit once.

  3. Shreemayee Chattoppadhyay

    Reading your posts is always very informative. The place itself is very interesting. I visited once yet am totally unaware of the story of the king and nag devta.

  4. The place with regional and historical beliefs is always a good experience. Must say you have a keen eye and your observations in the post are very informative piece for the readers.

  5. I’ve heard of many places in McLeodGanj but never about this temple. It has such a beautiful story behind it, like almost every other temple in our country. Beautiful architecture too.

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