Baijnath: Why this Town of Himachal Pradesh doesn’t celebrate Dussehra

Dussehra which is also popularly known as Vijayadashmi symbolises the prevalence of good over evil. This day is a commemoration of Lord Rama’s victory over King Ravana, who had cleverly abducted his wife, Sita. As the country will be rejoicing in the festive mood, let me take you the town of Baijnath in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh where Dussehra is not celebrated and they have got a strong reason for doing so



Legends have it that during the Treta Yug, King Ravana worshipped Lord Shiva at Rakshas taal around Mount Kailash in order to get the endowment of invincibility and immortality. He even beheaded his ten heads at Lord Shiva’s altar. Pleased by his sacrificing act and sincerity, Lord Shiva granted demon king Ravana his wishes and restored his heads. But, this was not enough for King Ravana. In order to get more from Shiva, Ravana politely requested him to accompany him to his kingdom in Lanka. Lord Shiva was touched by this deed and agreed. He took the shape of a linga and told Ravana not to place it on the ground on his way.  If he did, he will not be able to lift it again.

However, when King Ravana reached Baijnath, he felt the need to answer the nature’s call. On seeing the shepherd Baiju, Ravana handed over the ling to him, till the time he comes back but he forgot to tell him not to place it on the ground. The shepherd found the linga too heavy and put it on the ground and as Lord shiva mentioned, the linga resides in Baijnath thereafter and became an abode of Lord Shiva.


It is due to this belief that the residents of Baijnath do not celebrate Dussehra to mark the respect of a devotee towards Lord Shiva. It is considered that celebrating this festival will bring bad luck to the residents living in this small town of Hmachal Pradesh. It is also believed that in the past people who have burned the effigies, have brought upon themselves the wrath of Lord Shiva and faced disastrous consequences.

On this day even the markets remain closed in Baijnath and Paprola. The fear of upsetting Lord Shiva is so high that there are no goldsmiths in the town as well. This is because that King Ravana was residing in the country of Gold whereas for Lord Shiva, the gold was just another piece of a stone. The disagreement between the Lord and the devotee is the reason behind Baijnath not to have any goldsmith shops.


There is another disputable legend associated with the construction of Baijnath temple. It is said that this temple of Lord Shiva was build by the Pandavas in one day on their way to heaven. The temple still gives the ancient feel though

Baijnath was named after the shepherd, Baiju. During 13th century, Baijnath temple was built around the ancient Ling which is today one of the most significant pilgrimage for Hindus. The town is located midway between Mandi and Palampur, which is at a distance of 60 Kms from Dharamshala in Kangra District.

Well whether the legend is true or not but this reason is enough to keep residents at Baijnath away from celebrating Dussehra

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7 thoughts on “Baijnath: Why this Town of Himachal Pradesh doesn’t celebrate Dussehra

  1. That’s a really interesting nugget of information and has really intrigued me to the level that I would really want to visit Baijnath. I am not a fan of religious places or temples, but this one is now on my list!

    • Though Iam also not a fan of temples but I believe every place has a story to tell. This temple has an ancient feel. You will not be disappointed. Try catching the night arti. All the best 🙂

  2. Well, As a local I would like to add something more(though I have not seen it) people say that they use to celebrate the fest but whoever played the roles of Rama and Lakshman always died. After that they stopped celebrating . Not sure about it but yes they have it in their urban legends.

  3. Pingback: Rakshataal: A Lake of King Ravana on Kailash Mansarovar Yatra | Buoyant Feet

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