The Bat-ishwar Temple may have existed for millennia, but in its current form is about 300 years old probably having been renewed in the time of Raja Badan Singh Bhadauria, a chief credited with many acts of endowment during a period of relative stability in the area.
The numerous temple bells - small, large and huge – are a conspicuous feature of this temple. Offerings to Lord Shiva upon wish fulfilment by grateful devotees. The temple sanctum resounds to the sonorous ringing of bells and the hypnotic chanting of the priests and devotees. Combined with the flickering light of dozens of earthen diyas and the fragrant haze of incense sticks the visitor is drawn into the world of the faithful by a force that seems much bigger than the sum of its parts.
The Temple is an important part of the lives of the local people be they simple villagers, rich merchants or landowning nobility. Each group has its own set of peculiar customs and myths associated with the worship and veneration of the Bateshwarnath shrine.
The local nobility traditionally offered mounds of rice at the Shrine. The principal women of the noble households were expected to spend the year filling up sack loads of rice one grain at a time; treating each grain as they would the beads of a prayer rosary! No doubt a clever device to keep them occupied. Typically the men would compete to see who amongst them could lay claim to the most pious noblewomen of the region. The priests had a good thing going too; rice not being grown locally, was expensive to procure and this little trial of piousness ensured a regular supply of the finest grain possible. The current ladies of the Jarar household are very grateful to the strong-willed Thakurani Raj Kanwar who decided she had far better things to do with her time and refused to indulge the priests or the men of her household!