Bateshwar Nath temple is very ancient temple, situated at a distance of 70 km from Agra (Uttar Pradesh) on the bank of river Yamuna. Bateshwar is one of the oldest towns with a rich history. It is one of the important spiritual and cultural centers in India. Bateshwar is known for the 101 Shiv temples, built by Raja Badan Singh Bhadauria situated on the banks of Yamuna. Hindus make pilgrimage to the river Yamuna in honor of lord Shiva. Some of the temples have decorative ceilings and ornamental walls. The 22nd Tirthankar lord Neminath was born in Shaouripur. This area attracts Jain tourists as well. In fact, not many are aware that Bateshwar is the ancestral village of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
As per the mythology and legends, here under a marvelous Banyan tree (Bat in Sanskrit), lord Shiva took rest for some time under that tree which is still standing at that place, the place hence came to be known as Bateshwar (i.e. Bat ishwar or The banyan lord).Legend has it that King Badan Singh Bhadoriya changed the flow of Yamuna river from east to west towards Bateshwar. Earlier the river used to flow from west to east. The king also built a dam to protect these temples from the heavy water coming from river Yamuna. Bateshwar Nath temple finds its mention in the holy scripts of Ramayana, Mahabharata and Matsya-purana.
Every year an animal fare is organised here in the month of October-November. One of the names of Lord Shiva i.e. Pashupati signifies this animal fare. Tourists from different part of the world come here to see and enjoy the event.This animal fare event comprises of three stages. In the first stage, Camels, horses and donkeys are sold and in the second stage cow and cattle are sold. The third stage ends the fare with cultural programs. The animal sellers start reaching this place one week before the start of the fare. Many animal races are also organised during the event. This small town of Bateshwar provides peace in the hectic lifestyle.
Due to its obscure location away from the urban into the rural, not many know that a chain of 101 temples along the river Yamuna exists. The temples are of varying sizes and some are situated a little bit away from the main stream of the river, into the fields. This has led to a dilapidated state of majority of the temples except a few big ones which gather most of the attention of not just the tourists but also the pilgrims. Bateshwar which was surrounded by the hub of dacoits-the Chambal Valley boasts of large-sized bells hanging in the temple complex with names of various dacoits carved onto them. Another story attached to the temple goes about Raja Badan Singh Bhadauria’s daughter and her marriage and a series of events that followed which led to the building of these temples by the Raja.
This makes the temple not only mysteriously captivating but also intriguing in its own way.