Holy Pilgrimage – Review of Uttarakhand Pilgrimage - 14

Holy Pilgrimage – Temples in  Uttarakhand State

Pauri District

Panoramic Pauri is perched at an altitude of 1814 metres on the northern slopes of Kandoliya hills. The peaceful resort affords a fine view of the snowy Himalayan peaks.


Places to Visit in Pauri
Kandoliya (2 kms): The temple dedicated to Kandoliya Devta, a folk deity is located on the Lansdowne road amidst scenic surroundings.
Chaukhamba Viewpoint (4 kms): The ridge overlooks the splendid Idwal valley and Chaukhamba Peak.
Kyunkaleshwar Mahadev: The 8th century Shiva temple affords stunning views of the snow-clad peaks.
Khirsu (19 kms): The serene site at a height of 1,700 metres affords a fine view of the snow-clad mountains. The ancient temple of Ghandiyal Devta is worth visiting.
Jwalpa Devi Temple (34 kms): The pilgrim site lies on the main Pauri Kotdwar road. During 'Navaratras', a special festival is held here which is attended by large number of devotees.
Tarakund: The charming site has a small lake and an ancient temple. It is also known for the Teej Festival.
Srinagar: This erstwhile capital of the Garhwal kings is set on the banks of Alaknanda river about 30 kms from Pauri. Srinagar was an important centre for art and architecture. The Garhwal University is located here.
Keshorai Math: The temple was perhaps built in 1682, and is noted for its architectural beauty.
Kamleshwar Temple: This ancient Shiva temple is associated with an interesting legend. It is said that Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva here with thousand Lotus flowers.
Shankar Math (3 kms): The shrine with unique architecture is said to be built by Adi Shankaracharya.
Devalgarh (19 kms): It was set up by king Deval of Kangra. Main attractions - The Laxmi Narayan temple, Gauri Devi temple & Rajrajeshwari temple. The site is also of archaeological value.
Dhari Devi (16 kms): Pilgrim centre. Devotees assemble here to worship Goddess Dhari.
How to Reach Pauri
By Air: The nearest airport for Pauri is Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun (155 kms) :
By Rail: Nearest rail head is Kotdwar (108 kms).
By Road: Well connected by road with important town of the region.



Pithoragarh District

Picturesque Pithoragarh town is delight for mountaineers, trekkers, adventure seekers, botanists, pilgrims as well as sightseers. It is an important halt on the famous Kailash Mansarovar Yatra route. The rivers originating from the Pithoragarh mountains are perfect for water sports, while the lush jungles here teem with rich variety of flora and fauna.
This eastern most district of Uttaranchal popularly called as 'Miniature Kashmir', shares international boundary with China (Tibet) on the north and Nepal on the east. The northern parts are studded with majestic peaks like Nanda Devi (east), Nanda Devi (west), Trishul, Nandakot, Rajrambha, Panchachuli group etc. The alpine meadows and glaciers below these majestic mountains has made the district a virtual paradise for nature lovers



Places to Visit in Pithoragarh
Pithoragarh Fort: It is set atop a hill on the outskirts of the town. The fort was built by the Gorkhas in 1789.
Kapileshwar Mahadev (3 kms): The cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva affords fine view of the Soar valley and lofty Himalayan peaks.
Chandak (8 kms) :The beautiful hill affords a fine view of the Himalayas. The Manu Temple here is highly revered by the locales.
Dhwaj Temple: This famous shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Maa Jayanti and is 10 kms by road and 4 kms on foot from Pithoragarh. It also commands a breath taking view of the snow capped peaks.
Thal Kedar (16 kms) : This Shaivite pilgrim site is also known for its scenic splendour. During the annual fair of Shivratri large number of devotees flock to Thal Kedar.
Nakuleshwara (10 kms): It is believed that Nakuleshwara Temple was built by Nakul and Sahdev (two brothers of Pandavas). The place is located at Athgaon Shilling area.
Askot Sanctuary: The scenic sanctuary 54 kms from Pithoragarh nestles at a height of 5412 ft. in Kumaon Himalayas and is popular among wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Chaukori: The small hill town affords balmy weather and great views of snowclad peaks. The entire area teems with tea gardens and orchards. It is 112 kms from Pithoragarh via Gangolihat and Berinag.
Gangolihat: The sacred site is famous for the Hatkalika Fair held on the ashtami of Chaitra month at the Kalika temple. Devotees visit the shrine during this time with drums and flags to pay homage to Goddess Kalika.
Jhulaghat : This small town on the Indo-Nepal border is named after a hanging bridge on the Kali river. One can enter Nepal through this bridge. The small market here deals in Nepali goods and other electronic items.
Narayan Ashram : The ashram was established by Narayan Swami in 1936, about 136 kms north of Pithoragarh and 14 kms from Tawaghat.
Patal Bhuvaneshwar : Patal Bhubaneshwar, literally means the sub-terranean shrine of Lord Shiva. The cave temple is 91 kms from Pithoragarh and 14 kms north of Gangolihat.
How to reach Pithoragarh
By Air: The nearest airport for Pithoragarh is at Naini Saini (5 kms). However, the nearest operational airport is at Pantnagar, Udham Singh Nagar.
By Rail: The nearest rail head is at Tanakpur (151 kms).
By Road: Pithoragarh is well connected by road with important towns of the region and other states as well.



Ranikhet District

Ranikhet has been proposed as a new district in the Kumaon division of Uttarakhand. Ranikhet is currently part of Almora District. The then CM of Uttarakhand, Ramesh Pokhariyal made this announcement on 15 Aug 2011.
Ranikhet literally means "Queen's Meadow". It is believed that Queen Padmini of Kumaon was in love with this tiny hill paradise.
Note: More information and news of Ranikhet District will be updated soon.


Places to Visit in Ranikhet District
Chaubatia Gardens: It is situated 10 kms from Ranikhet and is renowned for apple orchards. Ranikhet is popular for its luscious apples, apricots, peaches and various alpine fruits.
Haidakhan Temple: Situated 4 kms from Ranikhet, Haidakhan Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva made by Shri Haidakhan Maharaj who is said to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva.
Jhula Devi Temple: Built in the 8th century, Jhula Devi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga.
Syalikhet: It is a scenic spot with unparallel beauty situated at a distance of 25kms from Ranikhet.
Binsar Mahadev: The artistic structure of the Binsar Mahadev Temple and its deity Lord Shiva both adds positive vibes to our mind and soul.
Katarmal: It is the second most important temple to Sun God, the first one being Sun Temple of Konark in Orissa.
KRC (Kumaon Regimental Centre) Museum: KRC Museum was established in the 1970s, this Regiment Museum showcases the history of Kumaon and Garhwal regiments.
Bageshwar: Bageshwar is situated 107 kms from Ranikhet. It derives its name from Bagnath, a famous temple located at the confluence of the river Gomti and Saryu. Bageshwar is also used as the base camp by trekkers for Pindari.
Baijnath: Baijnath is 90km from Ranikhet, a famous temple town on the banks of the Gomti in the Garuda Valley.
Dwarahat: It is situated 37kms from Ranikhet on NH87 which connects with Karnaprayag. Dwarahat is of great historical and archaeological importance in Uttarakhand.
How to reach Ranikhet
By Air: The nearest airport for Ranikhet is Pantnagar. Pantnagar Airport is situated 115kms from Ranikhet. Taxis are available to Ranikhet, Haldwani, Nainital and Almora from Pant Nagar Airport. Buses are available from Haldwani, Kathgodam and Nainital to Ranikhet.
By Rail: Kathgodam is the nearest railway station to Kausani, situated at a distance of 88kms. Kathgodam is well connected by Railway networks with major destinations of India like Lucknow, Delhi and Kolkata. Trains are frequent to Kathgodam as it is the gateway of Kumaon region. Buses and Taxis are easily available to Ranikhet from Kathgodam.
By Road: Ranikhet is well connected by motorable roads with major cities of Uttarakhand state and northern India. Ranikhet is well connected by major destinations of Garhwal as well as Kumaon regions. Buses to Kathgodam and Almora can be taken from ISBT Anand Vihar, Delhi. Taxis to Ranikhet are easily available from major destinations of Uttarakhand state. The distance from Delhi to Ranikhet is 360kms if you travel via Babugarh and Moradabad. This distance can be easily covered in 10 hours of time.




Rudraprayag District

Rudraprayag - A small pilgrim town on the holy confluence of river Alaknanda and Mandakini which is venerated as one of the five sacred confluences or the 'Panch Prayag'.
Rudraprayag It is named after Rudra, an aspect of Lord Shiva. According to a legend Lord Shiva appeared here as 'Rudra' to bless Narad Muni. An ancient shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of 'Rudra'. Rudraprayag is of immense significance for the pilgrims of Char Dham Yatra, as it is the junction for visiting Badrinath and Kedarnath Dham.



Places to Visit in Rudraprayag
Koteshwar Temple (3 kms) : The cave temple of Lord Shiva is located on the banks of river Alaknanda. There are several idols which have been formed naturally.
Agatsyamuni (19 kms) : It is believed that sage Agatsyamuni meditated here. There is a temple dedicated to him.
Guptkashi (39 kms) : This important pilgrim site has the ancient temples of Vishwanath and Ardhnareshwar.
Ukhimath (40 kms) : It lies on the route to Kedarnath and is the winter residence of Lord Kedarnath, as well as the seat of the Rawal (head priest) of the Kedarnath temple.
Gaurikund (72 kms) : It 's the trekking base for to Kedarnath. There is a temple of Gauri (Parvati) and hot water springs.
Son Prayag : The sacred site on the confluence of river Basuki and Mandakani lies on the main Kedarnath route, about 5 kms from Gaurikund. The devotees believe that by mere touch of the holy water of Son Prayag, one attains the "Baikunth Dham".
Trijuginarayan : It is 12 kms from Son prayag and is believed to be the site of Lord Shiva and Parvati's marriage. The eternal flame around which the marriage was solemnised, still burns here.
Panch Kedar: The 'Panch' or five Kedar lie in the valley between the rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda.
Kedarnath: Kedarnath, one of the holiest Hindu pilgrim site is perched at an altitude of 3584 metres amidst towering snowclad Himalayan peaks on the head of river Mandakini. It is 86 kms from Rudraprayag.
Chorbari Glacier: The snout of the 6 kms long glacier is about 3 kms from Kedarnath temple. River Mandakini emerges from he~e and later merges into the Alaknanda at Rudraprayag. About 2 kms from the temple is the glacial lake of Gandhi Sarovar between the rock face and right lateral moraine of the glacier.
Vasuki Tal (6 kms) : The charming lake at a height of 4135 metres is surrounded by lofty peaks. It affords an awe inspiring view of the Chaukhamba peaks.
Madmaheshwar : It is one of the Panch Kedar site set at an altitude of 3,289 metres, about 25 kms north-east of Guptkashi. It can be reached by road from Guptkashi upto Kalimath, from where one has to trek upto Madmaheshwar.
Tungnath : This another Panch Kedar site nestles at a height of 4090 metres, which makes it the highest Shiva shrine among the Panch Kedars. The nearest road head is Chopta (4 kms), from where one can trek or hire a sturdy pony.
How to Reach Rudraprayag
By Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun (159 kms)
By Rail: The nearest rail head is at Rishikesh (142 kms)
By Road: Rudraprayag is well connected by road with important towns of the region.



Tehri District

New Tehri - The newly built well planned modern town nestles at a height of 1,550 metres overlooking the massive artificial lake and Tehri dam built on the Bhagirathi and Bhilangana river. It has taken over as district headquarters of Tehri Garhwal from the Old Tehri town and was established to rehabilitate the Old Tehri, which will be submerged into the waters of the Tehri Dam. In fact New Tehri is considered to be Asia's most comprehensive and successful rehabilitation programme. The gleaming township has developed into a lovely hill resort.
It is 16 kms from New Tehri and 84 kms from Rishikesh on the confluence of Bhagirathi and Bhilangana rivers. This transit point to Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath was chosen as the capital of Tehri Garhwal by Raja Sudarshan Shah after the expulsion of the Gurkhas with the help of the East India Company in 1815. The town is studded with historical buildings and temples.


Places to Visit in Tehri
Tehri Dam : Tehri Dam is the tallest dam in Asia and the fourth tallest rockfill dam in the world sprawling over an area of 45 sq. kms in the Bhagirathi and Bhilangana valleys near Tehri town.
Chamba : Charming Chamba, the idyllic resort at a height of 1676 metres is 48 kms from Narendra Nagar on the road to Gangotri.
Surkhanda Devi Temple: The sacred shrine atop a mountain attracts large number of devotees during the Ganga Dussehra Fair held between May and June. To reach the shrine one has to trek for 2 kms from Kaddulkhal, 22 kms from Chamba.
Dhanaulti (24 kms) : This delightful spot enriched with immense natural beauty lies on the Mussoorie Chamba. The lovely weather and scenic surroundings makes it a perfect site for a relaxed holiday.
Dev Prayag : It is set on the confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers and is considered to be one of the 'Panch prayag'. The town lies on the Rishikesh to Badrinath route about 87 kms from Narendra Nagar.
Chandrabadani Devi : The sacred shrine on Chandrabadani mountain is 10 kms from Kandi Khal, about 22 km. from Devprayag. Legends suggest that the torso of Goddess Sati, the consort of Lord Shiva fell here.
Nagtibba : Nagtibba at an. altitude of 3,048 metres is a favourite destination for trekking and adventure sports. The thickly wooded region is noted for natural beauty.
Narendra Nagar : This erstwhile capital of Garhwallies on the main Rishikesh - Gangotri Yamunotri route.
Kaudiyala : The beautiful spot 37 kms from Rishikesh on the Rishikesh-Badrinath highway is ideally suited for white water rafting. GMVN conducts river rafting courses here.
Khatling Glacier : The glacier amidst snowy peaks is the source of river Bhilangna and a popular trekking destination. The picturesque trek starts from Ghuttu, about 62 kms from Tehri.
How to Reach Tehri
By Air: The nearest airport is at Jolly Grant, Dehradun (93 kms)
By Rail: The nearest rail head is at Rishikesh (76 kms)
By Road: Tehri is well connected by road with major towns of the area.



Udham Singh Nagar District

Udham Singh Nagar district was carved out of Nainital district in October 1995 and was named after Saheed Udham Singh, a great freedom fighter, who killed General Dyer and took revenge for the Jalianwala Bagh massacre. The district is also called as the 'Gateway to Kumaon hills'. There are three main sub-divisions - Rudrapur, Kashipur and Khatima; four tehsils Kashipur, Kichha, Khatima, Sitarganj and two sub-tehsils - Bajpur and Gadarpur.
The prosperous district is endowed with a very fertile land. Agriculture is the mainstay and there are several agriculture related activities and industries located here. Udham Singh Nagar district is also noted for communal harmony and brotherhood. The district is a melting pot of different cultures, religions and life styles.


Places to Visit in Udham Singh Nagar
Rudrapur : Rudrapur is the headquarter of the Udham Singh Nagar district.
Atariya Temple: The famous shrine of Goddess Atariya is 2 kms. from the bus stand off Rudrapur - Haldwani route. A 10 day fair is held here during the sacred Navratras. Large number of devotees visit the shrine on this occasion.
Nanak Matta (56 kms.) : This important Sikh pilgrim centre lies on the Rudrapur-Tanakpur route. It is believed that Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru visited here. Thousands of pilgrims come here throughout the year.
Other famous dams for tourists and fishing in the district are Haripura dam in Gadarpur, annual boating competition is held here. Tumariya dam at Kashipur, Sharda Sagar dam in Khatima, Dhaura dam at Kichha, Baur dam in Bajpur.
Kashipur: The historical and industrial town is named after Kashinath Adhikari, one of the officers of the Chand rulers of Kumaon, who founded the present town.
Chaiti Devi Temple: It is 2.5 kms. from Kashipur bJJS stand on the Kashipur-Bajpur route. A large fair is held during the 'Navratras' and thousands of devotees visit the shrine. Giri Sarovar : The charming lake is about 2 kms. from Kashipur bus stand on the Kashipur - Ramnagar route. It is a beautiful picnic spot. There are also hotels and Tourist Rest House over here.
Pantnagar: Pantnagar is synonymous with Gobind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology. It is the first university in India to blend technology with agriculture.
How to reach Udham Singh Nagar
By Air: Nearest Airport - Pantnagar, 11 kms
By Rail: Udham Singh Nagar (Rudrapur) is well connected to Delhi, Lucknow and Kolkata by direct broad gauge line.
By Road: Udham Singh. Nagar (Rudrapur) is well connected to important towns & cities of the country and nearby area.
Road distances from Rudrapur: Delhi - 254 kms, Agra - 301 kms, Lucknow - 343 kms, Kashipur - 56 kms, Tanakpur - 101 kms, Haridwar - 228 kms and Dehradun - 285 kms.




Uttarkashi District

The holy town of Uttarkashi is set on the banks of river Bhagirathi at an altitude of 1158 metres, about 145 kms from Rishikesh on the main route to Gangotri. It is considered to have similar religious importance as Kashi. The famous Vishwanath temple here is dedicated to Lord Shiva. In front of the temple is unique Mahadev-ka-Vishal Trishul or Shiva's Great Trident, made of eight major metals. It is believed Lord Shiva killed Vakasur with this trident. Other important temples are dedicated to Lord Parashuram, Lord Ekadash Rudra and Goddess Kali.
It is an important stopover for pilgrims visiting Gangotri. Uttarkashi has also emerged as an important centre for adventure sports.



Places to Visit in Uttarkashi
Dayara Bugyal (28 kms) : Bugyal or a "high altitude meadow" at an altitude of 3048 metres affords awe-inspiring view of the Himalayas. There is also a small lake here. The road to Dayara Bugyal branches off near Bhatwari, 28 kms from Uttarkashi on Gangotri road.
Gangnani (39 kms) : It lies further up on the way to Gangotri. There is a temple dedicated to Sage Parashar. Visitors bathe at Rishikund near the shrine in a hot water spring.
Harsil (73 kms) : The enchanting spot on the way to Gangotri is noted for its natural beauty and delicious apples.
Sat Tal: Sat Tal or 'seven lakes', a group of lakes amidst scenic surroundings is located just above Dharali, 2 kms beyond Harsil.
Maneri (13 kms) : It lies on the Gangotri route and has a dam across river Bhagirathi. The resultant lake adds to the beauty of Maneri.
Nachiketa Tal: The beautiful lake can be reached via Chaurangi-Khal (29 kms) from where one has to trek for 3 kms A small temple is located on the banks of the lake.
Gangotri : It is the spiritual source of Ganga, the holiest river in the country and is one of the 'Char Dhams' of Uttaranchal. The Gangotri temple is situated at an altitude of 3048 metres, about 99 kms from Uttarkashi.
Gaumukh (18 kms) : The Gaumukh glacier is the physical source of Bhagirathi (Ganga) and is of great importance to the pilgrims. One has to trek from Gangotri to Gaumukh.
Kedartal (18 kms) :The trek to this enchanting lake surrounded by majestic peaks is quite tough, but is worth taking the trouble.
How to Reach Uttarkashi
By Air: Near airport to Uttarkashi is Jolly Grant, Dehradun (162 kms)
By Rail: Nearest railway station is Rishikesh (145 kms)
By Road: Uttarkashi is well connected by road to Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar and other major towns of the state and region.




Yamunotri District

Yamunotri has been proposed as a new district in the Garhwal division of Uttarakhand. Yamunotri is currently a part of Uttarkashi District. The then CM of Uttarakhand, Ramesh Pokhariyal made this announcement on 15 Aug 2011.
Note: More information and news of Yamunotri District will be updated soon



Places to Visit in Yamunotri District
Yamunotri Temple: Yamunotri is one of the Char Dham and it is also first place to visit in the Char Dham Circuit. Thousands of devotees visit the sacred shrine of Yamunotri temple every month from May to October.
Janki Chatti: It is the midpoint of the trek to Yamunotri which is accessible by jeeps. Janki Chatti is situated 7 kms before Yamunotri and this place is popular for thermal springs.
Surya Kund: There are many natural thermal springs in Yamunotri of which Surya Kund is renowned. The water of Surya Kund has a surprising temperature of 1900F. Pilgrims tie potatoes and rice to cook it by immersing it under water of Surya Kund. After cooking it is served as 'prasad'.
Hanuman Chatti: It is the commencement point of the trek to two popular destinations Yamunotri and Dodi Tal. Yamunotri is situated 13km from Hanuman Chatti which has to be covered by foot or on ponies.
Barkot: Barkot has an ancient temple and it is situated 49km from Yamunotri.
Dodi Tal: According to mythology Lord Ganesha was born in this place. This mysterious lake is situated at an elevation of 3,307mts above sea level surrounded by dense forests of deodar, oak and rhododendrons.
How to reach Yamunotri
By Air: Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest Airport to Yamunotri situated at a distance of 210kms. Jolly Grant Airport is well connected to Delhi with daily flights. Hanuman Chatti is directly not connected by motorable roads with Jolly Grant Airport. Taxis are available from Jolly Grant Airport to Hanuman Chatti.
By Rail: The nearest railway stations to Yamunotri are Rishikesh and Dehradun. Dehradun railway station is situated 175kms from Yamunotri and Rishikesh railway station is situated 200kms before Yamunotri on NH58. Rishikesh and Dehradun are well connected by railway networks with major destinations of India. Trains to Rishikesh are frequent. Hanuman Chatti is well connected by motorable roads with Rishikesh and Dehradun. Taxis and buses are available from Rishikesh, Tehri Garhwal, Uttarkashi and Barkot and many other destinations to Hanuman Chatti.
By Road: Yamunotri is directly not connected with motorable roads and the trek commences from Hanuman Chatti. Hanuman Chatti is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand state. Buses to Rishikesh are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Buses and Taxis to Hanuman Chatti are easily available from major destinations of Uttarakhand state like Rishikesh, Dehradun, Tehri, Uttarkashi, Barkot etc.





Om Tat Sat

(My humble  salutations to the great devotees ,  wikisources  and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )


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