Holy Pilgrimage – Temples in Uttarakhand State - 11

Holy Pilgrimage – Temples in  Uttarakhand State

Kalpeshwar, Uttarakhand


Kalpeshwar (Sanskrit: कल्पेश्वर) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located at an elevation of 2,200 m (7,217.8 ft) in the picturesque Urgam valley in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand state in India. The temple’s ancient legend linked to the Pandavas, heroes of epic Mahabharata eminence is the fifth temple of the Panch Kedars (five temples) of Shiva’s five anatomical divine forms; the other four temples in the order of their worship are Kedarnath, Rudranath, Tungnath and Madhyamaheshwar temples; all in the Kedar Khand region of the Garhwal Himalayas.  Kalpeshwar is the only Panch Kedar temple accessible throughout the year. At this small stone temple, approached through a cave passage, the matted tress (jata) of Lord Shiva is worshipped. Hence, Lord Shiva is also called as Jatadhar or Jateshwar. It is approachable only by 12 km (7.5 mi) trekking from the nearest road head of Helong on the Rishikesh-Badrinath road.



The epic legend narrated on the creation of the Panch Kedar temples is that Pandavas of Mahabharata epic history, while chasing Lord Shiva to seek his pardon for the fratricidal sins committed by them during the Kurukshetra war, realized that Shiva, in order to distance himself from the Pandavas, took the incognito form of a bull. But when this form of Shiva was discerned by Bhima, the second of the Pandava brothers, tried to hold on to the bull's tail and hind legs. But the bull vanished underground at Guptakashi. Subsequently it reappeared in five different forms: His hump appeared at Kedarnath, his bahu (arm) was spotted at Tungnath, his head surfaced at Rudranath, the stomach and navel were traced at Madhyamaheswar and his jata (tress) was divined at Kalpeshwar.  Another legend states that this place was much preferred by sages of folklore for meditation. Particular mention is made of sage Arghya who through his austere penance created Urvashi, the famous apsara (nymph) at this place. Durvasa, an ancient sage, son of Atri and Anasuya, considered an incarnation of Shiva, known for his short temper did penance and meditated under the Kalpavriksha, the wish fulfilling divine tree in the precincts of the temple.  Further, it is said that Durvasa had given Kunti, mother of Pandavas, a boon that "she could invoke any of the forces of nature and they would appear before her and grant whatever she desired". Once, when Pandavas, were in exile here, in order to test them Durvasa visited them along with his desciples and desired to be dined by them. Unfortunately, there was no food available within the house to feed the surprise guests. Draupadi, wife of Pandavas, sought Lord Krishna's help. Krishna materialised on the scene and solved the problem.
The temple priests at this temple also are the Dasnamis and Gossains, desciples of Adi Shankara. At Tungnath also the priests are Khasiya Brahmins. These priests hail from South India; the Namboodiri brahmin sect who worship at Badrinath and Kedarnath from Kerala, the Jangamas are lingayats from Mysore and the Dasnami Gossains belong to Adi Shankara’s group. The priests at the Rudranath temple are Dasnamis and Gosains.



The Kalpeshwar temple is located in the Urgam valley of the Himalayan mountain range near Urgam village (2 km (1.2 mi) short of the temple). On the bridle path from Helang to Kalpeshwar, the enchanting confluence of the Alaknanda and Kalpganga rivers is seen. Kalp Ganga river flows through the Urgam valley.  The Urgam valley is a dense forest area. The valley has apple orchards and terraced fields where potato is grown extensively.


Access to Kalpeshwar by road up to Urgam is from Rishikesh, a distance of 253 km (157.2 mi) on the Rishikesh-Badrinath road. Earlier the trek route existed from Helang to Kalpeshwar via Urgam village for a distance of 10 km (6.2 mi). But now a good jeep-able road is constructed from Helang to Urgam, so from Urgam it's just 2 km trek to reach Kalpeshwar. The nearest airport is at Jolly Grant, Dehradun at a distance of 272 km (169.0 mi) and the nearest railhead, Rishikesh, is 255 km (158.4 mi). Boodha Kedar temple surrounded by potato fields is seen on the trek route. Also seen is the Dhyan Badri temple at Urgam Village, one of the Sapt Badri (seven Badri) temples.




Koteshwar Mahadev, Uttarakhand


Koteshwar Mahadev Temple (Devanagari: कोटेश्वर महादेव) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, and is located about three km inside the ‘heart’ of Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand


This place is presumed to be the same spot where Lord Shiva had stopped for meditation on his way to Kedarnath. According to a local mythology this temple has its presence since the time of bhasmasur(the Deadly Asur/demon who got a boon/vardan from lord shiva that whoso ever's head will be touched by him, will be turned into bhasma or ashes .Seeing the powerful effects of this boon he tried to bhasam lord Shiva .Lord shiva kept on hiding from place to place and finally came to this place which was a cave, lord shiva resided here for some time medetating lord vishnu and finally lord vishnu helped him by killing the demon . Similar kind of legend is associated with Shrikhand Mahadev and Kinner Kailash in Himachal PradeshThe temple is filled with amazing energy/ora and one can feel it .Few Drops of water keeps on droping in lords lingam seeping through the hill. Just few metres down lies alaknanda river only whose water is offered to the lords lingam."OM NAMAH SHIVAY"

 Ever year, a fair is held in Koteswar on the day of Makar Sankranti.

Social Work and Hospitals

Seeing the immense ora and positivity in the ambience ,a 300 bed hospital is to be constructed here to serve the local villagers and poverty driven people , who else had to go to hospitals at Srinagar, Uttarakhand and sometimes even to Dehradun. Currently it is 60 bed hospital having state of art modern facilities. In near future the hospital is expected to get linked with Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (India) in Delhi thru video confrencing to solve complex medical problems and other educative things.The Hospital is being looked by Jyotishpeethadheeshwar Jagatguru Shankracharya Swamy Madhavashram Charitable Trust.

Rudraprayag district, (Hindi: रुद्र प्रयाग जिला) is a district of Uttarakhand state of northern India. The district occupies an area of 2439 km². Rudraprayag town is the administrative headquarters of the district.
The district is bounded by Uttarkashi District on the north, Chamoli District on the east, Pauri Garhwal District on the south, and Tehri Garhwal District on the south.
Rudraprayag District was established on 16th September1997. The district was carved out from the following areas of three adjoining districts.
1- Whole of Augustmuni & Ukhimath block and part of Pokhri & Karnprayag block from Chamoli District.
2- Part of Jakholi and Kirtinagar block from Tehri District.
3- Part of Khirsu block from Pauri District.
Internationally Known Shri Kedarnath Temple is at North, Madmaheshwar at east, Nagrasu at southern east and Shrinagar at extreme south. The holy Mandakini originated from Kedarnath is the main river of the district.
As of 2011 it is the least populous district of Uttarakhand (out of 13)


Prime Shrines/Temples in the vicinity

  • Haryali Devi
  • Nari Devi

Cities, towns and villages in Rudraprayag (MANIGUH BANDI)


How to reach


The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport near Dehradun 183 km (114 mi) away.


The nearest railway station is at Rishikesh. However, Rishikesh is a small railway station not connected by fast trains. Haridwar railway junction, 24 km farther from Rishikesh, has train connections to most of the major cities in India and is, therefore, the railhead for Rudraprayag.


Rudraprayag lies on national highway NH58 that connects Delhi with Badrinath and Mana Pass in Uttarakhand near Indo-Tibet border. Therefore all the buses and vehicles that carry pilgrims from New Delhi to Badrinath via Haridwar and Rishikesh in pilgrim season of summer months pass through Rudraprayag on the way to Joshimath and further north. Rishikesh is the major starting point for road journey to Rudraprayag and regular buses operate from Rishikesh bus station to Rudraprayag. The road distance from Rishikesh to Rudraprayag is 141 km (88 mi) via Devprayag and Srinagar.
  • Haridwar to Rishikesh 24 km
  • Rishikesh to Devprayag 74 km
  • Devprayag to Srinagar 34 km
  • Srinagar to Rudraprayag 33 km



 Lakhamandal Temple, Uttarakhand


Lakhamandal is an ancient Hindu temple, situated in Dehradun district, it is dedicated to lord Shiva. This temple is popular amongst the people who belong to the Shakti Cult. They believe that a visit to this temple shrine will bring an end to all their misfortunes and ill destiny. They accept the trouble to come over to this place from far and wide, solely in search of peace and eternal bliss.
Lakhamandal gets its name from the two words: lakha (Lakh) meaning "many" and mandals meaning "temples" or "lingam". Plenty of Shivling are found in the excavations by the Archaeological Survey of India.  It is believed that many more will be found in the future excavations.


This temple lies 75 kilometers away from the actual town of Dehradun in the Naugaon-Barkot Route. It was constructed in North Indian Architectural style which is common to the hill regions of Garhwal, Jaunsar and Himachal. The graceful Yamuna River flows along side the village Lakhamandal in which the temple is situated.


Attraction of this temple shrine is the graphite Lingam which shines when water is poured on it and one can see his/her reflection in it.

Mythological beliefs and the cave

According to the local people, this temple and the adjoining area is believed to be the place where Duryodhana of Mahabharata episode conspired to burn alive the Pandava in the Lakshyagriha house, constructed with shellac.
Twin statues of Danav and Manav are found beside the temple's main shrine. They are believed to be the dwarpals (doormen) of the temple. They also resemble Jai and Vijay, the doormen of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that in the ancient times when someone was dying or had just died, when brought in front of these statues came alive or lived for some moments before going to their peaceful death. Local people believe that it was the power of Manav who kept the person alive and Danav was the one who ultimately took the person's soul to Lord Vishnu's abode.
There is also a cave near this place which is called Dhundhi Odaari in the local Jaunsari language. Dhundi or Dhund means "misty" or "foggy" and odaar or odaari means "cave" or "a hidden place". The local people of this area believe that the Pandava took refuge in this cave to save themselves from Duryodhana


Transportation to Dehradun


  By air: Air India, Jet Airways and SpiceJet offer weekly flights from Delhi to Dehradun's Jolly Grant Airport, 25 km from the valley of Dehradun.
  Railways: Dehradun has a railway station with services to major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow and Varanasi. High-speed trains running through Dehradun include the Shatabdi, Mussoorie Express, Jan Shatabdi and Doon Express.

  Road: Dehradun is linked to all parts of the country by road. Deluxe buses are easily available from Delhi to Dehradun. Deluxe and semi-deluxe buses run to Shimla and Mussoorie from Dehradun Interstate bus terminal (ISBT) near Clement Town. A deluxe bus service is offered by UPSRTC to and from Delhi (Gandhi Road). From ISBT there are bus services to Dehradun and Mussorie every 15–70 minutes. There are also buses available to and from cities neighbouring Dehradun starting at the Parade Ground. The distances to Dehradun from some of the major cities are Delhi 255 km, Haridwar 54 km, Risikesh 42 km, Agra 382 km, Shimla 221 km, Yamunotri 279 km, Kedarnath 270 km and Nainital 297 km.


Madhyamaheshwar, Uttarakhand

Madhyamaheshwar (Sanskrit: मध्यमहेश्वर) or Madmaheshwar is a Hindu temple dedicated to god Shiva, located in the Mansuna village of Garhwal Himalayas in Uttarakhand, India. Situated at an elevation of 3,497 m (11,473.1 ft), it is the fourth temple to be visited in the Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit, comprising five Shiva temples in the Garhwal region. The other temples in the circuit include: Kedarnath, Tungnath and Rudranath to be visited before Madmaheshwar and Kalpeshwar to be visited after Madmaheshwar. The middle (madhya) or belly part or navel (nabhi) of the bull, considered a divine form of Shiva, is worshipped at this temple, believed to be built by the Pandavas, the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata



The legend of Madhyamaheswar is an integral part of the legend of Panch Kedar, which is a captivating narration of the efforts of Pandavas to atone for the sins of their fratricide (gotra- hatya) act of killing their cousins, the Kauravas, and Brāhmanahatya (killing of Brahmins - the priest class), during the epic Mahabharata war. On advice from sages and their trusted benefactor god Krishna they sought Lord Shiva to pardon them and bless them to attain salvation. Since Shiva was annoyed with them for their conduct during the Kurukshetra war, he tried to avoid them by assuming the animal form of a bull or Nandi and hid himself in the Himalayan Garhwal region. But the determined Pandavas, after sighting Shiva in the form of the bull grazing in the hills of Guptakashi, tried to forcibly hold the bull by its tail and hind legs. But the bull disappeared into the ground to reappear later in his original self of Lord Shiva at five places; in the form of a hump at Kedarnath, in the shape of bahu (arms) at Tungnath, with his face at Rudranath, his nabhi (navel) and stomach at Madhyamaheswar and his hair (locks) called jata at Kalpeshwar. Pandavas, pleased with the revelation of Lord Shiva at five places in different forms, built temples at these five places, worshipped him and attained salvation with blessings of Shiva.


The temple in the north Indian style of architecture, is situated in a lush meadow, just below a high ridge. The older, so-called 'Vriddh-Madmaheshwar', temple is a tiny blackened shrine on the ridge, which looks straight up at the commanding Chaukhamba peaks. In the current temple, a navel-shaped Shiva-lingam, made of black stone, is enshrined in the sanctum.  There are two other smaller shrines, one for Shiva’s consort Parvati and the other dedicated to the Ardhanarishwara, a half-Shiva half-Parvati image. Bhima, the second Pandava brother is believed to have built this temple and worshipped Shiva here. To the right of the main temple there is a small temple where the image of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of learning, made of marble is installed in the sanctum.



The water from the temple precincts is considered so highly sacred that even a few drops are stated to be adequate for ablution. The worship at this temple starts from a specified time period from the beginning of the summer months after the winter and lasts till October/November from start of the winter season when the temple precincts are not accessible due to snow conditions. During the winter period, the symbolic idol of the god is shifted with religious formalities to Ukhimath for continued worship. Priests at this temple, as in many other temples in the state, are from South India and at this particular temple they are called Jangamas of the Lingayat cast who hail from Mysore in Karnataka state. This induction of priests from outside the state enhances the cultural communications from one part of the country to the other, with language becoming no barrier. It is one of an important sacred pilgrimage centres of Shastrik (textual) importance categorized as Panchasthali (five places) doctrine. This doctrine has been determined on the basis of sectarian association, fairs and festivals, offerings to the deity, sacred declarations made by devotees and specific blessings sought from the god through prayers at different temples. 2 km. away is a small temple called Bura Madhyamaheswar. One has to trek 2 kilometers up the steep ways through large moors and valleys and then would reach in a small lake, where a full Panoramic range of Himalayas consisiting of the peaks, Chaukhamba, Kedarnath, Neelkanth, Trishul, Kamet, Panchulli, etc


he temple is in a picturesque green valley surrounded by snow peaks of Chaukhamba (literal meaning is four pillars or peaks), Neel Kanth and Kedarnath in high Himalayan hill ranges.  The Kedar hills, called the Kedar Massif, gives a spectacular view of the mountain formation with numerous glaciers which include the source of the Mandakini River. The region has rich flora and fauna, particularly the endangered species of Himalayan Monal pheasant and Himalayan Musk Deer (locally called Kasturi deer) in the Kedarnath Wild Life Sanctuary.


The total trek length to cover all the five temples of Panch Kedar is about 170 km (105.6 mi) (including road travel up to Gaurikund), involving 16 days of strenuous and rewarding effort. The trek starts from Gauri Kund, one of the picturesque spots, provides spectacular views of the Himalayan range of hills in the entire Garhwal region, comparable to the Alps.
The trekking is undertaken during two seasons; three months during summer and two months after the monsoon season, as during the rest of the period, except Rudranath, the other four Panch Kedar temples are inaccessible due to snow cover
Madhyamaheshwar Temple is on the Kedarnath road linked by a 13 km (8.1 mi) road to Kalimath from Guptakashi (1,319 m (4,327.4 ft)).  Further approach from Guptakashi to the temple (3,490 m (11,450.1 ft)) is only by a 24 km (14.9 mi) trek after 6 km (3.7 mi) by road journey. Guptakashi is on the state highway from Rishikesh via Devprayag, Rudraprayag and Kund. Rishikesh is the entry point to the pilgrim centres of Garhwal Himalayas and is connected by train to the rest of the country. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant at a distance of 18 km (11.2 mi) from Rishikesh, closer to Dehradun, which connects to other destinations in India. The temple is at a distance of 244 km (151.6 mi) from the airport and 227 km (141.1 mi) from Rishikesh, the rail head. From Rishikesh to Kalimath the road distance is 196 km (121.8 mi). Alternatively, Madhmaheshwar shrine could be reached from Uniyana, via Ukhimath. From Uniyana, the route passes through Ransi (3 km) then Gaundhar (9 km), Bantoli (1 km) and further 9 km moderate climb via Khakhra Khal, and Maikhumba to reach the temple  
The base of the trek is Uniana which is 18 kilometres away from Ukhimath. From there the trekking way starts. After 3 kilometres is Ransi village a small chatti, with a place to stay. Then after long 6 km. comes Gaundhar where there are 3 lodges to stay. After 1 km lies Bantoli, the point of confluence of Madhyamaheswar Ganga and Martyenda Ganga. Then comes Khatara, Nanu, and then comes Madhyamaheswar. The proper trekking distance is 19 kilometres from Uniana.
Gaundhar and Kalimath are two important places on the route to Madhyamaheshwar. Kalimath (1,463 m (4,799.9 ft)) in particular, is of importance for the large number of pilgrims who visit the place for spiritual comfort and hence it is called the Sidh Peeth (Spiritual center). Kalimath is famous for the temples to goddesses Mahakali and Mahalakshmi, and gods Shiva and one of his ferocious forms - Bhairava.   The navratri time is of special significance at this place when much large devotees visit the place. Gaundhar, the last settlement on the trek route and close to the temple, is at the confluence of Madhyamaheshwar Ganga and Markanga Ganga rivers and offers enchanting views.




Moteshwar Mahadev, Uttarakhand


Shree Moteshwar Mahadev, also known as Shree Bheem Shankar Mahadev, is an abobe of Lord Shiva in Kashipur. This place was known as the Dakini State in ancient days.
Kashipur (Govishn) is a historic place in Nainital district. Around 1 km away is a place known as Ujjanak. This is where Lord Shiva is situated in his full face as a Jyotirlingam known as Bheem Shankar. This is the Bheem Shankar Jyotirlingam.



Timings: 6:00 AM to 12:00 Noon & 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM


The primary deity worshiped is Shiva. Other deities are Parvati, Kartikeya, Ganesha Hanuman, Kali, Bhairo



Shree Moteshwar (Bheema Shankar) Mahadev is in the Ujjanak area of Kashipur which is around 3 km from the Kashipur bus station. Kashipur is well conncted by road with all major cities of North India and is linked to Delhi, Lucknow, Moradabad, Ramnagar and Varanasi by train.
The nearest airport is at Pantnagar which is about 72 km from Kashipur.


Kashipur was known as Govishan or Govisana during the time of Harsha (606–647 AD), when Xuanzang (631–641 AD) visited this region. The ruins of the large settlement of those days are still near the city.[2] Kashipur is named after Kashinath Adhikari, the founder of the township and governor of the pargana, one of the officers of the Chand Kings of Kumaon in the 16th-17th century.[3]
Poet Gumani wrote a poem[4] on this town. Girital and Drona sagar are well-known spots and are associated with the story of the Pandavas. The Chaiti mela[5] is the best known fair of Kashipur. Today Kashipur is an important industrial township. In autumn (after monsoon) one can see the snowclad peaks of Trishul and its surroundings.


According to the Shiv Puran Bhima Shankar Jyotirlingam is in Kamroop. After seeing historic and spiritual books, it is called the place of Bheem Shankar Jyotirlingam. The reason for this is after looking to many of the spiritual books we come to know that this place was known as Kamroop.
In Mahabharata time this place was also known as Dakini. This was the reason Adi Shankaracharaya has illustrated the place by saying "Dakiniyam Bhimashankaram". Its existence is also described by Kalidas in his "Raghuvansh". Hence we have to believe that this is the Kamroop Desh. The reason for the name Dakini is the forests which has gone from Saharanpur to Nepal consisted a Hidimba named devil which took birth in Dakini Yoni and got married with the victorious PandavaBhushan BheemSen. She was a Dakini but as she lived in a devil posture she was called a Devil
The lingam of this temple is very large and touching the whole ling with two human hands is impossible. This kind of lingam is not present in any other part of the country. It is believed that it rises and till now it has reached second floor. After seeing many facts we can say this temple was built around 302 AD. It include a BharavNath temple and a Kund known as ShivGanga Kund; in front of this kund is the river Kosi. West is a temple of Maa Jagdamba Bhagwati Balsundari, and every year in month of chaitra a huge fair is organized here. A place known as kila describes the historic nes of this temple. This is the kila where Guru Dronacharya gave teaching to Kaurava and Pandava Guru dronacharya motivated Bheemsen to reconstruct this temple which later was known as Bheem Shankar. Shravan Kumar rested here. West to this kila is Dronasagar which was also built by pandavas for their guru Dronacharya. The lingam is too fat so people here named it "Moteshwar Mahadev".
Shree Moteshwar (Bheema Shankar) Mahadev is regarded as one of the 12 Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva. Information about this temple is also referred in Mahabharat
Shiv Manokamna Kund is adjacent to the temple.
There is a Bhimashankar Temple near Pune in Maharastra, which was also referred to as Daakini country and considered as one of the Jyotirlinga. Bhimshankar temple near Guwahati, Assam is the jyotirlinga according to Sivapuran. According to "Linga Puran", Bhimasankar temple in Bhimpur near Gunupur of Rayagada Distrist in South Orissa is debated as one of the Jyotirling, which is at the western part of the holy Mahendragiri mountains and at the river.



The nearest airport is 72 km away at Pantnagar.  Kashipur is connected to Ramnagar, Kathgodam, Moradabad, Bareilly, Lucknow and Delhi by rail network. Kashipur is connected by road with all the major cities of the state and region.kashipur is well connected with big cities like haridwar,dehradun,delhi,moradabad etc.It is located at national highway NH-74. Delhi is about 225 km away and Haridwar is about 176 km away from Kashipur.


Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Uttarakhand


Neelkanth Mahadev Temple (Hindi: नीलकंठ महादेव मंदिर) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Nilkanth (Lord Shiva). The temple is situated at a height of 1330 meters and is located about 32 km from Rishikesh in the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand, India.
The temple is one of the most revered holy shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a prominent Hindu pilgrimage site. It is surrounded by dense forests and is adjacent to the mountain ranges of Nar-Narayan. It is enveloped between the valleys of Manikoot, Brahmakoot and Vishnukoot and is located at the confluence of the rivers Pankaja and Madhumati.



According to Hindu mythology, the place where the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple currently stands is the sacred location where Lord Shiva consumed the poison Halahala that originated from the sea when Devas (Gods) and Asuras (Demons) churned the ocean in order to obtain Amrita. This poison that emanated during the Samudramanthan (churning of ocean) made his throat blue in color. Thus, Lord Shiva is also known as Nilkanth, literally meaning The Blue Throated One.[1]

The Temple

The sikhara of the temple is adorned with sculptures of various Devas and Asuras depicting the Samudramanthan. Neelkanth Mahadev in the form of Shivalinga is the presiding deity of the temple. The temple complex also has a natural spring where devotees usually take a holy bath before entering the premises of the temple. Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is situated about 22 km from Swarg ashram and the trekkable road to the temple is surrounded by dense forests.[2]


Maha Shivaratri is the most prominent festival celebrated in the temple and lots of devotees flock to the temple during the festival. The devotees who pay a visit to Neelkanth Mahadev make an offering of Bael leaves, coconut, flowers, milk, honey, fruits and water to the Lord Shiva. The temple observes two fairs that are held annually on the occasions of Maha Shivratri (Feb-Mar) and Shivratri of Shraavana (month of Hindu calendar) (July-Aug) during which the devotees (Kawarias) trek from Haridwar to Neelkanth Mahadev Temple.


Rudranath Temple, Uttarakhand


Rudranath (Sanskrit: रुद्रनाथ) is a Hindu temple dedicated to god Shiva, located in the Garhwal Himalayan mountains in Uttarakhand, India. Located at 2,286 metres (7,500 ft) above sea level,  this natural rock temple is situated within a dense forest of rhododendron dwarfs and Alpine pastures. ] The temple is the third temple to be visited in the Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit, comprising five Shiva temples in the Garhwal region. The other temples in the circuit include: Kedarnath and Tungnath to be visited before Rudranath and Madhyamaheshwar or Madmaheshwar and Kalpeshwar to be visited after Rudranath. The face (mukha) of god Shiva is worshipped as "Nilkanth Mahadeva" here


Legends and worship

The Rudranath temple is believed to be established by the Pandavas, the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Legend has it that the Pandavas came to the Himalayan mountains in search of god Shiva, to redeem them of the sins of killing in the epic Kurukshetra war. God Shiva did not wanted to meet them and escaped in form of a bull in the ground and reentered in parts in the Panch Kedar places: the hump raising in Kedarnath, the arms appearing in Tunganath, the navel and stomach surfacing in Madhyamaheswar, the face showing up at Rudranath and the hair and the head appearing in Kalpeshwar.[3] In winter, a symbolic image of Shiva is brought to Gopeshwar for worship. The Doli Yatra starts from Gopeshwar via Sagar. The Doli Yatris cross Lyuti Bugyal and Panar and finally reach Pitradhar. The worship of ancestors is done here. Then, after crossing Dhalabni Maidan, the Doli or the symbolic image of Shiva, reaches Rudranath.Here first the Vandevi is worshipped. The local belief is that Vandevi protects the area. The Kheshtra is protected by Vandevi or Vandevatas. The temple celebrates an annual fair on the full moon day in the Hindu month of Sravan (July–August) that is mostly on the day of Rakshabandhan. The fair is attended mainly by locals.  The priests at the Rudranath temple are Bhatts and Tiwaris of Gopeshwar village.
At Nandikund (2,439 m/8,002 ft), on the trekking route to Rudranath (if coming via Madhmaheshwar), devotees worship old historic swords protruding from the rocks, believed to be of Pandavas.




There are numerous sacred water tanks ("Kund") near the temple. These include Surya-kund, Chandra-kund, Tara-kund, Mana-Kund etc. Nanda Devi, Trishul and Nanda Ghunti are the famous mountain peaks, which provide the backdrop to the temple.[6] The holy river Vaitarani or Baitarani or Rudraganga flows near the temple, which has a grey stone idol of Rudranath.[1][7] The river is identified with the "river of salvation", where souls of the dead cross to reach the other world. Thus, devotees visit Rudranath to perform rituals of the dead, such as performing a pind offering. Some believe that offering a pind to ancestors here equals offering a hundred million at the holy city of Gaya.  The mountain peaks of Trisul, Nanda Devi, Devasthan, Hathi Parbat and Nanda Ghunti are visible from Rudranath.  The name "Rudranath", literally means, "Him who is Angry." The mountain cave of Rudranath was modified into the temple we see today.


Rudranath is sometimes considered as the toughest Panch Kedar temple to reach.

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun (258 km/160 mi). The nearest railway station is Rishikesh (241 km/150 mi).   Most trekking routes to Rudranath are from Gopeshwar or nearby places. A motorable road is present up to the village Sagar — 5 km (3 mi) from Gopeshwar, beyond which a 20 km (12 mi) trek has to be undergone to reach Rudranath. The trek winds through tall grass, oak and rhododendron forests. The trek path is stated to be slippery.  Other routes include: an uphill, 17 km (11 mi) trek from Gangolgaon — 3 km (2 mi) from Gopeshwar — through the forest and Panar and Naila shepherd settlements.  Another trek route from Gopeshwar to Rudranath passes via Mandal (13 km/8 mi) and then additional 6 km (4 mi) to the Anusuya Devi temple and then another 3 km (2 mi) to Rudranath. The Anusuya Devi temple is home to goddess Anusuya, who is believed to help devotees in distress.  A 45 km (28 mi) trek path is available from Joshimath via Helang too (considered a strenuous trek).  There's also a trekking route to Rudranath from Kalpeshwar, via Dumak,Kalgont Kimana and Palla. The route meets at Urgam village, a little ahead of which is Kalpeshwar


Chamoli Gopeshwar

Chamoli Gopeshwar is a town in Chamoli district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is the administrative headquarters of the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand in India. Located 1300 meters above sea level, it is famous for its weather (pleasant most of the year, but very cold in December and January) and its temples

Gopeshwar is located at 30.42°N 79.33°E.[1] It has an average elevation of 1,293 metres (4,242 feet). The gopeshware is said to be able to captivate any visitor with its mystic charm and pristine beauty. There are many snow capped hills and peaks that can be witnessed from the gopeshwar.

Places of interest

Gopeshwar is surrounded by four famous temples: Tungnath, Anusuya Devi, Rudranath, and Badrinath. The holy town of Kedarnath is also nearby.
A famous temple of Lord Shiva, now known as Gopinath Mandir, is situated here. A story tells of a king named Sagar (for whom a nearby village is named) who was there in ancient times. His cow always came to this place and gave his milk to a Shivling; one day Sagar saw it and he constructed a temple there.



Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple


Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple is one of the ancient temples in Uttarakhand. Situated near the bank of the river Ram Ganga, Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple is dedicated to lord Shiva. Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple is only 10 km from Masi and Bhikyasen.
This temple is just renewed. The temple has excellent look of river Ram Ganga from the hall. You can reach the temple via Kumaon Motor Owners Union KMOU buses.
Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple is one of the anciet temples in Uttranchal. Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple is only 1 km from sanara.



Om Tat Sat

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


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