Temples in Uttarakhand


Uttarakhand is a state of spirituality, temples, pilgrimage as well as mountain tourism. The temples of Lord Shiva and Devi Durga are observed to be more predominant than the others in the entire region. At about every hill top there is a temple.

The presence of the Chardham makes Uttarakhand really a land of temples. The term Chardham refers to the four pilgrimage destinations:

  • Badrinath
  • Kedarnath
  • Yamunotri
  • Gangotri

As far as the Hindu legends go, a visit to all these four places leads one to salvation. These temples in Uttarakhand were established here hundreds of years ago by Adi Shankaracharya.

Other than the Chardham, other sacred cities like Haridwar and Rishikesh house the temples of the deities like the Neel Kanth Mahadev (Rishikesh) and the hill top temples of Mansa Devi and Chandi Devi (Haridwar). Among the other famous temples there are the Vishwanath (Almora) and Binsar Mahadev (Ranikhet). These are some of the most important pilgrimage attractions in Uttarakhand.

Each and every Hindu devotee would love to go to the temples of Uttarakhand. Even those who are not deeply inclined to religion experience here a feeling of spirituality and faith. This is undoubtedly the greatness of the region itself and perhaps the reason why it is called the "Devbhoomi".

The landscape of Uttarakhand is so amazing that no single word can narrate it. In the midst of all these beauties of the nature, lie the Uttarakhand temples and the famous pilgrimages. These shrines and the deities have been mentioned several times in the different Hindu legends.

  • Gangotri Temple

    The Gangotri temple in Uttarakhand is included in the list of the famous Char Dham or the four most revered pilgrimages. The other three temples are Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. The Hindus believe that a trip to these four places paves the way to salvation. Thus the devotees from all the corners of the earth fight with each and every adversity that comes across their way and ultimately reach these places.

    The Gangotri temple of Uttarakhand lies at an altitude of 3200 m. The temple is nested amidst the beautiful surroundings of deodars and pines.

    The Gangotri temple was built in the 18th century. It lies close to the the holy rock or the "Bhagirath Shila"s where King Bhagirath had worshiped Lord Shiva. The penance was to please the God so that he forgives his son's sins. Moreover this was the place where Ganga descended to the earth. The Gangotri temple is dedicated to Goddess Ganga. It lies on the banks of River Bhagirathi. At the very onset the Gangotri temple at Uttarakhand was constructed by the Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa. You will find innumerable ashrams as well as dharamshalas in and around this place.

  • Kedarnath Temple

    Kedarnath is one of the holiest pilgrimage sites for pious Hindus. Kedarnath Temple is probably the most sacred Hindu shrine in the Himalayas and is one of the major Shiva temples in the country.

    Kedarnath Temple of Uttarakhand contains one of the twelve Jyothirlingas of Lord Shiva and one of the Panch Kedars. Kedar is a name for lord Shiva who embodies a myriad passion of love, hatred, fear, death and mysticism by his various forms.

    Mythology identifies the idol at Kedarnath Temple at Uttarakhand with the rump of a bull, a disguise adopted by Lord Shiva to escape recognition by the Pandavas who sought repentance for killing relatives in the battle of Kurukshetra. When the Pandavas insisted on pursuing him, he dived into the ground leaving behind a hump on the surface. This conical projection is shown obeisance at the shrine.

  • Badrinath Temple

    The Badrinath Temple is the shrine located at Badrinath in the state of Uttarakhand in northern India. It was constructed by the Kings of Garhwal nearly two centuries ago. The temple has three sections -
    • Garbhagriha (Sanctum)
    • Darshan Mandap
    • Sabha Mandap
    The Garbhagriha enshrines Lord Badri Narayan, Kuber (deity of wealth), Narad Rishi, Uthavar, Nar and Narayan.

    In Badrinath Temple of Uttarakhand, Lord Badri Narayan (or Badri Vishal) is armed with Shankh (Conch) and Chakra in two arms in a raised posture and two arms supported on the lap in Yogamudra. The primary image is sculpted from black stone and embodies Vishnu in a contemplative pose. The temple also contains Garuda (vehicle of Lord Narayan) and Goddess Mahalaxmi.

  • Bhairavnath Temple

    One of the most important centers for the Hindu pilgrimage in Uttarakhand is the Sangura temple. The temple lies on the banks of the river Nyaar and houses a Siddh Peeth of Maa Bhuvneshwari. The region is nearly 15 Kilometers away from Satpuli in Pauri district of Uttarakhand.

    It is believed that whoever goes to the Sangura temple in Uttarakhand and takes eleven turns or Ekadash parikrama around the Goddess gets his or her wishes fulfilled. It is also said that this place was selected by the Goddess Maa Bhuvneshwari herself as her abode.

    There is an interesting legendary story behind the establishment of this holy shrine. It is said that once upon a time the Indraprastha region was repeatedly attacked by the invaders. They often destroyed the holy places of the Hindus. So five Devis made up their minds to leave this place and go to the Himalayas. Maa Bhubaneshwari of Uttarakhand's Sangura temple was one of them.

  • Rudranath Temple

    Located in the dense forests of the Uttarakhand, the Rudranath temple in Gaurikund is a well known place for the Hindu pilgrimage. The natural curvature of the mountains here is amazing and unbelievably resembles the face of Lord Shiva. This is why it is called the 'Rudramukh' or the face of the Lord Shiva.

    The Rudranath temple of Uttarakhand is located at an altitude of 2,286meters. There is the wonderful nature all around adorned by the unique mountainous flora. Here Lord Shiva has been depicted as the 'Neelkantha'.

    Himalaya is the hoard of peace and eternal bliss to the people who come over here from the different parts of the country as also of the world. The state of Uttarakhand is often described as the "Devbhoomi" or the lands of the Gods and Goddesses. It is so wonderful a place that the deities have themselves preferred to make it their abode. The Rudranath temple in Uttarakhand is also included amongst the sacred places in Uttarakhand which are nested in the lap of the virgin nature.

  • Naina Devi Temple

    Naina Devi temple of Uttarakhand is located in the heavenly place called Nainital. Nainital is a world wide popular hill-station in the state. It houses a vast lake surrounded by mountains on the three sides. There were so many lakes in and around Nainital that this place was often referred to as 'the city of 60 Lakes' or 'Chakta'.

    But most unfortunately many of these lakes are no more in the present times. The lake associated with the Naina Devi temple at Uttarakhand is however extant, and at present the very life of the town of Nainital is going around it. You will find the few other lakes outside Nainital which are no less attractive and beautiful than the Naini Lake.

  • Mansa Devi Temple

    The Mansa Devi temple in Uttarakhand is an age old temple that is located on the top of a hill called the Bilwa hill situated near the principal city of Haridwar in Uttarakhand in India. The temple enshrines a mother Goddess who is known as the Mansa Devi. The devotees come to this place from far and wide and usually worship the deity with coconuts, fruits, marigold garlands and incense sticks.

    The Mansa Devi temple of Uttarakhand is one of the most frequently visited temple of Haridwar. The temple is regarded as one of the Siddhpeeths in the lofty mountains of the Himalayas. As the legend goes, Devi Sati, the wife of Lord Shiva sacrificed herself to the bonfire. The Lord was very angry and hurt at the death of His wife and started to roam the whole of the country with Her body. On His way, parts of Sati's body fell here and there. Each of these places later became a place of pilgrimage and is called a Siddhpeeth. It is said that the naval and heart of Sati fell in the place where we have the Mansa Devi temple at Uttarakhand.

  • Madmaheshwar Temple

    One among the famous Panch (five) Kedars, the temple of Madmaheshwar is situated at a height of 10,400 feet (3,289 meters) from sea level, on the slope of a ridge, 25 kilometers north-east of Guptkashi. There is a motorable road from Guptkashi to Kalimath.

    A towering statue of Har Gauri measuring over a meter high is to be found in the Kali temple at Madmaheshwar. The trek from Kalimath to Madmaheshwar is characterized by wild and amazing natural beauty and encircled by the Chaukhamba, Kedarnath and Neelkanth peaks. Gaundar at the junction of the Madmaheshwar Ganga and the Markanga Ganga, is the last settlement before one finds oneself at Madmaheshwar, the place where Lord Shiva is paid homage to in the form of the belly or the navel.

    Madmaheshwar is basically a delightful little village in the district of Rudraprayag in Uttaranchal, well known in the tourism circuit of Uttarakhand for its peaceful milieu. The place is famous for the Madmaheshwar Temple, a sacred shrine consecrated to Lord Shiva. Dolda Tibba, a picturesque peak is another attraction nearby. Ransi, Raun, Kalimath, Sonprayag and Gaurikund are located in the vicinity of Madmaheshwar. Ukhimath, a notable Hindu site of pilgrimage, famous as the winter seat of Lord Kedarnath, is quite close to this place.

  • Lakha Mandal Temple

    One of the best temples in the state of Uttarakhand is situated in Dehra Dun and is known as the Lakha Mandal temple. This temple was constructed in the ancient times. It enshrines Lord Shiva. The Lakha Mandal temple in Uttarakhand is especially 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 gladly accept the trouble to come over to this place from far and wide solely in search of peace and eternal bliss.

    Lakha Mandal temple of Uttarakhand lies in fact 75 kilometers away from the actual town of Dehra Dun and 125 kilometers from Missouri in Uttarakhand in India. It is a temple that exhibits the north Indian temple architectural style.

  • Har Ki Pauri

    Har Ki Pauri temple lies in Haridwar in the state of Uttarakhand in India. It was constructed by King Vikramaditya. He built this temple in the memory of his brother Bhatrihari's prolonged spiritual quest that he made on the banks of the river Ganga. Har Ki Pauri in Uttarakhand is situated by the sacred Brahmakund.

  • Gaurikund

    The temple of Gaurikund in Uttarakhand lies at a distance of 5 kilometers from Son Prayag. It lies at an altitude of 1982 meters above sea level. Whenever you go to Kedarnath, you will get Gaurikund on your way and it will be the last bus stop. There is a famous hot spring in Gaurikund of Uttarakhand.

    Gaurikund at Uttarakhand enshrines the image of the Goddess Parvati. She is one of the many forms of goddess Durga and is supposed to be the Goddess of strength and power. The devotees come here from the remote areas to pray to the Devi and firmly believe that a visit to this shrine will bring an end to their sorrows. They also believe that they will get the adequate 'Shakti' or strength from the deity which will help them fight against all the adversities of life.

  • Hemkund Saheb

    Hemkund Saheb is in Joshimath, a well known place in the state of Uttarakhand in India. The state of Uttarakhand is aptly called the "Dev Bhoomi" or the abode of Gods. You will find the Hindu temples at about each and every turn that you take along the mountains.

    Hemkund Saheb in Uttarakhand is a place situated at around 4329 meters above the sea level. It is a popular site of pilgrimage for the people from both the Sikh as well as the Hindu communities.

    The 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Govind Singh meditated on the shores of the Hemkund Lake near the Hemkund Saheb of Uttarakhand. He took this penance in order to attain enlightenment. Later on the devotees of the Guru constructed the Sikh Gurudwara on the banks of this auspicious place.

    The lake at Uttarakhand's Hemkund Saheb is referred by the Hindus as the Lokpal lake. They have built a Lakshman temple in its close vicinity. If you have a passion for adventure you take a steep trek from Ghangharia to Hemkund Saheb, Joshimath. This will take four to six hours.

  • Gangotri Temple

    The Gangotri temple in Uttarakhand is included in the list of the famous Char Dham or the four most revered pilgrimages. The other three temples are Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. The Hindus believe that a trip to these four places paves the way to salvation. Thus the devotees from all the corners of the earth fight with each and every adversity that comes across their way and ultimately reach these places.

    The Gangotri temple of Uttarakhand lies at an altitude of 3200 m. The temple is nested amidst the beautiful surroundings of deodars and pines.

    The Gangotri temple was built in the 18th century. It lies close to the the holy rock or the "Bhagirath Shila" where King Bhagirath had worshiped Lord Shiva. The penance was to please the God so that he forgives his son's sins. Moreover this was the place where Ganga descended to the earth. The Gangotri temple is dedicated to Goddess Ganga. It lies on the banks of River Bhagirathi. At the very onset the Gangotri temple at Uttarakhand was constructed by the Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa. You will find innumerable ashrams as well as dharamshalas in and around this place.

  • Panchshilas

    The Panchshilas play an exceedingly significant role behind preserving the holy essence of the Badrinath Temple and presenting it with a heavenly beautiful and extremely serene ambiance. Panchshilas in Uttarakhand is the designation that has been awarded to the assemblage of the five mountains namely:-

  • Garuda Shila - Legend has it that 'Garuda', in order to becomie the chariot driver of the Sun God, chose the 'Gandha Madan' to carry out a soul-stirring penance so that he could please Lord Vishnu. He succeeded in his endeavor and Lord Vishnu granted him a boon that the piece of stone on which he performed his meditation should be rendered popular by his name.

  • Narada Shila - It has been illustrated in history that Narada had engaged himself in intense penance for an astounding 62 thousand years on these rocks to please Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu finally appeared before him and bestowed him with the boon that the rocks where he carried out his meditation would be given his name.

  • Varaha Shila - It is believed that Lord Vishnu chose this particular mountain to wait out the period of dissipation in the disguise of a humongous rock after slaying the evil monster named Hiranyaksha in the form of a boar or 'Varaha'.

  • Markandeya Shila - Influenced by Narada, a sage known by the name Markandeya engrossed himself in intense penance in order to satisfy Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu blessed him that he would remain associated with that rock for all eternity.

  • Narasimha Shila - In answer to the acute meditation performed by many sages, Lord Vishnu in the form of 'Narhasimha' awarded them with the boon that he would bless that venue in the form of a stone.



Last Updated on 4 March 2013

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