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"Uttaranchal is undoubtedly the land of temples. If you want to take a tour of Indian mythology, then the temples of Uttaranchal are a true manifestation of the same. Visit the famous temple of Uttarakhand to know more about the spiritual world of India."
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Uttaranchal Temples

Gangotri Temple, Uttaranchal
Gangotri Temple, Uttaranchal

About Uttaranchal Temples

Also known as Devbhoomi, meaning the land of Gods, Uttaranchal houses in its bounds some of the holiest of places on earth. The land is dotted with famous shrines and temples of gods and goddesses. It is true that no one in India can walk a kilometre without finding a temple in Uttaranchal, no one can take a turn without spotting a temple in Uttarakhand or hearing the ringing of temple bells in his ears.

The beauty compliments its holiness or holiness compliments beauty, its difficult to say, but a visit here to this land of gods ensures that you don't miss either. The temples of Uttaranchal are equally famous and are deeply revered by devotees. While some are contemporary, others are quite ancient. Some were established as early as in 8th century B.C. Many of them have been renovated time and again, mainly due to destruction caused by natural calamities. While some temples rest in high altitude, watched over by snow capped peaks, others are quietly worshipped in plains.

Uttarakhand Famous Temples
Badrinath Temple

Kedarnath Temple
Gangotri Temple

Yamunotri Temple

Other Famous Temples of Uttaranchal

Rudranath Temple

This temple is situated at Rudraprayag, the confluence of rivers Mandakini and Alaknanda. Lord Shiva is worshipped here in Rudraprayag, the third of five Kedars. The face of lord Shiva is worshipped here. This temple is 2286 metres above the sea level and requires an 18 kilometre, a not so easy, trek. The temple is surrounded by a lot of holy ponds and kunds - Suryakund, Chandrakund, Tarakund. Closeby to the temple is the place where Narad, a sage from heavens meditated. The place around the temple is very enchanting presenting some great views of Hathi parvat, Nanda Devi, Nanda Ghunti. There is another temple of Anusuya Devi closeby, three kilometres ahead. Devotees throng Rudranath to offer homage to the dead since it is believed that the soul of the dead passes from Rudraprayag here at Vaitarani river (the water of salvation) while changing world.

Naina Devi Temple

The temple is situated above the Naina peak at a height of 2611 metres. A famous Indian legend is that after Sati had burned herself alive, Lord Shiva, her husband, carrying her corpse with anger, started his tandava (dance of death) bringing destruction on earth. Hence lord Vishnu, to stop him, unleashed his chakra and this cut the body of Sati in 51 pieces. Wherever her body parts fell, today those places are worshipped and are called Shakti Peeths. Her eyes fell here and hence Naina Devi temple came up here. The word naina is synonymous with eyes in Hindi. A fair held here in honour of Nanda devi, the patron goddess of Kumaon is very famous and attracts several people every year, it is an important event in the cultural and religious activity chart of Uttaranchal.

Mansa Devi Temple

This is the most famous and most visited temple of Haridwar. The temple of Mansa Devi is perched on a hilltop, the hill is known as the Bilwa hill. An ancient temple, it is one of the Siddhpeeths in Himalayas. It is said that the naval and heart of Sati fell here. To reach the temple, one can either go by ropeway or take a trek upto the shrine. Either way, it is an enjoyable journey.

Madmaheshwar Temple

Located in Rudraprayag district, the temple is one of the five Kedar temples, or one of the five places where the parts of Shiva fell. It is believed that the place where Madmaheshwar temple is situated, Lord Shiva's stomach had emerged. The temple is located at an altitude of 3289 metres above the sea level. A classic example of north Indian style architecture, the temple is surrounded by wild natural scenery. The trek upto here is filled with wild and unparalleled scenic beauty on the way. The water here at Madmaheshwar is considered so pure and sanctified that even few drops are more then enough for baptising one.

Har Ki Pauri

This is the most famous ghat where people come to take a dip in the holy Ganga. This is considered to be the most auspicious place and lakhs and lakhs of people throng this place during the Kumbha and Ardhkumbha here. One can see the varied colours of hiliness here, the flea shops, the sadhus with long hairs and bodies smeared with ashes. This age old ghat was built by King Vikramaditya in the memory of his brother Bhatrihari. The best time to visit Har Ki pauri is at the time of evening aarti, when the waters shimmer with the 4h golden reflection of burning lamps floated in water by pilgrims.

Gauri Kund

This temple at a height of 6500 lies enroute to Kedarnath. It also serves as the base camp for trekking to Kedarnath. It is believed that at this place, goddess Parvati carried out her yogic practices to appease Lord Shiva. A temple dedicated to her and hot water spring here called Gauri kund is the center of attraction. Goddess Parvati's other name is Gauri hence the place came to be known as Gauri Kund.

Chandi Devi Temple

Chandi Devi Temple is one of the most popular shaktipeeth of Haridwar. The temple is situated on Neel Parvat on the opposite bank of main Haridwar. It was built here in 1929 AD by king of Kashmir, Suchat Singh. According to the legend, the army chiefs Chanda and Munda of the king of demons Shambhu and Nishambhu were killed here. The place was then called Chandi Devi temple. The main image here in this temple was established by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century A.D. One can visit the temple either by trekking or taking a ropeway.

Baijnath Temple

The temple is important both from pilgrimage point of view and historically. A twelfth century temple, it is dedicated to SivaVaidyanatha. Siva Vaidyanath means the Lord of Physcians. The temple was then built by Katyuiri dynasty, which ruled Uttaranchal during 12th and 13th century. The temple is adorned with work of carved stones. There are several other temples on the banks of river Gomti which were built at the same time. These remind one of the rich mythology of India. It is believed that Lord Shiva married Parvati at the confluence of River Ganga and Gomti.

Neelkanth Mahadev

This famous temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is perched on a hilltop. The temple at an altitude of 926 metres derives its name from a famous Hindu legend. It is said that Lord Shiva had consumed venom here, which had come out of churning of sea. This made his neck turn blue, hence the place was named Neelkanth, the one with blue neck.


Related Article(s)
Haridwar - A Pilgrim Attraction - By Ganesh Sibu
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