Uttarakhand has several revered temples dedicated to various Hindu deities. In the Garhwal region, there are five prominent shrines collectively known as Panch Kedar Kedarnath, Madhmaheshwar, Tungnath, Rudranath, and Kalpnath. These temples hold significance in the worship of Lord Shiva. Each temple has a unique origin story.
Tungnath is a sacred shrine located at an elevation of approximately 12,800 feet, is revered by pilgrims worldwide. Situated amidst the snowy trails of Garhwal's Rudraprayag district, the temple is considered as the highest Shiva temple worldwide. According to local legend, after the Kurukshetra war, the Pandavas are believed to have sought forgiveness for their sins and embarked on a journey to the Himalayas to find Lord Shiva. The deity tried to hide but was eventually spotted by Bhima. He then appeared as different body parts of a bull in various locations, today known as Panch Kedar. The temple is believed to be situated where the bull's limbs materialized.
Trek approximately 3.5 kilometres (2-3 hours) from Chopta to Tungnath.
By air Dehradun's Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest. Take a bus or taxi to ply from Rishikesh or Haridwar to Chopta
By train Rishikesh railway station is closest. Hire a taxi or bus to reach Chopta
By road Drive from cities like Delhi or Dehradun. Regular bus services ply from Rishikesh or Haridwar to Chopta.
The Kedarnath temple is located in Uttarakhand's Rudraprayag district and is one of the significant Panch Kedar temples. Inside the temple is a conical-shaped Shiva lingam that symbolizes the hump of Shiva. Situated at 3,584 meters, reaching the temple requires a trek of approximately 19 kilometres from Gaurikund, which usually takes around 6-7 hours to complete.
By road You can travel to Gaurikund, the base camp for Kedarnath. From there, you can either trek or hire local transport services.
By bus Buses are available from major cities in Uttarakhand to Gaurikund, where you can proceed to Kedarnath.
By train Take a bus or taxi from Rishikesh to Gaurikund and then continue to Kedarnath either by trekking or local transport.
The Neelkanth Mahadev temple is a natural rock temple nestled at an altitude of 2,286 meters amidst alpine meadows and dense rhododendron forests. Lord Shiva is worshipped at this sacred site, believed to be where his face emerged from the ground. Surrounding the temple has holy pools known as Surya Kund, Chandra Kund, Tara Kund, and Mana Kund. Several trekking routes lead to this temple, with many starting from Gopeshwar village.
By road Helang is the nearest town to Rudranath. From Helang, you can continue the journey by trekking to reach Rudranath.
By train The nearest railway station to Rudranath is Rishikesh. You can hire a taxi from Rishikesh or take a bus to Helang and then trek to Rudranath
By air From Jolly Grant airport, take a taxi or a bus to Helang and then proceed to Rudranath by trekking.
At about 3,289 meters, Madhmaheshwar is believed to be where the middle or navel part of Lord Shiva emerged. Located in the picturesque Mansoona village of Garhwal Himalayas, the temple is surrounded by magnificent snow-covered peaks, including Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, and Neelkantha. The trek to Madhyamaheswar starts from Uniana, which is about 18 km away from Ukhimath. Accommodation options are available after trekking for 3 km at Ransi village and then at Gaundhar village after an additional 6 km. The total trek distance is 19 km.
By road Travel by road to Uniana, the starting point of the trek to the shrine
By train The nearest railway station is Ukhimath. From there, proceed by road to Uniana and begin the trek.
By air From Jolly Grant airport, travel by road to Uniana and start the trek to Madhmaheshwar.
It is the fifth and final temple in the Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit. Unlike the others, it remains open year-round. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva's matted hair. The trail concludes at Kalpeshwar, and motorable roads connect Sagar village to Helang, approximately 58 km away. From Helang, jeeps are available to Urgam, followed by a short trek of a couple of kilometres to reach the temple.
By train The nearest railway station is Rishikesh, where you can travel by road to reach Kalpeshwar.
By road Motorable roads connect Sagar village to Helang, and then jeeps can be taken to Urgam, followed by a short trek to Kalpeshwar.
By air Dehradun's Jolly Grant Airport is the closest, from where you can proceed by road to reach Kalpeshwar.