Top 10 Most Famous Temples in Uttarakhand

By NehaRawat | May 10, 2024
Asia > India > Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand, located in the northern Himalayas of India, is known as the 'Land of God' or 'Devbhoomi'. Surrounded by nature, it is home to many temples and shrines dedicated to thousands of gods. This state is not only a paradise for hikers and adventure seekers, but also attracts many devotees from all over the world. Uttarakhand is also home to the popular Panch Kedar and Char Dham Yatra pilgrimages. These temples are located in both the Kumaon and Garhwal regions and provide peace, tranquility, and a calming effect on travellers who have to endure the rigors of hiking trails to reach these places. Most of the temples are situated in the Himalayan foothills, adjacent to the Alakananda, Bhagirathi, and Ganges rivers, providing breathtaking vistas of the surrounding landscapes.

Chardham Yatra

Chardham Yatra

Read about some of the popular religious places and temples to visit in Uttarakhand.

1. Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath Temple is one of the most important religious sites in Uttarakhand, located on the banks of the Mandakini River at an altitude of 3,568 meters above sea level. This temple is considered the most important shrine of Lord Shiva among the 200 shrines in our country and attracts a large number of tourists, devotees and trekkers every year. According to legend, after winning the Kurukshetra war, the Pandavas (characters from the epic Mahabharata) sought refuge in Lord Shiva. Kedarnath was one of the places in the Himalayas where they saw Lord Shiva fleeing from Lord Shiva in the form of a buffalo. A buffalo hump was seen at the temple. Let us share with you some important facts about this popular tourist destination in Uttarakhand.

2. Adi Kailash

Adi Kailash is one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in the world. Popularly known as Little Kailash, Chhota Kailash, Baba Kailash and Jonlingkong Peak, it is located at an altitude of 6,310 meters in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. Adi Kailash attracts devotees, tourists and trekkers who come to admire the beauty of waterfalls, wildflowers and green forests as well as spiritualism on the trail through his three valleys of Dharma, Bryans and Chaudans. You can also explore the beautiful waters of the foothills of Parvati Sarovar, also known as Adi Kailash, Gauri Kund and Mansarovar. Since Chhota Kailash is considered a substitute for Mount Kailash in India, it is also home to the Shiv Parvati temple where devotees seek blessings.

3. Triyuginarayan Temple

Triyuginarayan Temple is a famous religious place in Uttarakhand where the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvati is believed to have taken place. It is a popular Hindu pilgrimage site and a sacred place for marriage. The temple is located in Rudraprayag district at the confluence of Mandakini and Songanga rivers at an altitude of 1,980 meters. Built by Adi Shankaracharya, this temple is similar to the Kedarnath temple and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, who officiated at the wedding of Goddess Parvati's younger brother. The wedding venue in front of the temple has a carved stone called Brahma Shila, as Lord Brahma was the officiant at the wedding.

This temple is also called 'Akhand Dhuni Temple' because before its construction there is an eternal fire which is believed to keep burning from the sacred wedding day. This temple houses the two-feet tall statue of Lord Vishnu and his two consorts, Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati. There is also a water stream called Saraswati Ganga in the temple courtyard, which fills the holy bodies of water near the temple: Rudra Kund, Brahma Kund, Vishnu Kund and Saraswati Kund.

4. Kartik Swami Temple

Kartik Swami Temple is one of the most famous temples in Uttarakhand and is located in Rudraprayag district. This also serves as the final destination of his easy 3 km trek from the picturesque Himalayan village of Kanakchauri village to the Garhwal Himalayas.

Kartik Swami Temple is dedicated to Lord Kartikeya, the eldest son of Lord Shiva. It is located on the edge of a ridge at an altitude of 3,050 meters, adjacent to a valley, and houses naturally carved idols of the gods. The natural highlight of this place is the stunning snow-capped mountains adorning the beauty of the cloudy sky. The courtyard of Kartik Swami Temple offers panoramic views of several mountains including Kedarnath Dome, Nanda Ghunti, Thrissur and Chaukhamba Peak. The road to the temple also offers a beautiful view of the dense forest adorned with the chirping of numerous Himalayan birds.

5. Badrinath Temple

Badrinath temple is one of the must-visit places in the Himalayas related to religious tourism in Uttarakhand. This temple is one of the most popular religious sites in Uttarakhand among Vishnu people around the world and remains one of the most important sites of Lord Vishnu's incarnations among the 108 holy sites. Due to its huge size, Badrinath is also known as Badri Vishal. Adi Guru Shankaracharya is bel ieved to have retrieved the black stone idol of Badrinath from the Alaknanda River, which was kept in the temple by the king of Garhwal in the 8th century. This majestic temple is located at an altitude of 3,100 meters and its main gate is guarded by a Garud. It contains countless references to Hindu stories and scriptures.

6. Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most popular and oldest temples in Uttarakhand, located in Uttarkashi district on the banks of the Bhagirathi River. According to legend, it is at this temple site that Lord Shiva protected his faithful devotee Rishi Markandeya from the god of death Yama. It is also believed that Lord Kashi Vishwanath was relocated here when Varanasi or Kashi was submerged. Kashi Vishwanath Temple is on the Char Dham route when traveling to Gangotri, so tourists visit this temple along the Char Dham route. This temple showcases traditional Himalayan architecture. The existing structure was built on top of the ancient altar by Khaneti Devi, queen of Theri and wife of Sudarshan Shah, in 1857 AD. It houses a Shiva Lingam that is 56 cm high and slopes slightly towards the south. Directly opposite the Vishwanath temple is also the Shakti temple dedicated to Goddess Parvati. It houses a huge and heavy trident or Trishul with Tibetan inscriptions about the Naga dynasty. This trident is estimated to be more than 1500 years old and is one of the oldest artifacts found in Uttarakhand.

7. Omkareshwar Temple

Omkareshwar temple at Ukhimath or Okhimath is one of the most popular temples in Uttarakhand as it is the winter abode of Baba Kedar. Since the Kedarnath temple is closed in winter due to heavy snowfall, the deity is lowered from Kedarnath to the Omkareshwar temple at the lower end of Ukhimath, at an altitude of 1,300 meters. This place was earlier known as Ushamath, named after Vanasur daughter Usha, who married Aniruddh, the grandson of Lord Krishna, on the premises of this temple. It is also believed that King Mandhata, the ancestor of Lord Rama, worshiped Lord Shiva here by standing on one leg for 12 years. Lord Shiva blesses him here in the form of Omkar and the temple is also called Omkareshwar. For this reason, the Omkareshwar temple also houses an idol of Mandhata. In winter, Lord Madmaheshwar also comes to this temple.

8. Gangotri Temple

Gangotri temple is dedicated to Goddess Ganga or river Ganga and is located in Uttarkashi district at an altitude of 3,415 meters. This is the highest and his second largest temple on the Chardham circuit and includes three of his other holy places: Kedarnath, Badrinath and Yamunotri. It is also the base camp for popular treks such as Gaumukh, Gangotri National Park, Gangotri Glacier, Tapovan and Bhojwasa. Gangotri Temple was originally built by Amar Singh Thapa in the early 18th century and rebuilt by the King of Jaipur. This is the most important temple on the Ganges River and from here you can trek about 19 kilometers to Gomukh, the source of the Ganges River. According to Hindu mythology, Gangotri is believed to be the place where Ganga descends from heaven.

9. Hemkund Sahib

Hemkund Sahib is a sacred site for Sikhs and is located at an altitude of 4,160 meters in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Dedicated to his 10th Guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh, Hemkund Sahib is a picturesque glacial lake surrounded by seven peaks. The cliffs of each peak are adorned with Nishan Sahib, known as the Sikh prayer flags. The route to Hemkund Sahib starts from Govindghat and passes through Ghangaria or Govinddham village. There is also a Gurudwara to stay in while visiting Hemkund Sahib. Most travelers plan a visit here before visiting Valley of Flowers National Park, which is located within the Nanda Devi Biological Reserve. It requires a 3 km trek from Govinddham.

10. Rudranath Temple

Rudranath Temple is surrounded by colorful rhododendron forests and alpine meadows in the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayas. It is his fourth temple in the Panch Kedar Yatra where the face of Lord Shiva is worshiped. Near the temple flows the Vaitarani or Rudraganga River, which is exclusively associated with Hindu after-death rituals. Despite the challenging trek, the temple and its stunning trails draw in thousands of trekkers and devotees seeking the blessings of Lord Shiva. Renowned as the most visited religious site in the Himalayas, it also offers views of the snow-capped mountains of Trishul, Nanda Devi and Nanda Ghunti.

Asia India Temples Things to do Uttarakhand

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Written by NehaRawat
Neha Rawat is a seasoned digital marketing expert with a proven track record of driving online success for businesses through strategic campaigns and data-driven insights.

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