Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is an architectural dedication to Lord Shiva. The shrine is 32 km away from Rishikesh, in the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. The temple got its fine architecture from its creator Mekh Chand (Shadhu). The chief deity of the temple is ‘Neelkanth’, a manifestation of Lord Shiva with a blue throat forth the installation of poison.
The temple sits comfortably in the laps of Manikoot, Vishnukoot and Brahmakoot hills. It is at the point of meet of the rivers, Pankaja and Madhumati. Consequently, lying 12kms away on a hilltop proximate to the Swarga Ashram, which is another religious site nearby. Moreover, the temple is at a height of 1330 metres.
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple – Facts
|Temple Timings||6am – 11pm|
|Opening and Closing Date||Open 365 days|
|Time required for Darshan||1 hour|
|Entry Fee||No fee|
|Festivals 2019||Maha Shivratri|
Shivratri of Shravan
|Best Time to Visit||July or August|
|Nearest Airport||Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun|
What are the timings of Neelkanth Mahadev?
You can visit the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple between:
What is the significance of Neelkanth Mahadev Temple?
The temple is significantly known for the sculptures of Asuras and Devas inscribed on the temple’s Shikara depicting the mythological occurrence of ‘Samudra Manthan’. Moreover, ‘Neelkanth Mahadev’ is the prominent deity of the temple.
As is the ritual, a Shivalingam resides here too and devotees tie a thread around it while worshipping. Also, devotees make a lot of offerings of Bael leaves, coconut, flowers, milk, honey, fruits and water.
There is a natural spring in the temple where devotees dip in to take the Holy Bath before entering the pious premises of the temple.
What is the history of Neelkanth Mahadev Temple?
The history of the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple dates back to the mythological occurrence of the episode of Samudra Manthan. The incident observed the churning of the ocean by both Asuras and Devas in the pursuit of Amrit (elixir). However, during Samudramanthan, Amrit did come out but was accompanied by poison.
The poison that emerged from the churning of the ocean was called ‘Halahal’ and its believed to have had the level of toxicity close to destroying the whole of the creation.
Since nobody could consume the poison, Lord Shiva stepped in for it. Although he did not consume the poison but he installed it in his throat. Soon after his throat turned blue and hence, he became popular as ‘Neelkanth’, literally translating to ‘The Blue Throated One’. However, after some time the poison began to cause inflammation in his throat.
That’s when he found the famous Peepal Tree and meditated under it for about 60,000 years and established a holy clod called Pind there. Hence, that’s how the sacred place where Lord Shiva meditated to get away with the pain from the poison in his throat, became the temple which is a main attraction among the devotees worldwide.
What is inside the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple?
- The temple extends its land to the sacred Shivalingam that sits inside the temple at all its glory. Adorned with the flowers and offerings made by the devotees, the Shivalingam inside the temple is the worshipped site.
- However, there is a Peepal tree right outside the Shivalingam site, expected to be ages old. And the tree is also believed to be the one under which Lord Shiva meditated to lessen the burn from the poison. After that, he left for Kailash. Moreover, statues of other gods and goddesses are also placed inside.
- The uniqueness of the temple lies in its serenity. The temple gives a lot of calmness to its visitor in spite of all the hush going around. The holy chantings and the buzz of the prayers all around set every soul to peace.
What are the festivals celebrated at Neelkanth Mahadev Temple?
The main festival celebrated at Neelkanth Mahadev Temple are:
- Maha Shivratri: The festival is a celebration of Lord Shiva. Devotees believe him to be Adi guru and the ultimate source of Yogi tradition. Activities like remembering Shiva and chanting prayers, fasting, practicing Yoga, making offerings to the deity, as well as meditating are done on this . Two fairs namely, Maha Shivratri in the months of Feb or March and Shivratri of Shravan in the months of July or August are observed annually .
- Kanwar Yatra of Shravan: During this month, devotees carrying Kawars travel day and night on foot from different places to offer Ganga Jal to the temple.
How to reach Neelkanth Mahadev Temple?
Here’s how to reach the temple:
- Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun (49 km)
- Train: The nearest railway station is Rishikesh which 32 km away from the temple.
- Road: Buses are available to Rishikesh from ISBT Kashmere Gate. Then, one can hire a taxi or avail a bus from Rishikesh to Neelkanth Mahadev Temple.
However, after reaching the nearest point of the temple, you have to take a walk to the holy site of worship.
The visitors can also enjoy campsite activities, river rafting etc at Rishikesh either after coming back from the temple or while going.
Where to stay near Neelkanth Mahadev Temple?
Some of the places where one can stay near Neelkanth Mahadev Temple while undertaking the Char Dham Yatra are:
- Ganga Kinare-A riverside boutique hotel: Spacious rooms loaded with all the basic amenities to add to the guests comfort is there. The Ayur Ganga Spa at the hotel also offers a diverse range of Indian and International treatments to rejuvenate the body and soul.
- The V Resort: The resort offers a 24-hour front desk, travel desk, and doctor-on-call. Guests can also relax in the game room, have a refreshing dip in the swimming pool or visit the spa for a relaxing massage. Its the perfect getaway place to be at.
- Green Hills Cottage: The rooms available here have the best of the amenities. Moreover the hotel has the best of both interiors. Also, a 24/7 helpdesk is at your service at all times.
Please carry valid ID proof such as Aadhar Card. It is needed at the time of booking of hotel rooms.
What to eat here?
Well, one can take delicious taste of the Garhwali and Pahadi cuisine here. And have the taste of dishes like, Gahat ke Parathe with Bhaang ki chutney (a speciality), Kafuli which is a tasty blend of Proteins etc.
What are some temples near Neelkanth Mahadev Temple?
Some of the temples near Neelkanth Mahadev Temple are:
- Dhari Devi Temple: This temple is situated by the river of Alaknanda in Uttarakhand. The goddess worshipped here is Goddess Dhari. The deity is also the guardian of Uttarakhand and protects the Char Dhams. Dhari Devi is 128.5 km away from Neelkanth Mahadev temple.
- Chandi Devi Temple: Chandi Devi Temple is atop Neel Parvath in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. As the name suggests, the temple is devotion to Goddess Chandi. However, it is also one of the Panch Teerth in Haridwar. The temple is around 54kms away from the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple.
- Mansa Devi Temple: Mansa Devi Temple is the shrine of goddess Mansa, on top of Bilwa Parbat in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. Also popular as ‘Bilwa Tirth’, the temple is among the Panch tirth within Haridwar. This temple is a holy shrine located around 51 km away from the temple.
These temples are also a part of Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand.
Frequently asked questions about Neelkanth Mahadev Temple:
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is located 32 km away from Rishikesh in the district of Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand.
Neelkanth Mahadev temple is at a distance of 32 km from Rishikesh, one can reach the temple by the hired taxi from Ram Jhula in Rishikesh. It also has Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun, 49 Kilometres away from it.
Due to the installed poison in the throat, Lord Shiva’s throat turned blue hence he got the name, ‘NeelKanth’.
One can board the bus from ISBT Dehradun to Rishikesh and from there you can choose to hire a taxi and cab to cover the distance of 32 km to the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
The best to visit the temple is in the pious month of Shravan during July and August. Also, the weather during the months is favourable.
Yes, photography is permitted in the temple premises.
In summers, the temperature can go up to 45°C and in winters can fall down to 2°C.
Yes, it is best to carry warm clothes as one might just need them during the nights in August.