Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, in the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. The main diety of the temple is ‘Neelkanth’ who is a form of Lord Shiva and has a blue throat as an after effect of consuming poison.
The temple is present among Manikoot, Brahmakoot and Vishnukoot valleys, where the confluence of rivers Pankaja and Madhumati is present. The temple is present about 32 km away from Rishikesh and some pilgrims prefer to reach it through trekking. Moreover, it is situated at a height of 1330 meters. The temple is also a part of the Char Dham Yatra destinations within Uttarakhand, the most important pilgrimage in India.
What is the history of Neelkanth Mahadev Temple?
According to the legend associated with Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, The Asuras and Devas churned the ocean (Samudramanthan) to obtain Amrit (elixir). However, during the churning, along with the amrit, there was also the emergence of poison, and it was necessary for someone to drink it.
Since nobody else could consume the poison, Lord Shiva stepped forward and consumed it himself. The consumption of the poison gave Lord Shiva a blue throat and hence, he became popular as ‘Neelkanth’, literally translating to ‘Blue Throat’. Therefore, this mythological significance of this temple makes it very famous among the followers of Lord Shiva.
What is the significance of Neelkanth Mahadev Temple?
The significance of Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is that it contains various scriptures depicting ‘Samudramanthan’ by Devas and Asuras, which is mythologically relevant to the temple. Moreover, ‘Neelkanth Mahadev’ is the persiding deity of the temple. There is a Shivalingam here and devotees tie a thread around it while worshipping.
Several natural springs surround the temple where the devotees take a holy bath before entering the temple premises.
What are the timings of Neelkanth Mahadev Temple?
Here are the timings of Neelkanth Mahadev Temple:
What are the festivals celebrated at Neelkanth Mahadev Temple?
The main festival celebrated at Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is:
- Mahashivratri: This festival is in the honour of Lord Shiva. Devotees believe that he is the Adi guru who is the source of the Yogi tradition. It is observed by remembering Shiva and chanting prayers, fasting, doing Yoga, making offerings to the deity, as well as meditating.
How to reach Neelkanth Mahadev Temple?
Here’s how to reach Neelkanth Mahadev Temple:
- Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun (49 km)
- Train: The nearest railway station is Rishikesh (32 km)
- 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.
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: The rooms are spacious and airy, keeping comfort for guests in mind. Room amenities include WiFi, LCD TV, air conditioning and mini-bar. Other amenities are tea/coffee maker, electronic safe, hair dryer as well as luxury bath amenities. 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 even relax in the game room, have a refreshing dip in the swimming pool or visit the spa for a relaxing massage. The hotel also provides library, car rentals, luggage assistance, daily housekeeping, room service and travel assistance.
- Green Hills Cottage: Amidst the most beautiful architecture and luxurious interiors, the hotel features various modern facilities likeround the clock room service, parking, laundry, luggage storage, car rental, currency exchange as well as front desk. The supportive staff of the hotel also ensures that all needs of guests are timely fulfilled. The rooms here are designed to provide comfort with amenities like television, telephone, tea/coffee maker, attached bathroom as well as various other essential bathroom toiletries.
What are some temples near Neelkanth Mahadev Temple?
Some of the temples near Neelkanth Mahadev Temple are:
- Dhari Devi Temple: This temple on the banks of river Alaknanda in Uttarakhand, is home to the upper half of the idol of Goddess Dhari, while the lower half is in Kalimath. Devotees consider the goddess to be the guardian of Uttarakhand and the protector of the Char Dham destinations.
- Chandi Devi Temple: Chandi Devi Temple present atop the neel parvat in Haridwar, Uttarakhand is in the honour of Goddess Chandi. The temple is also one of the panch teerth present in Haridwar. The presiding deity, Chandi or Chandika is a form of Goddess Parvati and exists in close association with Mansa devi.
- Mansa Devi Temple: Mansa Devi Temple is a Hindu temple for goddess Mansa, on top of Bilwa Parvat in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. Also popular as ‘Bilwa Tirth’, this temple is among the panch tirth within Haridwar. ‘Mansa’ means ‘wish’, hence it is a popular belief among the devotees that the goddess fulfils their wishes.
These temples are also a part of the Char Dham Yatra destinations within Uttarakhand.