Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi is a Hindu temple in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the presiding deity of the temple is Lord Vishwanath, which means ‘Lord of the Universe’. Moreover, the architecture of the temple resembles the popular Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi.
The name ‘Guptkashi’ has historical roots in Mahabharata. Also, the religious importance of Guptkashi is considered next to that of Varanasi, which is believed to be the most pious of all Hindu pilgrimage places. Another important temple present in the town is Ardhnareshwara temple, which contains a half-man and half-woman form of Shiva and Parvati. It is also a part of the Char Dham Yatra destinations within Uttarakhand. Take this divine yatra now.
What is the history of Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi?
According to the legend associated with the history of Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi, when the Pandavas were seeking penance for the sins that they committed during Mahabharata, they wished to meet Lord Shiva who was capable of absolving them of their sins. But, Lord Shiva did not want to meet them.
So, he disguised himself as a bull (Nandi). However, the Pandavas recognised him and followed him to a place where Lord Shiva vanished in a cave to hide. Hence, this place later became popular as ‘Guptkashi’. Also, when the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb destroyed the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, the priests shifted the main idol of the temple to Guptkashi to keep it safe.
What is the significance of Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi?
The significance of Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi is that it is present at the place where Shiva proposed to Parvati for marriage, however the wedding ceremony took place at Triyuginarayan Temple. This temple has architectural similarities with other temples present in Uttarakhand, such as the Kedarnath temple.
It is made of stone and has a high tower above the sanctum. The main gate of the temple contains an image of ‘Bhairav’, which is a form of Lord Shiva, while the walls have lotus images. Also, the entrance has two ‘dwarpalakas’ or entrance-guards.
What are the timings of Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi?
Here are the timings of Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi:
|Open||5 AM||12 PM|
|Close||2 PM||9 PM|
What are the festivals celebrated at Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi?
Some of the festivals celebrated at Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi are:
- 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. On this day, devotees remember Shiva and chant prayers, fast, do Yoga as well as meditate.
- Dussehra: This is an important Hindu festival which is a celebration of the victory of good over evil. Dussehra is the day when Lord Ram killed Ravana and established peace and prosperity. As a ritual, devotees also burn an effigy of Ravana.
How to reach Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi?
Here’s how to reach Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi:
- Air: The nearest temple is Jolly Grant Airport (198 km away from Guptakshi)
- Train: The nearest railway station is Rishikesh (192 km away from Guptakshi)
- Road: Buses to Rishikesh are available from ISBT Kashmere gate. From there, one can avail state transport buses to Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi.
Where to stay near Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi?
Some of the places where one can stay nearVishwanath Temple Guptkashi while undertaking the Char Dham Yatra are:
- Kedar Valley Resorts: The resort has 16 rooms, all of which have a range of facilities to ensure a comfortable stay. Those staying at Kedar Valley Resorts can enjoy a unique dining experience at the on-site restaurant, conveniently located for those who want to stay close by when looking for a bite to eat.
- Chopta Meadows Camps: The property provides 8 lodgings, each equipped with a desk as well as a private bathroom. Chopta Meadows Camps’s restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offering guests an enjoyable dining experience near their lodging.
- Himalayan Comforts: The resort has 17 rooms that have all the essentials to ensure an enjoyable stay. On-site dining options include a restaurant, which is an ideal spot to enjoy a meal. Himalayan Comforts also provides easy access to Kalimath.
What are some temples near Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi?
Some of the temples near Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi 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 as well as the protector of the Char Dham destinations.
- Omkareshwar Temple, Ukhimath: Omkareshwar Temple Ukhimath, or Omkareshwar Pith is an ancient Hindu temple present in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. It houses the deities Kedarnath and Madmaheshwar during winters (November- April), when the temples of Kedarnath and Madmaheshwar remain closed. It is present at an elevation of 1300 metres.
- Triyuginarayan Temple: It is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is present in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. The word ‘tri’ means ‘Three’, ‘Yug’ means ‘a period of time’, and ‘Narayan’ is a name for Lord Vishnu. Devotees offer wood to the fireplace of the temple since three Yugas. Moreover, the temple is 3.1 miles away from Sonprayag, which is the confluence of river Mandakini and Songanga.
The temples are also a part of the Char Dham Yatra destinations within Uttarakhand.