Vishwanath Temple

Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi

Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi shares the same name with the one in Varanasi, however, it stands in the Guptakashi town of Rudraprayag district in Uttarakhand. Further, the temple is dedicated to one of Lord Shiva’s avatar, Lord Vishwanath, meaning the ‘Lord of Universe’.

The architecture of the temple closely resembles the popular Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi.

Moreover, the word ‘Guptkashi’ has historical relevances in the epic of Mahabharata. However, the religious significance of Guptkashi is equated next to that of Varanasi which is referred to as the most pious of all Hindu pilgrimage sites.

Another temple of utmost importance present in the town is Ardhnareshwara temple. Further, this temple contains a half-man and half-woman form of Shiva-Parvati. Moreover, this temple is also a significant part of the Char Dham Yatra destinations within Uttarakhand. Take this divine yatra now.

Introduction of Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi
Ardhnareshwara Temple is present in Guptkashi and houses an idol of Lord Shiva in half-man and half-women form.

Vishwanath Temple Guptkashu – Facts

Temple Timings5 am – 12 pm
2 pm – 9 pm
Time required for Darshan30 minutes
Entry FeeNo Fee
Best Time To VisitMarch – October
Nearest AirportJolly Grant Airport
LocationRudraprayag, Uttarakhand
DietyLord Shiva

What are the timings of Vishwanath Temple in Guptkashi?

Here are the timings of Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi:

Morning 5 am12 pm
Evening2 pm9 pm

What is the significance of Guptakshi’s Vishwanath Temple?

Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi holds significance as the place where Lord Shiva put out the matrimonial proposal before Goddess Parvati. However, the wedding ceremony was organised at Triyuginarayan Temple. Moreover, this temple draws similarities in structure with other temples in Uttarakhand, such as the Kedarnath temple.

This beautiful site is made of stone and has a high tower above the sanctum. Furthermore, the main gate of the temple portrays an image of ‘Bhairav’, which is a form of Lord Shiva. On the other hand, the walls have lotus images. Also, the entrance has two ‘dwarpalakas’ or entrance-guards inscribed on it.

The temple complex has a pond called Manikarnika Kund where the Shivlingam is bathed by two river springs that represent rivers namely, Yamuna and Ganga.

What is the history of Guptkashi’s Vishwanath Temple?

Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi has a fascinating relevance with the Pandavas of Mahabharat. Legends state that after the Kurukshetra war, Pandavas desired to get rid of the sins they committed during the war. Hence, they wished to meet Lord Shiva to absolve them of their sins, however, Lord Shiva did not wish to have a meeting with them.

So, Lord Shiva took the form of a bull (Nandi) and appeared before the Pandavas. However, the Pandavas recognised him and began to follow Nandi until they reached a place where Lord Shiva vanished in a cave. Hence, this place later became popular as ‘Guptkashi’.

History of Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi
Aurangzeb was the mughal emporer who destroyed Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi hence the idol was shifted to Guptkashi.

Also, when the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb turned the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi into rags, the priests shifted the main idol of the temple to Guptkashi in order to keep it safe.

What are the festivals celebrated at Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi?

  • Mahashivratri: This festival is a celebration of Lord Shiva. Devotees signify Shiva as the Adi guru who is the source of the Yogi tradition.  On this day, devotees pay a visit to Shiva temples, make offerings, keep fasts and offer milk to the Shivlingam.
  • Dussehra: This Hindu festival signifies the victory of good over evil. Dussehra recounts the day when Lord Rama killed Ravana and established peace and prosperity. As a ritual, devotees also burn an effigy of Ravana and put diyas around their houses.

How to reach Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi?

Here’s how to reach Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi:

  • Air: The nearest airport to the temple is Jolly Grant Airport. It is 198 km away from Guptakshi.
  • Train: The nearest railway station is Rishikesh. It is at a distance of 192 km 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 the Temple?

Some of the places where one can stay near Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi while undertaking the Char Dham Yatra are:

  • Cedar Valley Resorts: The resort has 16 rooms, all of which are packed with a range of facilities to ensure a comfortable stay. Moreover, the resort also has a restaurant that offers a variety of cuisines for the guests.
  • Chopta Meadows Camps: The property provides 8 lodgings, each equipped with a desk as well as a private bathroom. Chopta Meadows Camp’s restaurant offers 3-time meals and is budget-friendly.
  • Himalayan Comforts: The resort has 17 rooms that have all the essentials to ensure an enjoyable stay. The resort also offers a restaurant facility. Moreover, the place also provides easy access to Kalimath.

What are some temples near Vishwanath Temple in Guptkashi?

Some of the temples near Vishwanath Temple Guptkashi are:

  • Dhari Devi Temple: This temple is present at the banks of river Alaknanda in Uttarakhand. It is home to the upper half of the idol of Goddess Dhari, while the lower half is in Kalimath. Moreover, the devotees look upon the Goddes as the guardian of Uttarakhand.
  • 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).
  • Triyuginarayan Temple: This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is present in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. This is the venue of marriage of Shiva and Parvati. 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.

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