Char Dham Yatra 2024

Kalimath Temple, Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand

Kalimath (The abode of Goddess Kali) is associated with Goddess kali. This village is situated at an altitude of around 6,000 feet (1,800 m) above sea level, on the banks of the river Saraswati, close to Ukhimath and Guptakashi in the Rudraprayag district. Kalimath is considered to be one of the 108 shakti peeths in India. It is the only siddh peeth in Kedarnath valley. Located in the Garhwal Himalayas, this divine town is surrounded by the peaks of Kedarnath. A large number of devotees visit Kalimath throughout the year, specially during the festival of Navratri.

About the Kalimath Temple

Here at the Kalimath temple of the deity Kali Maa, only the lower portion of Goddess Kali figure is worshipped. Dhara Devi Temple which is located between Rudraprayag and Srinagr is where the upper half is worshipped. Instead of idols and images, The Kalimath temple is where a Shakti Yantra is being worshipped. This place is also believed to have 64 Yantras of Gods and Goddesses. Also, at a temple called the Kalishila Temple, located 8 km above Kalimath temple, is where lies the marks of the footprints of the Goddess. Kalishila Temple is said to be the exact spot where the goddess killed two demons – Nishumbha and Raktabija.

Goddess Laxmi and Goddess Saraswati are also worshipped here at Kalimath Temple along with Goddess Kali. The construction of these temples is done according to the law mentioned in the Vaikriti Rahasya of Durga Saptashati. This law states that Mahalakshmi should be worshipped in the middle, Mahakali in the south and Mahasaraswati in the left part . At the temple of Goddess Lakshmi, which is close to the Kalimath temple, a sacred fire is kept burning. This fire is believed to be on, for the past 3 yugas. This ancient temple has its mention in chapter 62 of Skanda Purana.

Mythology and History of the Temple

According to a mythological tale, to defeat the demons Nishumbha and Raktabija and protect the universe from their terror, Goddess Kali took the form of a 12- year -old. This place which is now called Kalimath is where Goddess Kali went underground after getting rid of the demons and that very spot turns into a ditch and is considered to be sacred. Only on the occasion of the Festival Naratri, this spot which is always kept covered by a silver plate (worshipped as a symbol of Kali Maa and is considered sacred) is uncovered.

There are several Siddha Peeths across the state of Uttarakhand and Kalimath is known to be one of those sacred peeths. It is said that once Daksha Prajapati, conducted a yajna and did not invite his daughter Sati and her husband Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva was insulted by him. As a result of this, Goddess Sati sacrificed her body in the sacrificial fire to oppose the act of his father. Lord Shiva was infuriated by this act and began to do tandav holding Sati’s burnt body during which the portions of Sati’s body started falling at different places. The spots where Sati’s body parts fell are referred to as Siddha Peeths.

It is also believed that Mata Sati took rebirth in the form of Parvati in this rock called Kali Shila. It is the same place where Raktabeej was killed and his blood did not spill on the ground, so Mahakali placed his head on the rock, spread his mouth and started licking his blood. Raktabeej Shila is still situated on the banks of the river even today.

The Sanskrit poet Kali Dasa is also said to have meditated at this place.

Beliefs Associated with the Temple Kalimath

It is still a tradition among the locals residing in this region that when someone purchases vehicles in the Kedarnath valley they first bring them to the Kalimath temple to offer worship. They also display the name of Goddess Kali, a picture of the temple or a picture of the goddess in the vehicle.

Location & How To Reach Kalimath in Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand

Kalimath is located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. It is situated in the Kedarnath valley and lies on the banks of the holy Saraswathi river. The temple of Goddess Kali here is located at a distance of about 230 kms from Delhi and is well connected by roads. Kalimath is located in Near Kedarnath ( 49 kms from Rudraprayag). Kalimath is 20 km from Ukhimath.

Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport to Kalimath which is located at a distance of around 204 km. Moreover, the buses ply regularly between Dehradun and Rudraprayag. After reaching the airport, you can hire a taxi to Kalimath. The nearest railway stations to Kalimath are Rishikesh and Haridwar that are located at a distance of 186 km and 210 km, respectively. Numerous taxis and buses run to and fro between the different parts of the Uttarakhand and Rudraprayag. From Rudraprayag, you can hire a cab to reach the temple.

One can also reach Guptkashi and share a cab or travel by own vehicle to Kalimath. Kalimath temple is only 5 kms from Guptkashi.

Suggested Itinerary

Delhi – Haridwar (220 Kms) – Rishikesh (25 Kms) – Rudraprayag (139 Kms) – Guptkashi or Kalimath (50 Kms) along the Badrinath route and finally through the Kedarnath road.

Best Time to Visit Kalimath (Rudraprayag)

The Kalimath temple is located amidst the Garhwal Himalayas, hence the weather of the region always remains cold. Throughout the seasons the weather is chilly. In the Summer seasons, that is in the months of April to June the temperature here is ideal to visit Kalimath Temple. The average temperature in the region remains between 20°C to 36°C. The monsoon season comes with a possibility of heavy rainfall and with risk of floods and landslides. The region is always freezing cold and during the winter season, in the months of December to February, the temperature drops down to 0°C.

Visiting Kalimath During the Navratri festival

The 8th day (Maha Ashtmi) of the seasonal hindu festival navratri, devoted to Goddess Kal- Rathri – a holy form of Kali, is considered of high significance for the Kalimath Temple. On this auspicious day of navratri the silver plate covering of the sacred ditch is removed, in which Goddess Kali is believed to be residing, even now.

A special worship (puja) is offered to the Goddess Kali at midnight and elaborate ceremonies are performed by the priests, outside the temple. In this way this day is celebrated as the Kal Rathri festival or Kalimath fair in the region.

Temples Near Kalimath Temple

  1. Kedarnath Temple
  2. Gaurikund
  3. Lakshmi Mata Temple
  4. Bhairav Baba Temple
  5. Kali Shila
  6. Omkareshwar Temple
  7. Jagdamba Temple
  8. Koteshwar Mahadev Temple
  9. Triyuginarayan Temple
  10. Hariyali Devi Temple

Places of Importance Around Kalimath

  1. Gaurikund: It is the base point of Kedarnath Trek.
  2. Kedarnath Temple: Kedarnath Dham is one of the four major pilgrimages and the Kedarnath temple is devoted to Lord Shiva. It is amongst the most highly revered religious sites in India.
  3. Chopta: Chopta is home to the famous Tungnath Temple.
  4. Ukhimath: Ukhimath is indeed one of the best nearby places to visit from Kalimath. Ukhimath is also known as the winter abode of Kedarnath and Madhyamaheshwar as the idols of both the deities shifted to Ukhimath from their respective temples.
  5. Rudraprayag: One of the Panch Prayags of Alaknanda River, Rudraprayag is a town and a district in the state of Uttarakhand.

What is The Kalimath Temple Famous For?

  1. The temple commands high religious significance,and also a lot of traditional and cultural importance.
  2. There is also a faith that one who so worships the Goddess here on the eighth day of Naratri, will receive her full blessings and that all his or her wishes will be fulfilled.
  3. A kund is worshipped here which is covered with a Rajatpat Sri mantra. The holy kund of this temple is opened only once in a year on Ashtami of Sharad navratri.
  4. One can also trek Kalishila while enjoying the sight of river Saraswati running along the region.
  5. It is believed that on the day of Dussehra blood comes out of the Kali Shila.

Kalimath Temple Can Be Visited During Char Dham Yatra

At the temple, there is also a tradition where the new vehicles purchased by people in the Kedarnath Valley bring first to Kalimath Temple to worship. Since the Kalimath Temple is located in the near proximity to Kedarnath, for pilgrims, it becomes one of the best places to visit during Kedarnath Yatra. Kedarnath is one of the Char Dham, renowned as the most sacred pilgrimage in India, in Uttarakhand and the most important dham among the Panch Kedar situated in the district Rudraprayag of Garhwal region in the Uttarakhand state.

The trail to Kedarnath Dham is a long and tiring one. But the spirits of pilgrims don’t stop them from taking the pious journey. The motorable road to Kedarnath stretches till Gaurikund. From Gaurikund, there is a 18 km trek to the temple.

Gaurikund is well connected by road with major cities of the country. Gaurikund is also at a very close distance to Kalimath and one can visit this place while touring the Kedarnath dham during the Char Dham Yatra. Buses and taxis to Gaurikund and Kalimath are easily available from major destinations of Uttarakhand like Rishikesh, Tehri, Haridwar, Dehradun and one can make it a part of their char dham yatra.

Kedarnath Helicopter Yatra which has made it easy for the pilgrims to reach the holy shrine has become an ideal mode of travel by many pilgrims and tourists. Kedarnath Helicopter services are meant for three routes – Sersi, Phata and Guptkashi. Guptkashi is also very near to the Kalimath Temple. While opting for the Chopper ride to Kedarnath Temple one can also make a detour to the Kalimath Temple which is also of great religious significance in the region.

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