Char Dham Yatra 2024

Kalishila Temple, Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand

According to hindu mythology, 51 Shakti Peeths of Goddess Sati exist and The Kalishila Temple in Uttarakhand is one amongst them. The temple got its name Kalishila as Kali is a form of high energy and the word ‘Shila’ means stone. The Kalishila temple is a 8 km trek from Kalimath, accessible through the village of Rudrapryag. This place is known to have the 64 Yantras of the Gods and Goddesses.

About the Kalishila Temple

Instead of idols, there is a huge rock situated in this temple and has crystal emerging out of it. As per legends of Maa Kali, when she was fiery upon the devil Raktabeej, in order to stop her and calm her down, Lord Shiva appeared and laid down before Goddess Kali. On stepping on lord Shiva, she immediately lost all her anger and went under the Earth. This point where she merged with the earth is known as the Sri Yantra.

A lot of ancient saints are known to have used this spot for performing their rituals and ceremonies. This place is of high importance.

Kalishila – The Black Rock

No idol of gods or goddesses is worshipped in this temple. Here, there is a Sri Yantra, a crystal coming out of a big black rock. This rock hangs at 45 degrees outside of the mountain. This yantra of importance is located at the other side of the rock that peeps deep into the valley. This crystal is considered to be the centre point of all energies.

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 and slaughtered them with the power of 64 Yantras. To get rid of the two demons, all the gods and goddesses performed penance to Maa Bhagwati, who on listening to their plight took a different form to fight the demons with her body turned black and monstrous. 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.

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 was not supposed to 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.

Association with Kalimath Temple

There is a pool in the Kalimath temple, which is covered with a silver plate/ Shri Yantra. This kund is opened on Ashtami in Shardiya Navratri. It is believed that when Mahakali did not calm down, Lord Shiva lay down under the feet of the mother. As soon as Mahakali stepped into Shiva’s chest, she became calm and meditated in this pool. It is believed that Mahakali is contained in this pool. Shiva-Shakti is established in Kalimath. Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, Mahasaraswati, Gauri temple and Bhairav ​​temple are situated here. Here the eternal flame is burning continuously.

Trek to Kalishila

The trek to Kali Shila commences at Ukhimath which is at a distance of 20 km from Kalishila. While trekking to Kalishila one can watch himalayan peaks like Chaukhambha, Himbuk, Kedar, Madhyamaheshwar, Tungnath, Kartik Swami, and Deoria Tal, Alakh Niranjan, Do Sukhi, Teen Mein Khatpat, Chaar Dukhi.

How to Reach to Kalishila Temple

Kalishila is located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand and is accessible by well motorable roads. 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. As there are no direct buses for Kalishila, you can travel up to Ukhimath by bus.

Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport to Kalishila which is located at a distance of around 204 km. Moreover, the buses ply regularly between Dehradun and Rudraprayag. The nearest railway stations to Kalishila (Ukhimath) 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.

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 – Kalishila (8 km trek from Kalimath)

Best Time to Visit Kalishila Temple (Rudraprayag)

The Kalishila temple is located amidst the Garhwal Himalayas. 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. 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 Kalishila and 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 Kalishila Temple

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

Here in this isolated village situated at 4000 metre, there resides two saints Baba Barkhagiri from the Czech Republic and Ma Sarasvati from Germany. They have been living here for almost 25 years or more in isolation. Their humble cottage is located at the peak near the temple premises. Ma Sarasvati, the sadhvi, has developed a deep love for the mountains and has trekked to the top of all the 40- 50 peaks in the vicinity.

What is The Kalimath Temple Famous For?

  1. The temple has 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. One can trek to Kalishila while enjoying the sight of river Saraswati running along the region. It is a great place to trek for beginners.
  4. It is believed that on the day of Dussehra blood comes out of the Kali Shila.
  5. 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, near Kalishila 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.
  6. Kalishila temple is also important from the point of view of sadhana. This place is said to be of very high rank for meditation and tantra similar to Maa Kamakhya of Vindhyachal and Jwala Maa of Jalandhar.
  7. The nearby villages have a lot of tourist spots like the Mandakini river and Omkar Ratneshwar Mahadev temple. Sari and Ukhimath are rich in local history.

Kalishila Temple Can Be Visited During Char Dham Yatra

Since the Kalishila 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 Kalishila and 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 Kalishila Temple. While opting for the Chopper ride to Kedarnath Temple one can also make a detour to the Kalimath and Kalishila Temple together which is also of great religious significance in the region.

The months of May to October are the best time to visit Kalimath. Because at this time Kedarnath Yatra is also operated. Therefore, travellers can visit Kalimath along with Kedarnath Yatra.

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Gopal Chandra chakraborty

Sasthanga dandavat pranam to Barkha giri maharaja and Ma Kali jagadamba

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