Char Dham Yatra 2024

Kalpeshwar Mahadev Temple, Chamoli, Uttarakhand

Kalpeshwar is a temple of great religious importance amongst the Hindu. Situated at an elevation of 2,200 m, in the Urgam valley in the Chamoli district of the Garhwal region in the state of Uttarakhand. It is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and the Locks of Shiva (matted hair or Jata)are Worshipped here. The temple also has association with the Pandavas and the epic Mahabharata.

Kalpeshwar temple is the last of the five temples of the Panch Kedar of Lord Shiva’s five anatomical divine forms. All the five kedars are located in the Kedar Khand region of the Garhwal Himalayas. The other four temples being the Kedarnath, Rudranath, Tungnath and Madhyamaheshwar temples.

Mythology and Legends of Kalpeshwar Mahadev Temple

According to mythology, The Pandavas, heroes of the epic Mahabharat, defeated the Kauravas in the Kurukshetra war. Later, to atone for the sins of committing fratricide, also known as gotra hatya, and killing Brahmins during the war they left in the search for lord Shiva and do penance but Shiv ji was trying to avoid the Pandavas as he was deeply incensed by the death and dishonesty at the Kurukshetra war.

The brothers first reached Varanasi (Kashi) to look for Shiva. In order to be not found, he took the form of a bull and went to hide in the Garhwal region. The Pandavas then followed him to Garhwal. Bhim saw a bull near Guptakashi (“hidden Kashi” and he immediately recognized the bull to be Shiva. To not let go of the Bull Bhima held the bull by its tail and hind legs only for it to disappear into the ground. The bull later reappears in different locations in parts. The hump of the bull was found in Kedarnath, the face in Rudranath, the navel and stomach surfaced in Madhyamaheshwar, the arms in Tungnath, and the hair are known to have appeared in Kalpeshwar. The Pandavas then built temples at these five spots and prayed to Lord Shiva to get freed from their sins.

According to another belief it is said that Bhima caught the bull and prevented it from disappearing, instead it was torn into five parts and landed on the five locations now known as the panch kedar.

Other Beliefs about Kalpeshwar

This is the place where the gods came to ask for lord Shiva’s protection against the tyranny of the demons. Devraj Indra and many other sages also did penance sitting here. The sage Durvasa created Urvashi, the Apsara of heaven here. The Samudra Manthan was also planned from here by lord shiva.

The Temple and its Architecture

Like all the Panch Kedar Temples, the Kalpeshwar temple is constructed in the North -Indian Himalayan Temple architecture.

When approached through a passage in a cave you will come across this small stone temple where the matted trees (jata) of Shiva ji are worshipped. It is where the Kalpeshwar Shivling is also situated. The Shivling is believed to be a symbol of Lord Shiva’s hair. The Shivling of Kalpeshwar is also known as Anadinath Kalpeshwar. There is a tank of water, with very pure clean water which cures physical ailments, known as the Kalvar Kund near the Kalpeshwar temple. Devotees come here to drink water from this Kund. The Kalp Ganga river flows near the Kalpeshwar temple and was earlier known as Hiranyavati River the right side of its banks is known as the Durvasa Bhumi Kalpeshwar and is said to be the land of sage Durvasa. Dhyan Badri Mandir, one of the Sapt Badris is also situated on this Durvasa land.

Kalpeshwar Temple is one of the five Kedars. The other four kedars than Kalpeshwar Temple remain closed for six months. The Kalpeshwar Mahadev Temple is the only one that remains open for its devotees throughout the year in spite of the heavy snowfall in the winter months. The Daily timings of Kalpeshwar Mahadev Temple; Opening And Closing : The temple doors are open for the devotees from 6 in the morning. The morning aarti takes place at 6:30. After the evening aarti, which takes place at 7, the doors are closed at 8.

Priests of Kalpeshwar Temple

The temple priests at this temple are disciples of Shri Adi Shankara. They are the Dasnamis and Gossains; Namboodiri Brahmins of South India. They conduct pooja in the temples in the ways designed by adi sankara. These priests also are supposed to be appointed by Adi Shankaracharya.

The Kalpa Tree at Kalpeshwar Temple

According to hindu mythology the Kalpvriksha tree is considered to be a wish granting tree. Here at the Kalpeshwar Temple there is an old Kalpvriksha tree. It is believed that Lord Krishna brought this tree back from heaven to earth to fulfil his wife Satyabhama’s wish. This land of Kalpeshwar was once filled with the Kalpa trees. The great sage Durvasa had also meditated sitting under the Kalpa tree for a long time since then this place came to be known as Kalpeshwar.

Other names for Kalpeshwar Temple are Kalpnath Temple, Anadinath Kalpeshwar Temple, Jatadhari Shiva Temple, Jateshwar Temple and last or fifth kedar.

Weather of Kalpeshwar Temple/ Best time to Visit

The climate here is cold throughout the year. Generally tourists and pilgrims come here in between the months of April to October. This temple is open throughout the year so one can pay their visit anytime of the year that suits them best. Kalpeshwar is the only Panch Kedar temple accessible throughout the year.

Location and How to Reach Kalpeshwar Temple

The Kalpeshwar temple is located in the Urgam valley which is 2 km short of the temple. From Chamoli you have to reach Helang via Gopeshwar and then move from Helang to Kalpeshwar. The confluence of the Alaknanda and Kali Ganga rivers is seen here and the Kalp ganga river flows through the Urgam valley. Earlier, the roads were constructed only at a spot in Helang on the Rishikesh – Badrinath highway from where a 12 km trek would take you to the temple. Now the road has been laid up to Devgram village from where the trek now is just 300 metres. From here you only have to walk for about a kilometre inside the cave to reach the Shivling of Kalpeshwar.

Kalpeshwar is 251 km away from Rishikesh. Rishikesh railway station is the nearest railhead connected to major states of the country. One can hire a cab from Rishikesh to Joshimath or Urgam village or travel in a shared jeep which ply regularly. The nearest Airport to Kalpeshwar is the Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun. Kalpeshwar Temple can only be reached via a trek from the Urgam village. Buses to Rishikesh are available from Delhi and other cities in the country and further a taxi can be hired from Rishikesh to reach Urgam.

Temples and Other Nearby Places of Importance

  1. Tungnath Shiva Temple
  2. Mata Anusuya Temple
  3. Bugyal region (Kandiya, Hamsha, Dhanpal, Panchganga, Panar etc.)
  4. Gopinath Temple
  5. iron trident
  6. Nandikund
  7. Deoria Tal
  8. Chandrashila Peak<
  9. Rudranath Temple
  10. Bansi Narayan Temple
  11. Budha Kedar Temple
  12. Dhyan Badri Temple
  13. Sapt Badri Temple

What is Kalpeshwar Mahadev Temple Famous For?

  1. Many trekking enthusiasts and devotees commence the Kalpeshwar trek as it offers stunning views of the untouched valley. The trek offers mesmerising views of some of the great Himalayan peaks like Chaukhamba, Nanda Devi, Panchachuli, Bandarpoonch, and Kedarnath Temple. One the clear weather, one can click pictures of these majestic peaks. The Kalpeshwar trek starts from Urgam village where the Kalpganga River flows.
  2. One can see the old Kalpvriksha tree here, which is believed to grant the wishes of the devotees, the wishes are fulfilled here.
  3. This area has many apple orchards and potato farms.
  4. You can also visit the Budha Kedar temple, Dhyan Badri and the Sapt Badri temple or the Seven Badri’s that are in the proximity of Kalpeshwar.
  5. Kalpeshwar temple is one of the five Panch Kedar (shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva). As a result, Kalpeshwar is visited by thousands of devotees of Lord Shiva.
  6. Kalpeshwar is the only Panch Kedar temple accessible throughout the year.

Kalpeshwar Temple Can Be Visited During Char Dham Yatra

In the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, the sacred town of Joshimath is situated in Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. The town of Joshimath is also named as Jyotirmath and is the winter seat of Lord Badri, whose idol is brought down from Badrinath Temple to Vasudeva temple at Joshimath. This holy town is revered by the Hindus for being an important pilgrimage centre of the country. One can see Kalpvriksha, the oldest tree of India which is believed to be 1200 years old and visit the other noticeable Hindu shrines that are located in the city. Joshimath is being turned into a major winter travel destination as the government introduced winter Char Dham Yatra. The Nanda Devi Biosphere, a UNESCO World Heritage site can be easily accessed from here as it is located near Joshimath. Joshimath lies in very close proximity with the Kalpeshwar Temple, and one can visit it while taking a detour travelling back to Rishikesh to conclude their trip.

On completing the Char Dham Yatra one can access this temple as it also lies in the Garhwal region of uttarakhand. Joshimath is the nearest hot spot and of equal importance in hindu pilgrimage and a major tourist attraction in the country and around the world. After completing the pilgrimage of Lord Shiva’s darshan at the Panch Kedar Temples, it is almost mandatory to visit Lord Vishnu at the Badrinath Temple, as a final affirmative proof by the devotee that he has sought blessings of Lord Shiva. Many folk legends related to the Garhwal region, Lord Shiva and the creation of the Panch Kedar temples are narrated.

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On which river bank the kalpeswar temle is situated

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