Char Dham Yatra 2024

Kamleshwar Mahadev Temple, Srinagar, Uttarakhand

One of the well-known Shiva Temples in the Garhwal region is Kamleshwar Mahadev Temple. According to Kedarkhand, it is one of the five Maheshwar Piths of the Himalayas. The temple is close to the town’s main bazaar in Srinagar. It is one of Uttarakhand’s ancient temples. When Lord Ramachandra committed the sin of slaying Ravana in the Treta Yuga, according to Kedarkhand of the Skanda Purana, he went to the location of Lord Shiva’s devotion on Guru Vashisht’s orders. The name eventually became Kamleshwar Mahadev. According to Kedarkhand, Kamleshwar Mandir is one of the five Maheshwar Peethas in the Himalayas and is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Structure of the Kamleshwar Temple

Adi Shankracharya and Lord Ganesha’s idols are placed in the Kamleshwar Mandir. There are metal statues of Saraswati, Ganga, Annapurna, and Nandi in the main temple. The main sanctum sanctorum contains the Shiv Ling. A large, beautifully crafted Shivavahana Nandi statue is housed in a tiny room adjacent to the main temple. The temple itself also houses Madmaheshwar Mahadev’s brass mask. It is well known that Shankaracharya was the person who initially built the Kamleshwar Mahadev temple. Birla ji, an industrialist, refurbished it.

History of the Kamleshwar Temple

This temple, one of the 1,000 that were built overnight in Garhwal, is supposed to have been prepared by the gods in response to a petition made by Adi Guru Shankaracharya. It was once an open temple with 12 exquisitely carved pillars; today, the entire structure is made of black stones that have been painted to provide protection. It houses a Shivling which is older than the temple, in the temple premises. It is reported that the Gorkhas attempted to remove this Shivling by excavating 122 feet of ground, but they were unable in doing so. After that, he expressed regret, filled the cistern, and granted the temple certification by stating that there could be no sabotage there.

The Birla family renovated the temple and erected walls around it in the 1960s. The structures close to the temple are also quite old, and the maze- like little rooms go from one to the next. It is also known as Ghupra. Pradyumna Shah is claimed to have hidden here during the Gorkha invasion in a chamber till he was removed safely. Ramleela was held on the square area behind the temple. Black stones that have been painted for protection were used throughout the building. The Panwar monarchs were devotees of the temple, and residents’ devotion has enhanced its beauty.

Beliefs Associated with the Kamleshwar Temple

On Kartik Chaturdashi, it is said that childless couples who spend the entire night worshipping Lord Shiva while holding ghee lamps in their hands will conceive.

It is challenging, according to Mahant Ashutosh Puri of the Kamleshwar Mahadev Temple, to worship even a standing lamp. He explained that following the fasting period, which began on the Vedni Bela of Baikunth Chaturdashi, a special puja is held in front of the Shivling by the Mahant at two in the morning. In which 100 meals are served and butter is spread on the Shivling. The childless couple must then finish the process. They sing “Om Namah Shivay” all night long while holding a burning lamp.

Legends and Mythology

According to a legend, at Jamwanti’s request, Lord Krishna worshipped Lord Shiva in the Kamleshwar temple during the Dwapar Yuga. She then gave birth to a son whom she named Swami. A childless couple saw this ritual and offered Shiva their worship; as a result, they were also granted a child. Mother Parvati asked Lord Shiva for the blessing, which he gave her, saying that anyone who follows the rites for the entire night on Kartik Shukla Chaturdashi will have a child. Because of this, Kamleshwar Mahadev Temple is renowned for having received the son Ratna.

In mythology it is stated that Lord Vishnu worshipped Lord Shiva here with a thousand lotus blossoms. However, he discovered that he is missing one lotus flower. Lord Vishnu was prepared to replace the stolen lotus flower with one of his eyes when Shiva tried to test Rama’s devotion by snatching one of the petals, which is why the location is known as Kamal (lotus), Nayan (eyes), or Kamleshwar. On seeing his devotion Lord Shiva was impressed and blessed him with a Sudarshan Chakra.

In a different version of the same story, Lord Rama prayed to Lord Shiva for the Sudarshan Chakra in order to combat demons, and while doing so, he donated 1000 lotus blossoms.

How to Reach Srinagar

By Air : The Dehradun Airport, which is the nearest one from Srinagar, is at a distance of 128 km. One can hire a cab/taxi or hop on a local bus that commutes everyday.

By Train : The nearest railway stations are Rishikesh and Haridwar which are 110 km and 136 km away respectively from Srinagar. After reaching the railway stations, one can easily get a taxi/bus to Srinagar.

By Road : NH-58 conjoins Delhi with Badrinath and Mana Pass in Uttarakhand which is close to Indo-Tibet Border and as Srinagar lies on NH-58, it is a major stop for the buses travelling to and fro from Delhi to Badrinath via Haridwar and Rishikesh. Regular bus service by Uttarakhand Transport Corporation and several private bus operators is made available to the tourists. There are also cabs readily available from Rishikesh, Haridwar, and many parts of the state to reach Srinagar.

Famous Temples and Places To Visit Near Kamleshwar Mahadev Mandir

  1. Vishnu Mohini Temple
  2. Kilkileshwar Mahadev
  3. The Hilltop
  4. Dhari Devi Temple : This temple dedicated to goddess Kali is a much worshipped Goddess of the region. People are of the opinion that the stone carved deity changes the face of a girl, woman, and of old lady as the day progresses.
  5. Shankar Math : It is believed that the name Srinagar was derived from a Sri Yantra, drawn on a huge slab of stone.
  6. Guru Gorakhnath : The prayer at this temple is conducted by the sadhus of Gorakh Pants (followers of Gorakhnath) of the “Nath Sect”. Guru Gorakhnath did his penance at this place and it is said that he took “Samadhi” in this cave.
  7. Keshorai Math : A devotee of lord Narayan from southern India, Kesho Rai, was very old when he began his trip to Badrinath. After Climbing 2100 feet he was tired and decided to rest. This was the eastern bank of the Alaknanda river in Srinagar, the capital of the Kingdom of Garhwal. While he slept Narayan appeared to him in a dream and told him not to proceed any further but to dig the surface on which he was sleeping. Kesho Rai dug- and discovered an image of Narayana. He then built a temple and installed this idol in it. The temple is 800 years old now.
  8. HNB Garhwal University Museum : HNBGU stands for Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University. It was established in the year 1973 and recently this university has been centrally recognized.
  9. Vishnu Mohini Temple : This holy spot is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi.
  10. Kansmardhini Temple : The Kans Mardini Temple is said to be the spot where parts from Sati’s body fell when Lord Shiva approached Badrikashram with Sati’s corpse after she had plunged into the Yagya Kund. There is no idol in the temple and the spot is shielded from vision.

Best Time to Visit

This town beholds extreme hot and cold weather throughout the year. It is located at a low elevation so you will witness extreme hot weather in summers but winters come up with snowfall. The best time to visit Srinagar is from Mid September to March end as in the remaining months the temperature of Srinagar remains hot and humid.

Srinagar in April – June (Summer)
It becomes really hot and humid between April and June. However, tourists can still be seen in the city as it connects them to other colder and higher altitude places in the state. The temperature ranges between 35°C and 45°C in the summer months.

Srinagar in July-September (Monsoon)
The months of August and September transpire with heavy rainfall pouring in Srinagar. It is rather advised to check the weather forecast beforehand as the roads turn slippery and sometimes also get blocked due to landslides making it a little tough to travel. However the weather is relatively pleasant during this season as this place receives extreme heat in the summer months.

Srinagar in October- February (Winter)
If you want to experience an extreme cold climate, then this is the time you should go. From the months of November to March, the city is endowed with beauty and ivory snow here and there with temperature dipping down to 2°C to sub-zero.

Visiting During Important Festivals and Fairs

  1. Kartik Chaturdashi at Kamleshwar Temple is considered to be the most important day celebrated at this temple which is in relevance with the establishment of the temple and the deity in the temple. Shivratri is one of the other most well- known festivals at the Kamleshwar Temple and is celebrated on a large scale with a lot of fervour and dedication. On this night, devotees observe a fast, refrain from eating anything until after midnight, and present fruits, flowers, and bel leaves to the Shivling. People hold the belief that Lord Shiva and Parvati Maa were wed on this auspicious day. Every year during Mahashivratri Parva, this famed pilgrimage site organises a fifteen -day bazaar. To commemorate this important holiday each year, local devotees and the organisers have organised a fest (fair).
  2. On the second day following Vasant Panchami, another celebration called Achrs Saptami is observed. During Achra Saptami, 52 different meals are offered to the deity.
  3. This location has a unique event on Baikuntha Chaturdashi (the first day from the full moon of Kartik month). Women who are trying to get pregnant are now praising Lord Shiva while standing nearby all night long with a lit lamp in their hands. Shiva is worshipped in the morning after lighting the lamp at Alaknanda. By the way, on all three days, a sizable number of devotees visit this location for worship and darshan. However, there is such a large crowd here for Baikuntha Chaturdashi that it has now transformed into a sizable fair. The government has taken the guise of a religious -cultural development fair to organise this 4 – day celebration.

What is This Temple Famous For?

  1. One of the oldest temples in Pauri Garhwal is Kamleshwar Mahadev Temple. The five Maheshwar Peethas of the Himalayas are where this temple gets its name, according to Kedarkhand. It is one of Uttarakhand’s oldest temples and a holy, tranquil pilgrimage to worship Mahadeva.
  2. The 52 different foods are offered to the deity on the second day following Vasant Panchami during Achra Saptami, which is the temple’s specialty.
  3. Couples without children go to worship Lord Shiva in this temple. On the day of Kartik Shukla Chaturdashi, which is celebrated here, thousands of people congregate due to a special belief. In fact, it’s said that couples without children who take part in this sacred standing lamp rite will eventually become parents and experience child pleasure.

Tourists Can Visit Kamleshwar Mahadev Temple During Their Char Dham Yatra

The town of Srinagar is the abode of the Kamleshwar Mahadev and the temple is built in the heart of the town.Srinagar is situated in Uttarakhand’s Pauri Garhwal District. This town is nestled on the immaculate banks of the Alaknanda River, which is thought to have swept away the evil Sri Yantra (Rock) that Sri Adi Shankaracharya threw into it. Additionally, Srinagar serves as a starting point for several adventurous, spiritual, and unusual locations in Uttarakhand. It is a crucial place to stay when travelling to Badrinath, Kedarnath, and the Char Dham Yatra.

The Do Dhams out of the four are located in Devprayag and Rudraprayag, both of which are near to Srinagar. With the creation of the Ganga River at the holy confluence of the two holy rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda, Devprayag receives its name. It serves as the headquarters for Badrinath Dham’s pundits. Devprayag is situated at the confluence of the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi Rivers, 472 metres above sea level. It is 62 kilometres away from Pauri.

Rudraprayag is the name of the place where the Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers meet. 54 kilometres separate Pauri from Rudraprayag. The only confluence on the Alaknanda River that is also regarded as a state district is Rudraprayag. One of Lord Shiva’s 108 names is Rudra. From here, two separate routes lead to Kedarnath Temple and Badrinath Temple.

Since Srinagar is located in the Garhwal region and is so close to the Char Dham Yatra destinations, it is a convenient place to halt on the way to the Char Dham.

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