Vishwanath Temple: Uttarkashi is situated at a distance of 154 kms from Rishikesh. Vishwanath Temple is the most important and ancient holy shrine in this region. Vishwanath Mandir is Uttarkashi's most venerated temple and draws a huge number of devotees from across India through the year. The temple is a replication of the Vishwanath temple in Kashi or Varanasi. The murti or the idol here is swayambhu, that is, it emerged from the earth on its own. The Shivalinga is enclosed within a very low wall in the shape of a square with Ganesh's idol at one end. To the right, along the wall, is placed an idol of Parvati. The temple structure was built out of stone by King Pradyuman Shah over 350 years ago.
Bhairav Temple: Uttarkashi is situated on the banks of Ganga River at a distance of around 199 kilometres from Dehradun. Two other very important temples are located in the Chowk area. Bhairav Temple is a very popular religious site of the region.
Lakha Mandal Temple: About 75 kilometres from Mussoorie, Lakha Mandal Temple one of the very important temples is situated at a height of 1090 metres. Lakha Mandal Temple is presumed to be the spot where the palace made of resinous timber was built by the Kauravas of Mahabharata. Several popular legends are associated with this temple.
Kuteti Devi Temple: This temple was constructed on a very old site of the district, but appears to be new. Legend has it that the Maharaja of Kota (in Rajasthan), lost a bag of money while on a pilgrimage to Gangotri. Thus, unable to meet the required expenses, he returned to Uttarkashi where he prayed for deliverance from his troubles at the Vishwanath.Temple, promising to marry off his only daughter to any suitable boy from the village, if he finds his lost bag. The bag was found by the priest, inside the temple, and with all the money intact. The delighted Maharaja then requested the priest to arrange a suitable match for his daughter. In due course, the king's daughter was married to a boy chosen by the priest of the Vishwanath Temple. But she was very unhappy because marriage would take her away from her family deity Kuteti Devi, whom she had always worshipped. So husband and wife together, prayed to the goddess to help them. Kuteti Devi appeared in their dreams and informed them that she would be present in their fields, in the shape of a stone. The princess and her husband, discovered three stones with a heavenly aroma, and the Kuteti Devi Temple was erected on the exact spot where these stones were found.
Gangotri Temple: The most sacred of all rivers is the Ganga. It symbolizes purity. It washes away all sins. The river is believed to have been born out of Vishnu's big toe. It is said to flow through the skies. These are but a few of the myths about the Ganga, whose temple is situated on the right bank of Bhagirathi River, right in the middle of the tiny village Gangotri, 3140 metres above sea level. Gangotri Temple was built by the Gorkha General, Amar Singh Thapa. The holy shrine of Gangotri is situated at an elevation of 3200 metres above sea level.
Shakti Mandir: The centre of attention at the Shakti Temple is the 'shakti stambh' or the huge trident that protrudes out of the roof of the temple. It is said that when the epic battle ensued between the devtas (gods) and the asuras (demons), the shakti stambh was sent down from heaven to kill the asuras. Since then, it has been balanced on the hood of the shesh naag (the mythological snake which also supports the earth on its hood) in pataal (the nether world). It is also said that no one has been able to identify the metals from which the stambh is made though its globular base was created out of asht dhatu (eight metals) a thousand years ago. The column leading up to the trident is covered in red pieces of cloth decorated with gold work (traditional offering to Goddess Shakti) which symbolise the wishes of the devotees.
Bhairon Mandir: The idol of Bhaironji is swayambhu (it emerged from the ground on its own). It says in the Kedar Khand that Bhairon is always worshipped before Lord Shiva. So this idol is the protector of the Vishwanath Temple.
Duryodhana Mandir: It is located at Saur village. The early inhabitants of this area made temples in memory of Karna and Duryodhana, one at Sarnaul and the other at Saur respectively.
Mahasu Devta Temple: The deity of 'Mahasu' is worshipped by people in the village of Hanol, on the eastern bank of Tons River. This temple was originally constructed in the 'Huna' architectural style, but over the ages it acquired a mixed style. Some popular legend is associated with this temple that is worth knowing.
Parasurama Mandir: The idol of Parasurama in this temple is said to date back to the 8th century AD. This temple also has a legend associated with it.
Kapil Muni's Ashram Temple: It was here that the sage meditated to please Lord Shiva and obtain a boon. To mark the spot where Shiva appeared, there now stands the Shivling called Kapileshwar Mahadev.
Hanuman Mandir: The idols of Lord Hanuman and Lord Ganesha are ancient and they emerged from the earth on its own. They were earlier worshipped at the ancient Hanuman Chowk. The temple was built 30 years ago when the ancient idols were installed here.
Annapurna Mata Mandir: The idol has existed here for centuries and the temple was built around it sometime in the 8th century AD. Navratri is celebrated here with great enthusiasm.
Apart from these temples, Shani Temple, Yamunotri Temple, Kedareshwar Mandir and Pokhu Devta Temple are popular temples of Uttarkashi.
(Last Updated on : 31-12-2014)
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