Badrinath Temple is one of the holiest temples of Hindus, situated on the bank of Alaknanda River. It is enlisted among the four 'char dham' pilgrimage sites. Owing to the extreme climatic conditions of Himalayan region, the temple remains open for only six month starting from April to November. Lord Badrinarayan is the presiding deity of this temple. The idol, made of black stone is believed to be one of the self manifested statues of Lord Vishnu.
Bagnath Temple is another ancient shrine, situated in Bageshwar city at the confluence of Sarayu and Gomti rivers. The temple, built in 1450, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple was constructed by Laxmi Chand, a Kumaon ruler. On the occasion of Shivratri the temple witnesses a sea a devotees whereas during Makar Sankranti, a grand fair is organized here.
Situated in Champawat, Baleshwar Temple is another ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple was constructed during Chand dynasty and has spectacular specimens of stone carving. Special care is bestowed on this temple by Archaeological Survey of India, since 1952 as it has been declared an Indian National Heritage Monument.
Chandi Devi Temple, Haridwar
Chandi Devi Temple is situated in the holy city Haridwar. Built in 1929, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Chandi Devi. Huge assemblage of devotees can be witnessed in this temple during festivals like Navaratri, Chandi Chaudas and Kumbh Mela.
Temple of Chandrabadani Devi is another famous pilgrimage centres for Hindus. It is situated at the top of Chandrabadani Mountain. According to legends, the torso of Sati fell on this place with her weapons scattered all around. Spectacular scenes of Kedarnath, Badrinath and Sirkanda can be viewed from this temple.
Daksheswara Mahadev Temple
The town of Kankhal houses Daksheswara Mahadev Temple which is an important pilgrimage centre for Hindus. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple was originally built by Queen Dhankaur in 1810 AD and was rebuilt in the year 1962. It is an important place for Shaivaite devotees who visit this temple during Mahashivratri.
Dhara Devi is another temple situated along the Alaknanda River, in the Garhwal region. The upper half of the idol of Goddess Dhari is the presiding deity of this temple. Local myths say that the idol changes its appearance from a girl to a woman to an old lady during a day. The rest half of the Goddess's idol is placed in Kalimath where it is worshipped in the form of Kali.
Garjiya Devi Temple
Garjiya Devi Temple, located in a village named Garjiya, near Ramnagar. A large rock in the Kosi River houses this famous temple. During Kartik Purnima, which is a holy day for Hindus, numerous devotees come to visit this temple.
Situated in Chamoli district, Gopinath Temple is another well known Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple has a commendable architecture. Numerous ruins of broken idols had been found near the temple which proves the fact that several other shrines were also there around the main temple in ancient past.
Amidst the picturesque Urgam valley of Garhwal region, Kalpeshwar temple is located which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The valley has spectacular scenic beauty with apple orchards and terraced fields. Among the Panch Kedar Temples, Kalpeshwar is the only one which is accessible throughout the year. A cave passage leads to this small stone temple.
Kedarnath is another temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the holiest temples for Hindus. Situated along the Mandakini River, the temple remains open between Akshay Trutya and Kartik Poornima. The temple is enlisted among the major sites of Chhota Char Dham pilgrimage.
Koteshwar Mahadev Temple
Koteshwar Mahadev Temple is also dedicated to Lord Shiva and is situated at the heart of Rudraprayag district. Myths say that the temple is located exactly at the place where Lord Shiva had halted for mediation. Amazing aura or energy can be felt inside the temple and drops of water continuously seep throughout the cave over the lingam. Alaknanda River flows just a few meters below the temple.
Dehradun district houses Lakhamandal, an ancient Hindu temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is popular among the devotees as a place to end the misfortunes. The most admirable and attractive feature of this temple is the lingam which reflects the surroundings when wet.
Another important temple in the Garhwal range is Madhyamaheshwar Temple situated in Mansuna village. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is enlisted among the temples of Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit. The temple architecture is of north Indian style and is located in the picturesque beauty of nature.
Mahasu Devta Temple
Mahasu Devta Temple is situated on Tuini Mori road at Hanol. Lord Mahasu is the presiding deity of this temple. Perfect amalgamation of wooden and stone work can be seen in the architecture of this ancient temple which was built in 9th century.
Mansa Devi Temple
Atop Bilwa Parvat, Mansa Devi Temple is located which is dedicated to Mansa Devi. It is believed that, Goddess Mansa fulfils the wishes of her devotees. Threads are tied on the branches of a tree, located near the temple, for the fulfilment of wishes. This ancient temple is an important pilgrimage site in Haridwar.
Maya Devi Temple
Maya Devi Temple is another ancient temple built in eleventh century. Situated in Haridwar, this temple is dedicated to Goddess Maya. Goddess Maya is believed to be an incarnation of Shakti and is a four armed and three headed deity.
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is situated in Pauri Garhwal district and is dedicated to Neelkanth (Lord Shiva). The temple stands amidst the dense forest and adjacent to Nar Narayan range. According to legends, on the very place where the temple is located, Lord Shiva had consumed poison which had originated while churning the sea for Amrita by Gods and Demons. It is one of the most important temples dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Rudranath is a natural rock temple situated in Garhwal Himalayan range. Lord Shiva is the presiding deity of this temple. Surrounded by dense forest of rhododendron trees and alpine pastures, this temple is also a temple of Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit. Myths say that the temple was established by Pandavas.
Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple
Among the plethora of temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple is also an important one. Magnificent view of Ramganga River can be obtained from the temple hall.
Surkanda Devi Temple
Dhanaulti, in Tehri District, houses another important Hindu temple known as Surkanda Devi. The temple is situated in the scenic natural beauty. Ganga Dussera festival is an important even of this temple which attracts a lot of pilgrims from all over the country.
Triyuginarayan Temple is located in Rudraprayag district and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This ancient temple is very popular among the Hindu pilgrims. The architecture of this temple has a close resemblance to the Badrinath Temple.
Dedicated to Goddess Yamuna, Yamunotri temple is located in the Garhwal Himalayas. The temple houses a black marble statue of the Goddess and open in the period between Akshay Tritiya and Yama Dwitiya. One of the unique features of this temple is the hot spring near the temple where raw rice is cooked for Prasad.
Uttarakhand is considered as a holy city and houses numerous temples. Apart from being religiously significant, Temples in Uttarkhand also exhibit excellent architecture. The stone and wood carvings found on the temples are worth visiting. These temples are the testaments of excellent art of ancient times. Temples of Uttarakhand not only attracts the devotees but also tourists from different parts of the world.
(Last Updated on : 11-07-2013)
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Temples in Uttarakhand