Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is one of the famous devotional places dedicated to Lord Shiva in Rishikesh. One can see a phallic form Shivalingam placed inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.
Situated at a height of 1,330 metres, the temple proudly sits amidst the valleys of:
- And Vishnukoot
It cradles on the confluence of Pankaja and Madhumati rivers. Dense woodlands surround the temple with beguiling views of the mountain ranges of Garhwal.
Mythology related to Neelkanth Temple:
The Neelkanth Mandir is associated with a famous Hindu mythology. It narrates the story behind the temple’s unique name. According to the Hindu legend, the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple stands at the same place where Lord Shiva consumed the poison. This was at the time of Samudra Manthan or churning of the oceans by devtas (gods) and asuras (demons).
Shiva stopped the poison in his throat to enter his body due to which his throat turned blue. Therefore, Shiva got the name “Neelkanth” meaning “The one having a blue throat”. To commemorate Shiva’s sacrifice for mankind, devotees built this temple at the same spot where this event took place.
Architecture of Neelkanth Mahadev Temple:
- The Neelkantha Mahadev Temple has an impressive architecture. The temple has a conical shape structure on which brightly painted sculptures are made.
- The entrance door of the temple showcases the event of Samudra Manthan which is beautifully sculpted on it.
- The entire story of the Samudra Manthan has been depicted on the walls of the temple. A Shivalinga has been installed in the inner complex of the temple.
- There is a natural spring in the temple, where the devotees can take a bath before entering the temple premises.
Fairs and Festivals held at Neelkantha Mahadev Temple:
The temple observes several fairs and festivals. Devotees celebrate here with great gusto. Maha Shivratri is the most important festival at Neelkanth Mahadev temple. People celebrate it with fervour. The temple sees a large number of devotees who visit here to pay obeisance to Lord Shiva.
People offer flowers, honey, milk, water, coconut and bael leaves to appease the lord. The festival falls two times in a year, once in the month of:
- February-March (Maha Shivratri)
- And in July-August (Shraavan mass as per Hindu calendar).
Eat to your heart’s content as there are several budget and posh restaurants near Neelkanth Mahadev Temple. They serve lip-smacking food. To name a few there are:
- The Sitting Element
- Café de Goa
- Ramana’s Organic Café
- Bistro Nirvana
- Pure Soul- Café and Organic Kitchen
- Little Buddha Café
- Ganga View Restaurant
- And Ganga Beach Restaurant
- If you want to carry out the holy rituals and special Puja. Then early morning visit the temple on an empty stomach for a peaceful and spiritual experience.
- To know more about the temple, its origin and mythology refer to the mythological tales. These are enclosed within the temple walls.
- If you belong to a different nationality then don’t forget to remove your shoes before entering the temple. Since in Hindu culture people remove their shoes before entering a holy place.
- There is a sacred Peepal tree located in the premises of the temple. People believe that tying a thread around it and praying to the tree purifies your soul and grants your wishes.
Timings: 05.00 AM to 06.00 PM (open on all days)
Entry Fee: Free
Famous for: Pilgrimage Site
Altitude: 1330 meters
Ideal time to visit: During Festival of Shivratri
Things to do in and around Neelkanth Mahadev Temple:
- The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is famous for its mythology and history. It is one of the important places for faith in Hindu culture. One can savour the temple’s marvellous architecture.
- If you are into photography then you’ll be lured by the temple’s beauty. You can take amazing shots of the temple and the naturally splendid area around it.
- Enrapture in the sanctity and offer prayers to Lord Shiva-the Guardian of all species on Earth.
- Stroll around and sip a cup of tea from the tiny tea stalls, where you can strike a conversation with the locals.
- Explore the market area from where you can take back lovely souvenirs
- Some of the nearby attractions that you can visit from Neelkanth Temple are:
Best Time to Visit Neelkanth Mahadev Temple:
The temple is open for the devotees throughout the year. However, the ideal time to visit Neelkanth Mahadev would be during the festival of Shivratri. During this time one can see the eye-dazzling celebrations that would leave everybody spellbound.
How to Reach Neelkanth Mahadev Temple in Rishikesh:
Neelkanth Mahadev temple is at a distance of 29 km away from Rishikesh. It is one of the most popular temples of Lord Shiva in India. It falls a few km away from the main bus terminal of Rishikesh. Available options to reach here are:
- You can reach the place by booking a private or shared taxi. You may even board a public bus that will drop you near the temple.
- Rishikesh railway station at 27 km away is the nearest railhead.
- And Jolly Grant airport at 44 km away is the closest air connectivity.