“Cave Temple of Lord Shiva”
Tapkeshwar Temple, cradled in the luscious surroundings of Dehradun, is a divine place holding the faith of many Shiva devotees. Its unique name Tapkeshwar comes from the Hindi word Tapak meaning ‘drop’ and Eshwar meaning ‘God’.
This literally suggests the natural water that drops from the ceiling of the cave on the Shivling installed inside the cave. It is a “Swayambhu”, i.e., a naturally occurring Shivaling. Asan river a tributary of river Yamuna runs through the cave.
Tapkeshwar Temple overview:
Tapkeshwar was once known as Dudheshwar Temple:
The Tapkeshwar Temple is a highly celebrated Shiva Temple nestled on the banks of a seasonal river. It is situated in the midst of two verdant hills with a Shivlinga installed inside a naturally occurring cave. The cool sulphur springs around the temple make it an excellent bathing spot for the pilgrims.
The architecture resembles a typical Hindu style which is a humble edifice with a simple and small facade. A giant towering statue of Lord Hanuman is the main attraction of the temple. Apart from the Shivlinga the effigies of other Gods and Goddesses are installed inside the temple. One can also see the temple of Vaishno Devi housed inside the temple complex.
Colossal Cave at Tapkeshwar Temple:
The colossal cave is believed to be the abode of Guru Dronacharya-the teacher of Pandavas and Kauravas. It is here that Dronacharya meditated for years, therefore, the cave is named after him.
Fairs and Festival:
Tapkeshwar is one of the most visited holy shrines in Doon. The temple sees a lot of visitors during Maha Shivratri and Navratra. A special puja is also organized on the occasion of Maha Shivratri, Durga Puja and Navratri. During Shivratri, a grand fair is held at the temple, where Bhaand is served as a Prasad to the devotees.
Things to See:
You can see a cluster of temples housed inside the complex which consists of various Hindu Gods and Goddesses. One can pay obeisance at the natural cave temple of Tapkeshwar. Sit by the perennial river that washes the temple stairs. You can also explore the cool sulphur springs located around the temple, having therapeutic value.
Hindu Mythology related to Tapkeshwar Temple:
According to a Hindu legend it is believed that Ashwathama, the son of Dronacharya was born inside the cave. During his birth, his mother did not have enough milk to be able to feed her son. Ashwathama then prayed to Lord Shiva to give him milk to satiate his hunger. Appeased by his prayers, Lord Shiva then granted his wish and milk started dripping from the ceilings of the cave to satisfy Ashwathama’s hunger.
How to Reach:
Tapkeshwar Temple is located at a distance of 6.5 km from Clock Tower, Dehradun. The temple falls in Garhi Cantontment area of Dehradun and is well linked by swift roads. It is situated at a distance of 9.7 km from ISBT Dehradun, 7 km from Dehradun railway station and around 32 km away from Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun.