Dhari Devi Temple
Dhari Devi temple is a popular Shrine of Maa Dhari Devi. The temple is located almost 15 km from Srinagar Garhwal, on the banks of the Alaknanda River between Srinagar and Rudraprayag in Kalyasaur village. Dhari Devi temple is one of the most important worship places in Garhwal Region of Uttarakhand, India. Goddess Dhari Devi is considered as the guardian and the protector of the Char Dhams in Uttarakhand.
The shrine is one of 108 Shakti Sthals in India as numbered by Srimad Devi Bhagwat. The idol of Maa Dhari Devi has two parts, upper half and lower half. This shrine of Dhari Devi is home to the upper half of the idol of the goddess. On the other hand, Kalimath temple is the shrine where the lower half of the idol of the goddess is kept. In Kalimath temple the goddess is worshiped as a manifestation of the Maa Kali, the other half of Lord Shiva.
Goddess Dhari Devi is worshiped in an open space, there is no rooftop where the idol is kept. The reason behind this is that people believe that Dhari Devi likes to sit in the open space. Dhari Devi is considered as an Avatar of Kali Mata.
A large number of devotees come to visit the temple throughout the whole year. Some of the important festivals celebrated in the temple are Durga Puja and Navratra. During these festivals, the temple is decorated with beautiful flowers and lights.
Myths and History:
According to the local people the appearance of the idol of goddess changes with time from a girl to a woman and then to an old woman. People say that the idol of the goddess should not be put under the roof. So there is an open sky above idols in the temple. Taking photographs of Dhari Devi idol is strictly prohibited in the temple.
15th June 2013 has become an important day in the history of the temple. On this day the idol of Maa Dhari Devi was removed from the original location. It was shifted to another location to facilitate the construction of a dam. Many leads, residents of the state and locals were opposing the construction f this dam since the inception of the of the project. The devotees of the goddess have the belief that the moving of the would somehow agitate Kali it would not be good for the region. And the ugly truth is, exactly on the next day of this incident a massive cloudburst and flash flood started in Uttarakhand. this massive disaster ruined the Kedarnath Dham, washing away many people, houses, trees, and vehicles.
To some people, it may sound like just a coincidence but the results of the disaster were shocking and unforgettable. According to official government records, 197 people were killed, 236 got injured and 4,021 went missing in the flash floods. The flood destroyed five districts of Uttarakhand. A total of 2,119 houses were fully damaged, 3,001 severely damaged and 11,759 partially damaged.
There is a popular legend which stated that once because of the flood in Alaknanda river the idol of Goddess Kali got struck against a big rock. Then the people of the Dharo village heard the divine voice of the Goddess and they fixed the idol of Goddess Kali at this spot, where the temple is present. After this incident, the temple is known as Dhari Devi temple.
Another legend states that when Adi Guru Shankaracharya went out in the excursion, he took some time to rest in this area and worshiped here. IF this is true then it is the possibility that this temple belongs to Dwaparyug era.
Relocation of Dhari Devi Temple:
Because of the Srinagar Hydel Project in the Alaknanda river, Dhari Devi Temple was relocated from its original site. During Navratras the number of visitors significantly increases but devotees from all around the country visit Dhari Devi temple throughout the year.
Before the partition of Uttar Pradesh state, the whole region of Uttarakhand was a part of Uttar Pradesh. The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh was Mulayam Singh Yadav at that time. The government proposed a plan to build a dam on the Alaknanda river and did a survey. Local residents and many other leaders opposed this construction.
But the plan got finalized and later the construction of the dam started. When there was no dam on the river, devotees had to walk almost 600 meters from the road to the temple. But after the construction of the dam, the government had to lift the temple few meters. Now the devotees have to walk only 200 meters from the road to reach the temple.
How to Reach Dhari Devi Temple:
Maa Dhari Devi Temple is located at Kalyasaur village between Srinagar and Rudraprayag. The distance between Srinagar to Dhari Devi is 16 km. And Rudraprayag is 20 km away from the temple.
One can reach here easily by bus or taxi from Srinagar or Rudraprayag. The nearest railway station is Rishikesh railway station, which is 119 km away. The nearest airport at Jolly Grant airport, which is 136 km away.
The temple is well connected to all the major cities of Uttarakhand. It is 124 km away from Rishikesh and 165 km from the capital Dehradun.
The nearest railway stations are in Rishikesh and Haridwar. Rishikesh is almost 124 km and Haridwar is 142 km away. After that, there are many buses and taxis to Srinagar and Rudraprayag.
The nearest airport to the temple is Jolly Grant airport Dehradun. It is almost 136 km away. There are many buses and taxis which are regularly active to reach Srinagar, which is almost 15 km from Dhari Devi temple.