Guptkashi or Guptakashi is a Himalayan town sitting at an elevation of 1,319 metres above sea level. It lies in the Kedar-khanda in Garhwal Himalayas of Rudraprayag district in Uttrakhand, India.
The town is on the way to Kedarnath. Gaurikund is 29 km away from here from where the 16 km trek to Kedarnath starts.
The town is popular for its ancient Vishwanath Temple, home to Lord Shiva, which is similar to the one in Varanasi (Kashi). There is another popular temple here. It has an idol of Ardhanareshvara, a half man half woman form of Lord Shiva and Parvati.
According to the legends after the battle of Mahabharata, the Pandavas wanted to meet Lord Shiva for his blessings and forgiveness. But Lord Shiva avoided meeting them at Kashi.
Shiva was very disappointed on them because of the war and bloodshed. He went on hiding in the form of bull to Guptakashi in Uttarakhand. The Pandavas came her to find him to Guptakashi. They recognized him in the disguised form of Nandi.
Another mythology is according to Puranic literature, Kashi and Kanchipuram are the two eyes of Lord Shiva. Six more Kashis are there in the literature. These are as sacred and important as the Kashi (Varanasi).
Pilgrims, who cannot undertake the long journey to Varanasi, can travel to the closest Kashi. The six other Kashis are all around the country. Two of them are Uttarkashi and Guptakashi in Uttarakhand in Northern Himalayas.
The 3rd legend that Shiva proposed to Parvati at Guptakashi before they married in the village of Triyuginarayan. It is at the confluence of holy rivers Mandakini and Ganga.
Ukhimath is 17 km away from Guptakashi. There is the view of the majestic Himalayas covered in snow.
Chopta is a very beautiful village near Guptakashi. The trek to the world’s highest Shiva temple Tungnath starts from Chopta.
A major network of roads via the NH109 highway connect Guptakashi to Rishikesh, Srinagar, Delhi etc. You can take state-owned bus services or a private cab to Guptkashi. It is 253 km away from Dehradun, which takes around 9-10 hours to reach.
The nearest railway station is Rishikesh. It has good road connections to major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore. Guptkashi is 185 km away from Rishikesh, which takes usually 7-8 hours to complete depending on the road and weather conditions.
The nearest Airport is the Jolly Grant airport near Dehradun. It is about 198 km away from Guptakashi. There are numerous airport taxis which will take you to your hotel or accommodation option in Guptakashi. Another option is Dehradun taxi stand. There, you will find many cabs. It is always a better option to take a cab if you are 4 people or more and share the cab fare.