Ukhimath : "Winter abode of Kedarnath and Madhyamaheshwar and Tungnath"
Ukhimath is situated in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhad(India) at an elevation of 1,317mts above sea level. Ukhimath is the home of Lord Kedarnath and Madamaheshwar during winters. Snow covered peaks of the splendid Himalayan range are distinctly visible from Ukhimath. During the winters, the idols from Kedarnath temple, and Madhyamaheshwar are brought to Ukhimath and worshipped here for six months.
Religious Significance of Ukhimath:
The town of Ukhimath is almost 40 kilometers from Rudraprayag district headquarters.It is situated close to Deoria Tal. Tungnath temple is only 29 kilometers from Ukhimath. Tungnath and Madhmaheshwar both temples have their own mporatnce in Hindduism. Tungnath is the highest Shiva temple in the world.
According to the legends Tungnath temple, which is one of the Panch Kedars, was built by Arjuna of the Pandavas. It was then rebuilt later. There are many other important temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, Parvati, Mandhata, Aniruddha and Usha.
Poplular Hindu legends tell us that the Ukhimath town was named after Usha, daughter of Banasur. It is said that she wed Krishna’s grandson Anirudh.
The Omkareshwar Temple in Ukhimath is an ancient structure following traditional North Indian Architecture style and it has a dharmshala and monastery next to it.
According to the Hindu legends Pandavas came here seeking Lord Shiva’s forgiveness for the brutal killings caused in th war. But the Lord went into hiding in the form of a bull in the Guptakashi cave where the five brothers followed him.
Lord Shiva’s body in the form of parts of the bull materialized in five different locations known as Panch Kedars and the Pandavas worshipped him at each, seeking his blessings. Tungnath is where his arms appeared. Madhmaeshwar, in the vicinity of Ukhimath is where the navel and stomach portion appeared.
Nearby Places In Ukhimath:
Deoria Lake is situated on Ukhimath- Chopta road. The lake is surrounded by snow covered Chaukhamba hills. Deoria lake is an attraction for trek-lovers and for one who loves camping.
Madhhamaheshwar is the fourth temple in the Panch Kedar group, whic are dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Madhmaheshwar temple remains closed for six months in the Winters. In this time period The silver idol of Shiva is shifted in Ukhimath temple during the winters.
Chopta is situated on Gopeshwar- Ukhimath road. Tungnath trek starts from here. It is about 4 km far from Ukhimath.
Best Time to visit Ukhimath:
In October, you can visit temples and then go on to visit Chamoli, Deoria Tal and other beautiful places. Summers are good time to visit but it is usually crowded in summers.
October onwards it becomes quite chilly. In August and September you may see rainfall.
In January there is snow everywhere, and the place becomes so beautiful.
How To Reach Ukhimath:
You can a get flight to Jollygrant DehraDun Airport on regular basis.Ukhimath is 117 km away from Dehradun.
There are no regular trains from other major cities to Ukhimath. Nearest train station is Kotdwar. Kotdwar is nearly 205 km from Ukhimath.
Ukhimath is well connected to other major cities of the country via regular buses.
Distances From Major Places:
1. Delhi And Ukhimath: 416 Kms
2. Badrinath And Ukhimath: 161 Kms
3. Gopeshwar And Ukhimath: 39 Kms
4. Rudraprayag And Ukhimath: 37 Kms
5. Kedarnath And Ukhimath: 42 Kms
6. Srinagar And Ukhimath: 72 Kms
7. Joshimath And Ukhimath: 101 Kms
8. Kotdwar And Ukhimath: 205 Kms
9. Tehri Garhwal And Ukhimath: 129 Kms
10. Devprayag And Ukhimath: 107kms
11. Mussoorie And Ukhimath: 202 Kms
12. Dehradun And Ukhimath: 117 Kms
13. Pauri And Ukhimath: 101 Kms
14. Haridwar And Ukhimath: 201 Kms
15. Rishikesh And Ukhimath: 174 Kms
16. Meerut And Ukhimath: 340 Kms