"Winter abode of Kedarnath, Madhyamaheshwar and Tungnath"
Ukhimath is a town, situated in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhad India, at an elevation of 1,317 m above sea level. It is the home of Lord Kedarnath and Madmaheshwar during winters. Snow covered peaks of the splendid Himalayan range are distinctly visible from this town. During the winters, the idols from Kedarnath temple, and Madhyamaheshwar are brought to this town 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 this town. Tungnath and Madhmaheshwar both temples have their own imporatnce in Hinduism. 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. Popular Hindu legends tell us that the 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 this town 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 trekking enthusiasts and for one who loves camping.
Madmaheshwar is the fourth temple in the Panch Kedar group, which 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.
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. From October 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:
Ukhimath is well connected to other major cities of the country via regular buses. Buses from ISBT Dehradun and ISBT Kashmere gate, Delhi are available.
There are no regular trains from other major cities to Ukhimath. Nearest train station is Kotdwar. Kotdwar is nearly 205 km from Ukhimath. Then there are many public transport options and cabs available.
Distances From Major Places:
1. Delhi : 416 Kms
2. Badrinath : 161 Kms
3. Gopeshwar : 39 Kms
4. Rudraprayag : 37 Kms
5. Kedarnath: 42 Kms
6. Srinagar : 72 Kms
7. Joshimath : 101 Kms
8. Kotdwar : 205 Kms
9. Tehri Garhwal : 129 Kms
10. Devprayag : 107kms
11. Mussoorie : 202 Kms
12. Dehradun : 117 Kms
13. Pauri : 101 Kms
14. Haridwar : 201 Kms
15. Rishikesh : 174 Kms
16. Meerut : 340 Kms