Guptkashi is a town located 47 kilometers before the sacred Kedarnath shrine, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Positioned on the route to Kedarnath, Guptkashi sits atop a ridge on the western side of the Mandakini river valley at an elevation of 1319 meters above sea level.
This town holds great religious significance in Uttarakhand, featuring ancient temples such as the Vishwanath Temple and the Ardhnareshwar Temple. These temples contribute to the spiritual essence of Guptkashi, making it a notable destination for pilgrims and travelers on their way to Kedarnath.
Mythology of Guptkashi
- Accordingto mythology, Lord Shiva proposed to Parvati in Guptakashi before their weddingin the small Triyuginarayan village, where the Mandakini and Son Ganga riversmeet.
- After the Mahabharata battle, thePandavas sought Lord Shiva’s blessings. Shiva, disguised as the bull Nandi,avoided them at Kashi and went to Guptakashi. Despite their past, the Pandavasrecognized him there.
- In Puranic literature, Kashi andKanchipuram are considered Shiva’s two eyes. Six other sacred sites, includingUttarkashi and Guptakashi in Uttarakhand, were designated as mini Kashis forpilgrims who can’t reach Varanasi.
- Another legend says that when Aurangzeb demolished the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in 1669, the Shiva Linga wasmoved to Guptakashi for safekeeping. The original linga is said to haveremained there since.
How To Reach Guptkashi
Guptkashi is well-connected by motorable roads, making it accessible from major cities. Pilgrims often travel via Rishikesh, with buses readily available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate, Delhi. The town is also reachable by rail, with Rishikesh being the nearest railway station, and by air, with Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun providing the closest air connectivity.
Places to See in Guptkashi