The majestic Himalayas symbolise astounding grandeur of Mother Nature, eternal wisdom of humanity and a deep admiration of radiant joy and serenity. Embark on a journey to the temples of Kumaon Himalayas – the abode of tranquillity & peace, enlightenment and unwavering beliefs & traditions.
Temples of Kumaon Himalayas
1 Naina Devi Temple, Nainital
Perched at an elevation of 6837 ft. and located near the beautiful Naini Lake in Nainital, Naina Devi Temple is one of the best temples of Kumaon Himalayas in the northern state of Uttarakhand. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Sati and is believed to be a popular Shakti Peethas of India. According to myths, when Sati’s father Dakshaprajapati insulted her husband, Lord Shiva, during a Yajnya, she committed suicide by jumping into the sacrificial fire. While Shiva was carrying Sati’s mortal body away, her eye fell down at somewhere near the temple of Pashan Devi in Nainital and is now Naina Devi Temple, and a popular pilgrim centre in the Kumaon. The idol of the deity is immersed annually on Bhadrapad Shukla Ashtami in the month of September amid sheer grandeur and joy. The festival attracts devotees from around the country.
How to reach: Chandigarh is the nearest airport and is located at a distance of 100 km. The nearest railway station is in Anandpur Sahib (30 km.). The temple is also connected via National Highway 21. There are regular bus and care services available from Delhi, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.
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2 Baijnath Temple, Himachal Pradesh
The beautiful temple of Baijnath was built in 1204 A.D. and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple structure highlights North Indian architectural style, known as ‘Nagara.’ It houses the Svayambhu form of Sivalinga, having five projections on every side and is mounted with a curvilinear Shikhara. Numerous images are also engraved on the walls of the temple. The temple attracts pilgrims and tourists from across the world, especially during MahaShivratri every year.
How to reach: Gaggal and Dharamshalaare the nearest airport. Train facility is available from Pathankot. It is also well connected by roads to Delhi, Manali and other cities of Himachal Pradesh.
3 Bhadrakali Temple, Bageshwar
Bhadrakali Temple is an ancient shrine, dedicated to Goddess Kali. The temple is situated at close proximity to Kanda and at a distance of 25 km. from Bageshwar in Kumaon Himalayas. It is known for its religious significance and attracts pilgrims from around the region. The temple is tucked amidst picturesque beauty of nature, overlooking the magnificent views of the Himalayas.
How to reach: The nearest airport is Pantnagar Airport. Kathgodam is the nearest rail head and taxis and buses are available to Bageshwar. You can reach the temple from Bageshwar via taxi or bus.
4 Nanda Devi Temple, Almora
Not for opulence, but the unwavering beliefs and traditions associated with Nanda Devi make it one of the top temples of Kumaon. It is situated in Almora district of Uttarakhand and is dedicated to Nanda Devi which is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Durga. She was the patron goddess of the Chand dynasty and is believed to be the saviour of the residents of Kumaon and other parts of Uttarakhand. The major attraction of the temple is Nanda Devi Raj Jat (Yatra) that is held once in every 12 years. During the festival, the deity which is in the form of a sheep is beautifully decorated with jewellery, and food & clothing is offered to her. She is then sent to her other home at Trishul Peak followed by a grand procession, melodious folk songs and dances.
How to reach: Pantnagar Airport in Udham Singh Nagar is the nearest airport, located 125 km. from Almora. Kathgodam railway station in Nainital (91 km.) is the nearest railway station and has regular trains connecting Delhi, Kolkata and Dehradun. It is also well connected to Delhi and other cities of Uttarakhand via roadways.
5 Kot Bhramari Temple, Kausani
The temple is located at a distance of 5 km. from Kausani and is also known as Kote-ke-Mai and Bhramari Devi Temple. It is one of the top temples of Kumaon Himalayas and attracts heavy footfall during the month of August, when Nanda Ashtamior Nanda Raj Jatfair is organized and a big procession is carried out taking the idol through all surrounding regions.
How to reach: The nearest airport to Kausani is NainiSaini in Pithorgarh (112 km.) and Kathgodam is the nearest railhead (142 km.). One can reach Kausani and then take an auto rickshaw to taxi to reach the temple.
6 Baghnath Temple, Bageshwar
At the heart of the holy town of Bageshwar lies the ancient temple of Lord Shiva that attracts devotees from around the country during the occasion of Shiva Ratri. The literal meaning of Baghnath is the Master of Tiger. As Lord Shiva is believed to be seated on a tiger skin, he is also known as Baghnath. The popular temple stands on the confluence Sarayu and Gomti Rivers at a distance of 90 km. from Almora, a picturesque hill station in Uttarakhand. There are several temples around the Baghnath Temple like Ganga Mai Temple, Durga Temple, Hanuman Temple, Dattatreya Maharaj, Kalika Temple, Vaneswar Temple and Thingal Bhairav Temple.
How to reach: The nearest airport is Pantnagar Airport, situated 180 km. from the temple with regular buses and taxis available for the commute. Kathgodam is the nearest railhead and taxis and buses are easily available from the railway station to Bageshwar. The temple is also connected via motorable roads with major cities of Uttarakhand.
7 Jageshwar Temple, Almora
Jageshwar Temple is a conglomeration of a number of large and small temples and one of the Swayambhu (Jyotir Linga) Lingas found in India. It is a 2500 years old temple complex nestled amid spectacular scenic vistas of the Himalayas and is an ideal retreat to unwind, rejuvenate and seek solace. The temple is a beautiful example of sheer architectural grandeur and houses other temples dedicated to Surya, Mritunjay Mahadev, Nau Durga, Chandika, Nav Graha and other Hindu deities. The complex comprises of 124 temples, hundreds of statues and the famous Swayambhu Linga named Nagesh.
How to reach: The nearest airport is Pantnagar Airport, situated 165 km. from Jageshwar. Kathgodam is the nearest railhead and you can hire taxis and buses to reach the temple. The temple is also connected to Delhi and other cities via motorable roads.
8 Kot Ling Mahadev Temple, Almora
Kot Ling Mahadev Temple is situated in the Hindu pilgrimage town of Jageshwar in Almora district, Uttarakhand. It is one of the most important temples in the Kumaons and is located at the “Sangam” of River Sam Ganga and Jata Ganga. According to legends, the place was chosen by Lord Shiva himself for meditation.
How to reach: The temple is only 2 km. walk from Jageshwar Temple. The nearest airport is Pantnagar Airport (65 km.) and Kathgodam is the nearest rail head. It is also connected to Delhi and other cities via roads.
9 Neeleshwar Temple, Haridwar
This small but ancient temple in Haridwar is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is situated atop a beautiful hill. It is located near the KushavartaGhat, just 500 m. From HarkiPauri. According to legends, Neel, a devotee of Shiva, built the Shivling that is now worhsipped in the temple. A stream of River Ganga, known as Neeldhara, flows near the temple.
How to reach: Haridwar has its own railway station, connected to many major cities in india. Delhi is the nearest international airport. It is also connected via motorable roads (NH 58).
10 MukteshwarDham, Nainital
MukhteshwarDham is a 350-year old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The sacred shrine is an important religious centre in Uttarakhand, situated atop a hill, overlooking stunning vistas of the Kumaon Himalayas. The Shivling in the temple is surrounded by idols of Vishnu, Brahma, Parvati, Ganesh, Hanuman and Nandi. The trek to this temple, at a height of 2,312 metres, is an experience to cherish forever.
How to reach: Chandigarh is the nearest airport (100 km.) The nearest railway station is in Anandpur Sahib (30 km.). The temple is also connected via National Highway 21.
11 Temples in Chaukori
There are many ancient temples located in and around Chaukori, making it an important tourist centre for holy experience. The popular temples are Arjuneshwara Shiva Temple, PatalBhubaneshwari, KapileshwarMahadev Temple, Ghunsera Devi Temple, Nakuleshwar Temple, Dhaulinag Temple and Kamaksha Temple.
How to reach: Pantnagar Airport (205 km.) is the nearest airport and Kathgodam (180 km.) is the nearest railhead. It is also connected to major cities via roadways.
12 Haat Kalika Mandir, Pithoragarh
Located in Gangolihat in Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand, HaatKalika Mandir is one of the Shakti Peeths, and an important pilgrim centre. The temple is the abode of Goddess Mahakali, who is believed to shift her place from West Bengal to Gangolihat. It is extremely famous across India, especially among the Indian Armed Forces.
How to reach: Delhi is the nearest international airport (312 km.) and Kathgodam is the closest railway station (181 km.). Gangolihat is also connected via road network, linking it to major cities.
13 Chitai Temple, Almora
The famous temple of Gollu Devta at Chitali is one of the most popular temples of Kumaon Himalayas and is located 6 km. from Almora. It is dedicated to local deity Gollu, who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva. It was built during the 12th century and is characterised by numerous brass bells of all sizes hanging in the premises. The bells are hung by the devotees as offering to make a wish or as thanksgiving. The presiding deity is also believed to be the God of Justice and therefore, you can find the walls of the temple covered with court stamp papers by devotees who did not get justice in the court. A common ritual is that devotees make petitions to the God of Justice by using stamp papers to seek their desired decree in litigations. Sacrificing goat is also a popular ritual at the temple.
How to reach: IGI International Airport (352 km.) is the nearest international airport and Pantnagar Airport (124 km.) is the nearest domestic airport. Nearest railhead is at Kathgodam railway station (94 km.) from the temple. It is also connected with the road.
14 Kalipad Shakti Temple, Bageshwar
Nestled at the foothills of Girechhina in Bageshwar district, Kalipad Temple is remarkably popular for its magical power that attracts devotees from around the country. The mesmerising views of the Himalayas and serene ambience forms the ultimate setting for enlightenment and to get closer to the Supreme Power. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali who is considered as their daughter and therefore, every occasion is celebrated with immense zeal and fervour. It is located at close proximity to the confluence of River Gomti and Saryu.
How to reach: The nearest airport is Pantnagar Airport while Kathgodam is the nearest railhead. It is also connected via roads with major cities of Uttarakhand.
15 Gwal Devta Temple, Bageshwar
The popular temple of the Kumaon region is dedicated to Gwal Devta, a deity of immense influence and faith. He is considered to be the God of Justice who when approached by helpless victims of cruelty and injustice, dispenses justice. According to legends, Goril, a Katyuric Prince of Champawat, was a victim of planned conspiracy by his step mother and was thrown into a river locked in an iron cage. The temple was built as an honour to him and over the years, Goril has established as a deity of immense influence and power, attracting pilgrims from around the country.
How to reach: Pithoragarh is the nearest airstrip while IGI International Airport is the nearest international airport. Tanakpur is the nearest railway station and it is also connected via roadways.
16 Jhanker Sam Mahadev Temple, Jageshwar
The temple, located south of Jageshwar, has great religious significance that attracts pilgrims from around the region. According to folklore, when Lord Shiva was meditating (Tapasya), demons came to obstruct his penance. At that time, Lord Jhanker “Sam” was born from Trinetra, who send his ganas to kill the demons. Legend has it that Lord Sam will again come to KotiLinga Temple and Jageshwar Temple to save humanity in Kalyug.
How to reach: The nearest airport is Pantnagar Airport (165 km.) and Kathgodam is the nearest rail head. The temple is also connected to Delhi and other cities via motorable roads.
17 Patal Bhuvaneshwar (Cave)
(Cell phones and cameras not allowed) which is considered as old as the earth itself. It is believed that Lord Shiva resides here along with 33 crore Gods worshipped in Hindu mythology. Accessed through a steep cave passageway, the Patal Bhuvaneshwar Cave is truly fascinating, and made more so by the images of gods and goddesses inside the cave. If time allows, visit other temples like Ambika Dewaal and Shaileshwar Cave. Thereafter. leave for Mayavati Ashram which is about 85 Kms Further from Gangolihat.
How to reach: The nearest airport to Patal Bhuvaneshwar is Pantnagar Airport, situated 229 Kms From Patal Bhuvaneshwar. Patal Bhuvaneshwar is well connected by motorable roads with major towns of Kumaon.
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