Every year hundreds and thousands of devotees from all across India go on a holy journey wherein they visit a few of the most well-known sacred sites in the country. Of course, there might be different reasons why they make the arduous journey to go to the temples situated in hilly areas and mountainous regions. But, a common thread binds them all; the devotion to pay their offering and prayers.
For instance, during Magh Mela, the annual Hindu pilgrimage to Prayagraj, formerly known as Allahabad, ten million devotees gather from all over the country. They come together at the confluence of three holy rivers- the Ganges, the Yamuna and the Saraswati– to take a holy bath. They take a dip in the sacred waters of the river to rid themselves of their sins and achieve liberation from the cycle of rebirth and worldly woes.
Whether you are religious or not, you must have experienced a sense of tranquillity if you have ever been to a temple. But I bet you have not been to some of these temples situated in areas from where you can get beautiful views of the Himalayas.
Let us take a look at some of the most beautiful temples in the Himalayas:
Tungnath Temple, Uttarakhand
Tungnath Temple is located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand in the mountain range of Tungnath in the Rudraprayag district.
It is built at the height of 3600 metres; this temple is the highest shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located below Chandrashila’s peak. The structure is believed to be 1000 years old and is the highest among the five Kedar temples.
If you want to visit the temple, go during the summer season when the meadows are covered with lush green and varied flora. But if you’re going to explore Tungnath solely, the best way to reach the spot is after a 4 km trek from Chopta.
Rudranath Temple, Uttarakhand
This temple of Lord Shiva is also located in the Rudraprayag district and is built in an ancient cave, wherein the face of Lord Shiva is worshipped. Rhododendron and alpine meadows around the temple enhance the beauty of the site. Also, like the rest of the Kedar temples, the doors of the Rudranath temple are open only for six months a year.
To reach the temple, you have to travel 20 kilometres on foot, and you should have at least 4 to 5 days to complete the walking tour of the whole temple.
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Uttarakhand
The temple is situated on a hill at 1330 metres; it is a well-known pilgrimage site near Rishikesh. This temple has attractive and colourful architecture, wherein, above the entrance door, a scene of mythology story of Samudra Manthan is depicted by sculptures of gods and demons.
The interior of the temple complex is equally beautiful; a sacred shiv linga is situated within the holy shrine. Maha Shivratri is celebrated every year with elaborate preparations, and devotees visit the temple on this auspicious day.
Madhyameshwar Temple is located in the Mansuna village of Garhwal Himalayas; it is a part of the famous Kedar temples and is the fourth one in the Panch Kedar Pilgrimage Circuit. During the evening aarti, the entire village gathers in the temple; if you happen to visit the temple during these hours, you can feel the spiritual vibe that envelops the air.
Kedarnath temple is built at an altitude of 3,580 meters within the mighty Garhwal Himalayas, and it is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. With the Mandakini river flowing by the temple, you can bask in the glory of this little piece of heaven, which is further enhanced by nature.
If you want to visit the temple, you have to go through the trek route, unless you want to reach it faster by helicopter service. The last road towards the temple is Gaurikund fro, where you must trek about 16-18 kilometres.
The Yamunotri temple is dedicated to the Yamuna, the second most sacred river after the Ganges. Yamunotri is a part of Char Dham( including Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath), the four most prominent Hindu pilgrimages in the Himalayas. The temple is situated around 3,233 m above sea level and devotees require to walk or ride a palanquin or pony to reach the temple.