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Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Timings : 6:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Daksheswara Mahadev Temple, Haridwar Overview

Located in Kankhal in Haridwar, Daksha Mahadev is one of the oldest temples and a prime place of pilgrimage for Shaivites. The chief deity of the temple is Lord Shiva and Goddess Sati. The temple is named after King Daksha Prajapati, the father of Goddess Sati. Also known as Daksheswara Mahadev Temple, it houses the Yajna Kund and the Daksha ghat on the left of the main temple where devotees take a dip in the holy Ganga River. The temple is also known for its pompous Shivratri celebrations. 

Daksha Mahadev Temple is widely famous among the devotees of Lord Shiva and lakhs of devotees gather around the temple every year. The rush gets heavier during the month of Sayan. Apart from Yajna Kund in one part of the temple, there is another part where a Shiv Linga has been installed. The walls of Daksheswara Mahadev temple depict the various episodes of the yajna story of King Daksha and the entire history of the temple. The temple premises also has a very banyan tree, which is thousands of years old. 

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Legend of Daksheswara Mahadev

The temple is named after King Daksha Prajapati who was the father of Sati, the wife of Lord Shiva. The spot where the temple is built is where once King Daksha organized a grand Yajna, inviting all gods and saints, except for his son-in-law, Lord Shiva. Insulted by this, Sati jumped to the fire of the Yagya. An angry Lord Shiva then sent one of this Ganas named Virbhadra to Kankhal to chop off King Daksha's head and annihilate it in the fire of the Yajna. However, the gods and sages, including Lord Vishnu pleaded to what appeared there as a self-created shiv-linga. Lord Shiva then restored King Daksha back to life, to complete the yajna that had been disrupted.

The restoration was done by putting the head of a male goat on the shoulders of his corpse. King Daksha repented his misdeeds and it was declared by Lord Shiva that during the month of Sayan every year, Kankhal would be his abode. The legends also say that Lord Vishnu chopped off Sati's dead body's parts with his Sudarshan chakra, in order to free Lord Shiva from mourning. The points where the body parts of Sati were dropped later on became Shakti Peethas and are revered today. 

Architecture of Daksha Mahadev Temple

The architectural style of the temple is Nagara style of architecture. There is a single spire in the centre of the temple with small domes around. A huge idol of Shiva is installed in the centre in phallic form. The Das Mahavidya Temple stands next to the main temple, dedicated to Mahavidyas. There is also a temple in the complex dedicated to River Ganga. There is a gha called Daksha Ghat on the Ganges River where the devotees take a holy dip.

How To Reach Daksha Mahadev Temple

The temple is located in Kankhal, which is 4 kilometers from Haridwar. One can take a bus or taxi from Haridwar to reach there. The Haridwar railway station is only 3 kilometres from the temple, so if one is planning to reach directly from the station can take a taxi from there as well. 

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