Omkareshwar Temple

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Ideal Time: 2-3 hrs

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Omkareshwar Temple, Madhyamaheshwar Overview

The Madhyamaheshwar Omkareshwar Temple is an integral part of the great Panch Kedar and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is simply known as Ukhimath Omkareshwar Temple. During the winters, the idols from Kedarnath temple and Madhyamaheshwar are brought to Ukhimath and worshipped here for six months. Ukhimath is a small pilgrimage town in the Rudraprayag District of Uttarakhand. No one from here is believed to leave empty-handed. The devotees here are showered with the blessings of Lord Shiva. 

One of the oldest temples in the country, the Omkareshwar Temple houses the deities of Kedarnath and Madmaheswar during the winter months. The temple of Kedarnath and Madhmaheshwar remains closed at this time of the year. Also, the water that confines within the walls of this temple is considered to be highly sacred as even a few drops of it could lead to complete purification. Moreover, the beguiling place within which it is located adds to its miraculous charm. Hence, visiting the temple not only lets you seek Lord Shiva's protection, but also makes you a part of the everlasting prettiness of nature.

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History tells that Bhima, the second Pandava brother had built this temple for worshipping Lord Shiva. The winter abode of Lord Shiva, Omkareshwar Temple hides in itself some mythological stories. It is believed that Lord Shiva when disguised as a bull, appeared here in the form of the Bull's stomach after Pandavas forcibly caught hold of it by its tail in the hills of Guptakashi.

According to another legend, the wedding of Usha, who was the daughter of Vanasur and Anirudh, the grandson of Lord Krishna, was solemnised here. This place was named as Ushamath after the name of Usha, and presently it is known as Ukhimath.

Speaking of the third legend, it is believed that the emperor Mandhata, an ancestor of Lord Rama, during his last years gave up the worldly pleasures and came to Ukimath. He stood on one leg and did penance in the devotion of Lord Shiva for 12 years. Impressed by this, Lord Shiva appeared in the form of Omkar to bless him. Thus, this place came to be known as Omkareshwar.

Situated below a high rising ridge, the holy shrine is built in the North Indian style of architecture. Looking at the Chaukhamba peaks, it is a tiny blackened temple which has a navel-shaped Shivlinga. The linga is also made of black stone and is located in the sanctum. Furthermore, there are shrines of both Shiva's consort, Parvati, and Ardhanarishwara, an image of half Shiva and half Parvati. To the right of this temple is a small shrine of Maa Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of art and learning. It is wholly made of marble.

The worship here takes place during a specified period. It begins with the summer season and lasts until the months of either October or November depending upon the winter conditions. The precincts of the temple remain inaccessible during the other times of the year because of snow which makes travelling impossible. During the period when it remains closed, the idol of Lord Shiva is shifted to Ukhimath to avoid any hindrance to the worship rituals. The gods are brought here from Kedarnath after Diwali and from Madmaheswar in December. They are taken back to their original temples in mid-May with a grand procession.


You must carry light woollens in summers and heavy woollens in winters. Moreover, no matter what season you choose for visiting the temple, make sure you have boots that are not slippery and ample of water to keep you away from dehydration. 

Devotees trek towards the Omkareshwar temple and become a spectator of enchanting mountain views on their way to the shrine. It is located on the Kedarnath Road. The trek starts from its base, i.e. Uniana and continues up to Ukhimath which is 18 km from the bottom.

As the trek begins, you reach a village called Ransi after covering three kms. In next six kms comes Gaundhar which has lodges for your stay. After crossing the confluence of Martyenda Ganga and Madhyameshwar Ganga comes Khatara, Nanu, and then finally Madhyameshwar.
You can also reach the temple by Guptakashi. From here it is a 24 kms trek to Omkareshwar Temple. 

The trekking takes place during two seasons; three months during summer and two months after the monsoon season as the ways are all covered with heavy snow.

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