September 9, 2014

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

Site Name: Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location:  Rishikesh, Uttarakhand state, India
Highlights: An important temple of Rishikesh
Nearest Railway Station: Haridwar
Nearest Airport: Dehradun - 35 kms from Haridwar
How to reach: Well connected by road 
Hotel: A lot of options including low cost and free accommodation such as ashrams
Restaurants: Varieties of options - but only vegetarian

Rishikesh is a religious town located near Haridwar on the banks of the beautiful Ganges river in Uttarakhand state of India. The town is an ancient city and has so many travel attractions such as rafting, hiking, heritage tour, temples, river, etc. Let us explore a very important temple called Neelkanth Mahadev temple in this article. 

Neelkanth Mahadev temple is one of the most important temples in Rishikesh town. It is located on a hill above Swarg Ashram at an altitude of 925 meters. It is around 22 kms trekking route or 32 kms Jeep drive. The road to the temple is steep and narrow. One can get the breathtaking view of the river on one side and the mountain terrain on the other side. 

The temple is located amidst forests and it lies adjacent to the mountain ranges of Nar-Narayan. It is situated at the confluence of the Madhumati and Pankaja rivers amidst three valleys named Vishnukoot, Brahmakoot and Manikoot. The beauty of this location pulls not only the devotees but even the natural lovers to this temple. 

The temple is small but architecturally beautiful. The entire churning of milky ocean called as 'Samundra Manthan' legend is depicted with colorful stucco images on the temple walls. 

The sanctum sanctorum houses a big Shiva Linga idol named as Neelkantha Mahadev. At the entrance there is a beautiful idol of Goddess Parvati is found. Facing the main shrine, Shiva's mount Nandi is found. There is also a holy natural spring located inside the temple complex.

As per the legend, when the Devas and Asuras churned the milky ocean, the dangerous poison named 'Halahala' emerged out of the ocean. Everyone sought the help of Lord Shvia. He consumed the poison and got this throat turned into blue color. Hence, he got this name Neelakanth' which means the God with blue throat. It is believed that this incident hapenned in this site.

Happy travelling. 

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