When wanderlust overpowers you, where do you head to? Goa, Himachal, Rajasthan or Kerala? Why not choose an offbeat destination from the variety of options available? Let’s throw up a name to narrow down your search – Ukhimath!
Ukhimath is a small, peaceful town, also referred to as Kedarnath’s winter residence. With a harmonic vibe and breathtaking beauty, it is a perfect travel destination, whether you are looking to come close to God, admire the natural splendour or satiate cravings for adventure.
|Nearest Railway Station||Rishikesh Railway Station (176 KM)|
|Nearest Airport||Jolly Grant Airport (193 KM)|
Need more reasons to make up your mind to include Ukhimath in your bucket list? Well, we give you exactly that, alongside its location, history, its significance in Hinduism, places to visit in and around town, hotels, and transportation.
Ukhimath Uttarakhand also referred to as Okhimath, is situated at an elevation of about 1315 metres above sea level. The Rudraprayag district of the Uttarakhand State has the Ukhimath town under its administrative wing. Ukhimath offers a scenic and divine view of Kedarnath and the Neelkanth peaks. A town to visit if you want to blend in with the serene and pure surroundings and refresh your senses.
Ukhimath has a centralised location with several tourist attractions located nearby. This includes Tungnath Ji (3rd Kedar), Madhyamaheshwar (2nd Kedar) and Deoria Tal, which is a natural freshwater lake. Where is Omkareshwar mandir, you wonder? Well, it’s also located in Ukhimath.
History and Significance
The hamlet gets its name from the Usha, a class of Banasur. It is believed that this is where Anirudh and Usha got married. The ideal time to visit Ukhimath is during winters when shrines from Kedarnath and Madhyamaheshwar are transported to the town. Ukhimath is home to several temples, including The Parvati temple, The Mahadev temple with five heads, The Usha temple and The Mandhata temple.
Ukhimath holds a significant place in ancient history. For centuries, during winters the Omkareshwar Mandir has been hosting the idols of Kedarnath and Madhyamaheshwar for six months from November to May. The two idols are brought via the Utsav Doli from Kedarnath to Ukhimath. This celebrated transportation of Idols is witnessed by thousands of pilgrims, each year. What necessitates the transfer of idols is Kedarnath’s severe winter. It is covered with snow, hence, unreachable for worship.
Places to visit around Ukhimath
Let’s look at some famous temples and places to visit in and around Ukhimath.
1. Deoria Lake
Deoria Lake is located on the Ukhimath-Chopta route at a height of approximately 2386 metres above sea level. The Chaukhamba range and its snow-capped slopes encircle the lake, presenting a mesmerizing view. Deoria Lake is a popular destination for hiking and camping.
Madhyamaheshwar is the 4th temple on the Panch Kedar circuit, dedicated to Lord Shiva who is depicted with a belly and abdomen rising. The temple is closed during winters due to heavy snowfall. The silver Shiva deity is moved to Omkareshwar temple in Ukhimath.
Kedarnath Temple is the most prominent of the Panch Kedars and comes within the 12 Jyotirlingas. Pandavas, according to Hindu mythology, sought to meet Lord Shiva after the Mahabharata war to be pardoned for their transgressions. Lord Shiva got enraged and converted himself into a bull. The bull dug a hole in the ground and went inside it. It is said, the back of the bull may be found at Kedarnath. Here, Shiva’s back is revered. Ukhimath to Kedarnath distance is about 25 km.
Chopta is often referred to as Uttarakhand’s Switzerland. The peaceful abode is covered with the cool breeze and long and tall pines and deodars. A perfect weekend getaway from the blazing city horns and excess carbon footprints.
5. Omkar Ratneshwar Mahadev
Also known as Devaria Nag Temple dedicated to Nag Dev, Omkar Ratneshwar Mahadev lies on the trek to Deoria Tal. The calm and soothing environs with diverse flora and fauna make for a perfect trek to the temple.
Situated around 12 kilometres from the Ukhimath town, Guptkashi has the best scenic view of the Himalayan peaks. The Ganga and Yamuna rivers flowing beside Guptkashi complete the peaceful and mesmerising experience.
Tungnath is a Shiva temple with a history dating back to the eighth century. Situated In the Rudraprayag district, Tungnath is the second temple on the Panch Kedars route. In Tungnath, Shiva’s hands are worshipped.
How to reach
Planning to visit Ukhimath? Here’s how to get there via air, rail and road.
- Air– The Jolly Grant Airport of Dehradun is 196 km away from Ukhimath and is connected well with flights across major cities.
- Rail– Rishikesh, about 170 km from Ukhimath. It receives passenger trains all around the week from all major city centres in North India.
- Road– Ukhimath has sound road connectivity. You can prefer state-run buses or private buses and cabs to get to Ukhimath.
Ukhimath, being a holy town, offers an extensive range of hotels, guest houses and resorts to suit every need and budget. Some good options are given below:
|Hotels||Price range( in INR)||Google Rating|
|Devdarshan hotel and restaurant||1200-1500||4.9/5|
|Revery the tiny house||4500-5000||4.5/5|
Ukhimath, located in Uttarakhand’s Garhwal area, is known for its Garhwali delicacies. Chainsoo, Phaanu, Baadi, Roat, and Bhatt ki Churdkani are some of the classic dishes available in every authentic Garhwali Dhaba or restaurant. You can also expect other regional cuisines of India and have a lovely time at a good cafe and a restaurant with your family after worshipping.
Best time to Visit
Travellers and pilgrims can visit Ukhimath at any time of the year. However, during the Palki Doli Yatra in early winters, Ukhimath lits up with religious tourists from across India. This is the time in Ukhimath when you will find the serenity you seek. However, go prepared, as the Ukhimath temperature can plummet to 5 degrees C.
We hope you will not put off planning your vacation to Ukhimath any longer. We’ve given you plenty of reasons to spend your next long weekend in this lovely, pious, and pure town. So, get your act together and swiftly book your tickets and experience a wonderful vacation with your loved ones while taking a religious trip around town.
people are also reading: