Ukhimath temple, the seat of Panch Kedar, Himalaya Photo journal

Interestingly, there are images of local deities here that people can also take home for a few days to honour and please.

Under the watchful eyes of thousands of stars, we reached Ukhimath at 10 pm and put up at Bharat Sevashram overlooking the Mandakini valley. This was September, and the sky was clear, and so the stars came out to dazzle the night sky.

A walk to Ukhimath temple next morning was oxygenating. Mandakini was way below to our left. Its roar let us know of its force. A couple of streams crossed our path and tumbled down the hillside to meet Mandakini. The temple lay ahead, hidden by a village sprung around it.

Path to Ukhimath temple: Navigating through the village

Path to Panch Kedar Ukhimath Temple

Omkareshwar temple, Ukhimath

Ukhimath temple dates to the time of Mandhaata, ancestor of Rama. It is the winter seat of all Panch Kedar deities when Kedarnath, Tungnath and Madmaheshwar shrines are under snow.

Omkareshwar temple courtyard, Ukhimath

Ukhimath Temple courtyard

Utsav deities from Kedarnath and other Panch Kedar shrines arrive here in palanquins before winter sets in. They are accompanied by mantra chanting Acharyas and a retinue of simple hill folk with unquestioned reverence.

Omkareshwar temple, Ukhimath

Panchkedar Ukhimath temple, Uttarakhand, Garhwal Himalaya India

Main entrance to the Ukhimath temple, view from temple courtyard

Entrance to Ukhimath temple, view from temple courtyard

The temple courtyard is surrounded by a double storeyed building, used for priests quarters and store rooms.

Upcoming acharyas: students at Ukhimath's Vedic gurukul

Vedic students at Ukhimath gurukul

Navratri puja was on at the temple and Chandi paath was being recited by a young pundit in a hut like temple opposite the Shiva temple of Ukhimath.

Pillared, double-storeyed building around the Ukhimath temple

Garhwali women from the village at Ukhimath

Garhwali women at Ukhimath temple, Garhwal Himalaya

at Ukhimath temple

How to reach Ukhimath

Road Map to Ukhimath

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We reached at 7pm by Doon Express at Haridwar Railway station. From here it was a bus-ride up to Ukhimath. We took the road from Haridwar via Rishikesh, Devprayag and Rudraprayag to Ukhimath, and reached Ukhimath at 10 pm. We took breaks at Rishikesh and Devprayag.

The confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers at Devprayag


Where to stay at Ukhimath

Bharat Sevashram Sangha
Ukhimath, Dist. – Rudraprayag
Uttaranchal. Phone: 01364 – 264274

More on Ukhimath:

Trek to Ukhimath and Deoriya taal

Ukhimath and Panch Kedar in Garhwal Himalaya

Trek to Tungnath, Chopta

Trek to Madmaheshwar

Anisha Sharma
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