After visiting the Kedarnath temple, we reached Gupt Kashi.
From Gupt Kashi, we booked a rented car to went to Ukhimath. It was a 1-hour pleasant drive. As we come towards Ukhimath, the weather becomes a bit warm.
Ukhimath is situated in the Rudraprayag district, Uttarakhand, India. It is a small town and is known for its Hindu pilgrimage temples. Ukhimath is blessed with several artistic ancient temples.
Ukhimath is like a central destination point, as we can visit different places from here. The Tungnath Temple, Deoria Tal, which is a natural freshwater lake, the Madmaheshwar Temple and many other picturesque places are easier to travel from Ukhimath.
One of the oldest temples of India is situated, in Ukhimath, the Omkareshwar Pith.
Stories associated with the Omkareshwar Temple
As per Hindu Mythology, there are two stories attached to the Omkareshwar temple.
The first story tells us about, the wedding ceremony of, the daughter of Banasura, Usha and the grandson of Lord Krishna, Aniruddha, which was solemnized in the Omkareshwar temple. Ukhimath, known as Ushamath earlier, was named after Usha, Banasura’s daughter.
The second story tells us about, one of the most powerful kings of India, King Mandhata. There is one stone statue of Mandhata in the Omkareshwar temple. It is said that during his last years, King Mandhata, gave up everything, even his wealthy kingdom, and came to Ukimath. He performed severe penance for 12 years by standing on one leg. Lord Shiva was impressed by his dedication and appeared in the form of ‘sound’, called the ‘Omkar’, and blessed him. Hence, this place, now a temple, is known as “Omkareshwar”.
Importance of the Omkareshwar temple
During the winters, Kedarnath and Madmaheshwar temples remain closed, due to extremely cold temperatures.
The Kedarnath temple deities are brought to the Omkareshwar temple after Diwali.
The Madmaheswar temple deities are brought here, in the month of December.
During November to April period, the 6 months of the winter season, Omkareshwar temple becomes a house for many deities of Kedarnath temple and Madmaheswar temple.
The Rawals, who are the head priests of the Kedarnath temple, move to Ukhimath to spend the winter and worship the Kedarnath idols placed in the Omkareshwar temple.
For 6 months, these deities stay in Omkareshwar temple. Around mid of May, these deities are again taken back to their original temples, in a procession.
I hope after reading this blog and seeing some of the pictures of the Omkareshwar temple, you too are excited to visit the Omkareshwar temple.
Do visit this beautiful Omkareshwar temple,
whenever you visit Uttarakhand.
Its calmness and serene beauty
will captivate you for life.
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