Kalpeshwar, situated at an elevation of 2200 m in the Urgam valley of Uttarakhand is the fifth and the last of the Panch Kedar. This is a favourite spot for the sages; it is believed that Maharishi Durvasha meditated at this spot. This shrine is a delight for the tourists with enchanting views of the valley with terraced fields and forests.
According to the legend, the Kalpeshwar Temple is related to the Pandavas of the Hindu epic ‘Mahabharata’. The Pandavas committed sins by killing their own cousins during the Kurukshetra War and Rishi Ved Vyas suggested them to seek blessings from Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva, who was deeply hurted with them, took the form of a Bull and hid in ‘Guptakashi’ in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. The Pandavas could recognize him and when Lord Shiva tried to hide himself in the ground, Bhima, the second of the Pandavas, caught him by his tail and hind legs. But the Bull formed Shiva disappeared and reappeared in five different places with the hump rising in Kedarnath, the arms surfacing in Tunganath, the navel and stomach appearing in Madhmaheshwar, the face rising in Rudranath and the hair locks appearing in Kalpeshwar. Lord Shiva then blessed the Pandavas and asked them to built the temples at these five places and perform meditation to seek salvation. So the five brothers built these five temples and after blessings from the Lord, proceed towards the heaven. These five temples, together is known as the Panch Kedar. Also 1 km of steep trek from Tunganath will take one to the Chandrashila Peak, where it is believed that Lord Ram once meditated at this place.
This is the only Temple in the ‘Panch Kedars’ that remains open throughout the year.
Height: 2200 m
Climate: In summers, light woolens are recommended during daytime and heavy woolens are suggested at nights. Heavy woolens are required during the winters.
Getting There & Away: How to reach Kalpeshwar
Road: Helang is the nearest village that can be approached on vehicles. Kalpeshwar Temple is a 12 kms trek from this point.
Rail: The nearest railway station is Rishikesh, 255 kms away.
Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant near Dehradun at a distance of 272 kms.
Tourist Attractions in Kalpeshwar
Kalpeshwar Temple: This temple houses the ‘jata’ (hair locks) of Lord Shiva. It is visited by hundreds of devotees every year who come here to seek blessings from the god. The trek path from Helang to Kalpeshwar takes one through the forest of oak and pine trees with unmatched beauty.
Boodha Kedar: On the trek route of Kalpeshwar, this temple dedicated to Lord Shiva can be visited.
Dhyan Badri Temple: This temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is located in Urgam village and is one of the seven Badri temples.