Madhmaheshwar is the fourth temple of the famous Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit. It is located near the Mansona village of the Garhwal Himalayas and is considered to have been built by the Pandavas. The navel and the stomach of the Bull, considered as the diving form of Lord Shiva is worshiped here.
According to the legend, the Madhmaheshwar 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.
The temple opens for only about seven months of a year (mid-April to early November) along with the Char Dham.
Height: 3289 m
Climate: The place remain cut off from other parts from end November to April due to heavy snowfall. Heavy woolens are required during this time. In summers, light woolens are recommended during daytime and heavy woolens are suggested at nights.
Getting There & Away: How to reach Madhmaheshwar
Uniana is the base for the trek to Madhmaheshwar. From here a moderate trek of 21 kms will take one to the temple.
Road: Uniana is 215 kms from Rishikesh.
Rail: The nearest railway station is Rishikesh, 215 kms away.
Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant near Dehradun at a distance of 244 kms.
Tourist Attractions in Madhmaheshwar
Shiva Temple: The main attraction at Madhmaheshwar is the Shiva Temple which belongs to the period of Mahabharata. Inside the temple, a navel shaped Shiva lingam, made of black stone, is worshipped as the main deity. Other smaller shrines, on dedicated to Parvati and other to Ardhanarishwara are also worshipped along with the main deity.
Vriddh Madhmaheshwar Temple: Located on the ridge, there is an old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary: The Madhmaheshwar temple falls within the areas of Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary which is very rich in flora and fauna. Tourists can get the rare sights of the Himalayan Monal pheasant and the Himalayan Musk Deer.
Gaundhar: This place lies at the confluence of Madhmaheshwar Ganga and the Markanga Ganga Rivers and offers charming views of the surroundings. Gaundhar falls on the trekking route to Madhmaheshwar.
Kalimath: Kalimath, also known as Sidh Peeth falls on the trekking route to Madhmaheshwar. A large number of pilgrims visit this place for meditation and spiritual comfort. Kalimath is also famous for its temples dedicated to Goddess Mahakali and Goddess Mahalakshmi.