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Gopinath Temple

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Introduction to Gopinath Temple

Gopinath Temple is a famous Hindu shrine located in Gopeshwar village, Chamoli District, Uttarakhand. It lies between Kedarnath and Badrinath temples and is 10 km from Chamoli. Shiva is the main deity here.

Legend of the Gopinath Temple

Gopinath Temple

The Gopinath Temple has many interesting legends. One legend explains that the Trident (trisul) on the temple premises was that of Shiva. When Shiva threw it at Kama Deva (Deity of Love) to kill him, it got fixed at this spot. It is believed that a strong force cannot shake this Trident, but a true devotee's slightest touch will make it tremble.

Another legend says that when Shiva turned Kama Deva into ashes, his wife Rathi Devi performed penance at Gopeshwar. Her devotion pleased Shiva, and he appeared at Gopeshwar. He blessed Rati Devi with a boon that her husband, Kama Deva, would re-appear. Folklore explains that when Shiva destroyed Kshatriyas, his Trident broke into three pieces. One of the pieces was found in the Gopinath temple.

The Architecture of Gopinath Temple

The Gopinath Temple features the Nagara style of architecture. The Katyuri dynasty rulers built the temple between the 9th and 11th centuries. It is built on a raised platform made of stone and wood. There is a wonderful dome at the top. It has 24 doors, which lead to the sanctum sanctorum. The presiding deity Gopinath (Shiva), is in the form of a Lingam in the sanctum. He is a Swayambhu Moorthy. A large Nandi is seen facing the shrine. There is a path for pradakshina that allows devotees to circumambulate around the deity. The temple differs slightly in tradition from other Shiva temples. Instead of Milk and water for Abhisekam, priests offer Bilva leaves to the Shiv Linga.

In the courtyard, pilgrims can see a 5-meter-tall with a 20 cm diameter Trident. It is made of eight different metals. There are four engraved inscriptions on the Trident. Skandnaga, Vibhunaga, and Ganapatinaga, which are the rulers' names, are inscribed on the Trident. The inscriptions attribute to Anekmalla, the King of Nepal, who ruled in the 13th century CE.

The Gopinath Temple has idols of Vishnu, Ganesh, Hanuman, Brahma, Kali, Saraswati and Garuda. The images of Bhairav and Narayana are painted on the walls. It houses several Shiva Lingas and a Kalpa Vriksha (tree) in the outer courtyard. The broken idols found around the temple speak of the existence of several shrines in ancient times. There is a Vaitarani Kund located 200 meters away from the Gopinath Temple. People believe that the water in the Kund comes from the Rudranath Temple.

Festivals in the Gopinath Temple

The main festivals of the Gopinath Temple are Mahashivaratri and Jalabisheka Yatra (from Vaitarani Kund to this temple). Thousands of devotees gather here on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri.

Benefits of Worshipping at Gopinath Temple

Devotees believe that Shiva in the Gopinath Temple blesses them with complete protection from evil forces and negative energies. He helps one to attain Moksha.

How to Reach Gopinath Temple
By Road

Gopeshwar bus stand is the nearest bus stand to Gopinath Temple, which lies 500 meters away.

By Train

The nearest railway station is Rishikesh railway station, which is 210 km from the temple.

By Air

Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun, is the nearest airport, at a 228 km distance.

Gopinath Temple Timings

The Gopinath Temple remains open from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm daily.

Best Time to Visit Gopinath Temple

Pilgrims and devotees can visit the temple at any time of the year. But the best time to visit the Gopinath Temple is between October and May.

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