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Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

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Introduction to Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

Rishikesh is the most famous pilgrimage town for Hindus in the country. Pilgrims can find numerous temples and ashrams here. Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is a very famous Shiva temple that lies 32 km from Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. This Shiva abode is situated at a height of 1330 meters amidst breathtaking valleys. Brahma Koot, Manikoot, and Vishnu Koot are the three valleys. Dense forests surround the temple. The principal deity of the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is Shiva.

Legend of Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is mentioned in mythology. It explains the story behind the name of the temple. According to the legend, the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple stands where Shiva consumed the poison during Samudra Manthan or the churning of the Milky ocean by Devas and Asuras (demons).

Shiva stopped the poison in his throat before it entered his body. His throat turned blue in color. Hence, Shiva got the name Neelkanth which means 'the one who has a blue throat.' Devotees built the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple at the same spot where this event took place to honor his sacrifice.

The Architecture of Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is famous for its unique architecture and mythological significance. Its architecture is a fine example of traditional North Indian temple architecture. The temple’s base is rectangular. Grey-green stones adorn the entire temple complex. A high wall with two entrance gates on the eastern and western sides protects the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple. The temple walls convey the entire story of Samudra Manthan.

Above the entrance door, pilgrims can see the scenes of Samudra Manthan depicted through the sculptures of Devas and As uras. The inner sanctum is equally beautiful. People can see a life-sized idol of Parvati near the entrance. Her magnificence, combined with the bright aura, makes the place divine.

The sanctum sanctorum houses the black stone idol of Shiva. It is three and a half feet tall. The place around the lingam is made of marble. A dome-shaped roof with a Kalash at the top covers the sanctum. Opposite the lingam, Nandi, Shiva's divine vehicle, is seen. A silver case covers the lingam. It has an opening at the top for devotees to see the original form. Dwarapalakas (guards) are etched on the columns with intricate detailing that show their weapons. Intricate carvings of various Hindu deities and mythological scenes decorate the temple’s outer walls.

The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple has Yajnashala (a place for performing fire rituals) and a Kund (a small water reservoir). The Yajnashala lies on the eastern side of the temple. It has a rectangular shape with a raised platform in the center. The Kund lies on the southern side of the temple. Devotees believe that it has medicinal properties.

Festivals in Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

Maha Shivratri is the most important festival in the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple. During this festival, a huge crowd of devotees visits the temple to worship the deity. The festival occurs two times a year. They are February-March (Maha Shivratri) and July-August (Shravan Shivratri).

Benefits of Worshipping at Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

Devotees believe that worshipping at the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple can help remove sins and purify the soul. Many tie a sacred thread to the ancient Peepal tree here to fulfill their wishes and desires. They revisit the temple to untie the thread upon realizing their desires.

Praying to Shiva at Neelkanth Mahadev Temple makes one free from the birth and death cycle.

How to Reach Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
By Road

The road networks and their conditions are good, which makes road travel easy and quick. The well-connected roads help to reach the temple by cab from Ram Jhula.

By Rail

The nearest railway station is the Rishikesh railway station which is 30 km from the temple.

By Air

Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun, is the nearest airport to the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple. It is 49 km away.

By Trekking:

Pilgrims can also reach the temple, which is 12 km away from Swarg Ashram, Rishikesh, by trekking. A dense forest surrounds the entire trekking path.

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple Timings

The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple remains open on all days from 5.00 am to 6.00 pm.

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