India is a country that follows the ancient Sanathan Dharm(set of eternal practices), popularly known as Hinduism. According to Hinduism, there are 7 Moksha Puri’s (Land of liberation) for people to attain salvation. Among this Kashi, one of the Moksha Puri, very divine to all the Hindus around the world. Here Lord Shiva will be in the form of Jyothir lingam. In fact, there are seven Kashi in total apart from Varanasi. The six other Kashi are Guptkashi Vishwanath temple, Uttara Kashi, Dhakshina Kashi, Nashik, Mandi, and Bhubaneswar. For the devotees who couldn’t visit Varanasi. However, all these six places have equal reverence as the Varanasi. So, the devotee can visit any one of the seven Kashi to attain salvation.
GuptKashi, a holy shrine well known for the Vishwanath temple located in the Rurda Prayag district in Uttarakhand. Moreover, this divine place locates on the way towards the Kedarnath temple. So yearly pilgrims whoever visit the Kedara thirtha as the part of Dham yatra also visit this divine place. One can reach this place by road very easily as it has a good road transport facility.
Legends of Guptkashi Vishwanath temple
One of the popular legends of this holy shrine is this is the very place where the supreme Lord Shiva proposed to Goddess Parvathi Devi to marry him. As a result of this, one sees a small shrine next to the main temple sanctum. In that, the main idol is Ardhanarishvara meaning half shiva and half Parvathi Devi.
Another legend to this temple is related to Mahabharata. After the annihilation war, Pandavas receive advice to seek the blessing of Lord Shiva. To absolve the sin committed in the destructive war by killing kith and kin. As a result, which they set for the blessing of Lord Shiva at Kashi. As Lord doesn’t want to bless them easily disguises himself in to bull form and move to the GuptKashi region where the Pandavs happen to recognize the Lord in the bull form.
Unfortunately, Bhima, the mighty and powerful among Pandavas try to catch bull’s hind legs and tail. The Bull disappears from the sight and reappears in the other five different places with different parts. The place where bull disappears is called Guptkashi.
Stay and activities at Guptkashi Vishwanath temple
Guptkashi is one of the biggest towns in the Rudraprayag region of Uttrakhand. Hence, one can easily find a guest house that is both budget-friendly as well as luxurious. Besides this, here there are numerous government guest houses as well.
The major activity here is one is a pilgrimage and the other is visiting the local bazaar. As it is one of the biggest towns in the Rudrapragya district, one can find numerous shops for god’s idols, art crafts, painting, and many more.
Temples to visit near Guptkashi
One of the holy kund which locates near the Shiva linga of the Vishwanath temple. The other facts about the kund the water in the kund are believed to be from the two great rivers Ganga and Yamuna. So whoever visits the holy shrine must also visit the Kund.
The gateway to spiritual salvation, the place where the trek to the Kedarnath starts. From Guptkashi it takes around 34 km to reach Gaurikund here one can find nice accommodation as well. It is the last road which one will encounter before going to Kedarnath Dham. The main activity at the Gaurikund is trekking and pilgrimage.
A winter seat of Kedarnath and Madhyamaheswar temples. A holy shrine with a picturesque view of Himalayan mountains. During the winter shutdown of the Kedranth Dham due to bad weather. The ustav idols of Lord Kedarnath and Madhyamaheswar are moved to Ukhimath to continue worship along with the temple head priest.
The abode of Lord Shiva. One of the Dhams in char Dham yatra. Yearly, thousands of devotees visit this place to get the blessing of Lord and whereas few to absolve once committed sins. The trek to the divine Dham starts from the Gurikund in fact, this is the only way to reach this holy shrine. This is located in the Garhwal region of the Himalayas in the Rudraprayag district.
Makes a stop at the holy shrine Guptkashi Vishwanath temple, one of the seven Kashis on the way to Kedra tirtha. Get the blessing of the Vishwanath and also visit the nearby Ardhanarishvara temple. Besides this also visit the Manikarnika Kund.