A photo tour of Kartikswami Temple
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva’s son Kartikeya. The region surrounding Kartikswami Temple is abundant in varied natural beauty and the splendid Himalayan range acts as its backdrop.
Kartikswami Temple is located 38 kms from Rudraprayag on Rudraprayag-Pokhri Road. It is situated at an altitude of 3048 mts and can be reached by 3 kms trek from Kanakchauri village.
KartikSwami is also known as Kartik Murugan Swami in South India. Kartik Swami Temple is a highly revered shrine set amidst serene environs and offers magnificent views of the snow-clad Himalayas which fills the heart with awe and delight.
Every year a huge festival and holy Yagna is celebrated at the temple for 11 days during first half of June month. During these 11 days, idol of lord Kartik Swami would stay in temple and for rest of the year it stays and worshiped in nearby village named Swanri.
The drive from Rudraprayag to Kanakchauri is one of the most beautiful drive in Uttarakhand as it passes through culturally rich villages and dense forests overlooking Himalayas. One has to take the Pokhri Road from Rudraprayag after crossing the bridge on Alaknanda River. The road offers completely unexpected change in scenery after every 5-7 kms.
Route from Rudraprayag: Rudraprayag – Saterakhal – Chopta – Dursasar – Khadpatia – Ghimtoli – Kanakchauri (trek to the temple starts from here) – Kartikswami
You can book taxi or get shared Jeep from Rudraprayag to Kanakchauri, which is the recommended option, as there are very limited bus service from Rudraprayag to Kanakchauri with some specific timings.
On the way there are some other famous shrines to look out for. Nari Devi Temple in Village Nari, tilted at angle of almost 30 degree, and Lord Tungeshwar (or Tungnath) temple in Village Falasi. The route passes through forest rich in Rhododendron.
Kanakchauri is a small village and the last roadhead for Kartikswami Temple. It is located on Rudraprayg-Pokhri road, just 40 kms from Rudraprayag. There are few small shops for tea-snacks and one hotel that provides comfortable accommodation and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner as well.
Kartik Swami Temple is easy to reach and this it remains opened throughout the year. Karthik Swami is one of the hidden jewels of Uttarakhand and is not commercialized at all, due to which this place maintains its simplicity and amazes travelers with its serenity.
The 3km trail from Kanak Chauri to Kartik Swami Temple passes through thick lush green forest rich in Rhododendron trees. The magnificent views of lower Himalayan valleys and snow-laden peaks are constantly visible during the trek which further inspires us to climb up even after getting tired.The final stairs on a ridge leads to Kartik Swami Temple.
This Temple has built by Shri Hira singh Negi and Narmda puri. At present Pooran singh negi is the head of Kartikyea seva samiti. Kartik Swami temple is locally known as ‘Swaminath Danda’ (Swaminath-Kartik swami, Danda-Mountain in Garhwali).
There is a Bhairon temple located just 100 meters before Kartik swami. The stairs of temple starts from this place only.
There is a legend that Lord Shiva once told their sons Lord Kartik and Lord Ganesha to take a round of the universe and the one who comes first will get the privilege to be worshipped on all auspicious occasions. Kartik went to cover the universe but Lord Ganesha showed his intelligence and took a round of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and said that for him they are the whole universe. Lord Shiva impressed by his intelligence and his love for them gave the privilege to be worshipped first. Lord Kartik got angry with this news and tore himself apart, he gave his flesh to mother Parvati and bones to his father Lord Shiva. In this temple the idol represents Lord Kartik’s bones.
The temple has a naturally carved idol of Kartik Swami on a marble type rock. Behind the temple, is a narrow path which goes down to a pond from where the water is brought for pujas.
Kartik Swami Temple is located on the end of a narrow ridge surrounded from all sides by wide and deep valleys about 1000-1500 ft down from the ridge. The wide and deep valleys with step farms as seen from Kartik Swami Temple are awe-inspiring.
The Himalayan snow clad peaks starting from Bandar Punch in the west, Kedarnath, Sumeru Chaukhambha in the middle and Neelkanth, Dronagiri and Nanda Devi group of peaks extending to west among other peaks forms the backdrop to the temple.
We reached Kartikswami Temple around 4 pm, after enjoying the surrounding beauty for nearly 2 hours, it was time to experience the most beautiful sunset and moonrise.
Mayadeep Holiday Home is the only place to stay in Kanakchauri, which offers comfortable stay in bamboo huts with all modern amenities and facilities.
For booking details you check here: Mayadeep Holiday Home Kartikswami