“The city of temples” is the sobriquet aptly given to a pious city in Uttarakhand known as Uttarkashi. This holy city comprising of a number of temples is located in the Uttarkashi district at an altitude of 1158 meters above sea level. In addition, this city is also situated on the banks of the River Bhagirathi, and also possesses a number of ashrams. Furthermore, in close proximity to this city lies a hill known as “Varun Parvat”, and also comprises of a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
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a. Best time to visit Uttarkashi
The ideal time to visit this town is in between March and October as a result of the climate being pleasant with, the temperatures ranging from a maximum of 17 degrees Celsius to a minimum of 12 degrees Celsius.
b. How to reach Uttarkashi
1. By train:
The railway station closest to this sacred site is located in Rishikesh. The Rishikesh Railway Station is well connected to major cities in the country.
2. By road:
If you intend to drive to this temple then the ideal starting points would be New Delhi, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Gurugram, and Dehradun.
- Via New Delhi
There are two routes from New Delhi to this holy city, and they are via NH334 and via SH57.
- Via Haridwar:
There are three routes from Haridwar to this city, and they are via NH34, via Ambala-Dehradun-Haridwar Road/Ambala Poanta Shaib-Herbertpur-Dehradun-Rishikesh National Highway/Haridwar Road and NH34.
- Via Rishikesh:
There are three routes from Rishikesh to this pious city, and they are via NH34, via Ambala-Poanta Sahib-Herbertpur-Dehradun-Rishikesh National Highway.
- Via Gurugram:
There are three routes from Gurugram to this religious city, and they are via NH334, via SH57, and via Atta-Bilaspur Road.
- Via Dehradun:
There are two routes from Dehradun to this city, and they are via NH34 and via Ambala-Dehradun-Haridwar Road/Ambala Poanta Sahib-Herbertpur-Dehradun-Rishikesh National Highway/Haridwar Road/Jeevnwala-Dehradun Road and NH34.
3. By air:
The nearest airport to this town is located in Dehradun. The Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is well connected to major cities in the country.
c. Religious of significance of Uttarkashi
There are number of popular myths associated to this city and its surrounding areas. One such folklore relating to the shivlinga located in the Vishwanath Temple states that when Yama, the “God of Death” came to take away Rishi Markandey (an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva) who was on the verge of death he apparently embraced a shivlinga, and refused to accept death. In response Yama decided that he will “by hook or by crook” eventually take the rishi along with him. And so he put a lot of effort to pull Markandey away from the shivlinga. Now the force applied by Yama resulted in the shivalinga tilting towards the south i.e. a direction that according to Hindu philosophy relates to death. Eventually, Lord Shiva himself challenged Yama to a duel and defeated him. It is after this defeat that Shiva asked Yama to let go of Markandey.