Guptkashi is situated 47kms before the holiest shrine of Lord Shiva, Kedarnath. It is located on the route to Kedarnath in the northern Himalayan belt on the west side of the Mandakini river valley at an elevation of 1,319mts above sea level. Guptkashi is a religiously important town of Uttarakhand as it houses ancient temples like Vishwanath temple and Ardhnareshwar temple. The prime attraction of Guptkashi is the Manikarnik Kund. It is the meeting point of the two streams of the Ganga and Yamuna meet. Gaurikund, the town from where trek to Kedarnath commences is situated 34kms ahead of Guptkashi. The name of Guptkashi has a legendary significance related to the Pandavas of Mahabharatha. According to the legend, the Pandavas after the Kurukshetra war wanted to meet Lord Shiva for seeking his blessing and wash away their sins. But Lord Shiva avoided to meet them, for though they fought for the right cause, they were the destroyer of their whole dynasty. He took the form of a bull and met them in this spot and when recognized by the Pandavas he hid his face. Guptkashi has a great importance quite like that of Kashi.
Places to see in Guptkashi: This religious town has a few sightseeing spot with religious significance. These include:
The main temple of Guptkashi is dedicated to Lord Shiva as Vishwanath – “Lord of the Universe”. It is built by regional stones and is situated in an enclosed courtyard. The small temple to its left is Ardhanarishvara.
It is a place where two streams of the Ganga and Yamuna meet. It is situated in the premises of Vishwanath Temple.
Nearby attractions around Guptkashi: There are also many spots to visit around Gupkashi. These include:
Chattrakund is a small lake of sweet crystal clear water near Auli, Joshimath. Located at an elevation around 3300 mts above sea level, Chattrakund is surrounded by lush green forest. Chattrakund lake is situated at a distance of 4 km from Auli and 3 km from Gurso Bugyal.
It is the holy place where Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati. Trijuginarayan is situated 45kms from Guptkashi. The immortal flame is still burning around which the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were solemnised.
Chopta is popularly known as Mini Switzerland of Uttaranchal. The number of tourists visiting Chopta has increased in recent years and the region has become popular vacation spot for adventure lovers and explorers. Tungnath is the highest temple of Lord Shiva situated only 3.5kms away from Chopta which should be covered on foot or by pony. Chopta is situated 36kms from Guptkashi. The region showers tourists with natural beauteousness during winters.
Ukhimath is an important destination of Rudraprayag district as this place is the home of Lord Kedarnath and Madhyamaheshwar during winters. Ukhimath is mainly inhabited by the Rawal’s who are the head priests (pundits) of Kedarnath. Ukhimath is situated 12kms from Guptkashi. Snow capped peaks of the majestic Himalayan range can be easily seen from Ukhimath.
Gaurikund is the commencement point of the trek of 14kms to the sacred shrine of Kedarnath. The place is named after Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva and a temple Gauri is also situated here. It is believed that Lord Shiva accepted to marry Parvati at this place and married her in Trijuginarayan. The place offers vivid greenery with Vasuki Ganga flowing from below. Gaurikund is situated 34kms from Guptkashi. The place also has natural thermal springs.
Things to do at Guptkashi: Trekking, hiking, sight seeing are the activities you can enjoy in Guptkashi. Named as Guptkashi or “Hidden Benaras”, this place is an abode of Lord Shiva. This pristine spot with its mesmerizing natural beauty seems to be the resting place of not only Lord Shiva but of all Gods and Godesses. Feel the spiritual ecstasy in this holy retreat. If doing nothing just sit on the green velvety grass and gaze upon the unparallel natural beauty of nature.
Best time to visit Guptkashi: The best season to visit Guptakashi is the winters and the onset of summers. The favourable months to visit the place are between October to March.
How to go ?
Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest Airport to Guptkashi situated at a distance of 190kms. Jolly Grant Airport is a domestic airport well connected to Delhi with daily flights. Guptkashi is well connected by motorable roads with Jolly Grant Airport. Taxis are available from Jolly Grant Airport to Guptkashi.
The nearest railway station to Gaurikund is Rishikesh. Rishikesh railway station is situated 168kms before Guptkashi on NH58. Rishikesh is well connected by railway networks with major destinations of India. Trains to Rishikesh are frequent. Guptkashi is well connected by motorable roads with Rishikesh. Taxis and buses are easily available from Rishikesh to Guptkashi.
Guptkashi is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand state. Buses to Rishikesh and Srinagar are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Buses and Taxis to Guptkashi are easily available from all major destinations of Uttarakhand like Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Pauri, Tehri, Uttarkashi, Srinagar, Chamoli etc. Guptkashi lies on National Highway 109 which connects Rudraprayag with Kedarnath.
Where to stay ?
Guptkashi offers a number of hotels and lodges, comfortable for night stay. Some options are:
Mrityunjaya Palace: +91-01364 267 488
Kedar Camp Resorts: +91-9012817897 Website: www.kedarcampresorts.com
Hotel Shubham: 01364-267229, 267233
Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.