Living in the mountains mostly in places that are not easily accessible the people of the district have been able to preserve their culture, folklore, folksongs and folkdances, the last, a distinctive feature of the district, being seasonal, traditional and religious, some of the better known being described below.....Read More
Kalpeshwar is situated at an altitude of 2,134 mts above sea level near Urgam Valley in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state. Kalpeshwar can be reached by an easy trek of 11 km starting from Helang. The captivating Urgam valley can be reached after a trek of 9 kms from Helang. There are two routes from Urgam Valley one ending up at Kalpeshwar and other going to Panar and Rudranath via Dumak.
Kalpeshwar is the last temple in the list of Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit. It is the only temple of the sacred Panch Kedar that remains opened throughout the year. Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of matted hair at Kalpeshwar. The trail goes through thick forest and lush green terrace fields. An old Kalpriksha tree is famous with the sages and it is also known as fulfilling tree.
A favorite spots for sages who come here to meditate, following the precedent of Arghya who performed austerities and created the celebrated nymph, Urvashi, here, and the irascible Durvasha who meditated under the wish fulfilling tree, Kalpavriksha, Pilgrims pray at the small rock temple at a height of 2,134 mts. before the matted tresses of Shiva enshrined in rock in the sanctum sanctorum. The sanctum is preceded by a natural cave passage. Surrounded by thick forests and terraced fields in the Urgam valley, the temple is reached following a 10 km. long trek.
It is a favorite location of meditating sages. Legend has it that the sage Arghya had performed austerities here and created the nymph, Urvashi. Rishi Durvasa is also believed to have meditated here under the wish-fulfilling tree, Kalpavriksha. The sage had given Kunti the boon that she could invoke any of the forces of nature and they would appear before her and grant whatever she desired. Known for his quick temper, Rishi Durvasa is often recalled in context of the incident when, along with several disciples, he visited Kunti's sons, while they were in exile. He indicated that he and his disciples expected food. There was not a grain to cook. Lord Krishna who appeared and miraculously solved the problem answered an anxious Draupadi's prayers.
Kalpeshwar is the fifth temple in the series of holy Panch Kedar. After killing their cousins at the war, Pandavas started their journey to visit Lord Shiva to wash their sins. Lord Shiva wanted to avoid them as he was deeply incensed by the death and dishonesty at the Kurukshetra war. Therefore, he disguised in the form of a bull (Nandi) and disappeared into the ground with different parts of the body appearing at various places. Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of matted hair at Kalpeshwar.
How to reach By Air ?
The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is about 285 km from Kalpeshwar.
How to reach By Train ?
The nearest railhead is at Haridwar which is about 280 km away from Kalpeshwar. Trains are available from Haridwar to other major cities in India.
How to reach By Road ?
Joshimath is the nearest town at a distance of 25 km from Kalpeshwar. The 14 km distance from Joshimath to Helang is motorable. Regular taxis are available from Joshimath to Helang.
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