Madhmaheshwar is one of the panch (or five) kedars situated in Uttarakhand. These are temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. The others include Kedarnath, Tungnath, Rudranath and Kalpeshwar. It is believed that these temples were built by the Pandavas as they wandered through the mountains of Garhwal to repent for their sins of killing their brothers (Kauravas) in the Kurukshetra war.
It is believed that Lord Shiva disguised himself in the form of a bull to avoid any tryst with the Pandavas (surely, he wasn’t happy with what they had done). However, the efforts of Pandavas did bear some fruit as they managed to have a glimpse of Shiva (the bull). It is believed that at Madhmaheshwar, the Pandavas were able to see the middle portion (Madhya part) of the bull and it is here that Bhima decided to build a shivalaya to worship Lord Shiva.
Where is it located?- Madhmaheshwar is situated in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, in the western Garhwal region. Madhmaheshwar valley can be accessed through Ukhimath town (a tehsil). It is a beautiful valley with rich greenery and numerous villages that dot the mountain slopes. All along the route, the Madhmaheshwar Ganga will accompany you either at your elevation or down below in the gorge. The views are surely stunning and a photographer’s delight.
The road culminates near Ransi village (about 2 kms ahead of the main town) from where one can start the trek to this shrine. This drive is about 26 kms (Ukhimath to Aagtoli Dhar) and takes approximately an hour’s time.
Key features of the Madhmaheshwar trail
- The trek distance from Aagtoli Dhar (trek start point) to Madhmaheshwar is about 14.5 kms
- It can be completed in 5-6 hours (one side) however it is recommended to break the journey in 2 days in order to maximize the experience and to not make it hard on your body
- Gaundhar or Bantoli (lower/upper) could be a great choice for stay. These villages offer reasonable homestay options.
- Every 1.5- 2 kms on this trail, there would be some village/point where one can rest and/or savor a cup of tea/snacks.
- The route until Bantoli is fairly easy but involves a steep incline afterwards. The entire route after Bantoli is an upward (inclined) walk.
- The entire route is scenic – as one crosses many waterfalls, bridges, walks through dense forests while the rich landscape continues to charm and create that magical spell on you
Some interesting facts about the Madhmaheshwar temple
- Since ages, the temple has been managed by Veer Maheshwar Purohits from southern India
- The temple here is closed during the winter months when the idol finds place at the Omkareshwar temple at Ukhimath. This happens with much fanfare and the yatra from Madhmaheshwar to Ukhimath (on foot) takes 4 days with stoppages at Gaudhar , Ransi , Giriya and finally at Ukhimath.
- The temple is situated at an altitude of about 3500 metres
Buddha (Old) Madmaheshwar temple is situated about 1 km at the top of the same hill. The views from Buddha Madmaheshwar are stunning as it provides a panoramic view of many famous peaks including Chaukhamba and Kedardome.
Summarising the experience
The trek is of an easy to moderate grade and can be completed (to and fro) in 2 days. This however doesn’t include the time until the last road-head. The best time to undertake this trek is either April or May or September-October months. The entire route offers multiple and economical homestay options so one doesn’t need to worry about accommodation and food at all. Every 1-2 kms on the entire trek route you will find a shop or two. A short trek that offers a plethora of experiences to the wanderer. Hope this will soon be on your itinerary.
With this I conclude the post and I hope you enjoyed reading it.
You do such a wonderful job of documenting the walks and trails, and your experiences in exploring these regions. Keep writing!
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I am glad you liked the posts. Thank you very much for your encouragement.