Rudraprayag: Guptkashi City in Uttarakhand’s Rudraprayag district is visited by a large number of people from across the world for its scenic beauty, as well as for the various ancient temples. Located near the Mandakini river, Guptkashi is also known as the holy city of Uttarakhand. Surrounded by snowy hills, greenery, cultural heritage and pleasant weather of Chaukhamba hills, this city is a perfect holiday destination for tourists.
Apart from sceneries, Vishwanath Temple and Ardhanarishvara temple in Guptkashi city are also a major attraction. The ancient temples of this city belong to the Mahabharata period. The city even got its name from the Pandavas who were brave warriors in the Mahabharata.
Mythology related to Vishwanath temple in Guptkashi:
As per the mythgology, when there was a war between the Kauravas and the Pandavas, in Kurukshetra, within Haryana, the Pandavas had killed many people and their brothers there, then due to the same slaughter they had suffered many guilts. The Pandavas were supposed to seek forgiveness from Lord Shiva for rectifying the same guilts, but he was furious with the Pandavas because during that war the Pandavas had killed the devotees of Lord Shiva as well. To get rid of the same guilts, the Pandavas offered prayers and went out to see Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva was meditating at this place in the Himalayas and when he came to know that the Pandavas were coming to this place, he took the form of the bull (Nandi) and disappeared or rather became ‘gupt’, hence the name of this place was Guptkashi.
After this, Lord Shiva disappeared and appeared in many parts in Panchkedar i.e. Madmaheshwar, Rudranath, Tungnath, Kalpeshwar and Kedarnath. Therefore, this temple has the same recognition as that of Panchkedar.
Another temple situated here is Ardhanarishvara i.e. half male, half female. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess ‘Parvati’. It is believed that Lord Shiva had proposed marriage to Goddess ‘Parvati’ here and after that the marriage was solemnized in Triyuginarayan temple.
The architectural style of this temple is similar to other temples in Uttarakhand, this temple remains the same as Kedarnath temple. At the apex of the entrance is an image of ‘Bhairav’, a fearsome form of Lord Shiva. There is a pool in the temple complex which is called Manikarnika Kund. Which is a holy tank, where two streams of water always flow. The water of this pool represents the Ganges (Bhagirathi) and Yamuna river.