Omkareshwar Temple is Kedarnath‘s winter abode located in Ukhimath village of Rudraprayag district in Uttarakhand. It is also known as the main throne of “Panch Kedar.” This place has been famous as the “Karambhoomi” of Lord Kedarnath ji and the second Kedar Shri Madmaheshwar ji. The temple is built in the Katyayani architectural style, and the temple’s main gate is made of wood. The temple is dedicated to Usha Lord Shiva: Goddesses Parvati, Aniruddha, and Mandhata are worshipped.
Devotees visit the Omkareshwar, an “Avatar of Lord Shiva,” to attain the divine qualities of Lord Shiva. Devotees can get salvation by coming to this holy place and offering their prayers. It is believed that one who does not get a chance to visit Kedarnath Dham can go to Omkareshwar temple for the same blessings.
Also, the person who didn’t do the yatra of Chota Char Dham in Uttarakhand can visit this Winter Circuit of the Char Dham Yatra since the Char Dham Yatra is not accessible in winter. His trip will be considered Char Dham Yatra if he completes the Yatra of Omkareshwar, Yogdhyan Badri, Mukhba, and Kharsali.
It is believed that “Usha” was married to Aniruddha (grandson of Shri Krishna), daughter of the demon king Banasura, and it was named Ushamath after her, which later became Ukhimath. In the epic Mahabharata war, the Pandavas were stigmatized for killing their father, brother, and son, leading them to live in atonement. For atonement, he performed a Yagya, resulting in Akashvani, and told them to worship Lord Shiva – “The God of the Himalayas” so that they could get rid of their sins.
Lord Shiva had tested the Pandavas by dividing himself into five parts in the Himalayas. “Tungnath” is eye and arm, “Madamdeshwar” is the middle and navel portion, “Rudranath” is Rudra and throat portion, “Kalpeshwar” is Jata or hair, and the place where Lord Shiva manifested himself in Pasha or back portion, was “Kedarnath”.
October to April is the best time to visit Omkareshwar Temple, Ukhimath. Because at this time, you can visit Kedarnath ji in Omkareshwar temple since Kedar Baba’s deity is in Ukhimath in winter. So this is the right time to visit Baba Kedar and get acquainted with the historical importance of Ukhimath.
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Ukhimath is located in Rudraprayag, 18 kilometers from Guptkashi. There are three ways to reach Ukhimath.
By Air: Travelling by air is a quick way to Omkareshwar Temple. For those who start their journey from Delhi or any other major city in India, Dehradun will be the last air stop. After arriving at Jolly Grant Airport, you can reach Guptkashi / Sarsi / Phata by Sahastradhara Helipad in Dehradun and take a heli service to Guptkashi. Ukhimath is located just 17 to 18 kilometers from Guptkashi, where you can reach Ukhimath by a local taxi.
By Road: Rishikesh and Haridwar are the major cities where you can easily reach Omkareshwar and Ukhimath. First of all, you take a bus to Guptkashi. Mainly these buses leave early in the morning (5:00 am to 11:00 am) for their destination. Catch a bus before 9:00 and go to Guptkashi. From Guptkashi, you can reach Ukhimath in 25 to 30 minutes by local taxi or bus.
By Train: Though the train does not reach Ukhimath, the train can ease your journey to a great extent. Rishikesh Yoga Nagari is the nearest Railway Station to Ukhimath. It is well connected to almost all the major cities of India, reaching where you can complete your onward journey by road or air.