Ukhimath is a small town located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is situated in the Rudraprayag district, which is known for its natural beauty and religious significance.
Ukhimath is considered to be an important pilgrimage center and is the winter seat of Lord Kedarnath, one of the four sacred shrines in India’s Char Dham pilgrimage, during the winter months, when the temple of Kedarnath is closed due to snowfall. The temple’s deity is carried to Ukhimath, and is worshipped at the Onkareshwar Temple during the winter months.
The town is also home to other important temples such as the Madhyamaheshwar Temple and the Tungnath Temple. It’s also known for its beautiful natural scenery, with the Mandakini River flowing nearby and the Chaukhamba mountain range in the background.
Ukhimath can be reached by bus or by car from Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun and Guptkashi, it’s also a popular spot for trekkers and adventure enthusiasts as it’s surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes and is a starting point for many treks in the region.
Places to visit in Ukhimath
. Some of the popular places to see in Ukhimath include:
- Onkareshwar Temple: This is one of the most important temples in Ukhimath and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is considered to be the winter seat of Lord Kedarnath and is open during the winter months when the Kedarnath temple is closed due to snowfall.
- Madhyamaheshwar Temple: This is another important temple in Ukhimath and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is located at an altitude of 3,497 meters above sea level and is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery. Distance from Ukhimath to Shree Madmaheswar or Madhyamaheswar Temple is 18 kms.
- Tungnath Temple: This is one of the highest Shiva temples in the world and is the third temple of the Panch Kedar. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and it is located at an altitude of 3,680 meters above sea level. Ukhimath to Tungnath distance is around 29 kms.
- Chaukhamba mountain range: Ukhimath is also surrounded by the beautiful Chaukhamba mountain range. Visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the mountains and the surrounding landscape, it’s also a great spot for trekking and camping.
- Mandakini River : The river flows nearby the town and it’s a popular spot for picnics, fishing and for taking a dip, it’s considered to be very auspicious and is believed to have healing powers.
- Deoria Tal : it’s a small lake located near Ukhimath, which is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery and it’s a great spot for camping and trekking.
These are just a few of the many places to see in Ukhimath. As always, it’s always best to check the reviews and ask locals before visiting a particular place, also please keep in mind that some
Stay in Ukhimath
Ukhimath is a small town located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and it may not have many options for accommodations. The town has some guesthouses, lodges and home stays that offer basic facilities for travelers. They may provide options like simple rooms with shared or private bathrooms, and some may also offer meals. Some of the places may have limited amenities such as electricity, but they offer an excellent location near the temples, providing an opportunity to participate in the morning and evening prayers.
You could also choose to stay in a tent or camping near the mandakini river or at deoria tal.Camping is a great way to experience the beautiful natural surroundings, but it’s always best to check the weather forecast and to be prepared for any eventualities, particularly during the winter months when temperatures can drop significantly.
It’s always best to check the reviews and book in advance as the town can become very crowded during peak seasons. It’s also worth noting that the town is located in a remote area, so the infrastructure might not be as developed as other places in the region.
Food in Ukhimath
Food options in Ukhimath, Uttarakhand, India, may be limited as it is a small town. There are small dhabas and shops that sell basic necessities such as food, clothing, and camping equipment. These dhabas typically serve simple local dishes that are made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.
Some of the popular dishes that are commonly served in the dhabas of Ukhimath include:
-Dal, Rice: This is a staple food of many Indians, it’s a simple dish made with lentils and rice.
-Pahadi food: This is the local cuisine, which includes dishes like Kafuli (a green leafy vegetable), Bhatt ki churkani (a dry preparation of lentils) and Jholi (a curry made with lentils, vegetables, and spices)
- Maggi: Its an instant noodle and it’s a popular option among the trekkers and locals, as it’s an easy and convenient food option.
- Momos: which is a popular street food in the region, which is made from flour and water, and stuffed with vegetables or meat.
As the town is remote location, it’s best to bring some snacks and food from Rishikesh or any other nearest city, to ensure that you have enough to eat during your stay. However, it’s always best to check the reviews and ask locals before eating in a particular place, as some places may not be hygienic or may not meet your expectations.
Mythological Stories of Ukhimath
Some of the most notable myths include:
- The story of Lord Kedarnath and Lord Onkareshwar: According to legend, Lord Kedarnath, one of the four sacred shrines in India’s Char Dham pilgrimage, who is worshipped at the Kedarnath temple during the summer months, had to move to the Onkareshwar Temple in Ukhimath during the winter months because of heavy snowfall in the Kedarnath area.
- The story of Lord Kedarnath and the Pandavas: According to the Hindu epic Mahabharata, Lord Kedarnath had aided the Pandavas, the five brothers who were the heroes of the Mahabharata, during their exile by providing them with a disguised appearance.
- The story of Lord Rama and Lord Hanuman: According to the Hindu epic Ramayana, Lord Rama, one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu, and his devotee Lord Hanuman, visited the Tungnath temple on the way to Lanka in search of Rama’s wife Sita.
- The story of Lord Madhyamaheswar: According to legend, Lord Madhyamaheswar is said to be the childhood form of Lord Shiva, and according to the legend, it is said that Lord Shiva in the form of Madhyamaheswar did penance at this place and defeated a demon.
These are a few of the many mythological stories associated with the town and surrounding temples, they are an important part of the local culture, and they play an important role in shaping the religious beliefs and practices of the local population.
Char Dham Distance From Ukhimath
The distance and time it takes to travel to the four main pilgrimage sites in Char Dham,Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, from Ukhimath are as follows:
-Badrinath: It is located at a distance of 169 kilometers and takes around 6 hours to reach from Ukhimath. The route passes through Chamoli, Pipalkoti, Joshimath, Govindghat, Pandukeshwar and Hanuman Chatti before reaching Badrinath.
-Kedarnath: It is located at a distance of 65 kilometers and takes about 5 hours to reach from Ukhimath. The route passes through Guptkashi, Sonprayag, Gaurikund before reaching Kedarnath.
-Gangotri: It is located at a distance of 289 kilometers and takes about 10 hours to reach from Ukhimath. The route passes through Augustmuni, Rudraprayag, Srinagar, Naughar, Uttarkashi before reaching Gangotri.
-Yamunotri: It is located at a distance of 305 kilometers and takes about 11 hours to reach from Ukhimath. The route passes through Augastmuni, Rudraprayag, Srinagar, Chinyalisaur, Dharasu Band, Barkot, Jankichatti before reaching Yamunotri.
It’s worth noting that the routes and timings may vary depending on the weather and road conditions and it’s always best to check the latest information and plan your trip accordingly.
How to reach Ukhimath
- By Air: The closest airport to Ukhimath is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is approximately 200 km away. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Ukhimath.
- By Train: The nearest railway station to Ukhimath is located in Rishikesh and Haridwar, which are about 170km away. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Ukhimath.
- By Road: Ukhimath can be reached by road from nearby towns like Rishikesh, Haridwar, and Dehradun. Buses and taxis are easily available from these towns to Ukhimath.
Activites in Ukhimath
- Trekking and Hiking: With the beautiful Chaukhamba mountain range and the surrounding natural landscapes, Ukhimath is a popular spot for trekking and hiking. There are several trekking routes that pass through Ukhimath and take you to the nearby temples and other scenic spots.
- Religious tours: As mentioned before Ukhimath is a important pilgrimage center, visiting the temples like Onkareshwar Temple, Tungnath temple and Madhyamaheshwar Temple. The town is also home to the winter seat of Lord Kedarnath, which attracts many pilgrims.
- Camping and Picnics: The town is located near the Mandakini river, which is a popular spot for picnics, fishing and for taking a dip. There are also options of camping nearby the river and Deoria Tal, which are great way to experience the beautiful natural surroundings of the area.
- Photography: With the beautiful surrounding natural landscapes and the ancient temples, Ukhimath is a popular spot for photography. Visitors can capture some beautiful shots of the temples, mountains, and the Mandakini river.
- Fishing and Auspicious Baths : Ukhimath and its surroundings has many places where bathing is considered auspicious, like the Mandakini river and the Deoria tal lake, visitors often take a dip and perform prayers and rituals for blessings.
It’s always best to check the weather forecast and be prepared for any eventualities, particularly during the winter months when temperatures can drop significantly, also it’s always best to check the reviews and ask locals before trying any activity, as some might be closed or not suitable depending on the time of the year.
Best time to visit Ukhimath
The best time to visit Ukhimath, Uttarakhand, India, depends on the type of activities that you’re planning to do.
- Summer Season (April to June): The summer season is considered to be the best time to visit Ukhimath as the weather is pleasant, and the days are long which allows for a lot of sightseeing and trekking activities. The temperature range between 20-30 degree Celsius. This is also a good time for visiting the Tungnath temple, which is only open during the summer months.
- Monsoon Season (July to September): This season is not suitable for visiting the place, as the heavy rains and landslides can make it difficult to travel to the area and also causes damage to the trekking routes.
-Winter Season (October to March): The winter season is also considered to be a good time to visit Ukhimath as the Onkareshwar Temple is open during this time and visitors can see the idol of Lord Kedarnath which is brought down from the Kedarnath temple. However, the temperature can drop as low as -5 degree Celsius and the snowfall might make it hard to travel, but it’s a good time for photography, and also a good time to experience the chilly weather and snow.