Located in the Pauri Garhwal district at an approx distance of thirty-seven kilometers from Lansdowne the Tarkeshwar Mahadev temple is one of the ancient holy destinations of Uttarakhand. Situated on the top of a hill at the height of 2092m, Tarkeshwar Mahadev is an old religious site dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is probably the most visited temple of Uttarakhand.
According to the old folktales, Tarkasur was a demon who devoted his whole life worshipping and meditating for Lord Shiva. After noticing his undying devotion, Lord Shiva gave him the blessing of immortality as per his request except the son of Lord Shiva. After getting the power of immortality, Tarkasur slowly started turning evil by killing saints and threatening other gods. After his mischiefs grew, more and more saints pledged for help from Lord Shiva. He then married Parvati and then his son Kartikeya was born. Kartikeya soon puts an end to all the wrongdoing of Tarkasur by killing him, but at the time of his last breath, Tarkasur makes a last prayer to Lord Shiva to ask for his forgiveness. That was the reason why Lord Shiva attached his name to the temple where he meditated once. Hence this very spot was named Tarkeshwar Mahadev.
Thousands of pilgrims and devotees from all over India visit this temple to pray to the presiding deity Lord Shiva. This temple is located in the middle of dense forest which is filled with Cedar, Deodar, and pine trees. Earlier a Shivling was present in this temple, but now a Lord Shiva idol is worshipped here. The Shivling of this temple is placed under this Tandava performing Idol deity. Another temple that is dedicated to the Goddess Shakti lies next to the main temple.
Before entering the temple, one can spot a lot of open pools which are utilized for bathing purposes for ladies closed pools are also available. A Kund is also available in the premise of this temple from which pure holy water is used for making an offering to Lord Shiva in the temple.
A grand celebration for Maha Shivratri is also conducted here annually, in the mahashivratri, this temple is flocked with thousands of devotees offering prayers to Lord Shiva.
Tips for tourist and travelers
If you want to take part in the daily rituals of this temple then wear fresh and clean clothes and also bring some fresh flowers and incense, you can easily purchase flowers and incense on the small stalls located in front of the temple.
Refrain from taking pictures in the restricted areas of the temple.
Things to Do There
Well, for the most part, everyone visits this temple to ask for Lord Shiva’s blessings. Aside from this, you can spend a great time admiring the beauty of the beckoning deodar, Pine, and Oak trees.
Best time for visiting this Temple
If you want to experience the beauty of this temple at its full glory, consider visiting it during the festival of Maha Shivratri as the premise if decorated beautifully during that time. Aside from this, you can visit anytime from March to November.
How to reach the temple
You can reach this temple by taking a taxi from Gundalkhet village and from there you will need to take a trek of around one kilometer, and you will arrive at this temple. Aside from this, there are plenty of great restaurants and other cool tourist destinations near this temple, which makes it a must-visit destination on your trip to Lansdowne.