The Only Lord Kartik Temple in North India•
Posted on May 03 2023
Lord Kartik, known by other names such as Subramaniam, Kartikeyan, Skanda and Murugan is considered in Hindu mythology as the eldest son of Lord Shiva and His consort, Goddess Parvati. He is also referred to as a warrior god or the god of war and a spear is believed to be His weapon. The lord is associated with a total of 108 names.
There are various temples in South India dedicated to the god. Interestingly, most of these shrines are located on top of a hill. In contrast, you may be surprised to know that there is only one temple in honour of the lord in North India. The temple also attracts several adventure buffs and nature lovers apart from pilgrims from various parts of the country.
Interested in knowing more about this solo shrine in North India that is over 200 years old? Read on to know more interesting facts and details about the temple.
The Lord Kartik temple is situated in Uttarakhand on top of a hill like most other shrines of the lord on the Kronch Parvat. Situated at an elevation of 10,000 feet, the temple is surrounded by the scenic beauty of the Himalayas. The sunrise from the hill top presents a gorgeous view that is truly mesmerising, which you would definitely not want to miss.
Like most shrines in India, this one is also associated with an interesting legend surrounding it. Lord Kartik and His younger brother Lord Ganesha were once engaged in a comflict as to who among them was the greatest. Unable to resolve the issue between themselves, they approached their parents for assistance. Shiva and Parvati asked them to come back to them after a circumambulation of the entire world seven times.
Lord Kartik set off on the mission immediately on His mount, the peacock. On the other hand, Lord Ganesha stood there pondering for a while. After this, He proceeded to go around His parents seven times. When Shiva and Parvati asked Him what He was doing, He declared that according to Him,
His parents were the world.
When Lord Kartik returned from the daunting task, He understood what Lord Ganesha had done to complete the same and was enraged. The wrath only increased further when He knew Shiva was pleased by this act and declared him the winner.
He left His parents’ abode in Kailash and proceeded to Kronch Parvat where He did a self-sacrifice of His physical self by offering His flesh and bones to His mother and father respectively as His reverence towards His parents. Lord Shiva was touched by this gesture and had a temple be established in honour of Lord Kartik on this hilltop. To this day, the bones of the deity can be found inside the premises of the shrine along with an idol of the lord that has been carved naturally and resting on a marble type rock.
Significance of the Bell
There are various unique traditions adopted by devotees with utmost devotion in this shrine. They believe that carrying a bell into the temple premises, especially on Kartik Purnima, and making a wish helps it to come true. The engrossing temple complex has is full of bells of various sizes and shapes. The pleasant sound of over a hundred bells in the shrine can be heard clearly from even a distance of 800m.
Apart from the bell ritual, another common ritual followed here is the offering of Lord Kartik several combs of vermillion by his devotees.
How to Reach the Temple
The highlights of this temple are maha bhandaras, mantra chants and evening prayers. Devotees visiting the Lord Kartik temple undertake a moderately easy trek of three to four kilometres through a rhododendron forest starting from the Kanak Chauri village in Rudraprayag District. There is a flight of 80 steps at the end point of this trek. Worshippers climb this flight to reach the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine where the idol is kept. In fact, the temple becomes more and more visible as you ascend these steps.
Another way to reach the temple is to undertake a bus journey starting from Rishikesh or Haridwar up to Rudraprayag. From Rudraprayag, reaching the shrine is a journey of only 40 kilometres on the Rudraprayag-Pokhari route. Worshippers hire a cab from here to reach the temple.
A majority of devotees visiting this temple are childless couples longing for a progeny. They visit the shrine to offer their prayers to the lord and also to be bestowed with His blessings.
The ideal time to visit this Kartik temple to pay homage to the deity is between October and June. The eand Vaikunta Chaturdashi. Kartik Purnima is celebrated on the fifteenth lunar day or the full moon day or purnima of the Hindu Kartik month that is between November and December. This is an auspicious day and is considered as the day the lord was born.
Worshippers also visit the shrine in June to participate in the Kailash Yatra with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm. This yatra takes place over a period of 11 days and it is believed that the lord does not move out of the temple during this time. The Kartik Swami Fair is a major festival celebrated in the shrine premises for 11 days along with the Kailash Yatra and witnesses a multitude of visitors attending the fair. Several ceremonies and rituals such as Mahayagna and Shiv Mahapuran Katha are conducted in the temple complex as a part of the fair celebrations.
The temple is open all through the year and you can visit the premises at any time of the year in any season. However, it is recommended that if you plan to reach the shrine by a trek, you avoid the monsoon season because the roads tend to get damaged and the trekking trail gets disrupted as a result of the significant rainfall.
There are various benefits of worshipping Lord Kartikeya. When a devotee worships the lord with utmost faith, he/she gets rids of his/her harmful desires and bad habits. Since Tuesday is the day associated with the lord, the worshipper also finds relief from the negative or ill effects of manglik dosha. Devotees also blessed with a charming personality, strength, courage, knowledge and power. They also get relief from illnesses and are blessed with a happy and blessed family life. Moreover, they are bestowed with victory over negative energies and evil forces.
Written by - Deepthi K