A quick tour toTarkeshwar – तारकेश्वर महादेव

I always have two sets of Ghummakari. One is with my family, where we book good accommodation and with all gears ready and behaving like “अच्छा बच्चा” (or rather achha buddha now LOL). The other set of trip is with group of my childhood friends (Laxman, Awasthi, Vijay & Pradeep).

With friends, our trip is quick, without any hotel bookings or preparations for the way and with minimum budget . It is so quick that sometimes we decide at night that tomorrow morning we are going. I keep a small tent, purchased from Scotland,  in the boot of car,  , which houses two and can be fitted in 20 minutes… but like our trains we can 3 or 4 slip into that in emergency.

Our trip to Tarkeshwar Mahadev was such a quickie. A day before we decided to dash and lo…next morning 4 am we were on the road with petrol tank  full. all five of us packed well in the car and crossed Meerut in one hour. Road from Meerut towards Kotdwar is not easily recognised during traffic hours as it looks like a small bazar, but in the wee hours it welcomed us with open lanes.

Passing through Bijnor, Nazibabad we reached Kotdwar and enjoyed our well earned breakfast. In Kotdwar we visited Kanva Ashram. I wished to see it for long because Rishi Kanv is our Gotra rishi, but seeing the dilapilated condition of temple, I was sad. I promised to our Gotra rishi, if I ever win a Euro lotto, I will re-build the Ashram …and we moved forward.
Afterwards we were very slow, stopping at every opportunity for photography or to let smokers enjoy. It was winter and we wanted to reach Tarkeshwar Mahadev during the day. After crossing Duggadda, we turned right towards Lansdowne. Going up towards Lansdowne when you are about to reach the Naka..where they charge you Rs.20 as parking fee in city, before turning towards Naka, there is a well built, well lit road going right.

Drive on this road for about 30 Kms and then there is a well forgotten, rotten and broken road going on left towards Tarkeshwar Temple. This five Km stretch is all broken, with no road at many places. At many places, all of us had to get down and Laxman, the most trained driver among us had to steer it nicely through the mud-pools, pebbles and dust heaps. 1 Km before a forgotten and sleepy village came, with only a little shop. The shop was only selling prasad for temple…no tea no drinks.
By the time we reached Tarkeshwar, it was 4 pm and was becoming dark. We rushed towards the temple complex which is hidden somewhere in the jungle of pine. It was all silent…only our own footsteps.

We first passed the Gauri Kund where there is place for taking bath and a covered shower room for ladies. But we had no time left for taking bath. After crossing a little plane area we saw the entrance of the temple.

The path towards temple is full with 1000s of bells and we were all ringing the bells like little children…enjoying the piercing sound of so many bells into the deep silence of the valley.

The temple’s main idol was stolen or smashed..donno what the priest said. The present one is a very simple stone carved idol lying inside temple.

We came out sat there for a second. There was dense forest around us. The sound of the wind was coming from pine trees giving a distinct and mysterious feeling. The forest is full of black bears and we were told not to venture into forest after sunset.
It was almost dark when we came back to our car and rushed towards lansdowne. We had earlier visited Lansdowne and were sure to get a cheap hotel to spend night there but on reaching the city center we were shocked to know that there is not even a single room available in any of the hotels. We sat in a restaurant sipped tea and enquired more about hotels around. The pahari boy came back after enquiring with a great “NO”. We were almost surprised to find that all lanseowne was empty still there is no place anywhere. Laxman suggested the big resort near Chungi Naka, but it was very costly and we do not encourage luxuries when we are not with families so after a few insulting remarks towards Laxman, that idea was dropped.
We decided to come down from lansdowne and find some place in Duggadda, which again came as a surprise…there was no hotel in Duggadda on road and a few were for truck drivers, who are given a charpoy for Rs.40. We were tired, hungry and irritated. Awasthi was almost fainting murmurring some broken words which we understood as C two…..h five …..OH…Oh..oh.oh. We have to find shelter soon for the poor tired oldest buddha among us. It was so dark around that we could not even think of fixing our tent there and spending the night hungry in the jungle.
Meanwhile it was foggy and we started towards Kotdwar. The more the descent, the denser the fog. Before Kotdwar it was so dense fog that we were unable to see anything. After entering Kotdwar we felt some sodium lights on our left and stopped the car. Going near the lights & we found that it was a resort type thing . We all smiled and took our car inside. The staff was leisurely chatting…thinking who the hell will come in this dense fog. Seeing five fat murgas entering the resort made them active and we were hurried to our rooms. Hardly had we settled down… hot tea with fresh Paneer Pakora was there. The fog became denser and we slept after feeding the Awasthi-baby.

Came morning and we saw where we were. It was a very small but beautiful resort on the banks of a little stream.


There was a shining structure across the river.  Waiter informed it is famous Sidhha Bali temple of Kotdwar about which we had never heard.  So after taking stomach full of paranthas we reached that Siddhabali temple.

This temple is dedicated to Hanumanji and is perhaps the only Hanuman temple where coconut is offered to the deity.  The temple was clean and beautiful.  We were told that there is a langar in the temple donated by those whose wish was fulfilled by this temple.  The first available slot was after 2 years…that speak volumes about the fame of this temple.

We had nothing to ask from Hanumanji so we left happily thanking him for whatever he has already given us…on our return journey to the boring Delhi again.

(There is a forest road from Duggadda to Neelkanth Mahadev in Rishikesh.  We wished to go via that road, but the locals warned us against it, because the road is full of wild elephants and has some very difficult terrain and running rivers.  If anyone has ever traversed that road, kindly let me know )

Thanks and cheers


  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    I have been to Lansdowne & Tarkeswar Temple in 2009 , road to Tarkeshwar temple is narrow & very uneven hence we hired a taxi instead of driving our self.

    Thanks for refreshing the memories.

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    SS ji,
    The post is excellent as usual. The only thing I felt missing was the necessary information about the place like what is the importance of Tarakeshwar mahadev? Where it is exactly located? etc.


    • Silentsoul says:

      Tks Mukeshbhai. The location has been vividly explained. it is near Lansedown. The story behind is

      Lord Shiva married Parwati daughter of Himalayas. Kartikeya was born.

      The day Tarakasur knew about Kartikeya The son of Lord Shiva he had intuition his days are numbered and his death is for sure. He immediately went to Lord Shiva and ask for pardon. Lord said your end is for sure by Kartikeya but yes, as you are a true devotee you will be remembered in Kalyug along with my name. Your name will be attached with my name and you will remembered too. Thus, Lord Shiva is also known as Tarkeshwar Mahadev.

      Tarkeshwar Mahadev temple is siddh peeth of 84 villages Earlier days there was a shivling existing within the temple but is not visible now-a-days. Now-a-days an idol of Lord Shiva performing Tandava is present discovered few years ago at the same location where the shivling was present.

  • once again a superb post……………

    Silent jee whats your real Name???????????????

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    ????? ??,
    ???????? ?? ?? ?? ?? ???? ???? ??? ????? ?????? ???? ??? ???? ???? ?? ???? ??????? ??? ?? ?? ??? ?? ????? ???? ?? ?? ?????…..????? ??? ?? ??? ??? ….??? ???? ??????? ……….???? ????? ?? ?

    • Silentsoul says:

      LOL…. that is good one. Actually SS & Nandan have both vowed that one will tell his name and the other will show his face after getting the “Ghumakkar of the Century” award. :)

      so wait for that day

  • vinaymusafir says:

    Well written post with lots of beautiful pics.
    I am from Najibabad and have visited Kotdwar manytimes, But couldn’t visit Tarkeshvar Temple yet.
    I have eaten the langar at Siddhbali temple 2-3 times, it offers langar 3 days i.e. Tuesday, Saturday & Sunday, but still, the first available slot to organize this langar is after 12 years now.

  • Noori Khan says:

    good…..looking more from you………

  • Silentsoul says:

    tks Noorikhanji

  • ?? ?? ??? ?? ?? ???? ?? ???? ??? ???? ?? ??? ?? ???????? ???? ?? ????, ????? ??? ???? ?????? ?? ????, ?? ?? ?? ?????? ?? ????, ???? ?? ?? ???????????? ?? ???? ?? ???? ??? ??? ???? ???

  • Nandan says:

    Never been there. Been to Lansdowne for the usual weekend-picnic thing which Dilliwallahs are so good at. Probably I am few years away. :-)

    I have been to the road you mentioned but from the Haridwar side. It is similar to what you heard except the Elephant part. If you are coming from Roorkee, then at the Gol-Chakkar, take a right towards Rajaji National Park. As you cross the river, get inside the park (there are multiple gates, so ask on the road which goes all the way to Laxman Jhoola). We used this road on the way to PhoolChatti, a few blocks away from main Rishikesh. While going, you come across numerous Raptas (a rivulet going over the road) and a BIG riverbed. We could go pass it on the way up but when we returned, it was not worth maneuvering through.

    The route before the main river is pretty good but after that there is a barrage and then you get into a narrow stretch where you need to be more careful and cautious. The road takes you to the base-point of Neelkanth (you can still go a little further via Jeep or can hike up).

    It is a great road and I would remember to explore this, next time I am headed towards Srinagar.

    Regarding the face and the name, reminds me of the famous song

    “… Naam Gum Jaayega, Chhera ye badal jaayega
    Meri lekhan (have changed it to suit the situation) hi pehchan hai
    Gar yaad rahe..”

    Jai hind.

    • Silentsoul says:

      Tks nandan. I have gone on this road. We went from opposite Har-Ki Pauri towards the barrage and entered the Rajaji park.. and then towards Chilla Dam (there is a small restaurant too for a quick refreshment)… from there we went towards Laxman Jhula. the road is well laid and we come across a beautiful “Sangam” of a river upon which a bridge crosses… and the bridge carries another river. …river crossing another river without mixing each other’s water. That stretch of about 1 Km is bad but negotiable

      This beautiful road goes 21 Kms straight to the barrage near Rishikesh. If we turn towards the left, we reach main Rishikesh-Haridwar road (after railway fatak)… but if we continue straight.. we reach Geeta bhavaan.. and then Laxman Jhula. The same road goes upto Neelkanth Mahadev Temple via phoolchatti camp. We went to Neelkanth temple by this road.

      When we cross phoolchatti and went up towards Neelkanth, the road is then forked… left side is going to Neelkanth and right side going straight to Dugadda. I am talking of this stretch.

      We saw a mini-bus going to Duggadda from here… so there is a road that is for sure. We wished to come from Dugadda to this road and then reach down to Laxman Jhula. I was told, this is the most beautiful stretch in Rajaji Park.. but only good for Jeeps or minibuses, not for the santro we were driving. I had seen some photos of this road from a friend and they were awesome.

      Another beautiful stretch is…from Haridwar we turn right (the one you told) and continue towards Nazibabad… but before Nazibabad.. turn left in the jungle and reach Kanva Ashram (via lal Dhand) and then Kotdwar. This road is said to be good. It is the same road where 5/6 years before the cavalcade of a minister of UP, was washed away by river and he and his guards had died.

      May be in next trip I will try to cross this stretch in a bigger car (scorpio or XUV) there.

    • Neeraj Jat says:

      ???????? ??, ????? ???? ????? ??, ??? ?? ?? ????? ?? ??????? ??? ??? ??? ?? ?????? ??? ?? ?? ??? ??? ?? ??????? ?? ???? ???? ???????? ?? ??? ?? ??? ??? ??, ?? ??? ?? ??????? ???? ?? ?????? ?????? ??????? ??? ???? ?? ?? ???? ??? ??? ???? ??????? ?? ??????? ???
      ?? ???????-??????? ????? ???? ?? ???? ??? ???? ???

  • Ritesh Gupta says:

    S.S. ji

    Once again nice post & Good pictures…..

    ?? ????????? ?????? ?? ?? !


  • D.L.Narayan says:

    Dear SS ji,

    As usual, an interesting post, but I wish that you had posted images of the Kanvaashram. That was where Shakuntala, the daughter of Vishwamitra and Menaka grew up. She was the mother of Bharata, so in a way, all of us can trace our roots to this Ashram.

    We know what you look like but most of us do not know your real name. In the case of M/s Laxman, Pradeep and Awasthi, it is the opposite.

    ?? ?? ???? ??? ????? ?? ??? ?? ??? ???? ?? ?????? ???
    ???? ????? ??? ??? ????? ????? ?? ??????? ?? ????? ??? ?? ??????? ???? ??

    • Silentsoul says:

      ??????… ??????

      Tks Narayan ji,…. actually I have locked horns with nandajha that till he shows his face, i will not tell my name… so the war continues….LOL

      you not only have high spiritual energies, but have sharp intelligence too. you know my name fully i guess from the words you used LOL…oui… L’ocean de l’amour !!! but how I am amazed… ! working with RAW ?

      actually I have been using SS from 2001 onwards on Yahoo egroups, answers, google etc etc… most of my friends know me by this name… so i always prefer to be Silent Soul… !!

      I will post fotos of Kanva Ashram when I get it re-constructed after I win a Euro Lotto. :)

      tks yr comments make me alive again…

  • Tarun Talwar says:

    Silentsoul ji,

    This is an excellent series with some not so well known temples featured. Thanks for sharing.

  • Yogesh Lakhera says:

    The road from Duggadda to Nilkant is quite safe if one takes below route

    Duggadda – Pokhal – Virgukhal – Kandhi – Nilkanhant.

    Infact this a state highway and will take approximately 3hours to reach Nilkhant. Not much fear of wild elephant on this road.

  • Yogesh Lakhera says:

    The road is wide enough even some state transportation bus runs in this route and it is very picturious route.

  • Yogesh Lakhera says:

    I have travelled in my own car in the above said route many times. Its a a nicely maintained road :)

    • SilentSoul says:

      tks Yogeshji … so next time we will take this route and I am sure it will be scenic and beautiful

  • Yogesh Lakhera says:

    Sure Sir….. DO let me know your experience once you take this route….

  • Avtar Singh says:

    Dear SS
    Excellent post with a great writing skill. I have been to Lansdowne three time but still not to Tarkeshwar. After reading your post, I have already made my mind to visit there, if ever go to Lansdowne, whether I have to hire a jeep for this.

    Thanx for the nice post.

    • SilentSoul says:

      Thanks Avatarji for reading this very old post. From lansdowne to Tarkeshwar the first 20 odd Kms road is the best road in Uttrakhand.. after that you have to turn left on a easily missing dirt road and drive about 5 Kms to reach Tarkeshwar.

      Hope you read some of my other posts when you find some time.

      Thanks and Sat Sri Akaal

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