Kali Mathh -काली मठ

Due to my job, I have to remain out of India, most of the times.  I normally get a break and come to India for two years and these two years, I spend in exploring Himalayas.  Earlier in 80s, it was with Bajaj super scooter and now it is with car.

My friends normally wait for my return, because I always come with names of new places to visit and they wait anxiously for their new adventure.  This time we decided to visit Kali Mathh in Uttranchal. Kali mathh has a great religious background.  In Durga Saptshati, when Kali killed Raktabeej and Shumbha Nishumbha, her anger did not subside even after war was over.  Her energy was destroying everything in the way.  All gods were worried and requested Lord Shiva to calm her down.  He lied down in her path and the moment she was about to put her feet on his chest, she realised her mistake and cooled down ( many photos of Kali you might have seen in this posture).  Shiva asked Kali to cool down and use her awakened energies for the benefit of humans.  Kali, the raw energy, entered the earth making a hole in the rocks.

Kali Mathh is the only hindu temple, where they dont worship any pindi or any idol or photo.  It is only that hole which Kali caused, which is worshipped here.  All Shaktas at least once in their life, visit this place, specially Bengali Shakta followers. Even if you do not have deep religious appetite, the place is so beautiful, untouched by tourists and civilisation, that it would be a mistake not to have visited there by anybody loving Himalayas.

So in a wintery Feb,2010 I fixed programme with my childhood friends, Pradeep, Awasthi and Vijay to be ready for a surprise visit ! We started from Delhi early morning around 5 am and crossing the usually jammed roads, in the fastest way possible and reached Haridwar around 9.  Taking a quick dip in Ganges, we continued our journey uphill and next stop was at Devprayag.  You all know it is from Devprayag that the name Ganga starts, after Bhagirathi meets with Alaknanda.  We stopped for a while for “Pind-daan” of my father who died 2 months before.

You can see clearly the different color of water from Alaknanda and Bhagirathi.Taking breaks in between and halting at some places due to land-slides, we reached Rudraprayag from where one road goes to Badrinath and the turn on left, having old iron bridge, goes to Kedarnath.  We turned our car towards Kedarnath and reached Gupta Kashi in the evening.    Just entering the city we found our tyre flat.  Either due to non-yatra season, or due to local holidy, all the shops were closed. Luckily we saw one tyre shop open 100 meters away.  Awasthi went to the shop and asked the boy if he could repair a flat tyre.  The boy very rudely told to bring the wheel there and also warned that he will only repair tyre and will not unscrew the wheel or will not fit that after puncture repaired.  This was very odd as normally Garhwalis are very helping.  I think he was a new college drop, whose father forced him to open this shop so he was earning for the family, but keeping his attitude intact. Anyhow, we had our hands blackened and the car was ready to go further.  We reached the city center.  Since it was not a Yatra Season, GuptaKashi was a sleeping town, with most of the hotels closed.After long search, we could persuade a Nepali boy to open a room of his hotel for us, enabling him earning some extra money.  The same boy brought food from a near by shop.  The food was very cheap but delicious.

Next Morning, we were ready by 8 to go to Kali Mathh. We u-turned our car towards Delhi and started our descent on the same road where we had come from.  One Kilometer before Gupt-kashi there is a turning on the right hand (if going to Gupta-Kashi), with a faint board indicating way to Kali Math.  Obviously we missed the turn and after about 4 Kms, reversed our car, this time all of us watching for the board and voila we got it.

Isi khushi mein ek photo ho jaye.  Chaukhamba Peak looks beautiful from Gupt-Kashi.

The route going down from Gupt-Kashi to Kali Mathh is lonesome, lovely and the road is very good, although small.  The farther we go on this road, Chaukhamba comes nearer and becomes clearer

After enjoying the beautiful scenes all around, we covered 22 Kms in one hour and reached Kali-Mathh.

We parked the car and were ready for this great place.  Kali Math is at the height of around 6000 feet above sea level, surrounded by river Saraswati from three sides.  We crossed the old bridge on the river and reached temple.

One thing I like about Uttranchal temples is that the priests there take your puja seriously and do it duty fully devoting full time, unlike in Vaishno Devi where they literally push you out of temple without any politeness.  We had our puja and listened to the legends from Pujariji, who was more than happy to share his stories with us.

Kali Mathh campus is having many temples in the vicinity, specially the Saraswati temple, Shiva and shakti temple.  Just go further the main temple, and you are on a big veranda, having small temples on one side and Beautiful Saraswati river on the other.

Little temple of Gauri Shankar has the only idol of shiva-shakti facing each other, as if talking.  The little punditji was about 10 years old and was quite enthusiastic to tell tales about the temple After getting some money from us, little punditji ran towards the nearby shop and purchased biscuits and toffees with our Dakshina.

There is a havan kund, in which there is fire always.  There are two care takers who keep the fire 24 hours a day 365 days a year. It is said that this Yagya fire was lit by Sita and has not extinguished for all the three yugas.

There is a Shila-Lekh outside this Yagya-room, which has some story written in strange language.  The alphabets seem like of sanskrit, but the language is neither sanskrit, nor prakrit or Pali.  The chief priest told that many academicians from UN came here and took photos of this writing to make head and tale of the story.  It seems the language is so old, that it cant be understood by today’s standards.

After Darshan, we came to nearby shop but he had not much to offer to eat. We settled for tea and refused to eat samosas which looked quite unhygienic.  Those going to Gupt-Kashi must fill the belly in Gupt-kashi market, for the day because it is difficult to find food here.

There is a Dharamshala in the temple, where one can stay. Temple arranges for the bedding and one has to cook his food himself.There is a tracking route uphill about 6 Kms in thick forest.  In this jungle we can find many stones which have Yantras made on them, 100s of years old.  The forest is full of bears and it is not advisable to go alone there.

As we were about to leave temple premises, we saw a little water-mill.  This was a great example of ancient technology.  Water was brought in the Mill from river and it pushed a little wooden turbine, which is connected to a heavy stone.  The Mill was working fine and wheat flour was gushing out.  We were told that all villagers around come here for their flour needs.

Then we went further 5 kms on a dusty road going through dense forest, as if we were going to touch the Chaukhamba, or would reach Kedar Nath.  After 5 Kms, the road ended in a very tiny village.  On the other side of the valley was ancient Shiva temple, said to be 100s of years old.

After taking a stroll and snapping some photos, we started our return journey.

When Kali entered the earth in Kali Mathh, she first peeped out her head as Kalyani (the helper of the world), in Dhaari Devi… about which I will write in my next story.


  • Sumit Nirmal Kumar says:

    Hello Silentsoul,

    It was a refreshing and to the point travelouge. Really liked reading it.
    Keep on writing…

    Sumit Nirmal Kumar

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Silentsoul ji,

    It was a dashing entry to Ghumakkar.com. The post is excellent. Both story and pictures are awesome. Thanks for taking us to such a holy place. In the 1st picture the Ganges looks so pure and clear in Rudraprayag (Is it really that much clear???). Where one can find the purest Ganges?


  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    I am from Uttranchal but never heard about Kali Mathh. Yes you are right , Uttranchali priests don’t prefer shortcuts while performing Puja,

    Waiting for your next post on Dharidevi.

  • Silentsoul says:

    Bhalse ji, this is picture at Devprayag, where Alaknanada meets Bhagirathi and it is named Ganga from this point onwards. Ganga water is quite pure till Rishikesh… afterwards WE start polluting it.

    Sunit & Semwal ji thanks for your appreciations on my first effort to write on Ghummakkar dot come…. a really wonderful place with wonderful people.

  • toddler ved says:

    welcome aboard. Nice post with beautiful pics. Thnx.

  • Silentsoul says:

    tsk vedji

  • Neeraj Jat says:

    @Kedar Peak looks beautiful from Gupt-Kashi.
    ?? ????? ??? ???? ??, ????? ??????? ??? ??????????? ?? ?????? ?? ??? ?????????-????? ??????? ??? ??????? ?? ?? ??????? ???
    ????? ?????, ??? ?? ????? ??????

  • Silentsoul says:

    ??????? ?????….???? ???? ???? ??? ?? ?? ?????? ?? ??. ??? ??? ?? ???? ????? ???? ?????

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

  • Silentsoul says:

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

  • ashok sharma says:

    beautiful narration,good pics.
    had never heard of this great place KAALI MATH.
    would like to visit soon.
    keep sharing your experience with us.

  • Nandan says:

    Welcome aboard Silent Soul.

    We call these stories as FOG (First on Ghumakkar) :-) so you are starting your journey with many firsts here.

    I had a similar tyre-flat-poor-service experience but we kept hope and were able to manage a person who could come and help us with. That peak is Chaukhamba only, in all it full glory.

    Dhaari Devi story is scheduled to come later this week. Looking fwd to read many more new tales from you and wishing you good luck at Ghumakkar.

  • Silentsoul says:

    tks ashok and Nandan

  • Sharma Shreeniwas says:

    ???????? ?? ???? ????? ??????? ???? ?? ‘????????????’ ! ????????
    ??????, ??? ?????????? ??? ??? 2010 ??? ????? ???? ?? ????? ?? ?????? ??????? ??? ??? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???? ????? ?? ?????? ?? ????? ???? ?? ?????? ???? ??? ???? ??????-??????? ?? ????? ?? ?? ??????? ????? ?? ??????? ???? ???? ?? ????? ????????? ???? ?????? ?? ???? ????? ?? ?? ???? ???? ?? ???? ??? ???? ?? ????? ?? ?????? ????? ?? ???? ??? ??? ?? ???? ???? ?? ??????????? ?????? ??? ???? ???? ?????? ?????? ?? ?????? ???

  • Silentsoul says:

    ??????? ????? ??, ??????? ??? ????? ?? ??????? ???? ???? ??????? ??, ??? ?? ?????? ????? ???? ??? ?? ???????? ???? ????? ????

  • Silentsoul says:

    ???? ?? ?? ???? ???? ???? ???? ?? ???? ??????? ??? ?????????? ????? ?????? ??, ?? ???? ???? ????? ???? ?? ?? ???? ??? ????? ??? ??? ??

  • D.L.Narayan says:

    Great pix and narration, Mounatmaji. Your love for the Himalayas is evident in your writing and the pen name you have selected for yourself. I wonder why you chose to visit Kalimath in winter instead of summer…is there any special reason? Was it not difficult drive in these conditions?

    I have read somewhere that the Kali Math temple is highly venerated because of the intense spiritual vibrations that emanate there. Maybe that is the reason why the priests there are different from their counterparts elsewhere.

    Regarding the shila lekh, I wonder if it is written in the Gupta, Sarada or Nagari scripts which were predecessors of the Devanagari script we are familiar with. It does not look like Brahmi, which is the oldest Indian script.

  • Thanks Ghumakkar.Com where we meet to the ghumakkars having different tastes and natures. Pernam to all. Innocent paharies and the local bodies of one’s place try to provide the best pavements/ravelled roads/dense roads/c.c.roads/kathpulas/strain bridges/railing bridges for the ghumakkars to the best of their reach. But the climatic conditions, unexpected traffic intensity and overloaded transport destroys the existance of pave. Whereas drainage system/water unlogging system in the hilly areas is naturally absolute. So, it is hopped the difficulties being faced by the ghumakkars will draw the attention of my UK Government and gradually the problems will be sorted out. Friends, keep on writting and tell your experiences.

  • Silentsoul says:

    Tridev & Narayan je thanks. Shila-lekh is still under investigation and has been tried to be theft 2 times, due to its value in millions of dollars.

    I always go to my favorite desitnations 3 times, once is summers and then in rains and finally in winters… to taste the beauty in different seasons and believe me it is always a different experience. Driving in rainy season is really dangerous and difficult in winters but since we have no hurry we drive carefully. That is another beauty of hills. The hasty and careless drivers from planes get a taste of discipline on road and care for other vehicles in himalayan roads.

  • Pradeep Kumar says:

    Visit to Kalimath temple was a lifetime experience. The energies of this temple are very high. On first occasion, we three friends visited it. Before reaching the temple we stopped for night stay at Gupt Kashi. There we had a very good and high spiritual discussion. My friend & mentor, the writer of the post, has a very very good memory. But when we wake up in the morning, even he could not remember a single word of the discussion. We presume that Maa Kali showed her Maya to us. But it was a good upliftment of our souls which we could feel from inside.

  • rajesh priya says:

    ek taraf jatdevtaji hain,dusri or aap shaant atmaji.aap dono hi ke baare me kya kahun, ab jarurat hi nahi rahi kahin jaane ki,saakchhat darshan karwa dete hain aaplog. jivan me yahi ek achchha kaam kia,ghumakkar par blog padhne ka chaska lag gaya hai.

    • Silentsoul says:

      tks Rajeshpriya ji.. This site is so wonderful that I wrote this my first travel blog only for Ghumakkar.

      hope you will read my other posts too

  • KANUPRIYA says:

    Very nice, especially the 10 year old panditji…

  • alka rawat says:

    i lv ma uttarakhand specialyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy augustamuni ma brth place

  • Praveen Wadhwa says:

    Wow SS Ji!

    Today I stumbled upon your’s this story. My story about Shilajit revolves around Kali-Mathh. Extremely scenic place but actually you wrote more about this place that I was never even aware.

    Well anyway my sights only goes on the trees and rocks etc and miss anything that mankind endured to build.

    If a road will be build to Kedarnath, it will pass through Kalimath because terrain is unstable in the Mandakini valley following Gaurikund.

    • SilentSoul says:

      tks Praveenji for going through this very old story. We went upto the end of road and found the ancient shiva temple, which is visited by very very few visitors

  • Yogi says:


    The peaks mentioned above as Kedarnath peak is actually the south-east flank of Chaukhamba Peak. Would be nice if you can update that in your blog above for informatory purposes.


    • SilentSoul says:

      Thanks Yogi.. it was pointed out earlier. After yr msg I have edited the correct name in the main post.

      Thanks for your comments

  • Dear SS,

    Everyday I pickup a story, of course randomly, to read. Today when I picked up this story, I had no idea that it was your debut story.

    So, Sirji, early in 80’s it was with Bajaj Super, sounds really great. wow! However, nowadays boys are doing Himalayan circuit by motorbike.

    Your style of humour is great….”College Drop”….. Your take on the little Panditji is also very nice. Photographs are delightful.

    Thank you Sirji for such a nice story. And certainly I will read all of your stories in the series one by one.

  • Santosh Kumar Sarkar says:

    I inspired to visit this Shakti peeth after reading your experience.The place is very beautiful & scenic beauty is superb as you placed your photos. Thank you so much.

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