Located at a distance of 3 kms from Kanak Chauri Village in Rudraprayag, the Kartik Swami temple is dedicated to Lord Kartikeya, the elder son of Lord Shiva. Noteably, this temple is the only temple in Uttarakhand dedicated to Lord Kartikeya. Surrounded by the great Himalayan ranges, this area is situated at an altitude of 3,048 m from the sea surface. It is also a beautiful tourist destination besides a divine place.
The temple remains open for the devotees throughout the year. Chaukhamba and Trishul mountain ranges are clearly visible from the temple’s yard. The tradition of organising Mahayagana here every year in the month of June has been prevalent since 1940. The childless couples carrying earthen lamps in their hands stand here overnight to attain their wish fulfiled from Lord Kartik Swami, which is also known as “Kartik Murugan Swami” in the southern part of India.
There is very interesting and popular legend prevalent about Kartik Swami temple. According to this legend, once Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati gave their both sons, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya a task of taking seven rounds of the whole universe and said that the winner of this competition would be rewarded with the privilege of being worshipped first and foremost of all gods in all religious rituals and ceremonies. Complying to the parents’ orders, Lord kartikeya immediately took his vehicle, the Peacock to get a whirl of the universe. Demonstrating his wit and intelligence, Lord Ganesha, on the other hand, took bath and began revolving around His parents Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati.
When Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati asked Lord Ganesha about His strange behaviour, then the witty Lord Ganesha replied that the parents are themselves the whole universe. Impressed by Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati granted Him the status of a leading God. When Lord Kartikeya came back after taking seven rounds of the whole universe, Devarashi Narad narrated the whole story before him. Getting furious at this, Lord Kartikeya devoted his flesh to Mother Parvati and bones to Lord Shiva and sat on penance at Krodh mountain. Since then, the Lord Kartikeya has been worshipped on this mountain. It is believed that His bones are still there in the shrine and He is still penancing in the transcendent state.
How to reach
Kartik temple is not connected to any road route, so one has to go on foot for 3 kms from Kanak Chauri village to reach the temple. Kanak Chauri is situated on the Rudraprayag-Pokhran route. Taxi can be hired from several parts of Uttarakhand as well as Delhi to go here. This religious site is located 38 kilometers away from Rudraprayag city. The nearest airport to Kartik Swami temple is 192 km away at Dehradun, while the nearest and major railway station is located 198 kms away at Haridwar.
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