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Koteshwar Mahadev Temple

Koteshwar Mahadev Temple is one of the famous Shiva temples in the state of Uttarakhand. It is situated in a cave and attracts thousands of tourists every year. One of the unique aspects of this temple is that devotees believe the idols worshipped here were formed naturally after Lord Shiva meditated here.


Koteshwar Mahadev Temple is situated in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. While the temple itself is inside a cave, the surroundings offer mind-blowing visuals of nature. The cave is on the banks of the River Alaknanda. Koteshwar is believed to be one of the many avatars of Lord Shiva. Unlike the custom followed by most other temples in the region, the idols are not brought out frequently or even annually. It is taken out in a procession only once in four years. The river flows close by to the cave.


According to legend, when the Kauravas were vanquished by the Pandavas during the epic war of Kurukshetra war, a heavenly voice recommended that the Pandavas pray to the Lord Shiva for salvation and penance for the killings. Shiva was not ready to forgive them easily and hence, moved from the cave towards Kedarnath.

At that time, the demons residing close to the cave requested Lord not to leave but Lord Shiva was not willing to stay to grant salvation to Pandavas Finally He granted the demons a boon that the wishes of anyone who visits the cave will be fulfilled. Koteshwar Mahadev Temple is famous for granting boons to the childless couples.

The most unique aspect of this cave temple is that it has many idols and it is believed that they are all formed naturally. The idols here, apart from that of Lord Shiva, also include that of Parvati, Hanuman, Ganesha and Durga.

Fairs and Festivities

The idol of Koteshwar Mahadev is brought out once every four years in a palanquin; decorated with colorful flowers, dazzling ornaments and a golden crown. The idol is provided shade under an attractive and strikingly designed golden umbrella. The temple is decorated and many poojas and havans conducted on Mahashivaratri Day. This is one of the important days in the calendar of the Koteshwar Mahadev temple and attracts a large crowd that participates in the function with much enthusiasm.

How to Reach

By Bus

The temple is just three kilometers from Rudraprayag. Visitors can hire a taxi or share a jeep. Buses also ply on the route at regular intervals.

By Rail

The nearest railway station is Rishikesh at 142 km. Dehradun Railway station is 183 km from Koteshwar Mahadev Temple.

By Air

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun at 159 km.

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