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Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

Located at a height of 1675 m above the sea level is the Neelkanth Mahadev temple perched on the hilltop of Swarg Ashram. With several temples located at almost every fold of the vast Himalayan range, Hindu religion and mythology is closely associated with all these temples. The Neelkanth Mahadev temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Located at a distance of about 32 km from Rishikesh, this temple is scenically situated above Swarg Ashram lying adjacent to the popular Nar Narayan mountain range. The three valleys which surround this temple include Vishnukoot, Brahmakoot and Manikoot. These valleys make it an astoundingly religious place located at the confluence of two beautiful perennial rivers including Madhumati and Pankaja. This temple provides some of the most stunning sites one can ever see and experience. Many pilgrims prefer to reach this temple via trekking path which is a 4 hour trek from Rishikesh. During trekking, one can witness picturesque sites surrounding by forests, rovers, mountains and valleys. One of the names of Lord Shiva is Neelkanth and that is how this temple derives its name.


This temple possesses a beautiful architecture and the entire story of Samundra Manthan has been depicted in this temple with the attractive and colorful idols of Goddesses and Gods. One can see the entire story on the walls of this temple presented through intricate architecture and vivid colors. The inner sanctum of the temple is quite beautiful and one can witness Goddess Parvati’s life size idol right at the entrance of the temple. Her magnificent aura combined with her striking extravagance make this place one of the most tranquil sites in Rishikesh.

The arena around the Shiva lingam is made from marble and one can see the minutiae of the dwarpals etched on the columns with intricate detailing showcasing their weapons. On the opposite side of the lingam, the idol of mount Nandi (the Lord Shiva’s bull) is present. The Shiva lingam is encased beautifully in silver and has an opening right on the top from where one can see its original form. On the exit of the sanctum, there is an aged and gigantic peepal tree. Many devotees tie sacred thread on this tree before making their wish and once the wish gets completed with the blessings of Lord Shiva, they untie a thread. A large number of devotees visit the Neelkanth Mahadev temple to seek inner peace, solitude and moksha.

This temple also possesses a natural spring where devotees take a holy bath before entering the temple.


As per Hindu mythology, when Samundra Manthan was going on, venom came out. At that time, in order to save the world from destruction, death and evil, Lord Shiva came to drink the venom. It is believed that Lord Shiva possessed the capacity to prevent venom from entering his body. After drinking the venom, he preserved it eternally in his throat. Though the poison could not harm Lord Shiva as it did not enter his body but it turned his throat into murky blue color which gave Lord Shiva the name Neelkanth. It is believed that this whole event occurred at this place and thus, a Shiva temple was built here.


The temple open as 6am in the morning, and apart from a small lunch break, it is open till 8pm in the evening.

Best Time to Visit

Since, the temple is located in the mountainous snow covered ranges of Rishikesh, the best time to visit it from May to October. However, one should avoid visiting the temple during the monsoon season. The winters are extremely cold and are prone to heavy snowfall, thus, there is always a threat of landslides or other natural blockages which can disrupt your journey.

How to Reach

Neelkanth temple is located at a distance of about 32 Km from Rishikesh and has a great connectivity through road. One can hire a taxi to reach the temple from Rishikesh. Also, once you have reached Rishikesh, you can also prefer for a trek to reach the temple. It is a 22 Km long trek from Rishikesh’s Ram Jhool and takes about 4 hours of beautiful and serene journey.

The nearest bus station to Neelkanth Mahadev temple is Rishikesh which is well connected by road to all the major cities of North India including Delhi. The nearest rail head is Rishikesh railway station, while the nearest airport is located in Dehradoon which is situated at a distance of about 45 Km.


One of the most prominent festivals celebrated with great splendor in the Neelkanth Mahadev temple is Mahashivratri which is generally celebrated in the month of February or March. There are two fairs which are held annually in the temple, one of which is observed on the occasion of Mahashivratri and other one of the Shivaratri of the Shravan month which generally comes in the month of July or August. During this time, a lot of devotees, known as Kavarias trek to Neelkanth Mahadev temple from Haridwar.

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