Solo Trip to Kartik Swami Temple : Amphitheatre of the Himalaya

Tripoto
30th Dec 2016

The Kartik Swami Temple in Rudraprayag-Uttarakhand is perhaps one of the few temples dedicated to Lord Kartikeya in Northern India. Lord Kartikeya is know as Murugan or Skanda or Subramanya in the Southern part of our country.

Resting at a height of 10,000 feet, the temple is situated looking at the mighty Himalayan peaks at the background. The God of War and the son of Lord Shiva resides here in a naturally carved Marble like rock. Most probably the mineral is Sphatik(Quartz).

Photo of Solo Trip to Kartik Swami Temple : Amphitheatre of the Himalaya 1/17 by Dushyant Chauhan
The Kartik Swami Temple with the snow clad Himalaya at the background

The Kartik Swami temple is located in such a way that you are surrounded by highest of the Himalayan peaks. You are literally standing in an amphitheatre with peaks surrounding you in a semi-circle.

The temple is located near the small village of Kanak Chauri which lies in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. One can reach the village easily by private or public transport. The road is well paved and gives great views of the the pristine and pure Himalayas. The moment you take the turn from Rudraprayag you get the first glimpse of the beauty that lies ahead of you.

I went their on my small Twister motorcycle and the road is a pleasure for any biker to ride on. The Kanak Chauri village is 180 kilometres from Rishikesh so not really very far.

Photo of Solo Trip to Kartik Swami Temple : Amphitheatre of the Himalaya 2/17 by Dushyant Chauhan
Just before reaching Srinagar
Photo of Solo Trip to Kartik Swami Temple : Amphitheatre of the Himalaya 3/17 by Dushyant Chauhan
View enroute Kanak Chauri Village from Rudrapayag

The road really gains height after Rudraprayag and then you are riding on sides of cliffs which have a drop of probably thousands of feet. You can see the villages you crossed looking like matchboxes. The sun though is very bright at this height and it is difficult to take a photo with your eyes properly opened.

Photo of Solo Trip to Kartik Swami Temple : Amphitheatre of the Himalaya 4/17 by Dushyant Chauhan
Motorcycling the beautiful road

The road is the best thing and on the way to Kanak Chauri Village the peaks play hide and seek with you around the corners. And then you finally reach the small settlement of Kanak Chauri village.

There is accommodation available at the village and one veg thaali will cost you around Rs. 60. So things are pretty cheap.

The view from Kanak Chauri village is breathtaking and all thee major peaks are visible. From Kedarnath to Chaukhamba, every peak gives a decent view of itself.

Photo of Solo Trip to Kartik Swami Temple : Amphitheatre of the Himalaya 5/17 by Dushyant Chauhan
View from Kanak Chauri village

Onto your left is the Kedar dome where Kedarnath temple is situated and onto your right is the iconic Chaukhamba peak.

The temple though is at a trek of 3.0 kilometres from the village. The trek is fairly easy and can be done easily within 2 hours if one is fit. The best part of the trek is that it goes through beautiful Rhododendron forest. I went in the month of December so there were no flowers but in the blooming season the trek path will be very very pretty.

But then I got to see snow on the way and glimpses of the Himalayas that one cannot describe. The air is so pure that it refreshes your body every time you breathe and the silence is meditative. I was really lucky as the day was clear and there were no clouds to spoil the fun.

So I began the solo trek by taking Prasad from the village to offer to Lord Kartikeya, and the trek path was really a pleasure to want upon. The trek path is clear and you really do not need anyone with you so it can be done solo.

Photo of Solo Trip to Kartik Swami Temple : Amphitheatre of the Himalaya 6/17 by Dushyant Chauhan
Mount Chaukhamba on the way to Kartik Swami

It had snowed yesterday so there was some residue snow remaining. If you are lucky you can get to experience snowfall here but then the mountains won't be visible.

Photo of Solo Trip to Kartik Swami Temple : Amphitheatre of the Himalaya 7/17 by Dushyant Chauhan
The trek path to the temple

Do carry a flashlight with you as if you return and it gets dark then things can get dangerous, so stay safe. I take my safety seriously so I carry a small knife with me as well when I trek solo just in case if I encounter some animal.

Photo of Solo Trip to Kartik Swami Temple : Amphitheatre of the Himalaya 8/17 by Dushyant Chauhan

The best thing you will see on the way is the waves of mountains stretching till the horizon. There are different shades of green and blue which you can gaze endlessly.

Photo of Solo Trip to Kartik Swami Temple : Amphitheatre of the Himalaya 9/17 by Dushyant Chauhan
Photo of Solo Trip to Kartik Swami Temple : Amphitheatre of the Himalaya 10/17 by Dushyant Chauhan

And then at the end of the trek you reach the stairs taking you to the Kartik Swami temple.

Photo of Solo Trip to Kartik Swami Temple : Amphitheatre of the Himalaya 11/17 by Dushyant Chauhan
Stairs to the temple

There are two temples, one is the Kartik Swami and the other I think is a Devi temple. One needs to first worship the Devi temple and after that go to the Kartik temple. This was told to me by the person from whom I bought Prasad.

Photo of Solo Trip to Kartik Swami Temple : Amphitheatre of the Himalaya 12/17 by Dushyant Chauhan
The Devi Temple

And then after climbing the stairs you reach the Kartik Swami Temple. The view from there is simply stunning and you get the feel of standing in an amphitheatre of snow capped peaks. The background and the temple are the perfect location for the devout and the nature lover.

Photo of Solo Trip to Kartik Swami Temple : Amphitheatre of the Himalaya 13/17 by Dushyant Chauhan
The Kartik Swami Temple
Photo of Solo Trip to Kartik Swami Temple : Amphitheatre of the Himalaya 14/17 by Dushyant Chauhan
Mother Nature with all its magnificence at the background

One can easily see the temple and the views and can go back. But the sunrise from Kartik Swami is a must to experience. There is an easy way to view it as you do not have to come back from the village early morning. Just before the temple there are some huts where the Pujaris live. Talk to them as they can provide you with accommodation but it is going to be very basic. But then, who wants to miss out on the sunrise.

I did not know this so I had stayed in the village itself in a room.

I was unlucky as there were clouds present on that next day therefore could not see the sunrise. So basically I trekked twice to the place only to my misfortune. But even then I got to view a very special phenomenon of nature called Lenticular Clouds which look like space ships on top of mountain peaks. They somewhat look like this.

Photo of Solo Trip to Kartik Swami Temple : Amphitheatre of the Himalaya 15/17 by Dushyant Chauhan
Space ship like clouds
Photo of Solo Trip to Kartik Swami Temple : Amphitheatre of the Himalaya 16/17 by Dushyant Chauhan
Lenticular clouds at distant peaks

So after doing the pilgrimage and trekking through miraculous nature it was time to go back. My next stop was holy Rishikesh.

Photo of Solo Trip to Kartik Swami Temple : Amphitheatre of the Himalaya 17/17 by Dushyant Chauhan
Journey ends at holy Rishikesh

On the way back a nice coincidence happened. I gave lift to a small boy to Rudraprayag and on dropping him I asked his name.

He said his name is Kartikeya.

1 Comment(s)
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Your narration is simple and gripping!
Mon 05 07 18, 04:53 · Reply (1) · Report
Thanks a lot Sheeba!
Mon 05 07 18, 09:58 · Report