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Kalpeshwar

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Kalpeshwar is a beautiful location in the lovely Urgam valley where the nature is ablaze with the magnificent colours of lovely apple orchards and picturesque sceneries. This remote locale at a height of 2134 meters boast of a celebrated myth that has a close link with the mighty Pandavas. In Kalpeswar one can feel the aura of a legendary site since this place is a preferred location of meditating ascetics. They might be following the footsteps of the great sages Arghya and durvasa who had chosen Kalpeswar as their favourite place of meditation. Kalpeshwar Tample

Deeply rooted mythical beliefs are the most exhilarating attractions in this tiny hamlet in the inner Himalayas. One among the Panchakedars of Shaivite traditions, Kalpeswar presents the unparalleled beauty of a typical Himalayan landscape. Besides the imposing snowy peaks this place is bestowed with a lively valley where the gushing streams, deep woods, placid lakes make the ambience extremely beautiful. Tourists would be amazed to accept the warmth and hospitality of the innocent hilly people.

Trekking in this rocky terrain is a favorite where the trekkers are provided with the some of the hardest trekking routes. Trekking through this enchanting countryside is a remarkable experience since it unwraps the wild beauty of the Himalayas in its entirety. Trekking through the meandering routes unfurls the glossy nature and the trekkers would feel the fresh aroma of the greenery. The trekkers are in the midst of forest areas of rich flora and fauna, which has its own peculiar characteristics.

Visiting Kalpeswar would be a matchless experience since it coalesces pilgrimage with expedition. While the tricky routes and the arresting sceneries commands the attention of a casual trekker, the divinity and holiness of the place fills the minds of the devotees.

Kalpeshwar is situated at Kalpeshwar in the beautiful Urgam Valley. Nestled at an altitude of 2,134 m, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is one of the Pancha or Five Kedar shrines. Kalpeshwar can be reached by a 10 km trek from Rudranath to Helong. According to a popular legend, the Pandavas sought the blessings of Lord Shiva to atone their sins after the battle of Kurukshetra. Lord Shiva eluded them repeatedly and hid himself at Guptakashi. When Pandavas spotted him at Gupatakashi, Shiva tried fleeing and took the form of a bull at Kedarnath. On being followed by the Pandava brothers, he dived into the ground and disappeared; only his hump could be seen. Bhim, the second Pandava brother, jumped on this hump and tried to catch hold of the bull by his hump. It is believed that just as bull's hump appeared in Kedarnath, his belly appeared in Madmaheshwar Temple, his limbs at Tungnath Temple, his head and hair at Kalpeshwar, and his face at Rudranath Temple. All these five temples are together known as Panchakedar and a pilgrimage of all these five shrines is considered holy by the Hindus. At Kalpeshwar, Shiva is worshipped in the form of matted hair.

Rudranath and Kalpeshwar trek

Day 1  (Helang Devgaon Kalpeshwar-Devgaonshiva-(dakshina murti)at madhyamaheshwara)
 
Cross Helang at Alaknanda. A metalled track snakes along Kalpaganga, Alkanada's feeder. Climb through the forest. A two hour walk will take you to Urgham. Now the path climbs and you reach Devgaon (2500m). Here you get shelter at two guest houses. To camp, move to Kalpeshwar.

Day 2 ( Devgaon-Dumak)
From the village, the path climbs south, nearly perpendicular to Kalpaganga. Trailing through the heights, you reach Urgham Temple. From here, enter the forest. Head south-west. Climb to a little temple there. Stop to relax. Now move down to Kalgote. Alaknanda valley welcomes you as you reach the village. A couple of climbs from here take you to Dumak. If you want to camp, do it above the stream, at a safe distance from the Dumak village.

Day 3 ( Dumak Panar)
A narrow path plunges down to the Rudraganga River. Climb for some kilometers and you arrive at Toli. As you proceed, take a guide with you to avoid losing the way. After 2 and a half hour you are welcomed by a meadow having lightening-struck trees. Be on your left and climb till the meadows of Panar (3800m) to the cave where pilgrims take shelter.
If you can find shelter in the army hut, you can see the beautiful Bandar-poonch peak, Trisuli peak, Nanda Ghungti, Nanda Devi.

Day 4  (Panar- Rudranath-Panar)
This path is oriented due west. There is a narrow ridge between the Mandal forests to your left. And high peaks to your right. The trail is usually ascending for the first 3 kms. Then you come across a pile of stones with burnt-out incense sticks and their packets. This marks the high point of your trail. This is the spot where pilgrims make a halt to pay homage to their ancestors.

After 2 kms. approximately, the path climbs to the left. It paves way over the Nayla Pass from Anusuya Devi. You need not access this. March down to reach Rudranath. Climb down further. The ridge to your left obstacles the western aspect. To north and east, the Bandarpoonch Range towers some 3000m above. Return the same way and camp at Panar. Way to kalpeshwar

Day 5 ( Panar-Sagar)
Sagar seems inviting but inaccessible. Depending on your speed to walk, it takes minimum of 3 hours to reach a leveled ground. The outskirts of fields in Sagar begin shortly and the path threads to a series of rocky steps through the village. The road from Mandal to Gopeshwar is not very trafficked. There is a bus shelter and a jeep-taxi will give you a ride for 5 kms. to Gopeshwar bus and taxi stand.

When you start to your home, you keep capturing the beautiful memories and picturesque views in your eyes and camera both which you had during the trek to Rudranath and Kalpeshwar.