Visit to The Kalimath Shakti Peeth – an unusual Temple in Rudraprayag

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During our trip to Char Dham, we visited many other temples also en route. Kalimath Shakti Peeth Temple was one of them which is one of the 108 Shakti Peethas in India. It is located on the banks of the river Saraswati in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. This highly religious and the sacred temple is devoted to The Goddess Kali. It is one of the most visited temples in the Garhwal region.

The location of the temple was quite mesmerizing. As our legs were hurting after a long trek, we checked into a Dharamshala built by a spiritual guru, close to the temple. After taking rest for some time, we got ready for the pilgrimage. As we visited in June, the weather was quite favorable. The temple was not much packed with the devotees so we stayed there for a longer time in that spiritual environment. There were a few more small temples in the vicinity of this place and the vibes of the entire place were quite refreshing.

One thing that caught my sight was the locks of artificial dark black hair and a lot of bells hanging all around the temple. I was amazed to see as I believed those were the real hair of the Goddess. A serene river flows right next to the temple. Summers are the best time to visit this beautiful natural gem as warm afternoons are the blessings and cooler evenings are soothing. However, it looks amazing in the monsoon as well. The rains add beauty to the environment and give it a calming effect but at the same time, the routes become slippery and risky. We lived like locals for the next 2 days bathing and washing our basic utensils at the riverside. It was an exciting experience.

About the temple

It is believed that Goddess Kali killed a devil named Raktabeej and later settled underneath the ground at this place where the temple stands today. One surprising fact is that you will not find any idol of the Goddess here. Instead, the object of devotion which is worshipped is a Shri Yantra/Shakti Yantra (A silver plate). This is the only temple where Goddess Kali is worshipped along with the divine deities of Goddess Laxmi and Saraswati. This prominent pilgrimage is the birthplace of the great poet Kalidas who worshipped here for many years for pleasing the Goddess and gained wisdom in this temple.

Throughout the year, people visit this temple but there is a huge rush in Navratri. It is said that the Shakti Yantra is never opened except on the 8th day of Navratri. Only the Chief priest opens it and performs the pooja in the midnight. You will see an eternal holy flame in the temple at any point in time. This place is blessed with not just the pious environment but also with the abundant greenery and scenic views.

Kalimath is well connected with Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Kedarnath by road, rail and air as well. Those 2 days were quite memorable in the lap of raw nature in a salubrious environment. Come back tomorrow for another story from me.


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April 24, 2019 7:22 pm

very informative & interesting… I had not heard of this one before, thanks for sharing…

Shilpa Garg
April 24, 2019 10:01 pm

The black hair were of the devotees?
Seems like a temple with lot of faith and belief.

April 25, 2019 6:08 am
Reply to  Vartikasdiary


Sanjota Purohit
April 25, 2019 1:43 am

First time read about this place. Any significance for those bell with hair?

April 25, 2019 2:09 am

This place sounds delightful. Hopefully I will be able to visit it someday. Thank you Varthika

Sitharaam Jayakumar
April 25, 2019 5:47 am

The Kalimath Shakti peeth tample definitely sounds picturesque. Your description makes me imagine a small temple with a beautiful river flowing nearby. My imagination also conjures up an ashram nearby where knowledge of the Vedas is being imparted to young children by a Guru. I can just imagine the mornings when the Sun is just rising in the horizon and the children bathe in the river and then assemble for the Veda classes which come next. Oh, well you have conjured up an image in my mind. I think I will write a fictional post based on this.

April 25, 2019 6:09 am

Sounds intriguing.
Btw.. Isn’t Saraswati supposed to be extinct?

Noor Anand Chawla
Noor Anand Chawla
April 25, 2019 8:28 am

I haven’t been to this one, but I have visited other Shakti Peeths. They are have such powerful energies.

Sonia Chatterjee
April 25, 2019 8:48 am

I heard about Rudraprayag first after I read a book by Satyajit Ray. The place looked like a postcard from another world. Your post and the pictures paint a picture equally gorgeous

April 25, 2019 10:41 am

A nice post. Divine mother is worshipped in her Shakti appearance since eternity. No wonder temples have come up in different parts of India. Uttarakhand is traditionally the land of gods. There is divinity, at least it used to have when I last visited, in the air of Uttarakhand.

Aditi Kapur
April 25, 2019 12:42 pm

Artificial hair and lots of bells! I’m excited to know more about Kalimath Shakti Peeth!

vidhya Thakkar
April 25, 2019 1:35 pm

I never knew about this place! loved it

Harjeet Kaur
April 25, 2019 2:19 pm

Sounds good…thanks for sharing as I never heard of it before 🙂

April 25, 2019 5:34 pm

Loved the travelogue my dear. I remember visiting this place with my parents when I was small. It brought back fond memories

Ujjwal mishra
April 25, 2019 6:40 pm

Very interesting.. I never had known so many details about this place.

Manas Mukul
April 25, 2019 7:42 pm

I love to cover temples. Definitely on my list now. Nice info and nice post.
#ContemplationOfaJoker #Jokerophilia

Vibhu Gaur
April 25, 2019 9:19 pm

I get so excited every time I stumble upon one of your excursions for they are so full of energy and details that you end up mesmerized. You for sure have the traveler’s streak,

Mayuri Nidigallu
April 27, 2019 8:02 am

This is the first time I have heard of this temple, Vartika. I love visiting them, and i hope to bow my head before this powerful temple some day.

Sandal Jamal
Sandal Jamal
September 19, 2019 8:12 pm

This is so interesting

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