Dhari Devi Mandir is well-known and holds great significance for many of us. However, prior to the shocking incident that occurred in Kedarnath in June 2013, I was unaware of the underlying cause. The devastating flood was triggered by a multi-cloud burst, leading to widespread floods and landslides that engulfed the entire town, tragically claiming the lives of thousands of people.
I have shared an elaborate account of Dhari Devi based on my understanding and would appreciate any feedback or further insights about Dhari Devi that you may have.
Situated approximately 15 kilometers away from Srinagar Garhwal, Dhari Devi mandir stands proudly on the banks of the Alaknanda River, nestled between Srinagar and Rudraprayag in Kalyasaur village. It holds immense significance as one of the prominent places of worship in the Garhwal Region of Uttarakhand, India. The revered deity, Goddess Dhari Devi, is widely regarded as the guardian and protector of the Char Dhams in Uttarakhand.
|Best Time to Visit||October to May|
|Darshan Timings||6:00 am to 12:00 pm|
|2:00 pm to 7:00 pm|
|Summer Temperature||Max 36°C & Min 20°C|
|Winter Temperature||Max 28°C & Min 9°C|
|Nearest Town||Srinagar, Uttarakhand (15 kms)Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand (20 kms)|
|Nearest Airport||Srinagar, Uttarakhand (15 km)Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand (20 km)|
|Nearest Railway Station||Rishikesh, about 117 km away|
The Significance of Dhari Devi Mandir: Guardian and Protector of the Char Dhams
As per the enumeration by Srimad Devi Bhagwat, the sacred Dhari Devi shrine holds a distinguished place among the 108 Shakti Sthals (power centers) in India. The divine idol of Maa Dhari Devi is divided into two sections: the upper half and the lower half. The Dhari Devi shrine houses the upper half of the idol, while the lower half is preserved in the Kalimath mandir. In the Kalimath mandir, the goddess is worshiped as a manifestation of Maa Kali.
Goddess Dhari Devi is revered and worshiped in an unroofed area, without a physical structure enclosing her idol. This is attributed to the belief that Dhari Devi prefers to reside in an open space. Dhari Devi is considered an incarnation of Kali Mata.
The mandir attracts a considerable influx of devotees throughout the year. Durga Puja and Navratra are among the significant festivals celebrated at the Mandir. During these festive occasions, the mandir is adorned with splendid flowers and illuminated with radiant lights, creating a captivating ambiance.
History of Dhari Devi Mandir
According to local accounts, a significant flood occurred in the Alaknanda River in Dharo Village many years ago, during which the idol of Goddess Kali became lodged against a large rock. Subsequently, the residents of Dharo Village claimed to have heard the divine voice of the Goddess, instructing them to build a mandir at that very spot. Following the divine message, the people constructed the mandir at its present location, henceforth known as Dhari Devi Mandir.
As per the beliefs of the local community, the idol of Goddess Dhari Devi undergoes three transformations throughout the day. In the morning, she appears as a young girl, then transforms into a woman during the afternoon, and finally manifests as an elderly woman in the evening. it is deemed inappropriate to house the idol under a roof. Consequently, the mandir has an open sky above the idols.
The 15th of June 2013 holds a significant place in the annals of the temple’s history. On this day, the idol of Maa Dhari Devi was relocated from its original location to accommodate the construction of a dam. The opposition against this dam project had been voiced by numerous leaders, residents of the state, and local inhabitants since its inception.
The devotees of the goddess held the belief that moving the idol would somehow disturb the divine energy of Kali and have adverse consequences for the region. Tragically, the following day witnessed a catastrophic event in the form of a massive cloudburst and flash flood that engulfed Uttarakhand. This calamity wreaked havoc on Kedarnath Dham, resulting in the loss of countless lives, destruction of homes, uprooting of trees, and submerging of vehicles.
To ensure that the idol remained above the river and to accommodate the construction of a 330MW hydel project, the idol was relocated from its original position on a 20-meter-high rock to a specially constructed concrete platform.
While it may appear coincidental to some, the aftermath of the disaster left an enduring impact. Official government records reveal staggering statistics: 197 lives were lost, 236 individuals were injured, and 5700 were reported missing in the flash floods. The calamity ravaged five districts of Uttarakhand, resulting in the complete destruction of 2,119 houses, severe damage to 3,001 residences, and partial damage to 11,759 properties. These numbers stand as a stark reminder of the shocking and unforgettable consequences of the catastrophe.
Upon reaching the entrance of the temple, we began our descent towards the shrine, situated approximately 200 meters away from the main gate. As we approached the riverbank, a bridge appeared, leading us to the deity while being surrounded by countless hanging bells along the passage.
The black stone idol of the Goddess, with her distinctive face, was carved on a massive stone that extended outward from the back of the deity’s seat. This sacred form of the Goddess is worshiped at this site. Since Dhari Devi is not meant to be sheltered under a roof, we observed the priests conducting the puja inside a chamber, separated from the devotees’ seating area by iron bars, with only a steel or iron net serving as a covering. Filled with reverence, we humbly bowed down and offered our devotion to the divine presence of the Goddess.
It is important to note that capturing photographs of the Dhari Devi idol is strictly prohibited within the mandir premises.
How to reach Dhari Devi Mandir
Situated in Kalyasaur village between Srinagar and Rudraprayag, you will find Dhari Devi Mandir. The distance from Srinagar to the mandir is approximately 15 km, while Rudraprayag is around 20 km away.
By Air: The closest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is located about 133 km from the mandir.
Railways: The nearest railway station is Rishikesh, approximately 117 km away. Haridwar Junction is another option, situated around 142 km from the mandir.
Road: Dhari Devi Mandir is well-connected to major cities in Uttarakhand. It is approximately 117 km away from Rishikesh and around 165 km from the state capital, Dehradun.
When you embark on your next journey to the Chhota Char Dham of Uttarakhand, make sure to include a visit to the Dhari Devi Temple to receive the divine blessings of the Goddess.
Where is exactly Dhari Mata Mandir located?
Situated amidst the captivating Garhwal Himalayan Region, this mandir is nestled on the banks of the Alaknanda River, between the enchanting towns of Srinagar and Rudraprayag.
How to reach Dhari Devi Mandir?
Rishikesh, located approximately 120 km from the mandir, serves as a convenient nearby city for travelers. The closest railway station is also situated in Rishikesh, at a distance of about 119 km from the mandir. Additionally, Jolly Grant Airport is approximately 136 km away from the mandir.
Upon reaching the Rishikesh bus stand, travelers can easily find taxi services or buses to transport them to the mandir. Another option is to take a bus from Rishikesh to Srinagar, which provides an alternative route to reach the mandir.
What is the best time to visit the mandir?
October to May, especially During the Navratri Season
Do we have to trek to reach the mandir?
The mandir is conveniently accessible with a short trek of only 200 to 250 meters from the road, allowing visitors to park their vehicles with ease.
Points of attraction around Dhari Devi Mandir?
Khirsu village (35 kms), Kandoliya temple (46 kms), Kyunkaleshwar mandir (49 kms), Rudraprayag (20 kms)