Har Har Mahadev!
The Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple is located in the Pauri Garhwal district of the holy state of Uttaranchal, in the northern part of India. It is distanced at 36 kilometers from Lansdowne cantonment town. It is situated at a height of 1800 meters. This sacred temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva of the trinity. The area of the temple is surrounded by thick forests of cedar, blue pine, chir and oak trees. Two extravagant fairs are held at the temple on Mahashivaratri and the other in the month of June. There are two dharamshalas for tourist accommodation near the temple. The roads leading to Tarkeshwar are quite narrow with numerous turns, but they are free off running traffic.
There are several sign boards for guidance, leading the way from Lansdowne to the temple. Takeshwar Mahadev lies in Bichla Badalpuri Patti. Lord Shiva of Tarkeshwar Mahadev, is the presiding deity of the Garhwal rifles (Lansdowne cantonment), as well as many of the villages located near the temple. According to several myths associated with this temple, Goddess Parvati (wife of Lord Shiva) prayed hard to get Lord Shiva. This beautiful temple has a scenic location, as it lies at the foothills of the majestic Himalayan range of mountains. It is at a distance of 5 kilometers, from the boundary of the famous Jim Corbett National Park. The micro-environment of the area is quite unique and diverse.
Tarkeshwar Dham is one of the Siddh Peeths and is considered as a very holy site. There is a meditation centre at this serene site. There are open pools for bathing, before entering the temple and closed pools for the ladies. There is a kund in the premises, which is believed to have been dug by the Goddess Laxmi, the holy water of which is used for offering to the shivling, inside the temple. Bells are offered to Lord Shiva after pious occasions in the Hindu families such as a wedding or the birth of a new born child. These bells are hung in a separate room and when the room is full, they are hung at the walkway.
There are no provisional stores near the temple; hence, it is better to buy the necessities from Kotdwar itself. According to another myth, it is said that Goddess Parvati had transformed herself into 7 deodar trees, in order to provide shade to Lord Shiva and the deodar trees of the region have been originated from these 7 trees! The shape of the deodar grove is believed to be in the form of the letter ‘Aum’ of Hindi language. This is also how the name Tarkeshwar was bestowed to the temple. The shivling in the temple is placed under the idol of the deity. A temple dedicated to Goddess Shakti lies adjacent to the main temple. There is also a ‘Havan Kund’ in the premises, for the performance of special prayers by the pilgrims. The villagers offer their first harvest to the deity in the temple.