Located near Guptkashi, in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, Ukhimath is also referred to as the winter abode of Kedarnath. It is situated at an elevation of 1311 meters and at a distance of 41 kms from Rudraprayag.
After the closing of the Kedarnath shrine during the winter months the symbol of Lord Shiva is carried down on a palanquin from Kedarnath to Omkareshwar temple at Ukhimath. The Rawals who are the head priests (pundits) of Kedarnath also come down to Ukhimath during the winter months.
Ukhimath has many other ancient temples dedicated to several Gods and Goddesses such as Usha, Shiva, Aniruddha, Parvati and Mandhata.
Ukhimath offers a panoramic view of the Kedarnath and Neelkanth peaks. It is a perfect place for travelers looking to enjoy the peaceful and pristine serenity of a hill station without the crowds.
Ukhimath can be used as hub for visiting several nearby pilgrim and tourist destinations which include Madhyamaheshwar, Tungnath and Deoria Tal.
History and Mythology
According to Hindu mythology, the wedding of Usha (daughter of Vanasur) and Anirudh (grandson of Lord Krishna) was solemnized here. After the name of Usha ,this place was named as Ushamath, now known as Ukhimath. King Mandhata is also believed to have engaged in penance at Ukhimath.