Madhyamaheshwar Trek Guide
Madhyamaheshwar Temple or Madmaheshwar Temple is an important Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Situated at an altitude of 3,497m, the shrine is one amongst the ‘Panch Kedars’ or the five holy shrines of Shiva in the Himalayan ranges, which are believed to be built by the Pandavas. Among the five temples of Panch Kedar it is the second temple which is visited after Kedarnath. The middle (madhya) or navel of the bull, considered a divine form of Shiva, is worshipped at this temple. There are two other smaller shrines, one for Shiva’s consort Parvati and the other dedicated to the Ardhanarishwara.
There is also an old temple known as Vriddh-Madmaheshwar, situated 2km away from Madhmaheshwar. The antique shrine is just a pile of stones but provides splendid panoramic views of Kedarnath, Neelkanth, Trishul, Kamet, Panchulli, Chaukhamba peaks, when one reaches a small lake close by the temple.
Other than a religious destination, Madhyamaheshwar is also famous as a trekking destination. Being one of the most beautiful treks in the Garhwal Himalayan region, this trek takes you high altitude meadows, a long range of Alpine trees rivulets, waterfalls, and takes you deepest part of Kedarnath, Sanctuary area. The temple is close for six month during winter when the silver idols are taken ceremonially to Ukhimath for worship.
How to Reach Madhyamaheshwar
The temple is located in the Mansoona village of Garhwal Himalayas, in Rudraprayag district in Uttarakhand, India. Being only accessible by trekking. The trek to the shrine is moderate in nature and takes you through the lush green alpine meadows on one hand and dense forests on the other, with a bit of snow covered Himalayas.
With no motor-able road to Madhyamaheshwar it is only reached on foot. Ukhimath, located 20kms from Madhmaheshwar, is the last point which is well connected via motor-able road. One can reach Ukhimath by following ways:
By Air: One can get a flight to Jollygrant airport, Dehradun. Flights are regular from Delhi. Ukhimath is 222 km away from Dehradun. One can hire a taxi to Ukhimath.
By Train: The nearest railway station is Rishikesh which is nearly 183 km from Ukhimath. Take a bus or taxi from there to Ukhimath.
By Road: Ukhimath is well connected by road. The state, as well as private bus services are available from ISBT Dehradun and Rishikesh.
Madhyamaheshwar Trek Details
The trek starts from Ransi, and then the trail follows meadows of Gaunder, Bantoli, Nanur and finally ending in Madhymaheswar. From Ransi to Gaundaar is a 7km trek of which first 2kms are on a level kacha road and the next 5kms are a downhill easy trek, though the last part is a bit of a climb. Gaundaar has quite a few lodges. It is situated near the river madhganga. From here Banatoli is situated at a distance of 1 km and the climb is semi steep. Banatoli is situated at the confluence of madhganga and banatoli ganga, and is an ideal place for camping. It has a guest house. From here Khadara (2100m) is a 2km steep climb and takes about 1hr to reach. There are lodges here. The climb to Nanur (2360m) is very steep and 2kms was covered in about 45mins. Nanu to Moukhom is also a steep climb (one and a half km in 45mins) and Moukhom to Koon is steep climb and 1km is covered in about 45mins. Lodges are available at Nanu, Moukhom and Koon. These are the places to stay if you get late in the evening because the next 4kms are through dense forests and will take around one and a half to 2 hrs. Koon to Madmaheshwar (3497 m) is a beautiful trek with pink and purple coloured rhododendron blossoms (mid april to late may) on both the sides of the road. Infact the trek is not a famous There is mandir seva samiti guest house and other lodges here. The mandir guest house provides common bathroom facility in the complex. Buda (old) Madmaheshwar (4200m) is a trek of about 2km. The entire trek from Ransi to Madhyamaheshwar is distinguished by wild unparallel scenic beauty in the full view of Chaukhamba, Kedarnath and Neelkantha peaks all along the route.
Optional: If you are an avid trekker, you may consider a trek to Kanchani Tal. It is a 6 km trek from Madmaheshwar. But, the trek is considered tough even by experienced trekkers.
Day01: Rishikesh – Ransi village. (200Km Drive, Approx)
Start your jouney early in the morning. By the evening reach at Ransi Village. Explore the area. Overnight stay at Hotel/Homestay/Lodges.
Day02: Ransi - Gaundar (Trek - 6 Km)
Ransi Village is located at the bank of Madhyamaheshwar Ganga. From Ransi the trail gradually descends into forests along the river. Small streams of water are visible in the trail.
Day03: Gaundar - Madmaheshwar (9 Km.) Start trekking on the trail into dense forest. The path rises steadily past Khatara (2km) to Nanu (2km). Nanu is a small village. From Nanu the forest becomes denser and the trail is steep. After Nanu, the Oak forests grow darker. The path exists from the forest as it moves around the mountain to appear at the Madhyaheshwar meadow.
Day04: Madmaheshwar - Buda Madmaheshwar and back (3 Km.)
After breakfast start your trek for Buddha Madhyamaheshwar. This place is a beautiful meadow with three small ponds, small temple and an awesome view of Mt. Chaukhamba and Mt. Mandani. Reflection of Mt. Chaukhamba and Mt. Mandani is the main attraction of this place. All the four peaks of Mt. Chaukhamba and twin peaks of Mandani are visible from here.
Day05: Madmaheshwar – Ransi/Ukhimath
Follow the same route and retrace your steps back to Ransi.
Ukhimath is a central destination for visiting different places like Madhmaheshwar, Tungnath and Deoria Tal. Wedding of Lord Krishna's son Anirudh and Usha, daughter of demon Banasur was solemnised here thats why it is also called Ushamath. Idols from Madhyamaheswar and Kedarnath are bought here in Winters as the route closes due to snow and worshipped in Ukhimath. There is a temple of Lord Omkareshwar here which is worshipped by great fervor by devotees thronging all year round. From Ukhimath.
Day06: Ukhimath – Risikesh (Drive-183km)
Service ends here.
Due to its high altitude location, the shrine is open only for 6 months in a year. The temple is open to the public from first week of May to last week of October each year. Summers and springs are the best time to visit here. The summers are warm but pleasant while winters can get cold. The ideal time for visiting is thus in the month of June before the onset of monsoon or September October after the monsoon rain recedes.
- Shared taxis usually don’t run after 12 noon to 1 pm. After this the taxi has to be booked.
- Ideal trekking months are mid April to June and October to November. But if you want to see the colorful flowers and the beauty of meadows the ideal months are late July to mid September. The lodges are open from mid April (few days prior to opening of kapaats of the Madmaheshwar temple) to November. So if you are venturing beyond Gaundar and Banatoli between December to April you need to enquire at Gaundar.
- If you are a photographer and want to catch reflection of peaks in kunds of Boodha madmaheshwar, the ideal time is October as the kunds are filled with water and the skies are clear.
- In summers carry a warm jacket and beyond monsoon months always carry heavy woolens.
- The time given to cover various distances may vary according to individuals trekking speed and age. So do not focus too much on destination and time taken to reach there, rather enjoy the beauty of trek.
P.S: In yatra season there is an acute shortage of buses from Rishikesh onwards.