Daksha Mahadev Temple Haridwar | History and Attraction
Daksha Mahadev Temple also called as Daksheswara Mahadev Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and Daksha Prajapati, located in Kankhal, about 4 km from Haridwar city. This is the place where Sati, wife of Lord Shiva burnt herself in the yajna kunda, after being insulted by her father Daksha. The temple is named after Daksha Prajapati, who happens to be one of the twenty-one Prajapatis, who is the protector deity of the creatures.
The present temple was built by Queen Dhankaur in 1810 and again renovated in 1962. There is a huge statue of Lord Shiva, which is very appealing and mesmerizing.
Legend Associated with the Temple
There is a mythological story narrated in Shiva Purana and Vayu Purana. There was a king named Daksha, whose daughter was Sati (incarnation of Parvati). Shiva married Sati in swayamvara. But Daksha was not happy with Shiva. Once Daksha performed a yajna and did not invite Shiva and Sati. By the urge of seeing parents, Sati came to the yagna uninvited. Daksha insulted her and Shiva in front of others. Unable to bear the insult, Sati immolated herself in the fire. Upon hearing the news of Sati, Shiva got into deep anger and sorrow. He removed a strand of hair from his matted locks and threw on the ground. A huge volcano erupted from the spot and Lord Veerabhadra and Rudrakali were born. Shiva ordered them to go and destroy the sacrifice of Daksha. Veerabhadra along with Shiva gana’s destroyed the yajna and killed Daksha. After the destruction, all the gods prayed to Shiva to forgive Daksha. In order to complete the yajna, Shiva restored the life of Daksha by joining the head of a male goat with the body of Daksha. King Daksha realized his mistake and repented with the Lord.
Daksha Prajapati, who is one of the twenty-one Prajapatis, is the protector deity of the creatures. He is appointed as the organizer, who is responsible for the proper arrangement in the world. However, he was full of ego and hatred. He considers Shiva as less powerful and less important. In the story, chopping off the head and restoring with the head of a goat means destroying the head which is full of hatred and ego and replacing it with pure and soft.
Daksha Mahadev Temple
Daksha Mahadev Temple is one of the main attraction of Haridwar and is a must visit place for the pilgrims. The temple houses the yajna kund, where Sati immolated herself. There is also a Shivling, to worship Lord Shiva.
Next to the main temple, there is Dasha Mahavidya Temple, which is dedicated to the mahavidyas or ten aspects of Adi Parashakti (cosmic personalities), namely Kali, Tara, Tripura Sundari, Bhuvaneshwari, Bairavi, Chinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi and Kamala. The temple complex also houses the shrines for Hanuman, Devi, Shani, and many others.
The entire story of Daksha and mythology episode are detailed on the walls of the temple. There is a tall statue of Lord Shiva outside the temple, which is very appealing. Next to the temple is a Daksha ghat on the banks of Ganga, to take bath.
During the month of Sawan, there will be a huge rush in the temple. And also during the festival of Shivaratri, there will be swelling in the crowd.
There is a very old banyan tree, which is considered sacred for Hindus. There is a paid play area within the temple complex. There are a few shops which sell Rudraksh, gems & stones, shivling, malas etc.
How to reach Daksha Mahadev Temple
Daksha Mahadev Temple is located in Kankhal area, in Haridwar. The temple is at a distance of 5 km from the railway/bus station. One can hire taxi or auto rickshaw from the station. Nearest airport is Jolly Grant airport, which is 35 km away from the temple.