Pandukeshwar is a sacred place located in-route to abode of Lord Vishnu 'Badrinath' at an elevation of 1829 mtrs. At a distance of 18 km from Joshimath, Pandukeshwar, as per believe is the place where King Pandu, father of great Pandavas of Mahabharat epic, worshipped Lord Shiva.
There are two famous temples in Pandukeshwar. Yogadhyan Badri Temple, one of 'Sapta Badri' or seven Badri's and other is Lord Vasudev Temple. Yogadhyan Badri Temple is the abode of Utsava-murti (festival-image) in winters when Badrinath is closed. Lord Vasudev Temple was believed to be built by Pandavas.
Pandukeshwar - Land of Pandu's Meditation
Pandukeshwar is named after King Pandu meditate here to get rid of sin of killing of sages. Legends believe King Pandu was living with his wives Kunti and Madri in the Pandukeshwar after giving his throne to his elder brother Dhritrashtra. One day Pandu went on hunting in the jungle and unintentionally killed a sage making love in deer form. While the sage was dying cursed Pandu that to unable to make love with anyone and if he do so, he will die instantly.
To get cleanse of sin of killing of sages, Pandu installed the bronze image of Vishnu in the Yogadhyan Badri shrine and mediated. Meanwhile Kunti and Madri gave birth to Pandavas through yogadhyan. Once a while Pandu got attracted toward Madri who was taking bath in Alaknanda river. Soon Pandu died due to curse of sage.
Pandukeshwar - Padavas in Exile
During the 12 years of exile, Pandavas visit Pandukeshwar and perform funeral of their father Pandu. Here, Arjun also medidated during exile period and get blessing from Indra. Pandavas also built a Lord Vasudev temple having idol of Lord Vishnu, Goddess Laxmi and Madri.
Best Time To Visit Pandukeshwar
Pandukeshwar is open all round the year and can be visit all round the year. Ideal time to visit Pandukeshwar is from April to June and September to November.
Location of Pandukeshwar
Pandukeshwar is located in Near Badrinath ( Enroute Badrinath from Joshimath). You can view its location on Google Map below.
How to Reach Pandukeshwar
Pandukeshwar is located at mid way between Joshimath and Badrinath. Situated at a distance of 18 kms from Joshimath and 23 km from Badrinath, Pandukeshwar can be reach by sharing jeep or hiring taxi from Joshimath. Nearest rail head for Pandukeshwar is at Dehradun (302 kms) or Rishikesh railway station (274 kms). Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun (290 kms) is the only airport to reach near Joshimath.
Read How to Reach guide for Badrinath.