Uttarkashi is an important pilgrimage centre, equated with Varanasi or Kashi in divinity. It is located in a wide stretch of a valley. this picturesque town is also the district headquarter. Uttarkashi as its name suggests is Kashi of north (Uttar). It is also called the land of gods and goddesses. Like Kashi (Varanasi) it has many temples devoted to different gods and goddesses. Uttarkashi Town has 32 temples at present. Every year on the occasion of ”Magh Mela” (January 14), people from far and near visit Uttarkashi to take a holy dip in Bhagirathi along with the idol of their local deities.
The Vishwanath Temple
The Vishwanath Temple devoted to Lord Shiva is situated approx. 300 meters away from the local bus stand at Uttarkashi. This temple was renovated by Maharani Khaneti, wife of Sudarshan Shah in 1857. The temple has a Shivling (60 cm. high and 90 Cm. Circumference). People from all over India do also visit the Vishvanath temple during their visits to Uttarkashi ,Gangotri and Yamunotri.
Right in front of the Vishwanath temple is Shakti temple. It has a big ‘Trishul’ of about 6 meters in height and a circumference of 90 cms. at bottom. Though there are different views about the making of this, the upper part of it seems to be made up of iron and the lower one is of copper. As per the epics this Shakti was thrown on the devils by the Goddess Durga(Shakti), hence it gets its name. Since then this Shakti is erected over here
Nehru Institute of Mountaineering
The Nehru Institute of Mountaineering was established at Uttarkashi on 14 Nov, 1965 to honour the desire of a great mountain lover late Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. The new campus is situated 5 kms. away from this rapidly developing town atop a hill on the south bank spur of HOLY BHAGARATHI at an attitude of 1300M./4300ft amongst whispering pine trees and overlooking the sacred river and the valley of Gods. The sylvan environment of the Institute is the “sanctum sanctorum” of the mountaineers and nature lovers. Late Shri Y.B. Chavan, the then Defence Minister of India , was the first President of the Institute and late Smt. Sucheta Kriplani , the then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh , was the first Vice President of the Institute.The Institute is an autonomous body and is registered societies Registration Act No.XXI of 1860. Functioning of the Institute is governed by the Executive Council Chaired by the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. General Body meeting of the Institute is chaired by the Defence Minister. Excutive Council and General body meeting are held once in a year. There are 31 life members and 64 ordinary members of the Institute. The aim of the Institute is to impart theoretical and practical training to young men, women and children in mountaineering and Adventure courses. Specical emphasis is laid on instilling the concept of adventure sports without causing environmental degradation.
The other temples in Uttarkashi are :
Hanuman Temple, Sakhsi Gopal Temple, Markandey Rishi Temple, Dundiraj temple, Ganesh temple, Gopeshwar Mahadev temple, Gopal temple, Koteshwar Mahadev temple, Ma Kali temple, Sitaram Temple, Kedareshwar Mahadev temple, Jaipur Temple, Ganga Temple, Varneshwar Mahadev Temple, Gyanwapishwar Mahadev temple, Kali Mandir, Kaleshwar Mahadev ,Gangoti temple, Pundeer Nag Temple, Kandar Devta, Bhairav temple, Annapurna temple, Dattatreya temple, Parasuram temple, Ma Mahishasur Mardini temple, Onkareshwar temple, Durga Devi Temple, Lakheshwar temple.