Surkanda Devi Temple Dhanaulti, Uttarakhand
Surkanda Devi Temple is located on the Mussoorie – Chamba road near Unniyal Village and Dhanaulti. This temple is one of the 51 Shaktipeeth temples of India and a highly revered pilgrimage since ancient days. The temple is situated at an altitude of 9000 feet above sea level.
About Surkanda Devi Temple
Surkanda Devi temple is a famous shrine located near Kaddukhal, 24 kms from the town of Chamba and 40kms from Mussoorie.
At a distance of 9 km from Dhanaulti and 35 km from Mussoorie, Surkanda Devi Temple is a Hindu temple situated at Kuddukhal village near Dhanaulti in the Tehri district of Uttarakhand state. Located on Chamba – Dhanaulti Road, it is one of the prominent places of pilgrimage in Uttarakhand and among the must include places in Dhanaulti Tour Packages.
Surkanda Devi Temple in Dhanaulti
This temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peeth located all over Indian subcontinent and is dedicated to Goddess Surkanda – a manifestation of feminine divine. The temple is famous for its architectural beauty and its location – perched at an altitude 2,700 meters that offers a 360 degree view of the surrounding region along with the snowy Himalayan peaks.
Legend and Mythology
According to the mythology, the origins of the Surkanda Devi temple can be attributed to Goddess Sati, wife of Lord Shiva who immolated herself in her father Daksha’s sacrifice when he embarrassed Shiva by not inviting the couple to the Yajna. Enraged by the death of Sati, Shiva wandered all over the region and performed tandav (dance of cosmic destruction). Feared, the heaven Gods requested Lord Vishnu to stop Shiva. Lord Vishnu uses his discus Sudarshana to destroy the corpse of Sati and pieces of her body fell all over the region, which are known as Shakti Peeths.
Temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peeth located all over the Indian subcontinent and also a part of the popular Devi Darshan triangle that includes Chandrabadni and Kunjapuri. According to the mythology, the origins of the Surkanda Devi temple can be attributed to Goddess Sati, wife of Lord Shiva who immolated herself in her father Daksha’s sacrifice when he embarrassed Shiva by not inviting the couple to the Yajna. When Shiva was passing over this place on his way back to Kailash carrying Sati’s body, her head fell at the spot where the modern temple of Surkhanda Devi stands and due to which the temple’s got its name as sirkhanda which overtime is now called surkanda.
Surkanda Devi Temple Story
Most of us are familiar with the story of Daksha Yagya. In that Yagya, Lord Shiva was insulted by Daksha Prajapati. Unable to tolerate this, Sati Mata ended Her life by entering the sacrificial fire. When Lord Shiva heard of this He was enraged beyond control. He destroyed the Yagya and beheaded Daksha Prajapati. He later restored Prajapati’s life, but with the head of a goat. Lord Shiva picked up Sati Mata’s body and took to the skies. This situation would have had grave consequences for the world. Lord Vishnu cut Sati Mata’s body into 51 parts with His Sudarshan Chakra. These parts fell at different spots in the Indian subcontinent and each spot became a Shakti Peeth. Mata Sati’s head fell at the place where now stands the Surkanda Devi Temple.
Surkanda Devi is a small temple atop the hill. The sanctum in the simple structure of the temple houses the Murti of Maa Sarkanda Devi, beautifully adorned with silk garments and a silver crown.
On the temple premises, a Murti of Hanuman Ji can also be seen. There is also a marble statue of the Goddess seated on a lion within the complex. Beautiful views of the dense forests below and panoramic views of Himalayan peaks can be seen from here. Though this is an ancient temple, not much of its history is known. For most of the year, the temple is covered by fog, making it all the more alluring.
Ganga Dussehra is the main festival celebrated here. The festival starts on the first day of the Jyestha month and ends on the tenth day. Both Navratris are also celebrated in this temple.
Surkanda Devi Temple Ropeway Service
This Sunday Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami visited Maa Surkanda Devi Temple and inaugurated the Kaddukhal-Siddhpeeth Devi ropeway Service. The ropeway initiative will be a big relief for the devotees visiting Surkanda Devi temple for darshan. Devotees had to walk on foot from here for around 2 hours, but now they can easily visit the temple for darshan. This will also boost tourism in Uttarakhand.
Ropeway service will also increase the livelihood of the people at the local level. The ropeway is 502 meter long and can carry up to 500 tourists per hour.
Adventurous activities like water sports are being conducted in the giant lake spread over 42 square kilometers in the Tehri district.
Surkanda Devi Temple Snowfall
The minimum and maximum temperatures in April in Surkanda Devi Temple are °C and °C respectively. The weather is generally in April and you would feel it throughout the day. Warm clothes are recommended for Surkanda Devi Temple in April.
Surkanda Devi Temple Timings
- 05:00 AM to 07:00 PM Summers
- 07:00 AM to 05:00 PM Winters
Location of Surkanda Devi Temple
Surkanda Devi Temple is located in Chamba – Mussoorie Rd, Saklana Range ( 6.7 km from Dhanaulti, 2km uphill trek from Kaddukhal).
Location & How to Reach Surkanda Devi Temple
Devotees and visitors can Surkanda Devi temple can be reached by trekking 2 km uphill from the Kaddukhal, which is the nearest town. Kaddukhal is connected via motorable roads and is 40 kms from Mussoorie and 24 kms from Chamba.
By Road: Kaddukhal the nearest town to the temple and is located 40 kms form Mussoorie. Visitors can hire a taxi or take shared cabs from Mussoorie. Buses also ply from Mussoorie to Chamba via Kaddukhal – however, less frequently. Mussoorie is well-connected with majority of northern cities including Delhi.
By Rail: Situated at a distance of 67 km, Dehradun Railway station in the valley is the nearest railhead. Visitors can book a taxi directly from Dehradun to Surkanda Devi via Mussoorie as well.
By Air: Jolly Grant in Dehradun is the nearest airport located 100 kms from Surkanda Devi temple. It is well connected to Delhi with daily flights and taxis to Surkanda Devi are easily available from here.
How to reach Surkanda Devi
- The route from Dehradun goes via Mussoorie. The motorable road ends in Kaddukhal village. From there the temple is reached by a 3 km trek.
- This trek is quite steep and takes about one or one and a half hours to complete. Ponies are available in case walking is not possible.
- Surkanda Devi Temple is about 34 km from Mussoorie.
- The nearest Railway Station is Dehradun, about 67 km from the temple.
- The nearest airport is Dehradun Airport, about 97 km from the temple.
What is Surkanda Devi Temple famous for?
Surkanda Devi Temple is popular place for following activities/ interests – Devi Temples, Religious, Temples.