Sem Mukhem Nagaraja Temple is located in the Pratapnagar Tehsil of Tehri Garhwal District, Uttarakhand. The temple is at a distance of 89 KM from New Tehri, which is a popular hill station.
You need to trek about 2 km from Talbala Sem to reach the nagaraja temple. The trek is moderately difficult and can be completed in 45 minutes.
This temple is situated at about 7000 feet above sea level. High mountain peaks and beautiful dense forests surround this temple. The path leading to the temple offers mesmerizing scenic views.
This temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna in the form of a Nagaraja- the king of snakes. It is one of the oldest pilgrimage sites in India. The temple is also known as the fifth Dham (पांचवा धाम) of Uttrakhand and Dwarika of the North (उत्तर द्वारिका).
History of the Sem Mukhem Nagaraja Temple
According to the Hindu Mythology, it is believed that Lord Krishna visited this place as an old sage. He asked the local king, Gangu Ramola (गंगू रमोला), to donate him some land to live on. However, the king wasn’t keen on doing so and asked the sage to leave.
The sage then left for Pauri Garhwal, where the villagers welcomed him. The Danda Nagaraja Temple of Pauri signifies this incident.
However, back in Sem Mukhem, the kingdom suffered drought, diseases, and loss of cattle. Gangu Ramola soon realized that he had turned down the sage, due to which all prosperity in his kingdom was lost. Thus, he sent men to bring him back and offered him a place to stay, thus bringing back the kingdom’s prosperity.
The temple is built in the place where Lord Krishna stayed. As one enters the temple, they notice the idol of Lord Krishna enshrined on the hood of the Serpent King, the Nagaraj. Lord Krishna is worshipped at the Sem Mukhem Temple as a rock, which is believed to have been self-manifested (स्वयं भू).
How to Reach the Sem Mukhem Temple?
The Sem Mukhem Nagaraja Temple is situated between Uttarkashi and Tehri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. It is 166 KM from Dehradun and 143 Km from Rishikesh. from Dehradun, you can take the following route:
Taxis and buses to Chamba are readily available from Dehradun. From Chamba, you can hail a bus or a shared taxi to Talbala Sem, from where the only way to reach the temple is on foot (Approx. a 2 km trek).
The nearest airport to Sem Mukhem Temple is the Jolly Grant Airport (Dehradun), at a distance of 143.2 KM. You can take a taxi to Rishikesh from the airport and take a bus or a shared taxi to Chamba.
Nearest Railway Station
The nearest railway station to Sem Mukhem Nagaraja Temple is at Rishikesh, 138 KM away. Dehradun and Haridwar Railway stations are good alternatives too.
Best Time to Visit Sem Mukhem Nagaraja Temple
The temple is open year-round and can be visited anytime. However, it is best to visit the temple before monsoons (March-June) and before winters (October-November).
This is because the rainy season can bring a lot of landslides and difficulty trekking, while the winter season can be pretty chilly due to snowfall in the surrounding mountains.
Major Cities/Towns Near Sem Mukhem Nagaraja Temple