Location of the Lakhamandal Temple
Located at a distance of about 109 km from Dehradun city, en route Yamunotri via Mussoorie/Kempty, Lakhamandal is a small village where you can witness the traces of ancient Indian history.
I am of course talking about the Lakhamandal Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The quaint village of Lakhamandal is a peace settlement in the Jansar-Bawar region in Dehradun District, carefully protected, perched on the lap of a huge mountain.
River Yamuna flows through the valley and separates the Uttarkashi and Dehradun district.
The source of the river Yamuna, i.e, Yamunotri is at a distance of around 60km from Lakhamandal and serves as a great halt before undertaking the trek to Yamunotri.
Upon having a long chat with the temple priest, it is gathered that Lakha (Lakh), Mandal (Temple/Shivling) is believed to have over 1.25 lakh shiv lingams buried in the vicinity of the temple.
Many are on display as discovered by the archaeological survey of India. The temple is a ‘protected site’ by the archaeological survey of India.
Interesting Facts about the Lakhamandal Temple
The temple was first discovered by a villager when he followed his cow into the mountains and discovered it offering her milk to Shivling.
The Lakhamandal temple is a replica of the Kedarnath temple. Dharmaraja Yudhishtira is said to have established the Linga inside the main temple structure, where you can find excavated stone carvings of several Gods and Goddesses.
On the left side of the temple, are two statues of Maanav and Daanav, with a shivling right in the middle.
The significance of this spot is such that whenever a person would die or on a deathbed, by placing the body in front of the statues, the Maanav statue would bring back the body to life for a brief moment, purifying the soul and finally, the Daanav would ensure that the soul reaches its destination of ‘Vaikuntha’.
While walking around the temple, you can witness a large number of lingas surrounding the entire vicinity.
The most notable of them is situated at the end of the temple, a graphite shivling that shines so much that it acts as a mirror if you pour water on it.
History of the Lakhamandal Temple
The Lakhamandal Temple has a really interesting history, especially for someone that is well versed with the epic Mahabharat.
Not willing to share the Kuru Empire with the Pandavas, Duryodhan planned to kill the Pandavas by burning them alive in a house made of wax and animal fat.
The task was assigned to Purochan, an architect, in an attempt to make the death of Pandavas seem like an accident.
Vidura, the chief minister of the Kuru Empire comes to know of Duryodhan’s devices and warns the Pandavas about the sinister plot.
The Pandavas eventually escape unscathed, having already prepared by creating a tunnel that would lead them to safety.
The remains of the cave could be seen a little further up the temple. The cave is called Dhundhi Odaari in Jaunsari, meaning foggy cave.
Lakhamandal is believed to be the same place where the Laksha Griha was built.
The Shiva temple at Lakhamandal was built by the Pandavas along with Lakhs of shivlings in the temple’s vicinity.
How to reach the Lakhamandal Temple?
Lakhamandal Temple is accessible from Mussoorie via kempty fall or Vikas Nagar via the Yamuna Bridge. Both the routes are good and the choice would only depend on which one is more convenient.
The nearest airport to Lakhamandal is the Jollygrant (Rishikesh) airport, which is at a distance of about 133 km.
Nearest railway station
Dehradun railway station is the nearest, at a distance of about 118.5 km.
Lakhamandal can be reached by road only and there are two alternative routes to reach the temple.
Herbertpur-Yamuna Bridge-Lakhamandal: If you are entering Dehradun from Paonta Sahib, this route is the best option. Lakhamandal is at a distance of 95 km from Herbertpur.
Dehradun-Mussoorie-Kempty Fall-Lakhamandal: Though a longer route at about 110 km, this route has a lot of ups and downs where you take a steep ascent till Mussoorie, maybe enjoy the famous Maggi point’s spicy Maggi along the way, stop by near Kempty fall and finally reach the Lakhamandal Village.
This route is best if you are already in Dehradun or Mussoorie and want to see this mythological place.
Major Cities Near Lakhamandal Temple
Places to see near the Lakhamandal Temple
|Tiger Falls||50.1 KM|
|Kempty Falls||60.6 KM|
|Naugaon (Banderpuch Peak View)||15.7 KM|
|Purola (Kedarnath Peak View)||32.6 KM|
|Mahasu Devta (Hanol)||81.7 KM|
Best time to visit the Lakhamandal Temple
The best time to visit this temple is all around the year. For the best scenic views, visiting right after the monsoon is recommended.
Hotels/Stay at Lakhamandal Village
The village of Lakhamandal is in the Jaunsar-Bawar of the Dehradun District and the inhabitants of the village are primarily Jaunsaris, their language quite unlike anything else in Uttarakhand.
The people are simple, friendly, and warm, their houses, similar to something that you see in Himachal Pradesh, are made of wood with beautiful craftsmanship.
The village remains disconnected from outside interference and there are not too many options for accommodation.
You might get to stay among the locals at their houses, paying minimal prices, but do not expect hotel amenities inside the village.
I would recommend you could move further up towards Yamunotri and locate a decent hotel at Naugoan, about 15 km away from the temple.
Naugoan is a place where you will have access to more eating places and shop for essentials. Also, the village offers views of Bandarpunch Peak (6,316 meters above sea level).
Also, there is a Tourist Rest House at Barkot, about 27 km away, and a Forest Rest house at Kawa, 6 km away.
If you plan to move forward with your Himalayan Odyssey, you can choose to cruise along the narrow roads of the magnificent valley and head towards the Purola (32 km) and catch a glimpse of the Mighty Kedarkanta Peak (3800 meters).
Hotels are plenty at Purola.