Danda Nagraja Temple, Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand

Danda Nagraja Temple, Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand

7:45 am Dev – The guide was ready so was I and we towards Badrinath road i.e., National Highway 58 to catch a bus for Devprayag. At 8 am we saw a white color bus coming. We wave our hands for bus to stop. The bus was going towards Joshimath. Almost full but we were provided seats near by the driver seat. Interesting to sit in front specially when I never traveled by bus within mountains.

Rs. 90 – The bus fare from Rishikesh to Devprayag.

Rs. 180 paid – two passengers.

At 10:05 am we were at Pauri band, Devprayag. The journey was good as road condition good. Bus driver was experienced driving carefully though it is few times scary to watch deep valley on the right hand side as the mountain road height grows.

As said above at 10:05 am we were standing at Pauri band, Devprayag to catch a bus for Vyas Ghat. Dev said we have to reach Vyas Ghat which is approx. 12 km and then from there either we have to trek or catch jeep or bus to reach Danda Nagraja temple.

Almost one hour standing and no bus or jeep for Vyas ghat. All buses and jeeps were going towards Pauri. We decide to walk further to visit Ram tirath (near by holy Ganga, Devprayag) which is approx. 200 meters down below towards Pauri road to offer prayers. After offering prayers we were back on Pauri road waiting for a bus or jeep to arrive.

Another one hour and no vehicle. What to do? We cannot think of standing more or walking till Vyas ghat because it is approx. 12 km. I decided to hire a taxi. We walk towards Devprayag market and started inquiring about taxi rates from Devprayag to Danda Nagraja temple. The lowest rate was Rs. 1500 from Narendra the owner of the taxi.

Rs. 1400 the final taxi fare after bargain from Devprayag to Danda Nagraja temple to and fro.

How far is Danda Nagraja temple from Devprayag – I question.

50 km approx. – said Narendra. Total – 100 km to and fro.

Done – said I.

12 noon we started our journey from Devprayag to Danda Nagraja temple. At 1:40 pm we were near by Danda Nagraja temple. 50 km journey I checked with taxi meter.

Road condition between Devprayag to Danda Nagraja is a mixture of good and ok. Currently road repairing work is going on. The drive is fantastic as entire route is almost silent. Holy Ganga river on one side flowing and on the other side is mountain and jungle. First 25 km drive is near by holy Ganga and another 25 km upwards drive to reach Danda Nagraja temple.

During conversation Narendra enhanced our knowledge to trek one has to start from Maroda but is not advisable because trek condition is not that good.

Another option is to reach Pauri from Devprayag by bus. There is a daily bus from Pauri at 1:30 pm for Danda Nagraja temple but once you reach you cannot return same day because another bus is only next day morning to Pauri from Danda Nagraja temple. One has to stay at temple Dharamshala or a lodge near by.

Very good information – said I. Thank you.

I observed during Devprayag to Danda Nagraja temple journey it is not advisable to travel during rainy days because of the landslide and is not advisable to visit by motorbike either because very seldom you find someone on the entire route and all around the journey is silent road with forest around. Only few times village during entire journey. Taxi I find the best way to reach Danda Nagraja temple from Devprayag or visit Pauri from Devprayag to catch a bus to reach the temple.

At temple area I purchased ‘prasad’ – jaggery and flower for Rs. 90 to offer to Lord Danda Nagraja and a temple photo – Rs. 40 for home.

Upon query about the history of the temple I was told by the two priest – Shri Ganesh Prasad and Shri Jagdish Prasad (uncle and nephew) present within the temple:

Lord Krishna visited Uttarakhand – The land of Lord Shiva in the form of snake and appeared at this temple location thus, within Uttarakhand Lord Krishna is worshiped in the form of snake.

The present form of temple was built around 125 years back and in the year 1993. Earlier there was only wall around Sanctum Sanctorum. One can offer prayers at Sanctum Sanctorum (garbhagriha) from a window close by.

The priest said – Sem Mukhem nearby Chamba, Tehri Garhwal is also known for Lord Krishna Leela.

Further talks and I was told by the priest 40 years back his father once met a sadhu at temple location who after a little conversation disappeard. And three years back few women from Kishanpur, Kotdwar was here doing kirtan. Few of them during kirtan saw Nagraja and few was unable to see.

And few more stories..

Upon query about festival I was told each year during ‘do gati baisakh’ is the time for festival. Mostly 14 / 15 April – The festival dates.

I question how to reach Danda Nagraja temple from Rishikesh?

Priest said: Reach Pauri from Rishikesh via Devprayag and at 1:00 pm there is a bus for Danda Nagraja temple and to return Pauri next day early morning at 7:30 there is a bus from Danda Nagraja temple. And please note specially during festival time it is the best to hire ones own taxi to reach temple.

And how to reach Danda Nagraja temple via trek?

Pantgaon is the location if coming from Devprayag from where one can trek but is not advisable – The priest said. Bachhelikhal and Vyas ghat another location for trek but now a days it is very less used so not in good condition for trekking not advisable.

Danda – I question what that means?

Danda in Garhwali language is the top of a mountain thus Danda Nagraja. The temple is at 4900 feet. One can watch Chandrabadni temple, Vyas ghat, Nanda Devi peak, Chaukhamba peak and Bhairavgadi temple (near by Lansdowne) from the temple area when the air is clear and not foggy.

Very useful information. Thank you – said I.

After offering prasad, prayers and touching feet of priest I walk around temple area and then towards Mahesh Rawat shop and order two plates of Maggi and two hot cups of tea. Fantastic journey it was. There are so many bells within temple area. Devotees after wishes are fulfilled offer bell.

3:10 pm we started from Danda Nagraja temple and at 4:40 pm we were at Devprayag market. Thanks to Narendra. He is a very good driver. I have to say wonderful control of his vehicle.

Thank you – said I. Rs. 1400 paid.

5:00 pm we were inside a private car as the bus was not coming after few minutes of standing on road. Rs. 120/- per person he charged from Devprayag to Rishikesh. 6:45 pm we reached Rishikesh. Thank you – said I. Amount paid – Rs. 240. Journey completed.