Maa Tripura Sundari Lalita Mai Temple (at Nalachatti near Guptkashi) – Built approx. 900 Years ago

Maa Tripura Sundari Lalita Mai Temple at Nalachatti near Guptkashi, Uttarakhand, India

This group of temple was built approx. 900 years ago in the name of Lalita Mai by some person.

Lord Vishnu idol installed at the Sanctum Sanctorum (garbhagriha) of the temple is fine example of existing Vaishnava parampara and worship, faith towards Lord Vishnu. Boudha Stupa presence is strong evidence of faith towards Bhagwan Buddha.

(source: display board)

Madhav Prasad Mishra – Priest of the Maa Tripura Sundari Lalita Mai Temple for the last 13 years further enhanced our knowledge by showing us a stupa known as the grave of Raja (King) Nal – husband of Princess Damyanti. He also said – Damyanti temple is nearby. Each year on the 14th Jeth (May/June) Sankranti one-day festival is held at the temple. It is said earlier times there were 360 temples at Nalachatti.

Flattened Rice (Chiwda) Mixture – Lightweight Snack for Trekking

Flattened Rice (Chiwda) mixed with Black Seasame Seeds and Sugar

We were at Nalachatti (Narayankoti) near Guptkashi. Just visited Maa Tripurasundari Lalita Mai Temple and was roaming inside the village. It was morning hours. Balbir Singh Rawat was brushing his teeth. He invited us inside his home. We were offered tea but what was more important than tea was – Beaten/Flattened Red Rice also known as Chiwda as a snack.

Flattened Red Rice mixed with Black Sesame Seeds and Sugar – I was enjoying chewing it. Good in taste, Aroma, and little sweetness as I chew more and more. I was told it is a good snack carried by local mountain people during jungle visits regularly either to collect leaves or for animal grazing. This snack quenches one’s thirst and is lightweight to carry. It is much much tastier if Walnut is also mixed.

Yes, this is for sure one of the lightweight snacks for trekking. Will carry it next time. Even while chewing one can trek. Good during budget trekking. Fantastic idea. Thank you Balbir Ji for enhancing my knowledge. Thank you very much.

Mandwa Crop of Uttarakhand

Mandwa Crop of Uttarakhand

This photo was taken at Nalachatti (Narayankoti) nearby Guptkashi in Uttarakhand.

Mandwa is a grain crop. During winter days it is mixed with whole wheat flour to make rotis.

Good to have with ghee on top, especially during Winter days as it keeps one’s body warm.

Sri Jakh Devta Temple at Jakhdhar near Guptkashi

Sri Jakh Devta Devsthali, Jakhdhar near Guptkashi, Uttarakhand, India

7:15 am we started the journey from Tapovan, Rishikesh via Royal Enfield Thunderbird Twinspark motorbike. We reached Jakhdhar 5 km approx. further from Guptkashi at 3:15 pm.

Total journey – 180 km approx. Road condition is almost good especially after Rudraprayag till Guptkashi – very good but empty road. Mostly locals on road. Tourists were nowhere visible after the Kedarnath flash flood – the year 2013.

View of Chandrashila Peak/Tungnath temple on the right side. Kedarnath, Chaukhambha peaks almost in front and thousands of feet below the holy river Mandakini flowing. Spectacular view during late afternoon hours.

We met Gunanand Devshali – a knowledgeable, respectable 70 years old person from Devshal village at a shop in front of the temple. Upon query about Jakh Devta temple, he shared History as follows:

Jakh Devta is an incarnation of Lord Shiva. As per written Samvat 1111 ( minus 57 years = Christian calendar years) on an idol, it is believed this temple is much much older than that –  approx. 900+ years old.

Earlier this temple was taken care of by 11 villages but nowadays by 14 villages named as follows:

Narayankoti, Kotheda, Devshal, Hyun, Nala, Rudrapur, Guptkashi, Dewar, Sankari, Semi, Bhainsari, Bansu, Teudi, Khumera.

The priest of Jakh Devta temple is from Kotheda village.

Vishwat Sankranti day i.e., 14th of April sometimes 15th of April Jakh Devta temple is visited by priests and devotees from nearby villages. Three days before Vishwat Sankranti day all nearby roads and shops are closed. Silver Oak tree wood known as Baanj in the Garhwali Language is collected by villagers from the nearby Devshal jungle. The woodpile is made nearby the temple.

On Vishwat Sankranti day woodpile is worshiped and burned at night. The next day is a big festival day during the day hours. Thousands of devotees visit the temple. Priest along with band baaja via Naranyankoti > Kotheda > Devshal villages visit Jakh Devta temple. After offering prayers the priest walk and jumps two-three times into last night’s burnt woodpile and later blesses devotees. And thus, the festival ends.

The road closed open around 12 noon hours on Vishwat Sankranti day.

During the festival time, all arrangements are done by Kotheda and Narayankoti villagers.

In short, this is the temple history and knowledge about festival time – said Gunanand Ji.

Thank you very much for enhancing my knowledge – said I. Thanks a lot.

We decided to revisit the next day during the morning hours. The morning was another beautiful morning when we visited the temple again. The surroundings around the temple are one of the best and most beautiful locations I have visited to date.

A fantastic journey I have to say. One should visit. If you wish you may drive further into villages – a few meters distance.

Good Food and My Budget Accommodation in Guptkashi

Mast New Sainik Hotel, Guptkashi, Uttarakhand, India

Dinner – Rs. 100 per plate having Chicken, Rai vegetable, Rotis, and onions.

Lunch – Rs. 50 per plate having Chane-Arhar-Kali mixed Daal, Aaalu-Gobhi sabzi, Rai vegetable, Rice, Rotis, and onions.

Breakfast – Rs. 20/- per Aalu paratha with Rajma-Mah-Lobia mixed Dal.

Isn’t it one of the best food for budget travelers?

Yes, it is. And Hot food straight from the kitchen. What else do I wish more? Budget Accommodation?

Yes, it is there and that is also Rs. 200 per night with a double bed, attached bathroom having a flush toilet. Excellent for a budget traveler. Sainik Hotel for good quality food was one of the recommendations by a local. We enter to have excellent HOT food and then upon the query about budget accommodation – It was there upstairs.

During travel, I do not have much money for good accommodation but yes, I prefer budget accommodation somewhat between Rs. 200-Rs. 300 per night cost which sometimes might be very clean or somewhat clean but what to do? We have to deposit luggage and sleep for a night or two to save money to continue the journey. Most of the time during the day hours we are out. But yes, for food I always go for good ones especially HOT ones, and homemade preferable. This restaurant is close to homemade food.

Other than food these guys working in the hotel are marvelous. Always cheerful with full of energy ready to be at your service no matter what you wish for a few cups of tea early in the morning (you have to tell them one day in advance). Yes, I like this restaurant that is why I am writing. Maybe someday will stay again and food for sure especially chicken and Rai vegetables. Thank you guys for the great hospitality.

Note: Hot water for the bath wasn’t available and that is what I like the most.

Guptkashi is a good location to stay if you are visiting nearby tourist places.

Distance from Kund to Tourist Places

Distance from Kund (Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand, India) to Tourist Places

Kund is a village in the Rudraprayag district and a junction of three hilly roads. One goes to Deoria Tal, Gopeshwar, and Chamoli. Another road goes to Guptkashi, Triyuginarayan, and Kedarnath, and one towards Augustmuni, Rudraprayag, Devprayag, Rishikesh, Haridwar, and Delhi.

(Distance from Kund in km)

Chamoli – 90
Gopeshwar – 80
Augustmuni – 20
Rishikesh – 172