First Murugan Temple – Kartik Swami, the oldest temple predates all Murugan temples of south India and Bathu caves in Malaysia, stands proudly in the majestic Himalayas at an elevation of over 10,006 feet above sea level. It is a perfect destination for those seeking an exhilarating Himalayan snow trekking experience on their way to the revered Badrinath yatra. To reach Kartik Swami temple, one must embark on the route from Kanak Chauri village, which lies along the path to Pokhri. From Rudraprayag, travelers need to ascend a narrow pathway that leads to this ancient temple.
Kanak Chauri, situated 39 kilometers from Rudraprayag, falls at the tri-junction of Badrinath, Kedarnath, and the surrounding areas. Kartik Swami, perched high in the Himalayas, offers an enchanting and awe-inspiring setting for Himalayan snow trekking, making it an ideal stop along the journey to Badrinath.
Historical accounts reveal a captivating legend associated with this sacred site. Lord Kartik (known as Muruga in South India) and Lord Ganesh were subjected to a test by their parents, Lord Shiva and Parvati. In this trial, Lord Kartik was bested by his younger brother, Lord Ganesha. Filled with anger, Lord Kartik migrated from the Himalayas to the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Kartik Swami is the sole temple dedicated to Lord Kartik along the Badrinath yatra route, and it serves as the origin of the ancient stories and legends about Lord Kartik in Tamil Nadu. This temple holds immense significance as it marks the beginning of the ‘Aarupadai Veedu’ pilgrimage circuit in Tamil Nadu.
When planning a visit to Kartik Swami, it is essential to come prepared with the necessary equipment. Climbing shoes with spikes are crucial for navigating the rugged terrain, while a powerful torch will assist in illuminating the path. Carrying a pair of binoculars allows visitors to appreciate the breathtaking vistas, while heavy winter clothing is essential to combat the cold temperatures. Additionally, a sturdy trekking stick will provide stability and support during the trek.
How to reach
The best way to reach Kartik Swami is as follows.
By Air – Chennai to New Delhi
New Delhi to Dehradun (Rishikesh is very close to the airport). From the airport, you can take a taxi to reach Kanakchauri village via Rudraprayag town, which is on the way to Pokhri village. Rudraprayag falls on the way to Badrinath and Kedarnath.
By Train – No. 12687 – Dehradun Express (Twice weekly)
Chennai to Haridwar, from Haridwar you can hire a taxi to Kanakchauri via Rudraprayag town which is on the way to Pokhri village. Rudraprayag falls on the way to Badrinath and Kedarnath.
From Kanak Chauri village you have to trek 3 Km to reach Kartik Swami temple (Murugan Koil), there are no lodging facilities on the hill. You can stay in Kanak Chauri or better to stay in Rudraprayag town.
Special advice: Please avoid trekking after 3 pm. wild animals are there.