About the Temple
Madhyamaheshwar or Madmaheshwar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is nestled in the Mansoona village of Garhwal in Uttarakhand at an elevation of 11,473.1 ft. It is the fourth temple in the Panch Kedar pilgrimage which involves five Shiva temples in the Garhwal region. The temples of Kedarnath, Tungnath and Rudranath has to be visited before Madmaheshwar temple and Kalpeshwar temple has to be visited after worshipping at Madmaheshwar temple. Devotees worship the temple idol which is a middle or belly part or navel of the bull that is considered as a divine form of Lord Shiva.
The temple is believed to be built by the Pandavas in the north Indian style of architecture. The present temple has a navel-shaped Shiva-linga which is made of black stone, in the sanctum. There are two other smaller shrines out of which one belongs to Lord Shiva’s consort Parvati and the another is devoted to the Ardhanarishwara form of Lord Shiva and Parvati. It is believed that Bheem, the second Pandava brother has built this temple to worship Lord Shiva. Next to the main temple there is a small shrine where a marble idol of Goddess Saraswati is installed in the sanctum.
The legend of Madhyamaheswar is connected to the legend of Panch Kedar, which is a narration of the efforts of Pandavas to get rid of their sins of fratricide and Brahmana-hatya during Mahabharata war. On the advice from sages and Lord Krishna, they pleaded to Lord Shiva to forgive them and bless them to attain salvation. Lord Shiva was extremely annoyed with them for their deeds. Hence, to avoid them, he assumed the animal form of a bull and left for the Himalaya. But Pandavas recognised Lord Shiva who was grazing in the hills of Guptakashi in the form of the bull. Pandavas tried to hold the bull by the tail and hind legs but the bull vanished under the ground. Later, the bull reappeared in the original form of Lord Shiva at five places. Lord Shiva appeared at Kedarnath in the form of a hump, in the form of arms at Tungnath, face at Rudranath, stomach and navel at Madhyamaheswar and hair locks at Kalpeshwar. Pandavas were pleased to see the appearance of Lord Shiva at five places in different forms. They constructed the temples at these places to worship Lord Shiva and attained salvation. During the winter when it is impossible to access the temple, the symbolic image of Lord Shiva is moved to Ukhimath for worshipping. Priests from South India serves at this temple and here they are known as Jangamas of the Lingayat caste who hail from Mysore, Karnataka.
How To Reach
By Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport (224 km) which is located at Dehradun.
By Rail: Rishikesh is the nearest railway station (227 km).
By Road: From Rishikesh, local buses and taxis are available to reach Kalimath. The next 31 km has to be covered on foot.