Tapkeshwar Temple also known as Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple, is one of the most popular temples devoted to Lord Shiva in Dehradun. Situated amidst the dense forest side, the main Shiva Linga at the temple is placed inside a natural cave where water falls from the ceiling of the cave and flows down over the Shiva Linga in a continuous downpour, making for an interesting view. The water that drops down disappears underground and gets collected few yards away in the form of a stream. At Tapkeshwar Mahadev temple, cool Sulphur-water springs can be seen where devoted pilgrims take a holy dip before entering the temple. The water gets collected from the hills and trees and drips down as droplets onto the Shiv Ling throughout the year. Hence, here Lord Shiva is known as Tapkeshwar Mahadev.
Tapkeshwar Mahadev temple stands on the bank of a Dehradun seasonal river that enhances the beauty of the holy place. It is one of the ancient Shiva Lings which is placed inside the cave with water dripping down on the Shiva Ling. The cave is small with a splendid scenery which was once resided by Dronacharya, the mentor of Pandavas and Kauravas along with his wife Kalyani and son Ashwathama. The cave is named after Guru Dronacharya.
As per the belief and holy epic Mahabharata, Dronacharya who was a Guru of Pandavas and Kauravas had made this cave his abode. Hence, the cave is also known as Drona Cave. Dronacharya's wife Kalyani gave birth to Ashwathama in this cave. Dronacharya was very poor and he was not able to arrange milk for his son Ashwathama. Drona went to meet his friend King Draupada, father of Draupadi and requested for help. Draupada insulted Drona saying that a poor can never be a friend of a rich. Drona came home dejected. He could not afford milk for his son. The child Aswathama started crying due to hunger and his tears fell on the Shiva Linga. Lord Shiva then made milk flow from the cave for the child. This acquired the place name Tapkeshwar. Even today, the water drips from the roof on the Shiv Linga inside the cave.
It is said that Pandavas worshiped Lord Shiva here and Maharishi Vyasa was granted a boon of “Amaratwa ” by Lord Shiva at this place.
Festivals and Celebrations
Every year, a grand festival is held on the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivratri at Tapkeshwar Temple. Thousands of devotees flock to the temple to participate in the Maha Shivratri fair and to pay their obeisance to Lord Shiva.
How To Reach
By Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant ( 32 km) which is located at Dehradun.
By Train: Dehradun (7 km) is the nearest railway station to access the temple.
By Road: The temple is located at a distance of 6.5 km from Dehradun city on Tapkeshwar road. Buses and autos are available to reach the temple.