Tapkeshwar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is adorned on the banks of Tons river. This cave temple enshrines one of the oldest Shivlinga. The temple owes its unique name from the Hindi word ‘tapak’ meaning to drop. One can see the water droplets continuously dropping from the ceiling of the cave on the Shivlinga, thus fulfilling the name ‘Tapkeshwar’.
There is also a sulphur spring located around the temple which is believed to have therapeutic value; many devotees take a holy dip here before entering the temple.
Fairs and Festival at Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple
A grand fair is called Tapkeshwar Mela is held at the temple during the auspicious Shivratri festival. The devotees stand for hours in a 1 km queue waiting for their turn to pay obeisance to the deity. Bhang k Pakode and Bhaang juice are also offered as prasad to the devotees.
Mythology related to Tapkeshwar Mahadev
According to the Hindu epic Mahabharata, earlier Tapkeshwar Mahadev was known as Drona Cave as it was the residence of Guru Dronacharya, the royal preceptor of Pandavas and Kauravas. But its name changed later when Guru Dronacharya’s wife Kalyani gave birth to Ashwathama. Since Kalyani was unable to breastfeed him and they couldn’t afford a cow, Ashwathama then prayed to Lord Shiva and miraculously the milk started dripping from the Shivlinga in the Drona Cave, after which the cave came to be known as Tapkeshwar Mahadev.
How to reach Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple
Tapkeshwar temple at Garhi Cantt is located about 6 km from the city centre, Clock Tower. The temple can be easily accessed either by bus or auto. Tapkeshwar Mahadev temple is located at a distance of 51 km from Rishikesh, 59 km from Haridwar and 248 km from Delhi. You can take Vikram no. 6 from Connaught place, Dehradun which will drop you at Garhi Cantt, after that you can either take a private auto to reach the temple or walk on foot which will hardly take 10 minutes to reach. Dehradun railway station at 7 km away is the nearest railhead and Jolly Grant at 35 km away is the closest air connectivity.