One of the important Hindu religious site Tarkeshwor Mahadev Temple (तारकेश्वर महादेव) of Kathmanduu is located at the Northern Side of Kathmandu Valley. It is known as an important pilgrimage site. This temple is inside Shivapuri National Park. It is the temple of Mahadev, 1345 m above the sea level. As mentioned in Swasthani barta katha, it is said that this is the place where Sati Devi’s right thigh fell.
At the entrance of this site there is a small pond on the left-hand side, also known as sano Gosaikunda by locals. Above the pond you’ll see a huge rock. From there, climbing a stone staircase, we reached Tarkeshwor Mahadev temple. A little higher there is Shreenath baba’s kuti. There you’ll find water for drinking etc. Above that there is another Tarkeshwor Mahadev, which was place later by Kali baba. One has to climb an iron ladder on a difficult steep slope to worship. There is a small cave where you can find idols of Ganesha, Shiva and Nandi. Few meters above at the top of the hill there is Hanuman statue on the way to Dhauleshwor.
Kali baba was a saint who had a connection with Royal palace. There is a helipad beside the kuti. This helipad was made for King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya to reach there by helicopter to meet Kali baba. But before the arrival of King and Queen the Nepalese royal massacre occurred on 19th Jestha. Kali baba has also taken samadhi and there is Shreenath baba’s right now in the kuti.
Big fair is held during Janai purnima and devotees also visit during Shivaratri. If there is a drought, people go to Tarkeshwor to beg for water with Lord Shiva. This ritual is known as rudri (रुद्री). There is a belief that it will rain after this ritual.
It is a good place for meditation and yoga. Sometimes foreigners also visit this place for meditation. There are small caves where common people and saints come to meditate. It is also said that during night wild animals like tiger are seen here. Local says, many years ago a villager was attacked by a tiger. There is also a Kabir Ashram near by Tarkeshwor mahadev temple.
In the forest you’ll find different types of plants including Nepali orchid, aiselu, katus, lali guras, kafal etc. In summer season you’ll find aiselu, kafal and laliguras. There is a tree which changes it color during summer and winter. We’ve also seen a green plant which looks like a snake. There is a grass which is used in incense, found only during rainy season. There you’ll find Kalij also but it is prohibited to harm Kalij.
It is a small but beautiful waterfall near by the temple. It is on the opposite direction of the temple so visitors may not easily find it. It is more beautiful during monsoon as the water level increases.
Tarkeshwor hike a destination near by the city covered by dense forest which is a part of Shivapuri National Park. This hiking can be completed in a single day. There is a cycling route also. Sometimes you may see foreigners cycling.
To reach Tarkeshwor there are many routes among them are from Tinpiple, Balaju bypass, Kavresthali. It takes about 30 minutes drive from Balaju.
Tarkeshwor hike from Tinpiple
Tinpiple route is at Kathmandu-Nuwakot border which can be reached from local bus, car and bike. Journey begins from Balaju bypass then from Osho tapoban, Jitpur phedi to Tinpiple. Hiking starts from Tinpiple. There you’ll find a shop to buy noodles, chips etc. From there you’ll enter in the village and then into the jungle. There is an army camp on the way. This route is mostly used by people who travels via vechile upto Tinpiple and easy to walk as compared to other routes. Tarkeshwor temple is in the middle of the forest.
If you’re travelling by a local bus and sometimes if you could’t find any bus there while returning then there is a shortcut route from Jitpurphedi to Balaju. Instead of traveling from Osho tapoban route you can travel straight from Jitpur phedi to Balaju bypass.
Tarkeshwor hike from Balaju bypass
Reaching Tarkeshwor from Balaju bypass on foot is also possible but it is a long route. There is a road infront of Astanarayan hall at Balaju bypass which takes to Shesmati pool (bridge). Crossing that bridge you’ll reach Dharmasthali and then to Tarkeshwor. This is not easy for people who don’t have hiking experience. After entering the forest the trail is steeper than Tinpiple route. This route is also suitable if you wish to continue hike slowly taking rest and enjoying the natural beauty in the forest. You may not find any water sources in the forest before reaching baba’s kuti nearby the temple. You can enjoy shade of the tree and city view from the jungle. This route is mostly used by the local people in the village.
Tarkeshwor hike from Kavresthali
You can reach upto Kavresthali by local bus, car or bike. You can find local bus at Sundhara or also in Balaju bypass. At Sundhara you may have to wait for a bus to arrive but at Balaju bypass you can easily find local bus. Kavresthali is a beautiful village slowly turning into a town. Around 2004 it was a beautiful village. Sometimes fox are seen running into rice fields during day time also in those days.
From Kavresthali there is trail that leads to Tarkeshwor. This trial is also beautiful but little steep. Though the trial is steep views seen from this route is beautiful. After crossing the village and before entering into the dense forest you’ll come across a hilltop where you can take rest. You can enjoy beautiful jungle view as well as city view from here.
Above Tarakeshwar is Dhauleshwar which was a place where Shyam baba meditated. Shyam baba was a teacher of Royal family before he became a saint. He have meditated in different places, Dhauleshwar is among one of them. To reach Dhauleshwar you’ll have to pass by a dense forest nearly about one hour. You need to be careful as you may come across wild animals. There are tigers, wild boars, deer etc in the forest. It is said that there is a shortcut to reach Trishuli on foot.