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As the name suggests, the Neelkanth Temple is Shiva temple located around 30 km from Rishikesh. There are two ways to reach here, one is trekking route and other is by hired personal taxi or a shared taxi.
The road route, which can be covered by taxi, is not well prepared. The roads are broken in patches. The road journey can be tiring for the tourists and devotees due to occasional bumpy roads.
The trek route is around 14 km long, with lot of Sadhus travelling on this trek as a daily routine. They consider it as auspicious to travel 14 km on foot, after filling Ganga Water from Rishikesh, everyday. One can see lot of monkeys and long tailed langurs on the way. There are some small eating points as well, enroute.
As per Hindu mythology, lord Shiva drank the venom to save the world from evil. Lord Shiva stopped the venom from entering his body and reserved the venom in his throat. The venom thus turned his throat blue, hence the temple got name of Neelkanth.
The temple is small and simple, with multiple food joints around, with multiple snacks options like tea, pakoras and noodles.
The temple priest puts trishul shaped tilak on the foreheads of the devotees.
There are two main fairs at Neelkanth Temple – One is on the Shivratri (around February/March) and second one on Sharavan Shivratri (around July/August). During these two fairs, tourists in the multiple of thousands visit here.
There is a small natural spring as well, close to the temple, where tourists can take holy bath.