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One of the not to be missed places to visit near Rishikesh, Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is around 32km from the city limits and is located at a height of 1,330m above the sea level in the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. Among all the temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple holds a major prominence among the devotees.
Tucked between the pictorial valleys of Manikot, Brahmakot and Vishnukot, the heart-warming surrounding of this sacred temple owes to its popularity among all the Rishikesh tourist places. With Lord Shiva, who is also known as 'Neelkanth' or the 'Blue Throated One' as the main deity, the peak of the temple is adorned with sculptures of both the Gods and the Asuras.
It is said that during 'samudramanthan'; or while both the Gods and Asuras were churning out the ocean bed to obtain the holy 'amrita' or the 'nectar of immortality, Lord Shiva drank the poison that evolved from the sea. This turned his throat blue, and thus he was named as Neelkanth, and is worshipped in this temple in the form of a 'shivalinga'. Devotees visit this sacred temple throughout the day and takes a bath in the natural spring in the main complex before offering puja to the main deity.