Gorakhnath Temple

Gorakhnath Temple: A Sacred Site of the Nath Tradition

Gorakhnath Temple is a temple of the Nath monastic order group of the Nath tradition, which is a sect of Hinduism that focuses on yoga and meditation. The temple is named after the medieval saint Gorakshanath, who is considered to be the founder of the Nath order and the author of many texts on yoga and tantra. One Day Gorakhpur Sightseeing Trip By Private Cab

The temple is located in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India, and is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in the region. In this article, we will explore the overview, best time to visit, timing, things to do, significance, and frequently asked questions about Gorakhnath Temple.

Overview of Gorakhnath Temple

Gorakhnath Temple is a large complex that covers an area of about 52 acres. The temple has several shrines, halls, ponds, gardens, and other structures. The main shrine is dedicated to Guru Gorakshanath, who is believed to have attained samadhi (a state of deep meditation) at this site. The shrine contains a statue of Gorakshanath in a sitting posture, along with his prayer seat (gaddi) and tomb (samadhi). The shrine also has statues of other Nath saints, such as Matsyendranath, Jalandharnath, Kanifnath, and Gahininath. The temple also has a shrine for Lord Shiva, who is regarded as the supreme deity by the Nath tradition.

The temple complex also has several other attractions, such as:

  • Akhand Annapurna Bhandara: A free kitchen that serves food to thousands of devotees every day.
  • Bhim Kund: A sacred pond where devotees take a dip to wash away their sins and ailments.
  • Museum: A museum that displays various artifacts related to the Nath tradition and the history of Gorakhpur.
  • Gaushala: A cow shelter that houses hundreds of cows and provides them with care and protection.
  • Education: A school that provides free education to underprivileged children.
  • Health: A hospital that offers free medical services to the poor and needy.

Best Time to Visit Gorakhnath Temple

Gorakhnath Temple

The best time to visit Gorakhnath Temple is during the winter season, from October to March. The weather during this time is pleasant and comfortable, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 25°C. The winter season also coincides with some of the major festivals celebrated at the temple, such as:

  • Makar Sankranti: A festival that marks the transition of the sun into the zodiac sign of Capricorn. It is celebrated on 14th or 15th January every year. On this day, thousands of devotees flock to the temple to offer khichdi (a dish made of rice and lentils) to Guru Gorakshanath and seek his blessings.
  • Maha Shivaratri: A festival that honors Lord Shiva and his marriage to Goddess Parvati. It is celebrated on the 13th or 14th night of the lunar month of Phalguna (February or March). On this night, devotees observe a fast and perform rituals and prayers to Lord Shiva throughout the night.
  • Guru Purnima: A festival that pays tribute to Guru Gorakshanath and other spiritual teachers. It is celebrated on the full moon day of the lunar month of Ashadha (June or July). On this day, devotees offer flowers, fruits, sweets, and donations to Guru Gorakshanath and express their gratitude and devotion.

Timing of Gorakhnath Temple

Gorakhnath Temple

The temple is open for visitors every day from 3 am to 9 pm. The temple performs various rituals and ceremonies throughout the day, such as:

  • Mangal Aarti: The morning prayer that starts at 3 am and lasts till 4 am. It involves chanting hymns and lighting lamps in front of Guru Gorakshanath’s statue.
  • Bhog Aarti: The midday prayer that starts at 11 am and lasts till 12 pm. It involves offering food to Guru Gorakshanath and distributing it among the devotees.
  • Sandhya Aarti: The evening prayer that starts at 6 pm and lasts till 8 pm. It involves singing songs and performing dances in praise of Guru Gorakshanath.

Things to Do / Must See in Gorakhnath Temple

Gorakhnath Temple

Some of the things that you can do or see in Gorakhnath Temple are:

  • Seek blessings from Guru Gorakshanath: You can pay your respects to Guru Gorakshanath by touching his feet or bowing your head in front of his statue. You can also ask for his guidance or help in any matter by whispering your wishes in his ears.
  • Participate in aarti: You can join the devotees in singing and clapping along the aarti, which is a form of worship that involves waving lamps and incense in front of the deity. You can also receive prasad (sacred food) after the aarti, which is believed to have divine qualities.
  • Visit the museum: You can visit the museum to learn more about the Nath tradition and the history of Gorakhpur. You can see various exhibits, such as paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, weapons, coins, and other items related to Guru Gorakshanath and his followers.
  • Enjoy the bhandara: You can enjoy the bhandara, which is a free meal served to all the visitors at the temple. You can taste the delicious khichdi, which is cooked in large pots over wood fire. You can also have other dishes, such as roti (bread), sabzi (vegetable curry), dal (lentil soup), and kheer (rice pudding).
  • Feed the cows: You can feed the cows at the gaushala, which is a cow shelter run by the temple. You can buy fodder or grass from the nearby shops and offer it to the cows. You can also pet and caress the cows, which are considered to be sacred animals in Hinduism.

Significance of Gorakhnath Temple

Gorakhnath Temple

Gorakhnath Temple is a significant site for the Nath tradition and Hinduism in general. Some of the reasons for its significance are:

  • It is the place where Guru Gorakshanath attained samadhi, which is a state of deep meditation that leads to liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Guru Gorakshanath is believed to be still alive in his samadhi and grants boons to his devotees who visit him.
  • It is the headquarters of the Nath order, which is a sect of Hinduism that focuses on yoga and meditation. The Nath order has influenced many other spiritual movements, such as Sikhism, Buddhism, and Sufism. The Nath order also has branches in Nepal, Tibet, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and other countries.
  • It is a symbol of cultural and social harmony, as it welcomes people from all walks of life, regardless of their caste, creed, gender, or religion. The temple also performs various charitable and humanitarian activities, such as providing free food, education, health care, and cow protection.

FAQ

Some of the frequently asked questions about Gorakhnath Temple are:

  • Q: How to reach Gorakhnath Temple?
    • A: Gorakhnath Temple is located in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India. You can reach Gorakhpur by road, rail, or air. The nearest airport is Mahayogi Gorakhnath Airport, which is about 8 km from the temple. The nearest railway station is Gorakhpur Junction Railway Station, which is about 4 km from the temple. You can also take a bus or a taxi from any nearby city or town to reach Gorakhpur.
  • Q: What are the timings of Gorakhnath Temple?
    • A: The temple is open for visitors every day from 3 am to 9 pm. The temple performs various rituals and ceremonies throughout the day, such as Mangal Aarti (3 am to 4 am), Bhog Aarti (11 am to 12 pm), and Sandhya Aarti (6 pm to 8 pm).
  • Q: What are the best time to visit Gorakhnath Temple?
    • A: The best time to visit Gorakhnath Temple is during the winter season, from October to March. The weather during this time is pleasant and comfortable, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 25°C. The winter season also coincides with some of the major festivals celebrated at the temple, such as Makar Sankranti (14th or 15th January), Maha Shivaratri (13th or 14th night of February or March), and Guru Purnima (full moon day of June or July).
  • Q: What are the things to do / must see in Gorakhnath Temple?
    • A: Some of the things that you can do or see in Gorakhnath Temple are:
      • Seek blessings from Guru Gorakshanath by touching his feet or bowing your head in front of his statue.
      • Participate in aarti by singing and clapping along with the devotees.
      • Visit the museum to learn more about the Nath tradition and the history of Gorakhpur.
      • Enjoy the bhandara by tasting the delicious khichdi and other dishes served for free at the temple.
      • Feed the cows at the gaushala by buying fodder or grass from the nearby shops.

Conclusion

Gorakhnath Temple is a sacred site of the Nath tradition that attracts thousands of devotees every year. The temple is named after Guru Gorakshanath, who is considered to be the founder of the Nath order and the author of many texts on yoga and tantra. The temple is located in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India, and is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in the region.

The temple offers a unique spiritual experience to the visitors, as they can seek blessings from Guru Gorakshanath, participate in aarti, visit the museum, enjoy the bhandara, and feed the cows. The temple also symbolizes cultural and social harmony, as it welcomes people from all walks of life, regardless of their caste, creed, gender, or religion.

The temple also performs various charitable and humanitarian activities, such as providing free food, education, health care, and cow protection. Gorakhnath Temple is a place where you can find peace, joy, and enlightenment.

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