Rishikesh: The ancient Neelkanth Mahadev temple at the Manikut Parvat in Rishikesh is seeing a huge influx of devotees on the first Monday of the holy Shravan month.
In the wake of the huge crowd in attendance, the district administrations of Dehradun, Tehri and Pauri have deployed foolproof security at the temple site and the route leading to it.
"As per the mythological texts, Lord Shiva had deposited the poison that emerged from the epic churning of the seas in his throat. After that, he had come to the Manikut Parvat for meditation to cool off the effects of the poison," Subhash Puri, the coordinator at Neelkanth Mahadev temple said.
"Since he was deep in meditation and away from Kailash Parvat, Goddess Parvati came looking for Lord Shiva to Manikut. On her request, Lord Shiva agreed to go back to Kailash. However, before going back, he installed a symbolic 'Shivaling' at the site where he meditated. This place was later called the Neelkanth Mahadev temple where devotees seek Lord Shiva's blessings," he added.
Every year in the Shravan month, devotees brave the inhospitable 17 km path to the temple to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. Recently, a 25 km motorable road was also constructed for better access to the temple.