Kalpeshwar is situated at Kalpeshwar
in the beautiful Urgam Valley
. Nestled at an altitude of 2,134 m, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva
. This is one of the Pancha or Five Kedar shrines. Kalpeshwar can be reached by a 10 km trek from Rudranath to Helong.
According to a popular legend, the Pandavas
sought the blessings of Lord Shiva to atone their sins after the battle of Kurukshetra
. Lord Shiva eluded them repeatedly and hid himself at Guptakashi
. When Pandavas spotted him at Gupatakashi, Shiva tried fleeing and took the form of a bull at Kedarnath
. On being followed by the Pandava brothers, he dived into the ground and disappeared; only his hump could be seen. Bhim, the second Pandava brother, jumped on this hump and tried to catch hold of the bull by his hump. It is believed that just as bull's hump appeared in Kedarnath, his belly appeared in
, his limbs at
, his head and hair at Kalpeshwar, and his face at
. All these five temples are together known as Panchakedar and a pilgrimage of all these five shrines is considered holy by the Hindus. At Kalpeshwar, Shiva is worshipped in the form of matted hair.