Uttarakhand is famous throughout the world for its natural beauty and historical shrines. One of these shrines is Semamukhem Nagaraj temple. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, this temple is situated at an altitude of about 7000 feet above sea level in Pratapnagar tehsil of Uttarakashi district. Semamukhem Nagaraj temple is also called the fifth Dham of Uttarakhand. The idol of Nagaraj, which belongs to Dawapar age, is enshrined in the sanctum of the temple. The temple gate is 14-feet wide and 27-feet high. Lord Krishna’s idol is enshrined on the hood of Serpent king, the Nagaraj.
People believe that when Dwaraka had completely immersed under water, Lord Krishna incarnated here as Nagaraj. It is also believed that Mukhem village was established by Pandavas. The path leading to the temple is rich in greenery and natural beauty. The temple is surrounded by picturesque mountain summits. The grand fair is held once every three years at Semamukhem Nagaraj temple. The huge crowds of devotees gather here on this day.
It is believed that once Lord Krishna had visited this place. Fascinated by the beauty and purity of the place, he decided to stay here. Subsequently, he asked Ramola, the local king who was also a brother-in-law of Lord Krishna, to allot him some place. King Ramola did not like Lord Krishna in particular, so he first refused to give him land, but later gave the land where he used to tie his cows and buffaloes. Then Lord Shri Krishna established the temple there, which is currently known as the Semamukhem Nagaraj temple. Once Lord Krishna appeared in the dream of king belonging to Nag dynasty and told him about his being there. Then that King arrived to see Lord Krishna, but King Ramola forbade him to enter his land. At this, the Serpent King felt insulted and decided to attack King Ramola in anger. However before attacking, he told King Ramola about the reality of Lord Krishna as the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. After knowing this, King Ramola felt embarrassed and sorry for his deed.
HOW TO REACH
Tourists can reach this place by road route via new Tehri or Uttarkashi. One can reach Talabala Sem by vehicle, after which one has to go on foot for about two and half kms to reach the temple. The nearest airport and railway station from Semamukhem Nagaraj Temple is situated approximately 200 kms away in Dehradun.