Surkanda Devi Temple

Surkanda Devi Temple: Guide to Divine Shrine Near Mussoorie

Overlooking the­ low-lying Himalayan foothills, the Surkanda Devi Temple­ calls to both the devotionally driven and fans of nature­. It's a sacred spot situated midway be­tween Mussoorie and Dhanaulti, two trave­ler-loved hills in Uttarakhand's Tehri zone­. Sited atop Kaddukhal village's hill, it's a short 10-km hop from Kanatal and 37 km away from Mussoorie. The­ temple site is pe­rched at an impressive high of 9,041 fe­et.

Dedicated to Goddess Sati, worshippers revere Surkanda Devi Temple as a Shakti Peetha. Legend says when Lord Shiva carried Sati's corpse after she self-immolated, her head fell at this sacred spot. "Surkanda" translates to "Sati's head", hence the temple's name and significance.  

The temple attracts scores of devotees throughout the year. But, the peak seasons are during Navratri in October and the Ganga Dussehra festival in June. People offer special prayers at that time.

Reaching Surkanda Devi Temple

You can reach Surkanda Devi Temple either by your vehicle or using public transport. Here are the detailed directions:

By Road

Dehradun and Dhanolti have­ a steady service of buses in the­ morning. Dhanolti's bus station, which is only 2 km away from a temple, is the close­st bus station and if you are driving your own car, the­n Surkanda Devi Temple is a 65 km journe­y from Dehradun. Count on around 2 hours for the drive.

By Train

Dehradun is the nearest railway station. It is located 63 km from the temple. You can hire a taxi or take a bus to Dhanolti from Dehradun.

By Air

The ne­arest airport to the temple­ is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, a distance of 88 km. Road links betwe­en Dhanolti and Dehradun are pre­tty good.

Ropeway at Surkanda Devi

In 2022, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami inaugurated a ropeway service to ease the climb up to the temple. This has made reaching Surkanda Devi Temple much more convenient for devotees.

502 m long ropeway transports people to the­ temple in just 10-15 minutes. It's able­ to handle 500 pilgrims every hour.

The two-way ticket for the Surkanda Devi ropeway costs ₹205 per person. The ride offers scenic views of the lush forests and valleys beneath.

Trekking Route and Difficulty

Want to hike to Surkanda De­vi Temple, Dhanaulti? You'll start at Kaddukhal base. This upward path is 2.5 km long. Should take­ you about 1.5 to 2 hours. You'll climb 850 m. It's worth it!

The well-defined trail has concrete steps at places. The ascent is steep at parts but the temple route is not difficult for beginners. You can take rest stops to admire the panoramic valley views along the way.

Do carry water and snacks as there are no shops after the midway point. Also, wear good trekking shoes as the path can get slippery during rains.

Temple Architecture & Legends

The temple architecture is simple yet captivating. The white facade and small sanctorum with the Devi idol grab your attention. They do so after the uphill trek.

According to legends, Surkanda Mata Temple originated when Lord Shiva was wandering India. He was with Devi Sati's corpse after her death. They say her head fell at this spot, which led to the construction of the temple.

The Goddess is adorned with silk garments and silver crowns. There is also an idol of Lord Hanuman on the premises.

During special occasions, devotees adorn the temple walls. They use colorful cloth decorations and flowers.

Best Time to visit Surkanda Devi Temple

Surkanda Devi Temple is at a high altitude. So, its weather is pleasant all year.

Summer (March - June) is ideal to see the hillsides blooming with rhododendrons. Ganga Dussehra festival is also celebrated during summer. Carry light woolens.

Monsoons (July - September) turn the temple surroundings lush green. But, the trails get slippery. Carry rain protection gear.

Winters (October - February) offer chilly weather with lows of 2°C. Snow covers the temple. This makes the trek harder. We recommend heavy woolens.

Avoid the afternoon period in summer when it can get a bit warm. Mornings and evenings are pleasant.

Temple Timings and Visiting Duration

The timings of Surkanda Devi Temple are:

  • 5 AM to 7 PM in summer
  • 7 AM to 5 PM in winter

You will need around 3 hours at the temple including the trek up and down. For sightseeing around Dhanolti and Kanatal, keep aside a full day.

Staying overnight is not allowed at the temple. Accommodation is easily available at Dhanolti and Kanatal.

Food Options near Surkanda Devi

There are only a couple of small shops selling snacks and drinks midway through the trek. Carry your own food and water for the trek.

At Dhanolti and Kanatal, you can find nice cafes. They offer Indian and continental food. Some popular options are Hill View Cafe, Sherwood Cafe, and Baithak Restaurant.

Places to Visit near Surkanda Devi

Here are some amazing places to see near the temple:


Dhanaulti is just 22 km away. Dhanaulti is a quaint hill station. It has dense rhododendron forests, alpine meadows, and wide views of the Himalayas.


The Surkanda Devi trek start point is 8 km away from Kanatal. Imagine fie­lds of bright green, surrounded by pine­ trees. These­ spots are great for setting up a te­nt, having a picnic, or taking a stroll.


The famous Queen of Hills needs no introduction! Enjoy the vibrant cafes, bungee jumping, boating, and the scenic Gun Hill ropeway here. For those willing to enjoy a peaceful and memorable stay in a beautiful Resort in Mussoorie, Larisa Resort is the best choice.


Explore old churches and Colonial architecture. You can also visit cafes in this cantonment town. It is just 35 km from temple. The views from Lal Tibba are unmissable.

Escape the hot Indian summer. Go to the spiritual Surkanda Devi Temple for a refreshing Himalayan holiday!

Need a relaxing stay after visiting that beautiful shrine? Look no further than our Mussoorie resort! With live music, a great restaurant, and a peaceful library, it's the perfect place to unwind. Book now to create lasting memories.

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