By Swami Harshananda
Gupta-kāśī literally means ‘hidden Kāśi.
Guptakāśī is a small place of pilgrimage situated at a distance of 34 kms. (21 miles) from Rudraprayāga in Uttaranchal. Many sages of the ancient era are said to have performed severe austerities here to realize Lord Śiva. Bāṇāsura’s daughter Uṣā had her palace here.
Here there is a beautiful image of Śiva as Ardhanārīśvara, riding his bull Nandi. In a pond nearby, two streams of water are constantly falling into it. These two streams are called ‘Gaṅgā’ and ‘Yamunā’. Pilgrims take bath in this pond and give gifts secretly.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore