Festivals, Dances, Theatre, Literature, Art in News

Cultural significance of Uttarakhand’s Joshimath and Kosiyakutoli 


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Joshimath, Kosiyakutoli, Adi Shankaracharya

Why in the News?

  • The Centre approved the Uttarakhand government’s proposal to rename Joshimath tehsil to Jyotirmath and Kosiyakutoli tehsil to Pargana Shri Kainchi Dham.
    • This decision aims to enhance the religious and cultural significance of these areas, boosting their status as major destinations for religious tourism.

About Jyotirmath 

  • Jyotirmath, also known as Jyotir Peeth, is one of the four cardinal mathas established by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century to promote Advaita Vedanta philosophy.
  • Adi Shankaracharya performed penance under the Amar Kalpavriksha tree here, symbolising his attainment of divine knowledge (Jyoti).
  • Evolution to Joshimath:
    • Name Transition: Originally known as Jyotirmath, the town gradually adopted the name Joshimath over time, influenced by regional languages and dialects.
    • Cultural Evolution: The shift from Jyotirmath to Joshimath reflects a cultural and linguistic evolution rather than a specific historical event.

About Adi Shankaracharya (c 788 CE-820 CE)

Philosopher and Theologian Prominent advocate of ancient Hinduism, known as Sankara (Jagatguru).
Birthplace Kaladi in Ernakulam, Kerala, soon to be declared a national monument.
Guru Govinda Bhagavatpada, from whom he learned extensively.
Philosophies Advocated Advaita Vedanta and established Dashanami Sampradaya.
Advaita Vedanta
  • Non-dualistic philosophy asserts the identity of Atman (self) and Brahman (ultimate reality).
  • Maya (creative energy) of Brahman creates the world.
  • Liberation through understanding Brahman and overcoming Avidya (ignorance).
Key Disciples Padmapada, Totakacharya, Hasta Malaka, and Sureshwara – played crucial roles in spreading his teachings.
  • Introduced the Shanmata system and restored the Dashanami structure.
  • Established four Mathas (monastic institutions) across India.
  • Authored commentaries on major Hindu scriptures and composed hymns.
Mathas Established Sri Sringeri Sharada Peetam (Karnataka), Jyotir Matha (Uttarakhand),

Kalika Matha (Gujarat), Govardhana Matha (Odisha).


About Kosiyakutoli  

  • Kosiyakutoli, now renamed Pargana Shri Kainchi Dham, aligns with the identity of Neem Karoli Baba’s Kainchi Dham Ashram.
  • “Kosi” refers to the river flowing through the Nainital district, which is crucial for the local ecology and economy.
  • Association with Neem Karoli Baba:
    • The ashram, founded in 1962, continues to draw thousands of visitors annually, including prominent figures like Steve Jobs and Ram Dass.

[2014] Which one of the following pairs does not form part of the six systems of Indian Philosophy?

(a) Mimamsa and Vedanta

(b) Nyaya and Vaisheshika

(c) Lokayata and Kapalika

(d) Sankhya and Yoga

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥Mentorship New Batch Launch
💥Mentorship New Batch Launch