Kankhal is a small town about 5 Km south of Haridwar, and most pilgrims to Hardwar visit Kankhal at least once, since it has several important sacred places. For many years Kankhal was a much larger town than Haridwar, and many wealthy Hindus built homes in the early 19th century. It’s a smaller town now, less busy, and full of ashrams and religious centers.
Kankhal’s main attraction is the Daksha Mahadev Temple, which is a temple to Shiva. The temple’s charter myth tells how Shiva’s wife Sati (who was also Daksha’s daughter) went to her natal home when her father was sponsoring a sacrifice. At the sacrifice, Daksha publicly insulted Shiva, and in her anger and shame Sati self-immolated on the spot. Shiva was enraged when he heard the news, and sent his minions to destroy Daksha’s sacrifice, which they did. In the end, Daksha proclaimed Shiva as the greatest god of all, and out of grace Shiva agreed to remain on that spot forever, in the form of a linga.