Rudranath is a well known village situated in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand. The place is located at an elevation of 2286 m above sea level and offers an amazing view of the snow-clad Himalayan Ranges. Literally, the word ‘Rudranath’ means ‘Him who is Angry’. This village is renowned for its Rudranath Temple, which comes on the third number in the Panch Kedar (five Kedar) pilgrimage circuit. The other four temples of this circuit include the Kedarnath Temple, the Tungnath Temple, the Madhyamaheshwar Temple, and the Kalpeshwar Temple.
The Rudranath Temple is devoted to the Hindu God Shiva who is worshipped here as Neelkantha Mahadeva. According to beliefs, this shrine was built by the Pandavas, the mythological characters from the Indian epic, the Mahabharata. The story states that Pandavas went to seek forgiveness from Lord Shiva as they were guilty of killing the Kauravas in the Mahabharata war. However, Lord Shiva did not want to meet them so He transformed Himself into Nandi Bull and went into hiding in the Garhwal region. In Guptakashi, the Pandavas saw the bull and tried to stop it forcibly but did not succeed. Soon after, Lord Shiva’s body parts were found at five different places in the region. The Rudranath Temple is built on the spot where Lord’s face was discovered. This place is surrounded by several water bodies, namely Surya Kund, Chandra Kund, Tara Kund, and Mana Kund. The beautiful peaks like Hathi Parvat, Nanda Devi, Nanda Ghunti, and Trishul can be seen from this shrine.
Tourist places In and Around Rudranath
Tourists can reach this temple by a trek from the Sagar Village and Joshimath. Picturesque meadows can be seen on the route. One of these is Panar Bugiyal, which is adorned with colourful wild flowers. There is a waterfall and a temple located close to the meadow. The highest point of the Rudranath trekking route is Pitradhar, which is perched at an elevation of 4000 m above sea level. The tranquillity and serenity of the place adds to the charm of the destination.
Another noted attraction of the place is Nandikund, which is a picturesque lake surrounded by snow-clad peaks. According to a folk story, Lord Shiva’s mount, Nandi Bull used to drink water from this lake. Travellers can see the reflection of the beautiful Chaukhamba Peak in the lake. Tourist can also visit the Kalpeshwar Temple and the Madhyamaheshwar Temple, which are located around Rudranath.
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Tourists planning a trip to Rudranath can reach here by air, rail and road. The Jolly Grant Airport of Dehradun serves as the closest air base to the destination. There is a trekking route from Gopeshwar which leads to Rudranath. Rishikesh Railway Station is the nearest railhead to the destination. Buses for Rudranath are easily available from nearby places like Rishikesh, Dehradun, Kotdwara, and Haridwar.
The best time to visit this beautiful destination is from April to November because of comfortable and pleasant climate.