Rudranath Temple

Rudranath Temple

Rudranath Temple is one of the Panch Kedar temples of Lord Shiva, present in the Grahwal region of Uttarakhand. It comes third, if one follows the order of Panch Kedar temples. It is followed by Madhyamaheshwar and Kalpeshwar temples. Moreover, the face of god Shiva is worshipped as “Nilkanth Mahadeva” here.

Many people consider Rudranath as the most difficult temple to reach, among the Panch Kedar temples, which are the five holy temples of Shaivite dedicated to Lord Shiva. Moreover, the Garhwal region is also called the Kedar-Khanda because ‘Kedar’ is a local name for Lord Shiva. It is a part of the Char Dham Yatra Destinations within Uttarakhand.

What is the history of Rudranath Temple?

According to the history, Pandavas established the Rudranath temple. Pandavas slew their kin Kauravas during the Mahabharata. Hence, Rishi Vyas advised them to go to Lord Shiva, because only he could absolve them of their sins. However, Shiva kept hiding from them and took the form of a bull.

Then, he went into hiding in an underground safe haven at Guptakashi. Later, Lord Shiva’s body parts as a bull rematerialised at five locations. The Pandavas then built Shiva temples in these five places, popular as ‘Panch Kedar’ (Find out more about the Char Dham Yatra). Rudranath Temple is the place where the face of Lord Shiva appeared. At Nandikund, devotees worship old historic swords protruding from the rocks, believing them to be of Pandavas.

What is the significance of Rudranath Temple?

The significance of Rudranath temple is that pools like Surya Kund, Chandra Kund, Tara Kund and Manas Kund surround it. There are also peaks such as Nanda Devi, Trishul and Nanda Ghunti present near the temple. Moreover, it is the toughest trek to reach compared to other Panch Kedar temples.

Before visiting the temple, devotees take a holy bath in the Narad Kund. As per beilefs, the deity appeared by itself, and hence is a ‘swayambhu’. It is a Shivalinga whose shape is like a human face. Also, the holy river Vaitarani or Baitarani or Rudraganga flows near the temple. Devotees believe that this river leads to salvation and hence, they come here to perform the last rites of the deceased.

What are the timings of Rudranath Temple?

Here are the timings of Rudranath Temple:

Timings From
Open 6 AM
Close 7 PM
Morning Aarti 6 AM
Evening Aarti 6:30 PM

What are the festivals celebrated at RudranathTemple?

Some of the festivals celebrated at Rudranath Temple are:

  • Mahashivratri: This festival is in the honour of Lord Shiva. Devotees believe that he is the Adi guru who is the source of the Yogi tradition.  It is observed by remembering Shiva and chanting prayers, fasting, doing Yoga as well as meditating.
  • Doli Yatra: In the winters, devotees bring a symbolic image of Lord Shiva to Gopeshwar for worship in a Doli Yatra which goes through Sagar village. When the yatris reach Pitradhar, they worship their ancestors and at the end of the journey, they reach Rudranath along with the image.
  • Annual fair: The temple conducts a fair on the full moon day of Shravan month according to the Hindu calendar. It is mostly on the day of Raksha Bandhan and mainly the locals attend the fair.

How to reach Rudranath Temple?

Here’s how to reach Rudranath Temple:

  • Air: The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun 258 km away.
  • Train: The nearest railway station is Rishikesh 241 km away.
  • Road: Automobiles can be used till village Sagar. After that, one has to complete a 20 km trek in order to reach the temple.

Where to stay near Rudranath Temple?

Some of the places where one can stay near Rudranath Temple while undertaking the Char Dham Yatra are:

  • The Tattva Resort: This hotel features a restaurant, 24-hour room service and Laundry facilities. Free continental breakfast, free WiFi in public areas and free self parking are also provided. Other amenities include A 24-hour front desk.
  • Monal Resort: This hotel features a restaurant, a 24-hour business centre and Concierge services are available at this resort. Free WiFi in public areas and free valet parking are also provided. Other amenities include Dry cleaning, A 24-hour front desk and a garden.
  • Hotel Mandakini: This hotel features a restaurant, a rooftop terrace and 24-hour room service are available at this hotel. Free WiFi in public areas and free self parking are also provided. Additionally, a meeting room and A 24-hour front desk are on-site.

What are the other Panch Kedar temples?

The other Panch Kedar Temples are:

  • Kedarnath Temple: It is the first, and the most famous temple among the Panch Kedar templs of Lord Shiva. Kedarnath temple is the place where the hump of the bull form of Lord Shiva appeared. The temple remains closed during winters and at that time, devotees bring the idols of the temple to Ukhimath for worship.  Lord Shiva is worshipped as Kedarnath, the ‘Lord of Kedar Khand’, which is the historical name of the region.
  • Tungnath Temple: It comes second, if one follows the order of Panch Kedar temples. Also, it is the highest Shiva temple in the world. Moreover, Tunganath mountains form Mandakini and Alaknanda river valleys. Tungnath is the place where the bahu (hands) appeared.
  • Madhyamaheshwar Temple: It comes fourth, if one follows the order of Panch Kedar temples followed by Kalpeshwar Temple. Peaks like Chaukhamba, Neel Kanth and Kedarnath surround the temple.Madhyamaheshwar Temple is the place where the navel of Lord Shiva appeared.
  • Kalpeshwar Temple:It comes last, if one follows the order of Panch Kedar temples. One must visit Kedarnath, Tungnath, Rudranath and Madhyamaheshwar temples before Kalpeshwar temple. It is the only Panch Kedar temple accessible throughout the year. Also, it is a small temple and devotees have to pass through a cave passage in order to reach it. Kalpeshwar Temple is the place where the Jata (Tress) of Lord Shiva appeared.

These temples are also a part of the Char Dham Yatra Destinations within Uttarakhand.

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