Rudranath Temple is a sacred site for Hindus in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It is one of the Panchkedars and lures Shiva devotees from across the country. An excursion to the temple is amongst the challenging Kedar treks and unravels dense woodland of rhododendron dwarfs and Alpine ranges. Rudranath Temple is at 2,290 m and abodes Ekanan, which means that the face of the Lord is the prime attraction here. The temple offers impeccable vistas of prominent peaks, including Nanda Devi, Trishul, Devasthan, Hathi Parbat and Nanda Ghunti. This detailed Rudranath Temple travel guide helps prepare an unstoppable expedition to this mystic escape.
History of Rudranath Temple
The Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit comprises five prominent temples in the Garhwal region, and the Rudranath Temple is the third site in the chronology. The other temples that complete the trajectory are Kedarnath, Tungnath, Madhyamaheshwar, and Kalpeshwar.
According to Hindu mythology, the Pandavas established this temple. After the war of Kurukshetra, these brothers of the Mahabharata came to the Himalayas to search for Shiva. Shiva did not desire to meet them and departed in the physique of a bull. Later, visit the Panch Kedar sites in parts with hump extending in Kedarnath, arms occurring in Tunganath, stomach & navel arising in Madhyamaheswar, face at Rudranath, and hair & head appearing in Kalpeshwar.
Things to Do During Rudranath Temple Travel
The following are the popular things to do while being in and around Rudranath Temple:
The temple can be reached by taking a trek and devotees and adventurers and the Rudranath trek is among the challenging expeditions. You can choose the trek route depending on your preferences and choices to explore the region. The route to the temple reveals the pastoral and pristine surroundings of the region. The following are the three routes to trek to the temple:
Route 1: You can take a taxi or bus to Sagar village which is 5 km from Gopeshwar. beyond which a 20 km trek has to be undergone to reach Rudranath. The path is slippery and you need to be cautious.
Route 2: Another option is taking an uphill 17 km trek from Gangolgaon which is nearly 3 km from Gopeshwar. This route through the woods and you will be crossing Panar and Naila shepherd colonies.
Route 3: This route starts from Gopeshwar to Rudranath and passes via Mandal (21 km), including Anusuya Devi temple.
2. Attend Festivals
You can attend the annual festival organized on the full moon day of Sravan month which falls in the month of July or August, according to the Hindu calendar. An enormous fair is organised during the festival and features an exquisite local vibe. The priests of the temple, that are, Bhatts and Tiwaris of Gopeshwar village perform the rituals. Special puja is organised at Nandikund which lies on the trekking route to the temple. Devotees on this day, worship the historic swords protruding from the rocks which are believed to be of Pandavas.
3. Worship and Rituals
One of the popular things to do here is indulge oneself in the prayers and rituals performs at the temple. You can attend morning Shingar, aartis, evening rituals when decorations are removed, etc.
Rudranath Temple Timings
The temple opens at 6 a.m. and closes at 7 p.m. The morning aartis are performed at 8:00 a.m., whereas the evening rituals are performed at 6:30 p.m. The area remains open throughout the day.
The temple opens in mid-May and remains accessible for the next 6 months. When the yatra to the Rudranath commences, the Doli precession from Gopeshwar moves towards the site and pilgrims cross Liti Bugyal and Panar and finally reach Pitradhar. After crossing Dhalabni Maidan, the Doli reaches Rudranath. On reaching, the Vandevi whom locals believe to be the protector of the area is worshipped first. During the winter months, a symbolic image of Shiva is brought to Gopeshwar for worship.
Best Time to Visit
The temple opens in May and can be visited till October. However, May, June, September, and October are the best months to visit. The following are the season-wise details of Rudranath Temple:
Summers (From April to August): The weather remains pleasant as the region experiences a moderate climate. The average temperature ranges around 15°C and it’s ideal to plan sightseeing, temple visits, and other excursions.
Monsoons (From September to November): The region experiences inadequate rains, however, the trek tends to be slippery. If you wish to enjoy the lush green surroundings while staying in a homestay and indulge in local activities then you can plan a visit during this time.
Winters (From December to March): You can expect extreme conditions as days are chilly with the average temperature dipping down to 4°C. The minimum temperature can touch down to sub-zero levels.
How to Reach
The temple is located on Gopeshwar-Kedarnath Road and you can take a bus or taxi from Rishikesh to the entry point at Sagar which is nearly 219 km. From Sagar, you need to take a 20-km trek to Rudranath. The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun which is about 258 km away. The nearest railhead to the region is located in Rishikesh and is about 241 km from your destination.
Rudranath Travel Tips
- Avoid planning your visit during winter as the temple remains closed between November to April.
- Morning aarti is performed at 8 a.m., whereas the same ritual in the evening is performed at 6:30 p.m.
- The trail is risky and checks with local authorities and tour guides regarding weather and road conditions.
- Try to plan an expedition with a local guide.
Staying and Food Alternatives at Rudranath
There are restricted accommodations in and around the region. You can either stay at the basic accommodations maintained by the Mandir Committee or opt for homestays. Trekkers do bring in their own tents and supplies to spend nights under clear skies. Locals are quite gratifying and welcome visitors with an open heart. You need to rely on locals for your meals as there is no restaurant and dhaba in the region.
Rudranath Temple is an experience of a lifetime that attracts wanderers and devotees to plan an expedition. Don’t forget to check out this Rudranath Temple travel guide while planning your trip. You can check out the spiritual Kedarnath holidays by TravelTriangle for your future getaways.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Rudranath Temple
Is Rudranath trek open now?
The temple and surrounding region open in mid-May and remains accessible for the next 6 months, that is, till mid of October. Avoid planning a visit during monsoon season as the trek tends to be slippery between July to August.
How can we visit Rudranath Temple?
Rudranath Temple is on the Gopeshwar-Kedarnath Road and you can take a bus or taxi from Rishikesh to the entry point at Sagar which is nearly 219 km. From Sagar, you need to take a 20-km trek to Rudranath. The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun and the nearest railhead is in Rishikesh.
Is it safe to visit Rudranath Temple during Covid times?
Yes, it is perfectly safe to travel however, it is advised to check the latest travel advisory, and make sure that you follow Covid measures mentioned by the authorities. Make sure that you have completed both the doses of vaccinations and get yourself tested at least 48 hours before your departure.
How tough is Rudranath Trek?
It is a challenging trek, and make sure that you are planning your journey with a local guide. It is advised to book your journey in advance to avoid last-minute hassles.
When was Rudranath Temple built?
According to the texts and information gathered from locals, the shrine is here since the 8th Century and the site is worshipped since then.
Where are Panch Kedar located?
The Panch Kedar circuit comprising of the 5 prominent Shiva temples are in the state of Uttarakhand, specifically in the Garhwal region.
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