Rudranath Temple

Jul 16, 2024
9 o C
Feels like: 8 o C. Clouds.
Humidity: 82 %


The Rudranath Temple, considered the fourth and most difficult Kedar among the Panch Kedars, is located in Chamoli, Uttarakhand. Discovered by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th Century, the history of this temple dates back to the Dwapar era. Nestled between glaciers and tall mountains, this place is special not only for Shiva devotees but also among trekking enthusiasts. Every year, this place is thronged with lots of Shiva devotees and trekkers.

Being at the highest place, visitors can easily sight Nanda Devi, Trishul Parvat, Hathi Parvat, Devasthan, and Nanda Ghunti Mountains. The serene environment and Rhododendron forest in the background offers a pleasing sight. Near the temple, visitors may also find a holy river Rudra Ganga known as the ‘River of salvation’. It is said that offering pind to ancestors is considered very auspicious. According to the Hindu mythologist, after defeating Kauravas in the battle of Kurukshetra, the Pandavas, distressed by remorse of conscience for fratricide and Brahma Killing, sought refuge in Lord Shiva.

On the other hand, Shiva who is not happy with Pandavas, tried to disguise them and took the form of a bull so they couldn't recognize him. In search of Shiva, the Pandavas, reached Guptkashi, where Bhim saw a bull grazing nearby and recognized Shiva in the form of a bull. As soon as Bhim tried to catch the leg and tail of the bull, Shiva in the form of a bull disappeared into the earth. After disappearing, Shiva in his actual form appeared in five body parts at five different places; his waist in Kedarnath, hands in Tungnath, face in Rudranath, navel in Madmaheshwar, and hair in Kalpeshwar.

Witnessing this divine form of Lord shiva, the Pandavas bowed down and asked for forgiveness for their sins. Thereafter, the Pandavas worshiped shiva in all five places where he appeared and built the temple of five limbs of Shiva at these places. It is said that after completing the Kedar Khand pilgrimage circuit, it is important to seek the blessing of Lord Vishnu at Badrinath to attain salvation.

Devotees seek the blessing of Shiva at Rudranath year round, but due to heavy snowfall, the shrine portal remains closed in winters. During this time, the idol of Shiva is brought to Gopinath temple located in Gopeshwar. Moreover, visitors may also enjoy the fair organized by the villagers every year on the auspicious day of the full moon in Sawan, which usually falls on the Raksha Bandhan.

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