Rudranath trek - is a Hindu temple dedicated to God Shiva, located in the Garhwal Himalayan Range in Chamoli Uttarakhand, India. Located at 3,600 meters (11,800 ft) above sea level, it is also considered the toughest Kedar out of the five. It is a natural rock temple situated within a dense forest of rhododendron dwarfs and Alpine pastures. The temple is the Fourth temple in the Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit. Only in this temple, you can see the face of lord shiva. it is believed that lord Shiva resides here in his most vigorous form and every year thousand of devotees come here to perform rituals and worship the almighty. Apart from its religious popularity, this trek is a breathtaking adventure for trek lovers.
The face (Mukha) of God Shiva is worshipped as "Neelakantha Mahadeva" here. The trek starts from Sagar Village which is approximately 5 km away from Gopeshwar. The other trek starts from Mandal which is 12 km away from Gopeshwar. This trek goes through the Anusuya Devi Temple. The trek is very hard with a distance of approximately 24 km.
The history of Rudranath Temple -
The Rudranath Temple is believed to be established by the Pandavas, the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The Pandavas defeated and slayed their cousins — the Kauravas in the epic Kurukshetra war. They wished to atone for the sins of committing fratricide (gotra hatya) and Brāhmanahatya (killing of Brahmins; the priest class) during the war. Thus, they handed over the reins of their kingdom to their kin and left in search of lord Shiva to seek his blessings. But Lord Shiva didn’t appear in front of pandwas. Shiva kept running away from Pandavas. Shiva disappeared into the ground to later reappear in parts, with the hump appearing in Kedarnath, the arms appearing in Tungnath, the face appearing at Rudranath, the nabhi (navel) and stomach appearing in Madhyamaheshwar and the hair appearing in Kalpeshwar. The Pandavas pleased with this reappearance in five different forms, built temples at the five places for venerating and worshipping Shiva. The Pandavas was thus freed from their sins.
Some believe that offering a pind to ancestors here equals offering a hundred million at the holy city of Gaya. The name "Rudranath", literally means, "Him who is Angry." The mountain cave of Rudranath was modified into the temple we see today. There are different kunds nearby the temple which are Surya Kund, Chandra Kund, Tara Kund, Manas Kund, Vaitarani, Baitarani, and Rudraganga Rivers. Rudranath temple is open only for 6 months ( May to October). In the winter season, it Comes to Gopinath temple Gopeshwar.The Best time to visit this trek :
Board an early bus from Rishikesh to Gopeshwar directly or up to Chamoli and then hire a shared taxi to Gopeshwar. Gopeshwar is the headquarters for the Chamoli district, so it would be easy to get a bus. Having a majestic view of valleys and the river throughout the day you will approximately cover 215kms and reach the meeting point by the evening. Today’s stay will be here only so you can grab all the last-minute things and also visit the Gopinath Temple which is also the winter abode of Rudranath Mahadev.
As we start our journey make sure you are all geared up and ready for a long day hike, keep your raincoats close because it can rain anytime. From Gopeshwar we will drive to Sagar village which is 5kms from the town. Strolling through this old-built hamlet we will reach Pung Bugyal in 2 hours. Right in front of us would be a gigantic mountain that we would climb today. The trail ahead is full of adventure and a steep climb with damp forests and water sources throughout. Today we will walk approximately 10 km, so we would have enough time to sit and relax in between if we keep our speed steady. On reaching Panaar Bugyal you would be mesmerized by the ethereal beauty of the place, it is a stretched lush green grassland with peaks to be seen from all over. The fresh cool breeze will fill your body with utmost satisfaction. We will camp here and enjoy nature at its best.
After spending the night at Panaar and having a cheerful morning with amazing views we will head towards the main temple which is 8 km from here. We can keep our bags and things at our campsite and Panaar and walk easily, also today would be an easy hike as compared to the previous day. We will reach our destination within 2 hours if we walk steadily. Sit at the temple, talk to the priests, breathe and leave all your worries right where you are. Take pictures and be ready to hike downhill up to Sagar village.
We will have our lunch at Panaar and immediately leave for Sagar. By the evening we will reach back to Gopeshwar and stay there.
You can also visit Chopta Tungnath on your way back if you take another route from Gopeshwar. We would have loved to have you with us and will be glad to see you soon again on some other adventure.
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