Rudranath

Rudranath, the highly revered temple of Lord Shiva is peacefully adorned in the Garhwal Himalayas. It is the fourth temple to visit in the circuit of Panch Kedar pilgrimage.

The celestial temple is snuggled inside the rhododendron forests and the alpine meadows. The exhilarating trek to Rudranath temple can be either commenced from Sagar village, Helang or Urgam village.  

Rudranath temple is the toughest one to reach in comparison with other temples of Panch Kedar. The Himalayan peaks adding to the glory of Rudranath are Nanda Devi, Trishul and Nanda Ghunti.

Why Rudranath trek is worth it? 

The trekking route to Rudranath temple offers awe-inspiring views of the diversified beauty of nature and the deep gorges that make the place all the way more interesting. Rudranath temple is the toughest one to reach in comparison with other temples of Panch Kedar but it is worth the pain as one can see the glorious Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Nanda Ghunti peaks. The trail passes through the wild grassy meadows, the thick woodlands and offers awe-inspiring views of the Himalayas. 

You can indulge in the blissful morning aarti performed at the Rudranath temple which generally starts from 8 am and the evening aarti that takes place at 6:30, every day. Sit beside the sparkling Vaitarini River also known as the 'Water of Salvation' and hear the music of the placid river flowing by. 

Activities in Rudranath

While travelling to Rudranath you can visit the local temple at Sagar. While trekking, do explore the region of the scenic Lyuti Bugyal and Panar Bugyal.  The temple is surrounded by several small pools named as Surya Kund, Chandra Kund, Tara Kund, Manas Kund.

Staying in Rudranath

As the revered Shiva shrine is situated at the higher elevation, except for a simple accommodation maintained by the Mandir Committee and few Home Stays, there is no other option to stay at Rudranath. Trekkers take their own tents and supplies and camp near the temple under the clear night sky. Accommodation options are available at Sagar, Lyuti Bugyal, Panar and Urgam which are enroute Rudranath.

Rudranath Food Guide

For obvious reasons, there are no restaurants or dhabas at Rudranath at 2,200 meters. The only food you can have is the one you take with yourself to Rudranath. If you are trekking with a group, it is advisable to find a local cook to travel with you so he can prepare meal for you wherever you decide to camp for the night. Also, carry some packaged food with you as a light snack for the route. You can also get home cooked food at Home Stays in Ruranath (when the shrine is open).

Mythology of Rudranath

Rudranath is the fourth temple in the series of holy Panch Kedar. After killing their cousins at the war, Pandavas started their journey to visit Lord Shiva to wash their sins. Lord Shiva wanted to avoid them as he was deeply incensed by the death and dishonesty at the Kurukshetra war. 

Therefore, he disguised in the form of a bull (Nandi) and disappeared into the ground with different parts of the body appearing at various places. The face of Lord Shiva is mysteriously embodied on a shivling, at Rudranath Temple.

Trekking Routes to Rudranath

There are three different routes (by trek) to reach Rudranath Temple, listed as follows.

Route 1: From Helang - Urgam - Kalpeshwar - Dumak - Rudranath
Route 2: From Sagar Village -  Liti Bugyal - Panar Bugyal - Pitradhar - Rudranath
Route 3: From Mandal Village - Anasuya Temple - Hansa Bugyal - Naola Pass - Rudranath

Suggested Rudranath Trekking Itinerary

Day 01: Rishikesh-Mandal (Drive- 240 km)
Start your journey from Rishikesh and then hire a taxi up to Gopeshwar about 240 km from here. Gopeshwar lies on the way to Rudranath, but it is advised to spend the night at Mandal village about 20 km from Rudranath. 

Day 02: Mandal-Sagar-Pun Bugyal-Panar Bugyal (Drive- 4-5 km, Trek- 12 km)
The next morning drive to Sagar village located about 4-5 km from Mandal village. On the way you’ll see a gate, it is the place from where the trekking starts. After 2 hours, you’ll reach Pun Bugyal, have breakfast there. Make your advancement towards Panar Bugyal which will be your destination for the second day. 

From here, you have to climb uphill through the damp forest. As you move up, you can see the change in the atmosphere and the vegetation. Here you can capture the nature at its best as varied flowers, mushrooms, insects thrive here. After 4-6 km from Pun Bugyal, you’ll come across Litti Bugyal, have lunch there. It will take 3 hours to reach Panar Bugyal from here. On reaching Panar Bugyal, roll on the soft carpeted grasslands of Panaar Bugyal. Set up your tents and relax. 

Day 03: Panar Bugyal- Rudranath (Trek- 8 km)
Post breakfast, start early for Rudranath temple. You can see the Chaukhamba peak, perched at an elevation of 7,138 metres above sea level. The Rudranath temple is 8 km from Panar. After traversing for 2 hours, you’ll come across Pitradhar, adorned with the bells and flags. About 1 km downhill from here, you will reach Naola Pass where you can have your breakfast. After traversing for about 4 km, you will see the Rudranath temple besieged by the misty clouds. Photography is prohibited here, so take the blessings from God and return to Naola Pass before the weather changes. Pitch your tents there and have an overnight stay.

Day 04: Rudranath-Mandal (Trek- 20 km)
Wake up early to start traversing downhill to Mandal village. On reaching Mandal, check in at a hotel and have an overnight stay there. 

Day 05: Mandal to Rishikesh
After having breakfast, check out from the hotel and leave for Rishikesh.    

  • The temple remains closed from November to April due to heavy snowfall.
  • The morning aarti at the sacred Rudranath Temple starts at 8am and evening aarti is performed at 6:30 pm everyday.
  • The trail leading to Rudranath is challenging and risky but equally rewarding. 
  • It is wise to check with local authorities, tour guides or tour operators about the weather and road conditions during monsoons before you actually start your trek.
  • Having an experienced trekking guide with you is always helpful as the guide would know the route very well and trekkers won’t lose their way and be stranded.

Rudranath is famous for?

Rudranath is famous among tourist as Temple, Panch Kedar, Trekking.

Rudranath is recommended destination for Couples, Foreigners, Groups, Solo.

Rudranath is popular destination for following activities/ interests - Panch Kedar, Pilgrimage, Temples, Trekking.

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