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Rudranath Temple

Rudranath temple located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand is one of the Panch Kedar pilgrimages built by Pandavas and dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is situated at an altitude of 2286 m and is one of the most popular pilgrimages in India among Lord Shiva devotees. This temple derives its glorified history from the ancient era of Mahabharata which attracts several pilgrimage tourists to the temple. In this temple, the face of Lord Shiva is worshipped in his rudra roop as Nilkanth Mahadev. But actually, Lord Shiva’s face is bearing a mask of his rudra roop in Rudranath temple. During early morning, the priest takes of the mask while bathing Lord and at this time, one can see the charming and pleasing face of Lord Shiva to feel emancipated. The path to Rudranath needs to be covered by trekking. This temple also possesses idols of Draupadi, Kunti and Pandavas.

Devotees generally take bath in the Narad Kund prior to visiting the temple.


Rudranath temple is the fourth temple among the five holy Panch Kedar. Pandavas after defeating and killing their cousin brothers, the Kauravas wanted to atone for the sins by visiting Lord Shiva. However, Lord Shiva wanted to avoid them as he was profoundly incensed by the dishonesty and killings at the Kurukshetra war. He took the form of a bull (Nandi) and hid himself in the Garhwal region. However, Pandavas found him and Bhima caught the bull when it disappeared under the ground only to reappear at five different places.

Rudranath temple has been built by Pandavas at the place where the angry face of Lord Shiva appeared.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Rudranath temple is in summers from April – October when the weather is pleasant and is ideal for trekking. Even the monsoon season presents some of the most incredible views of nature. Winters can be very chilly and the temperature can hit as low as 4 degree Celsius. Thus, it is not a good time to visit the place.

How to Reach

There is no direct road, rail or air service to the Rudranath temple. One has to cover a 21 Km trek from the Saggar village to reach Rudranath. Saggar village is located at a distance of about 5 Km from the town of Gopeshwar.

The 21 Km trek is a moderate trek as the route is quite steep and there are no villages in the route. However, the beautiful views and dense forests along with splendid Himalayan peaks give visitors a tranquil environment.

The nearest airport to Rudranath is Jolly Grant Airport located in Dehradoon at a distance of about 258 Km. From here, you can find buses or taxis to reach Gopeshwar or Saggar village. The nearest rail head is Rishikesh located at a distance of about 241 km. Again, you can hire a taxi or board a bus to reach Gopeshwar or Saggar village.


Every year, on Raksha Bandhan (July or August), that is, the full moon day in the Shravan month an annual fair is held at Rudranath. In winters, an image of Lord Shiva is brought down to Goepshwar’s Gopinath temple for worshipping. During the journey back to Rudranath in summers, great celebrations are made. This journey is famous by the name Doli Yatra and it begins from Gopeshwar, passes through Saggar Village and Panar in order to reach Pitradhar. After reaching Pitradhar, the ancestors are worshipped and then, the Doli Yatra continues to reach Rudranath.

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