Named after Lord Shiva, Rudraprayag is located at the confluence of the holy rivers Alakananda and Mandakini. Till few years ago, Rudraprayag was a part of district Chamoli and Tehri. On 16th September 1997, the Kedarnath Valley and parts of district Tehri and Pauri were conjoined to form Rudraprayag as a new district. Rudraprayag is special for its picturesque location, abundant natural beauty, surrounded by peaks, lakes and glaciers.
According to ‘Puranas’, the divine messenger Narada meditated here, to appease Lord Shiva. Shiva appeared in his ‘Rudra’ (violent) incarnation to bless him. Here, Sati, wife of Shiva was reborn after self-immolation at her father’s place.
Height: 610 m
Climate: In summers, cottons are recommended. Light woolens during daytime and heavy woolens at nights are required during the winters.
Getting There & Away: How to reach Rudraprayag
Road: Rudraprayag is 140 kms from Rishikesh. Being at the crossroads of Kedarnath (84 kms) and Badrinath (160 kms), Rudraprayag is easily accessible by roads. All the important places of the Garhwal region are connected with the town, through buses.
Rail: The nearest railway station is Rishikesh, 138 kms away.
Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant near Dehradun at a distance of 158 kms.
Tourist Attractions in Rudraprayag
Confluence of Mandakini & Alakananda Rivers: Where the Alakananda River for Alkapuri and the Mandakini River from Kedarnath, two of the most beautiful among the Himalayan rivers, meet, the confluence is known as Rudraprayag. The mingling of the waters of the two rivers provide unending delights to the visitors and this spectacular fascinating scene can be viewed from the special vantage point, the Naradshila, which is approached by a long flight of stairs. On the way to confluence, there is a small temple dedicated to Jagdamba Devi (the Goddess of Power).
The Temple of Rudranathji: The ancient temple of Rudranath, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is situated at the centre point of the town. Legend is that Sage Narad meditated here for several years and pleased Lord Shiva who blessed him with ‘shastriya’ music and granted him ‘Veena’ (Lute).
Koteshwar Mahadev Temple: The cave temple of Koteshwar Mahadev is just 3 kms away from Rudraprayag on the bank of Alakananda River. There are many naturally formed Shivlingas in the cave on which water drops continuously. During the moths of August and September, thousands of devotees came here to pay their homage to the deity.
Tourist Attractions around Rudraprayag
Panch Kedar Trek: Panch Kedars are the five different temples of Lord Shiva; they are Kedarnath – 3584 m, Madhmaheshwar – 3289 m, Tunganath – 3810 m, Rudranath – 2286 m and Kalpeshwar – 2134 m. The mountain-scape of each of these temples is profoundly fascinating and the valleys are rich in flora and fauna. Read More>>>
Kedarnath Temple: Situated at an altitude of 3584 m at the origin of river Mandakini, Kedarnath is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas and amongst the holiest pilgrimages of the Hindus. Read More>>>
Gauri Kund: Situated at an altitude of 1982 m, it is the last bus station on the Kedarnath route. Gaurikund is a hot water pond with an ancient temple dedicated to Goddess Gauri. According to legend, Parvati meditated here for a long time to win Lord Shiva as her consort. Ultimately, she succeeded and the cosmic couple was wed at Triyuginarayan.
Ukhimath: Lord Kedarnath is worshiped in the Onkareshwar temple here during the winter months. In Ukhimath, there are temples which are dedicated to Usha, Aniruddha, Shiva, Parvati and Mandhata.
Guptakashi: A place of great religious importance, this place is referred as the Kashi (Varanasi) of the hills. The ancient Vishwanath Temple is at the centre of the town. The Ardhanarishwara Temple is another importance religious centre.
Sonprayag: This place lies on the main Kedarnath route, at a height of 1829 m, at the confluence of Sone and Mandakini rivers. According to Hindu belief, a dip into this holy confluence leads on to ultimate salvation. Kedarnath is at a distance of 19 kms from Sonprayag, and Triyuginarayan is at a distance of 12 kms by motorable road and 5 km on trek.
Madhmaheshwar and Kalimath Temple: Fourth in the line of the Panch Kedars, the temple of Madhmaheshwar is situated at an elevation of 3289 m at a distance of 25 kms north-east of Guptakashi. Read More>>>
Triyuginarayan: This magnificent temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu lies in the village of Triyuginarayan, on the ancient bridle path that connects Gangotri and Kedarnath. According to the legend, it is the place where Lord Shiva wedded Parvati during the Satyug. The fire for the divine wedding was lit in the huge four-cornered Havan Kund. Vishnu himself was the master of ceremonies. Remnants of that celestial fire are believed to be burning in the Havan Kund even today. Pilgrims offer wood to the fire that has seen three ‘Yug’s hence the name Triyuginarayan.
Augustyamuni: Situated on the bank of river Mandakini, the temple dedicated to Augustya Rishi is at a height of 1100 m above sea level. Augustyamuni lies at a distance 18 kms from Rudraprayag. Every year a large fair is held here to celebrate Baisakhi with great joy.
Chopta: It is located at a height of 2900 m above sea level amidst captivating surroundings. It is the most picturesque place in the entire Garhwal region and provides breath taking views of the magnificent Himalayan ranges like Chaukhamba, Kedarnath etc. and surrounding valleys. The trek to the famous Tunganath temple and Chandrashila Peak starts from here.
Tunganath: The highest point to have a temple of Lord Shiva, at a height of 3680 m and an important pilgrimage centre. The main dome of the temple spans 16 doors and 2.5 feet tall idol of Sankaracharya is placed alongside the lingam. Read More>>>
Chandrashila: Chandrashila is most accessible peak of the Uttarakhand Himalayas, at an altitude of 3679 m. A trek for 1 kms uphill from the main Tunganath temple complex will take one to the Chandrashila peak. It is believed that Lord Ram once meditated at this place to seek blessings from Lord Shiva. There is a small temple on the peak. Apart from the spiritual advantages that one gets at this place, this is a paradise for nature lovers and trekkers. From the top of the peak, one gets a 270 degree sight of the mighty snow clad peaks of the Himalayas which is a scene to remember and cherish lifelong.
Syalsaur: A fairytale location, this place is situated at a distance of 29 kms from Rudraprayag. The mountain ranges, the dense forest and the brimming cascades in the hills represent an out-of-the-world experience.
Kartikey Swami: 38 kms from Rudraprayag on the Rudraprayag – Pokhri route lies the village of Kanak Chauri from where a 3 kms trek leads to Kartikey Swami temple. The temple is at an elevation of 3048 m and has an idol of Lord Kartikey, Lord Shiva’s son. This place is also related to ‘Ramayana’, it is believed that Laxman, Lord Ram’s brother, meditated near the lake at this place.