Don't forget to visit Rudranath temple which is a Hindu temple dedicated to god Shiva and is located in the Garhwal Himalayan mountains in Uttarakhand, India. Located at 3,600 metres (11,800 ft) above sea level,this natural rock temple is situated within a dense forest of rhododendron dwarfs and Alpine pastures.The temple is the third temple to be visited in the Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit, comprising five Shiva temples in the Garhwal region.
The other temples in the circuit include: Kedarnath and Tungnath to be visited before Rudranath and Madhyamaheshwar or Madmaheshwar and Kalpeshwar to be visited after Rudranath. The face (mukha) of god Shiva is worshipped as "Nilkanth Mahadeva" here.The Rudranath temple is believed to be established by the Pandavas, the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Legend has it that the Pandavas came to the Himalayan mountains in search of god Shiva, to redeem them of the sins of killing in the epic Kurukshetra war. God Shiva did not wanted to meet them and left in form of a bull in the ground and reentered in parts in the Panch Kedar places: the hump raising in Kedarnath, the arms appearing in Tunganath, the navel and stomach surfacing in Madhyamaheswar, the face showing up at Rudranath and the hair and the head appearing in Kalpeshwar. In winter, a symbolic image of Shiva is brought to Gopeshwar for worship.There are numerous sacred water tanks ("Kund") near the temple.
These include Surya-kund, Chandra-kund, Tara-kund, Mana-Kund etc. Nanda Devi, Trishul and Nanda Ghunti are the famous mountain peaks, which provide the backdrop to the temple. The holy river Vaitarani or Baitarani or Rudraganga flows near the temple, which has a grey stone idol of Rudranath. The river is identified with the "river of salvation", where souls of the dead cross to reach the other world. Thus, devotees visit Rudranath to perform rituals of the dead, such as performing a pind offering.Rudranath is sometimes considered as the toughest Panch Kedar temple to reach.Rudranath temple is considered to be one of the toughest places to reach via trekking in comaprison to the other temples of panch kedar.It can be accessed by a trekking route of 21 kms from Saggar village which is situated 5kms from Gopeshwar.the trek to Rudranath is classified as moderate because the route is steep and there are no villages en route.The trekking route is generally steep upto Panar Bugyal followed by ertain phases of ascends and descends upto Rudranath.The wild grass meadows,Dense forests and Himalayan views adds to its awe inspiring views which makes this route heavenly and it makes sure you don't get bored on the way.the morning aarti in this sacred temple starts at 8 Am and Evening aarti starts at 6 30 pm everyday and the temple remains closed from November to April so make sure to visit this place in the remaining months of the calendar year.