Rudranath is a Hindu temple dedicated to god Shiva, located in the Garhwal Himalayan mountains in Uttarakhand, India. Located at 3,600 metres above sea level, this natural rock temple is situated within a dense forest of rhododendron dwarfs and Alpine pastures.
Rudranath Temple Garhwal
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 from the sins of killing in the epic Kurukshetra war. God Shiva did not want 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. The Doli Yatra starts from Gopeshwar via Sagar.
The Doli Yatris cross Lyuti Bugyal and Panar and finally reach Pitradhar. The worship of ancestors is done here. Then, after crossing Dhalabni Maidan, the Doli or the symbolic image of Shiva, reaches Rudranath.Here first the Vandevi is worshipped. The local belief is that Vandevi protects the area. The Kheshtra is protected by Vandevi or Vandevatas. The temple celebrates an annual fair on the full moon day in the Hindu month of Sravan that is mostly on the day of Rakshabandhan. The fair is attended mainly by locals. The priests at the Rudranath temple are Bhatts and Tiwaris of Gopeshwar village.