Rudranath - Panch Kedar
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Rudranath - Panch Kedar

June 30, 2009 | Post By: Vinay Dobhal | Editor: Jyoti Painuly




Rudranath the 3rd Pancha Kedar is situated amid thick forest at a height of 2286 m. This shrine is 23 kms from Gopeshwer. In this natural rock temple the Mukh or face of Lord Shiva is worshipped as Neelkantha Mahadeva. Lord Shiva is worshipped here as Neelkantha. This is the only temple in India where the image of Shiva is worshipped as a symbol of his face, a sublime, tender aspect of Shiva, unusual, serene and beautiful indeed to behold.

There are numbers of holy Kunds (Tanks) near Rudranath temple namely Surya kund, Chandra kund, Tara kund, Manas Kund. From Rudranath temple magnificent view is available of Hathi Parvat , Nandadevi, NandaGhunti, Trishuli and many others.


Origin

After the batlle of Kurukshetra, it came into existence when the bull (Lor Shiva) broke into pieces and the Mukh or face of Lord Shiva dropped here.


What the history says

According to the legend, after the battle of Kurukshetra, the Pandavas went to sought the blessings of Lord Shiva to atone their sins. But Lord Shiva, who didn't want to meet them finally eluded. When the Pandavas came to know where Lord Shiva is, the Lord took the form of a bull to hide himself.

But Pandavas were not ready to accept it. One of the Pandava, Bhima tried his best to pick up the bull (Lord Shiva) but failed and the bull scattered into pieces. The pieces sank into the earth but however Bhima managed to retain the hump of the bull (Lord Shiva).

Impressed by the determination of Pandavas, Lord Shiva finally blessed them and freed them from their sins. The lord then asked them to worship his hump at Kedarnath . This conical protrusion is worshipped as the idol in the shrine.

The other parts of bull's (Lord Shiva's) body went as Arms (Bahu) at Tungnath , Face (mukh) at Rudranath , Navel (nabhi) at Madmaheshwar and Hair (jata) at Kalpeshwar.


Best time to visit

The Rudranath Temple opens at 7:00 am, there is special Shingaar Pooja takes place at 7:30 pm. Aarti is performed in the evening at 6:30 pm.


General Information

Elevation2,286 mts
Coordinates30.51915°N, 79.31842°N
LocationGaurikund, District Rudraprayag.
Dedicated ToMukh or face of Lord Shiva.
Built inData not available.


How to reach ?

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport Dehradun, almost 258 Km from Rudranath. You will find taxis and cars in the Jolly Grant Airport which you can hire to Gopeshwar or Sagar. Then you will have to trek.
The nearest railway station is Rishikesh railway station at a distance of 241 km from Rudranath. You will find bus at Rishikesh ISBT or you can hire taxi or jeep that drops you 20km below the temple.
Buses are available from Rishikesh, Hairdwar, Dehradun and Kotdwara to Rudranath. You will have to trek to the temple.


Kedarnath

Kedarnath

According to the legend, after the battle of Kurukshetra, the Pandavas went to sought the blessings of Lord Shiva to atone their sins. But Lord Shiva, who din't want to meet them finally eluded. When the Pandavas came to know where Lord Shiva is, the Lord took the form of a bull to hide himself. The Pandavas were not ready to accept it.

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Tunganath

Tunganath

Tungnath, the 2nd Panch Kedar is set on the crest of a hill. It is the highest shrine on the inner Himalayan range. 3 kms. uphill from Chopta, Tungnath is reached through a path that wends through alpine meadows and rhododendron thickets. It lies just below the Chandrashila peak. At this temple at 3,886 mts, Shiva's arm is worshipped.

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Madmaheshwar

Madmaheshwar

Madmaheshwar, the 4th Pancha Kedar. It is located at the base of Chaukhamba peak at an altitude of 3289 mts. above the sea level , 30 kms northeast of Guptakashi.. Shiva is worshipped at Madmaheshwar in the form of navel - shaped lingum. This classic temple architecture belongs to the North-Indian style. From here Kedarnath and Neelkanth peaks are also visible.

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Kalpeshwar

Kalpeshwar

Kalpeshwar, the 5th Pancha Kedar is a small rock temple and a favorite location of meditating sages. This shrine is located in Urgam Valley at an altitude of 2,134 m. above sea level. Here the locks (hair) and head, of Lord Shiva are worshipped as Jatadhar. Rishi Durvasa is also believed to have meditated here under the wish-fulfilling tree, Kalpavriksha.

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