Named after Lord Shiva, Rudraprayag is located at the confluence of the holy rivers Alaknanda 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 has a total area of 2,328 square k.m., and is located at 610 meter above sea level. 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.
The ancient temple of Rudranath (Shiva) is situated at the centre point of the town. Legend says that God Ganesha scripted the Vedas here in 'Vyas Gufa' situated in 'Mana' village. This village is also special for it's picturesque location, abundant natural beauty, surrounded by peaks, lakes and glaciers.
- By Air : The nearest airport is Jolly Grant at a distance of 158 km.
- By Rail : The nearest railway station is Rishikesh, 138 km.
- By Road : Rudraprayag is 140 km from Rishikesh. Being at the crossroads of Kedarnath (84 km) and Badrinath (160 km), Rudraprayag is easily accessible by roads. All the important places of the Garhwal region are connected with the town, through buses.
- By Helicopter : Helicopter service to Kedarnath is available from Phata which is 66 km from Rudraprayag.
Confluence of Mandakini & Alaknanda : Where the Alaknanda from Alkapuri and the Mandakini from Kedarnath, two of the most beautiful among the Himalayan river, meet, the confluence is known as Rudraprayag. The mingling of the waters of the two rivers providing and 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, their is a small temple dedicated to Jagdamba Devi (the Goddess of Power).
The Temple of Rudranathji : There is located an another ancient temple of Rudranathji, where Lord Shiva is worshiped in the name of Rudranath. Legend is that Sage Narad meditated here for several years and pleased Lord Rudra who blessed him with shastriya music and granted him "Veena" (Lute), hence he became a repository of shastriya music.
Koteshwar Mahadev: The cave temple of Koteshwar Mahadev : is just 3 km away from Rudraprayag on the bank of Alaknanda. There are many naturally formed Shivlingas in the cave on which water drops on these Lingas continuously. During the months of August and September, thousands of devotees come here to pay their homage to the deity.
Panch Kedar Trek : Panchkedars are five live diffetent forms of almighty Lord Shiva, they are Kedarnath 3584 meter, Madmaheshwar-3289 meter, Tungnath - 3810 meter, Rudranath - 2286 meter, Kalpnath 2134 meter. These five places are known as the Panchkedar. The Mountain-scape from each temple is profoundly fascinating and valleys full of rich flora & fauna. Being the long distance treks, it is advised,ori to avail the services of local guides with all other logistical arrangement
Kedarnath Temple : Situated at an altitude of 3584 meter and at the origin of river Mandakini, Kedarnath one of the twelve jyotirlingas is amongst the holiest pilgrimage of Hindus. Doors of this holy temple get closed at the approach of winters and re-opens from the 1st week of May. This is the time when pilgrims flock here from all over the India, The distance from Gaurikund to Kedarnath is 14 km trek.
Gauri Kund : Situated at an altitude of 1982 meter it is the last bus station on the Kedarnath route. Gaurikund is a hot water pond with an ancient temple dedicated to Godess Gauri. According to legend, Parvati meditated here for a long time, to win Shiva as her consort. Ultimately, she succeeded, and the cosmic couple was wed at Trijuginarayan
Ukhimath : Lord Shiva is worshiped in the Omkareshwar 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. It's called the Kashi (Banaras) of the hills. The ancient Vishwanath Temple is at the centre of the town. The Ardhnarishwar temple is another important religious centre. Manikarnik Kund, which is believed to he at the confluence of Ganga and Yamuna, is at a distance of 3 km it is believed that after the battle of Mahabharata the Pandavas wanted to meet Lord Shiva and seek his blessings. But Lord Shiva evaded from Guptkashi to Kedarnath, as he did not want to meet Pandavas. Guptkashi is at the elevation of 1319 meter.
Sonprayag : On the main Kedarnath route, at a height of 1,829 mtrs, its a holy confluence of Sone river and Mandakini in the Himalayas, According to Hindu belief, a dip into the holy confluence at Sonprayag leads one to ultimate salvation. Kedarnath is at a distance of 19 km from Sonprayag. Triyuginarayan, which is supposed to be the marriage place of Shiva and Parvati, is at a distance of 12 km by motor road and 5 km on foot from here.
Madmaheshwar & Kalimath Temple : Second in the line of the Panch Kedars, the temple of Madmaheshwar is located at an altitude of 3,289 meter above sea-level on the slope of a ridge, 25 km northeast of Guptkashi in Rudraprayag district. According to a legend, when lord Shiva was avoiding the Pandavas, he sank into the earth at Kedarnath with a desire to elude them and his torso surfaced here at Madmaheshwar. Thus Lord Shiva is worshiped in the form of his belly at this temple, The trek from Kalimath to Madmaheshwar is distinguished by wild unparalleled scenic beauty and engulfed by Chaukhambha, Kedarnath and Neelkanth peaks.
Triyuginarayan : This mangnificent temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, lies in the village of 'Triyuginarayan, on the ancient bridle path that connects Gangotri to Shri Kedarnath. According to a legend, it is the Place where Shiva Wedded Paravti during Satyug. The Fire for the divine wedding was a 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. Piligrims offer wood to the fire that has seen three Yug hence the name Triyuginarayan.
Augustyamuni : Situated on the bank of river Mandakini, the temple of Augustya Rishi is here at a height of 1,100 meter, Agastyamuni, is nearly 18 km, 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 mt above sea level, amidst captivating surroundings. It is the most picturesque place in the entire Garhwal region. It provides a breath taking view of the magnificent Himalayan ranges like Chaukhamba, Kedarnath etc. and surrounding areas. The trek to the famous Tungnath temple starts from here.
Tungnath : The highest point to have a temple of Lord Shiva, at a height of 3,680 meter and an important pilgrimage centre. The main dome of the temple spans 16 doors and 2.5 feet tall idol of Shankracharya is placed alongside the lingam. At Tungnath, Lord Shiva's hands were supposedly seen. During winters priests move from this temple to Makkumath, 19 km away.
Chandrashila : Chandrashila just above Tungnath is the most accessible peak of the Uttarakhand Himalayas, at an altitude of 4090 mt, especially since most of the other peaks are difficult to scale.
Syalsaur : A fairytale location, 29 km from Rudraprayag. The Mountain range, the dense forest and the brimming cascades in the hills, represent an out-of-the world experiance.
Kartikey Swami : 38 km from Rudraprayag on the Rudraprayag - Pokhri route is a village Kanak Chauri from where a 3 km trek leads to Kartikey Swami temple. This place has a temple with idol of Lord Shiva's son Kartikeya, situated at a elevation of 3048 meter.