Rudranath Temple is the fourth temple in the circuit of Panch Kedar pilgrimage. Rudranath Temple is situated at an elevation of 2,286 mts above sea level in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state. The trekking route passes through dense forest rich in varied flora and fauna, alpine meadows and deep gorges. Rudranath temple is the toughest one to reach in comparison with other temples of Panch Kedar. Gloriously encircled by the majestic peaks of Nada and Trishul, the Rudranath temple proffers an extremely divine experience to a Shiva devotee. One of the Panch Kedars, this temple depicts the lord as Neelkantha Mahadeva and it is believed that it was here that the face of the lord appeared during his struggle with the Pandavas. Another popular legend is that Lord Shiva had appeared to Narada in the form of Rudra and blessed the sage here. On a closer look the peaks in Rudranath bear a resemblance to the face of lord Shiva.
The deity is self manifested which is shaped like a human face shaped by the protrusion of a giant rock. Half opened eyes of the lord is enclosed under golden coverings which will be removed during the evening time. Perennial fall of water droplets on the face from a natural ridge adds the serenity of the ambiance
The trekking route to Rudranath temple offers awe-inspiring views of diversified beauty of nature. Rudranath temple, wild grass meadows, dense forest and Himalayan views makes this place a heavenly hamlet. The morning aarti at the sacred Rudranath Temple starts at 8am and evening aarti is performed at 6:30 pm everyday. Near the temple is a stream of sparkling water known as Vaitarini – the ‘Water of Salvation’. The temple remains closed from November to April.
Rudranath can be reached by 21 kms trek from Saggar. Sagar village is situated 5 kms from Gopeshwar. The trek to Rudranath is graded as moderate, because the route is steep and there are no villages en route.