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Rudraprayag, a town in the district by same name and a busy centre for pilgrims, gets its name from Rudra (a form of Lord Shiva) and prayag (meaning confluence of rivers). Being the abode to Shiva, the town is frequented by Hindu religious travellers. However, the place enjoys great reputation among nature lovers for hosting unbelievable scenic beauty. Rudraprayag is a common name associated with chardham travel packages for being a stopover on the way to Badrinath and Kedarnath. The town also welcomes pilgrims on their way to Panch Kedar (five holy shrines of Lord Shiva in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand).

History of Rudraprayag
Rudraprayag is the place where Lord Shiva is believed to have appeared in Rudra avatar (popular as Lord of Music). Shiva took the avatar to teach music to Narada (the divine sage) who performed strict penance to please the lord. The town is also popular for being one of the Panch Prayag (five confluences) of River Alaknanda, as it is situated near to the confluence of River Alaknanda with River Mandakini. Another tale associated with Rudraprayag is that of the man-eating leopard who killed more than 125 people and was hunted by Jim Corbett in the first quarter of the 20th century.

How to Access?
Rudraprayag is accessible from Haridwar, Dehradun and Rishikesh by road throughout the year. During peak season of Haridwar to chardham yatra, the public transport services from Haridwar to Rudraprayag increases, the latter being a significant mid-way destination on the routes to Badrinath and Kedarnath (two out of four char dham destinations). Many pilgrims also prefer to book hotels at Rudraprayag to take rest and to explore treasures of attractions around.

From Delhi, one can reach Dehradun’s Jolly Grant Airport by air or to Rishikesh railhead by train and carry on the journey towards Rudraprayag by road. Booking private transport for the subsequent trip is not an issue, as many tour operators offering chardham packages can arrange for taxis, tempos and coaches.

Places in and Around
  • Rudranath Temple: An ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is considered as the place where Narada pleased Shiva to learn music from him. A sacred rock near to the temple is known as Narad Shila and believed as the spot where Narada worshipped the lord.
  • Sacred Confluence: An eye-pleasing site where River Alaknanda meets River Mandakini, it is one of the Panch Prayag (five confluences), the other five being Vishnu Prayag, Nand Prayag, Karan Prayag and Dev Prayag, all located in Uttarakhand. One can admire the beauty of this wonderful spot for hours.
  • Koteshwar Temple: A cave temple located on the bank of River Alaknanda, Koteshwar Temple is the place where Lord Shiva meditated for few months before shifting to Kedarnath.
  • Kartik Swami Temple: Dedicated to Lord Kartikeya, son of Lord Shiva and brother of Lord Ganesha, it is a beautiful temple. The views of Himalayan peaks from the temple’s premises are completely enchanting.
  • Agastyamuni: Resting along River Mandakini, it is the place where Sage Agastya meditated for a long period of time. Popular for its Agasteshwar Mahadev Temple, it is also near to Phata, which accommodates a helipad from where chardham yatra by helicopter can be pursued.
  • Tungnath Temple: One of the Panch Kedar (five holy shrines of Lord Shiva), Tungnath Temple is of great significance among Hindu pilgrims. It is the place where Lord Shiva’s arms appeared when he in the form of a bull was trying to hide from Pandavas. The temple has an extremely beautiful village called Chopta (popularly called Mini Switzerland) nearby.
  • Dhari Devi Temple: Another well-known temple on the bank of River Alaknanda, Dhari Devi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali. The temple can be accessed by trekking down the length of about 1 km.
  • Srinagar: One of the many towns located on the route of Alaknanda, Srinagar also serves as a preferable stopover on the journey of char dham darshan. It also accommodates many famous temples like Kamleshwar Mahadev and Kilkileshwar Mahadev.
  • Pauri: A town known for its natural splendour and abundant scenic beauty, Pauri is famous for Chaukhamba Viewpoint from where the mesmerizing views of peaks and valleys can be enjoyed. Many popular temples like Kandoliya Temple and Kyunkaleshwar Temple. The nearby place called Khirsu can be explored to relish the captivating beauty of nature at its best.
  • Badrinath and Kedarnath: Rudraprayag remains busy from April to November for being frequented by pilgrims moving towards Badrinath and Kedarnath. Badrinath is the place where Lord Vishnu is worshipped in his Badrinath form and Kedarnath is the abode of Lord Shiva. Many pilgrims prefer do dham yatra to these religious sites over char dham circuit, which consists of additional sites of Gangotri and Yamunotri. While heading from Rudraprayag to Badrinath and Kedarnath, many tourist places that can be visited include Auli, Joshimath, Ukhimath, Sonprayag and Gaurikund among others.

Apart from being the confluence point of rivers, Rudraprayag also blends natural beauty with religious significance. Visit the place to have an experience that you will cherish for lifetime.

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