Till recently, Rudraprayag was a part of district Chamoli and Tehri in 1997, the Kedarnath Valley and parts of district Tehri & Pauri were conjoined to from Rudraprayag as new district. Rudraprayag District was established on 16th September1997. The district was carved out from the following areas of three adjoining districts i.e Whole of Augustmuni & Ukhimath block and part of Pokhri & Karnprayag block from Chamoli District, part of Jakholi and Kirtinagar block from Tehri District and part of Khirsu block from Pauri District. The presence of two separate routes for Badrinath and Kedarnath Dham from Rudraprayag render great importance to the place. The entire region is blessed with immense natural beauty, places of religious importance, lakes & glaciers. The geographical area of the District is around 2328 sq. km. The entire region is blessed with immense natural beauty, places of religious importance, lakes and glaciers. Internationally Known Shri Kedarnath Temple is at North, Madmaheshwar at east, Nagrasu at southern east and Shrinagar at extreme south. The holy Mandakini originated from Kedarnath is the main river of the district. Named after Lord Shiva (Rudra), Rudraprayag is situated at the holy confluence of Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers, at a distance of 34 Km from Srinagar (Garhwal). The meeting of Mandakini and Alaknanda rivers has a unique beauty of its own and it seems as if two sisters were embracing each other. It is believed that to master the mysteries of music, Narad Muni worshipped Lord Shiva. who appeared in his Rudra Avtaar (incarnation) to bless Narad. The Shiva and jagdamba temples are of great religious importance. Physiographically the district, which lies in a region of tectonic or folded and overthrust mountain chains, has strata are structurally marked by complex folds, reverse faults, overthrusts and nappes of great dimensions, all these as well as frequent earthquake of varying intensity give region to believe that the region is still unstable. Although any movement or tremor of the earths crust in the district is not produced by volcanic activity, the Chaukhamba peak a pair to be the crater of an extinct volcano.
The minerals that are found in the district are the following :
This is of the amosite variety and can be used for the production of asbestos, cement bricks, laboratory asbestos sheet and paper, but is not considered to be of economic importance.
This is of an average quality is crystalline in nature, and is found associated with crystalline dolomites and sometimes with soapstone. The Magnesium carbonate found here is also of average quality and its mineralisation has also been reported to occur in the district.
This white saponaceous stone resembling pipe clay is obtained in as lenticular body and is associated with mineral pyrites, which adds a color to it, and in places with magnesite. it can be mined for use as filler in soap and in the cosmetic industries. In the past various utensils were made of it which, when polished, had the appearance of marble.
The copper mines in the district are extensive and of reputed during the period of Hindus and The Gorkhas rules. All the rich mines have since being exhausted and at present they do not offer a fair field for the employment of capital.
Small and sporadic occurrence of iron are known to occur in several parts of district but are of hardly any economic important. Iron ore, rich in haematite, and magnetic ore, with haematite and siderite, also occur in the district.
In the past this mineral, also known as plumbago, found mostly in patti Lohba, was used as a dye but no large deposits have been noticed for a long time.
This mineral is found on the bank of some river and was used in the past for the manufacture of saucers and bowls. When ground to a fine powder it is known as Plaster of Paris and can be used for a number of purposes.
This dense, fine grained metamorphic rock, which is produced from a fine clay, can be split into thin, smooth plates and is quarried throughout the district. It is suitable for roofing purposes, the thin dark blue slates being somewhat inferior in quality.
Stone which can be used for building purposes is available in most parts of the district. Sand stone is found in abundance in the lower hills. Gneiss and chlorite schists which are available throughout the district are frequently used for building purposes.
This yellow mineral, also known as brimstone is found in the district as green sulphate of iron and is obtainable from iron pyrites and copper mines, its presence being characterised by a smell as of rotten eggs. Sulphur springs also occur in many parts in the district.
The brownish white natural sulphate of alumina known as Shilajit is found in rocks at a fairly high altitude and occur in small lumps which generally have an admixture of red sand and micaceous stone embedded in them. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine and during the season when there is an influx of pilgrims, it fetches good income to those who deal in it. Some other minerals found in the district are Antimony, Arsenic, Lignite or Brown Marble, Mica and silver.
As the elevation of the district ranges from 800 m. to 8000 m above see level, the climate of the district very largely depend on altitude. The winter season is from about mid November to March.
As most of the region is situated on the southern slops of the outer Himalayas, monsoon currents can enter through the valley, the rainfall being heaviest in the monsoon from June to September. Most of the rainfall occur during the period June to September when 70 to 80 percent of the annual precipitation is accounted for in the southern half of the district and 55 to 65 percent in the northern half. The effectiveness of the rains is, among others, related to low temperature which means less evapo-transpiration and forest or vegetation cover. However, the effectiveness is neither uniform nor even positive in areas where either the vegetational cover is poor or / and has steep slopes or the soils have been so denuded that their moisture absorption capacity has become marginal.
The details of temperature recorded at the meteorological observatories in the district show that the highest temperature was 340C and lowest 00C. January is the coldest month after which the temperature begin to rise till June or July. temperature vary with elevation. During the winter cold waves in the wake of western disturbances may cause temperature to fall appreciably. Snow accumulation in valleys is considerable.
The relative humidity is high during monsoon season, generally exceeding 70% on the average. The driest part of the year is the pre monsoon period when the humidity may drop to 35% during the afternoon. During the winter months humidity increases toward the afternoon at certain high stations.
Skies are heavily clouded during the monsoon months and for short spells when the region is affected by the passage of western disturbances. During the rest of the year the skies are generally clear to lightly clouded.
Owing to the nature of terrain local affect are pronounced and when the general prevailing winds not too strong to mask these effect, there is a tendency for diurnal reversal of winds, the flow being anabatic during the day and katabatic at night, the latter being of considerable force.
The river Mandakini, which is the most important river coming down from the slopes of Kedarnath peak, joins the Alaknanda (the alaknanda originates at a height of 3641 metres below Balakun peak 16 kms. upstream fromadrinath.) at Rudraprayag. The river actually originates from the springs fed by melting snow of Charabari glacier about one km above Kedarnath temple. Mandakini is itself fed by Vasukiganga, which meets it at Sonprayag 16 km down-stream from Kedarnath. The fact is that the main river of the Himalaya are older than the mountains they traverse. This is why they flow right across the axis of the ranges through deep gorges carved out by the river themselves. All the rivers of the district are snow fed. As the water levels of the rivers are much below the arable land levels, the rivers cannot be generally used for irrigation purposes.
The houses in the district have not been build according to any town planning scheme but have been up haphazardly in clusters on level ground at places where water springs are accessible or on the bank of the river in the valley. The houses are build of stones and are generally double storeyed, a few having three to five storeys, the very low rooms on the ground floor, which are usually 1.8 m high being used for housing the cattle. Each house has in front of it a courtyard called a Chauk. A mud or stone staircase or a wooden ladder leads to the upper storey, the roof being of wood. The height of the upper storey is generally 2.1 m and the roof is usually a sloping structures of timber covered with Patals (quartzite slabs), the well off use corrugated galvanized iron sheets. Generally the upper storey has a Verandah in front of the upper rooms. The houses in the higher regions are two to three storeys with balconies all round and paved courtyard in front where people do their threshing, weaving, spinning and other house hold works. A few houses have five or six storeys, the topmost being used as the kitchen. At times the cattle sheds are made at some distance from the villages. The houses are built in rows of half a dozen or so and strikingly picturesque in their fort like appearance. The staple grains consumed by the people of the district are wheat, rice, maze, mandua and jhanjora, the last three being coarse grains generally eaten by the poorer sections. The pulses consumed are urad, gahat, bhatt, soontha, tur, lopia and masor. The hindus of the district mostly vegetarian by habit and preference and although the Muslims, Christians and Sikhs are generally non vegetarian, those not able to afford eating meat daily due to want of fund or local unavailability often resulting to a vegetarian diet. Bichhuwas ( toe-rings of silver) are worn by married women whose husband are alive. Keels (Small studs) worn on the left nostril, nose ring (Naths) and ear rings made of gold and hansulis (ornament worn round the neck), chandanhar (necklaces) and necklaces consisting of colored beads or rupees or of the teeth and claws of the Panther are generally worn by women and girls. Silver amulets set with turquoise are also worn round the neck and arms. Married women wear anklets made of copper or silver. Churis (Bangles) of gold, silver or of colored glass are usually worn by women and girls. Bhotiya women wear this type of jewellery and articles made of ivory are also worn at times. Men usually wear rings and some wear gold chain round their neck. The dress of the people of the district is simple, economical and well suited for the hill environment. The usual dress for men is a Kurta (long lose shirt) or shirt, Pyjama (tight from the knee down ), Sadri (jacket), a cap and a knee length coat, the last named being worn in winter. Those better off are increasingly taking to trousers and buttoned up coats. Women often wear the Sari and full sleeved shirt or Angra (a sort of jacket) in place of a shirt, the well to do wearing woolen jacket in winter. Girls students often wear the Salwar (very full pyjama narrow at the ankle ), Kamiz (knee length shirt) and Dupatta ( long scarf for the head and shoulders).
Nearest Airport is at Jollygrant which is 159 Km away.By Train
Nearest Railway station is at Rishikesh, 142 Km away.By Road
Well connected by road to all the important places of Garhwal Division. Regular bus services are available
Named after Lord Shiva (Rudra), Rudraprayag is situated at the holy confluence of Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers, at a distance of 34 km from Srinagar(Garhwal). The meeting of the Mandakini and Alaknanda rivers has a unique beauty of its own and it seems as if two sisters were embracing each other. It is believed that to master the mysteries of music, Narad Muni worshipped Lord Shiva, who appeared in his Rudra Avtaar (incarnation) to bless Narad. The Shiva and Jagdamba temples are of great religious importance.
|Rudraprayag City at a glance :|
|Season||Round the year|
|Clothing||Summer - Cotton, Winter - Woollen|
|Languages||Garhwali, Hindi & English|
The confluence of river Mandakini originating from Kedarnath Dham and river Alaknanda originating from Badrinath Dham is a beautiful sight to behold. The confluence has a great religious significance and thousands of pilgrims come here to take a holy dip. The temple of Goddess Jagdamba and Lord Shiva are also major attractions for tourists and pilgrims.
At a distance of 3 Km from Rudraprayag and on the holy bank of river Alaknanda is situated the Koteshwar temple. The Koteshwar temple is in the form of a cave temple. There are many idols which have been formed naturally. It is believed that before going to Kedarnath, Lord Shiva meditated here. During the months of August and September, thousands of devotees come here to worship Lord Shiva.
18 km from Rudraprayag, at an altitude of 1000 m and on the bank of river Mandakini, this is the place where rishi Agastya meditated for years. This temple is dedicated to sage Agastya and is also of an archaeological significance; figures of Gods and Goddess have been carved out on stones. On the occasion of Baisakhi a large fair is held and many devotees come here to worship and pay their homage to God.
Guptkashi has a great importance quite like that of Kashi. The ancient Vishwanath temple, Ardhnareshwar temple and Manikarnik Kund, where the two streams of Ganga and Yamuna are believed to meet, are the main places of attraction in Guptkashi. It is believed that after the battle of Mahabharata, the Pandavas wanted to meet Lord Shiva and seek his blessing. But Lord Shiva evaded from Guptkasi to Kedarnath as he did not want to meet the Pandavas, the reason being that although they had fought for the right cause, they were also responsible for destroying their own dynasty. Guptkashi is situated at an elevation of 1319 m. The one Stupa is situated in Nala which is quite close to Ukhimath. Some local people call it the grave of Rana Nal.
3 km from Guptkashi, the remains of Ramgarh(in Ronitpur) still seem to echo the love between Lord Krishna's son Anniruddha and Vanasur's daughter Usha.
At an elevation of 1829 m and on the main Kedarnath route, Son Prayag lies at the confluence of river Basuki and Mandakini. The holy site of Son Prayag is of immense religious significance. It is said that a mere touch of the holy water of Son Prayag helps one to attain the "Baikunth Dham". Kedarnath is at a distance of 19 km from Son Prayag. Triyuginarayan, which is supposed to be the marriage place of Lord Shiva and Parvati, is at a distance of 14 km by bus and 5 km on foot from here.
Located 19 kms. away from Pauri at an altitude of 1700 m, Khirsu is a peaceful spot, free from pollution. The snow covered mountains of Khirsu offers a panoramic view of the central Himalayas and attracts a large number of tourists. From here one can get a clear view of many named and unnamed peaks. The tranquility of the adjoining thick Oak and Deodar forests and people orchards, is broken only by chirping of birds. The ancient temple of Ghandiyal Devta in the vicinity is well worth a visit. Accommodation is available at Tourist rest house and Forest rest house.
At a distance of 5 km from Son Prayag and at a altitude of 1982 m, Gaurikund is the last bus station on the Kedarnath route. Before proceeding for Kedarnath on foot, people bath in the hot water pond here and visit the Gauri Devi temple. This is the place where Goddess Parvati meditated to attain Lord Shiva.
It is situated on the Chopta-Ukimath road about 2 km from road head at Sari village. This lake has captivating surroundings with forest all around. The reflection of the mighty Chaukhamba peak in the lake creates a beautiful effect. The road is motorable upto Sari, 10 km from Ukhimath and from there one has to trek about 2 km. All arrangements have to be made for a night halt at the spot.
Situated on the Gopeshwar - Ukhimath road, about 40 km from Gopeshwar at an altitude of about 2900 m, Chopta is one of the most picturesque places in the entire Garhwal region. It provides a breathtaking view of the Himalayan ranges and surrounding areas. P.W.D. guest house is available at Dogalbhita 8 km from Chopta.
This is the winter seat of Lord Kedarnath and worship is done here during the winters when the temples of Kedarnath remain closed. The temples of Usha and Aniruddha, Lord Shiva and Parvati are worth visiting. Ukimath is at a distance of 41 km from Rudraprayag and 13 km from Guptkashi. It is situated at an elevation of 1311 m. The Omkareshwar temple at Ukhimath features superbly crafted and carefully maintained icon of Lord Shiva. According to folklore, Usha, daughter of Banasur had lived here once, thus giving Ukhimath its name. In fact, Ukhimath is dotted with temples dedicated to Usha, Shiva, Parvati, Aniruddha and Mandhata, including one with the image of Mahadev with five heads - similar to the one in Kedarnath. An idol of Usha's confidante, Chitralekha, also exists. And among the several copper plates discovered, two relate to land endowments for the Kedarnath temple made by the king of Nepal in 1797 A.D. and by the mother of an official of the court of Nepal in 1891 A.D. Nearby is the Deoria Tal, which catches the reflection of the Badrinath peak, mirroring its grandeur.
A small lake from where Yudhishthir, the eldest of the Pandavas, is believed to have departed to heaven is known as Gandhi Sarovar. The floating ice on the sparkling water is a fascinating site.
It is 8 km from Kedarnath, at a height of 4135 m. The lake is surrounded by high mountains and offers an excellent view of the Chaukhamba peaks.
A story goes that the Rishi Vyas told the Pandavas that they were guilty of killing of their own relatives and their sins would be expiated only if Shiva pardoned them. So the Pandavas began to look for Shiva. Lord Shiva kept avoiding them as he knew that Pandavas were guilty. So the Lord took refuge underground and later, his body parts resurfaced at five different places. These five places, where five magnificent temples of Lord Shiva stand, are known as the "Panch Kedar". Each one is identified with a part of his body. Tugnath is where his hands were supposedly seen. Kedarnath, his hump; Rudranath, his head; Kalpeshwar, his hair; and Madmaheshwar, his navel. Out of the five Kedars, three lies in Rudraprayag District.
Shiva took refuge at Kedarnath in the form of a Bull. Being followed by Pandavas, he dived into the ground, leaving his hump on the surface. The remaining portions of God reappeared at four other places. It is one of the twelve "Jyotirlingas" of Lord Shiva. The temple of Sri Kedarnath is situated at an altitude of 3581 m above sea level, against the backdrop of the majestic kedarnath range. As one approaches from Garurchatti, the magnificent Sri Kedarnath temple is visible on advancing barely half a kilometer. With the stunning background of towering white mountains mantled with snow, the temple presents an enchanting sight. All around it is an aura of peace and purity. The temple of Kedarnath is considered to be more than a thousand years old. The temple is magnificent in its style and architecture. At the entrance is the statue of the "Nandi", the divine bull. The walls inside the temple are exquisitely carved with images. It is built on a morainic ridge jutting out at right angles from the snowy range. The temple has a "garbha-griha" for worship and mandaps for assemblies of pilgrims and visitors. Places which can be visited from here are the Bhairav temple, Samadhi of Adi Shakaracharya and Gandhi Sarovar at Chorabari Tal. Vasukital, yet another beautiful lake is situated at a distance of 8 km from kedarnath, floating ice on crystal-clear water fascinates visitors to this lake.
Tungnath is where Shiva's hands were supposedly seen. It is situated at the height of 3680 m atop the Chandranath parvat, 30 Km from Ukhimath - Gopeshwar Road. To reach it requires a strenuous trek through dense forest. In this temple of Shiva where the dome spans sixteen doors, a 2.5 feet tall idol of Adi Guru Shankaracharya is located along side the lingam. The Nandadevi temple is also situated at Tungnath not far from the awe-inspiring Akash ganga water fall, so called, because the water looks as though is descending from heaven. The spectacular Chaukhamba, Kedarnath and the Gangotri-Yamunotri peaks add to the splendor. During the severe winter months, a number of priests move from this temple to Mukunath, 19 km away.
Madmaheshwar is where Shiva's navel was supposedly seen. Located amidst serene environs, the temple has no crowd of Pandas, Pujaris, Shops or the bustle of major pilgrimage centres . There is a small Dharamshala and provisions must be carried from the village of Gaundar. The temple is close for six month during winter when the silver idols are taken ceremonially to Ukhimath for worship. Only the Shivling remains. Saraswati kund, where Tarpans are offered is closed by.
This magnificent temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, lies in the village of Triyuginarayan, on the ancient bridle path that connects Ghuttur to Shri Kedarnath. It is similar in architectural style to the temple of Kedarnath making this village an important pilgrimage centre. According to a legend, Triyuginarayan was the capital of the legendary Himvat and is the place where Shiva wedded Parvati duing the Satyug. The fire for the divine wedding was lit in the huge four cornered Havan Kund. All the sages attended the wedding of which Vishnu himself was the master of ceremonies. Remnants of that celestial fire are believed to be burning in the Havan kund even today. Pilgrim offer wood to the fire that has seen three Yug hence the name TRIYUGINARAYAN. The ashes from this fire is supposed to promote conjugal bliss. There are three other kund in this village, Rudrakund, Vishnu kund and Brahmakund. These are kund where the Gods bathed at the time of Shiva-Parvati wedding. The water in these kund flows from the Saraswati kund which is said to have sprang from Vishnu's Navel. Women seeking children bath here, believing that it cures infertility.
A route diverting from Nagrasu, on the main Rudraprayag Karnprayag route, leads to the Siddha Peeth of Hariyali Devi. Haryali Devi is 22 km from Nagrasu which in turn is 37 km from the main town of Rudraprayag. At an altitude of 1400 m this place is surrounded by peaks and thick forests. According to the Hindu mythology, when Mahamaya was conceived as the seventh issue of Devki, Kansa threw Mahamaya violently on the ground. Consequently, several body parts of Mahamaya got strewn all over the earth. One part - the hand - fell at Haryali Devi, Jasholi. Since then it become a revered siddh peeth. There are 58 sidd peeths in all. Ma Hariyali Devi is also worshipped as Bala Devi and Vaishnav Devi. The temple houses a regally bejewelled idol of Ma Hariyali Devi, astride a lion. During Janamastimi and Deepawali, this place is visited by thousands of devotees. On these occasions, the devotees accompany the idol of Ma Hariyali Devi, covering a distance of 7 km to reach Hariyali Kantha. The temple houses chiefly three idols namely, Ma Hariyali Devi, Kshatrapal and Heet Devi. From Hariyali Kantha one can see the mountain range in a semi-lunar spread. The splendor of the range is sure to fill one's heart with awe.
Kalimath is situated close to Ukhimath, and Guptakashi. It is one of the "Siddha Peeths" of the region and is held in high religious esteem. The temple of Goddess Kali located here is visited by a large number of devotees round the year and specially during the "Navratras".
38 km from Rudraprayag on the Rudraprayag - Pokhri route is a village Kanak Chauri from where 3 km trek leads to Kartikswami. This place has a temple and idol of Lord Shiva's son Kartikeya, situated at a elevation of 3048 m the place abounds in natural beauty and one can have a close and panoramic view of the Himalayan peaks.
Chandrashila is most accessible peak of the U.P. Himalayas, at an Altitude of 3679 m especially since most of the peaks are difficult to scale. A climb to this mini peak in Rudraprayag district is arranged by Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam(GMVN). This combines scaling, skiing and trekking through a route of rich flora and fauna, lakes, meadows full of fresh snow in the winter months. The Chandrashila peak itself provides a rare panoramic view of innumerable snow clad peaks. The temple is situated in village Kandali Patti at a distance of 14 km from the main town of Rudraprayag and at about 6 km from Tilwara. It is believed to have been constructed in the age of Adi Shankaracharya. The temple has unique architecture surrounded by temple of Jalkedareshwar, Khetrapal and Jakh Devta. The origin of Indrasani Mansa Devi is described in Skandpuran, Devibhagvata and Kedarkhand. It is believed that Indrasani Devi is a Mansi Kanya of Kashyapa and is known as VAISHNAVI , SHAVI AND VISHARI. Folklore claims that the Devi cures persons who have been bitten by snake. During Devi Jat held in the month of December 2000, on digging a Nag Jalkund was found and snakes were seen by the devotees in Jalkund. It is also claimed that if any person is bitten by snake, the person is brought before the Devi temple for worship and SANKH JAL (water) is applied on the affected area which removes the poison of the snake.
|District At a Glance :|
|Total geographical Area ( Sq Km )||2328|
|Population ( In '000 )|
|Literacy ( In '000 )|
|Bus Station/ Bus Stop||67|