Suddenly I woke up at 2am and saw that it was still raining that too heavily. I went back to sleep hoping that when I'll be ready to trek, rain would stop. But it was totally opposite, I woke up at 5:30, got ready by 6am but the rain didn't stop. I waited till 6:30 but it was still raining. So I decided to start trekking in rain only and I left the room wearing my poncho.
So at 6:30 am I was standing at the entry gate of the Rudranath Trek excited and nervous at the same time. From the entry point it's a 20km trek. Actually it's not very clear how long the trek is but mostly it's somewhere between 20-22kms.
So I began trekking. Initial 400meters of trek go through a village and another 400meters go through farms. And then comes the steep trek which goes through jungle, waterfalls and rivulets (gadhera in the local language). So I kept trekking and met a local who owns a first shop that comes during the trekking at around 2kms from the starting point. It was 8:30 am and I took a halt at that shop. I was thirsty and the shop owner offered me juice made of flowers known as Buransh. It was quite an energy booster. While leaving the shop, that uncle told me to walk while making some loud noises to scare away the wild bears which maybe hiding in the forest. I took his advice and continued trekking and instead of making noises I was singing songs which is itself a noise if you know what I mean.
So I kept walking and yeah it was still raining but lightly this time. Water was flowing downward on the trekking path and my shoes got partially wet. The trek was getting steeper and steeper. And then came Pung Bugyal the first halting point of the trek, located at a distance of 4kms from Saggar. Here you'll get to meet Devendra who owns a restaurant and camping place. I had a maggi here and continued my journey. I've taken the decision that now I'll take a halt at Lwiti bugyal only which is somewhat 5.5 km from Pung. I kept trekking and suddenly encountered a big gadhera (rivulet). Water was flowing at very high speed and it scared me a bit because I didn't want to get flowed away with it. I took a deep breath and calmed myself down. Then I stepped forward and moved ahead crossing the river. It was quite an adventurous thing. After moving forward for like some 300-400meters, I got surprised after what I saw. A very large gadhera waiting for me to cross it. Dude that was the scariest yet adventurous part about the trek. I somehow managed to cross that safely. Now the rain stopped and I took off my poncho and kept walking. It was looking like Lwiti Bugyal was nowhere near but I was still walking. Two more gadhera came on the way before Lwiti Bugyal but they were small in size and were not harmful. Meanwhile, the trek began to get covered with fog. It was looking so dreamy. And then finally came Lwiti Bugyal. I took a halt at Rudra Base Camp run by Satya. I stayed there for like 45 mins to charge up my mobile and camera. I had tea and maggi there. The view got all covered with fog. If you're not planning to reach the temple at a one go then Lwiti Bugyal is the best place to stay for the night. I was running short of time so I didn't stay there. After charging my mobile I continued my trekking.
Fog started to become denser and the trek was still steep. I kept walking and then came Panar Bugyal. People said to me earlier that the trek won't be steep after Panar Bugyal but that was a white lie. So when I reached Panar, I saw a very majestic view. It looked like I was above the clouds. It was truly breathtaking and guess what it all got covered with fog within no time. I was lucky enough to capture that beauty on my camera. Also I got a little confused at Panar because there were two routes and I didn't know which one to choose. I waited there for a while and asked someone who was coming back from the temple.
Then I continued walking and meanwhile it started raining again. I wore my poncho again and kept walking and walking. Cloudy and foggy weather was making the trek beautiful. Then came the Pitradhar, the highest point of the trek, located at an elevation of 4000ms above sea level. Also it's the last spot where your sim gets network. Now you're entering into a no network zone. From here the temple is located somewhat around 6kms.
Also, from here onwards trek is not steeper. Yes some little steep points will occur but most of the trek is sort of straight. So now I was going through some large Bugyals (grazing lands). Herds of sheep were all scattered throughout the Bugyal. It was still raining and started to become cold as well. I kept on walking and suddenly a stranger named P.S. Bisht joined me because he saw me walking alone. He didn't want me to get eaten by bears. He was a local shepherd and kept walking with me till the Dev Darshan point.
Dev Darshan point is a spot from where you get to see the glimpse of Rudranath temple for the first time. I continued walking alone. The trek was straight and was going through some beautiful flower fields.
Finally I reached the temple at 5:45 pm after a long trek of 11hrs 30mins.
Now I'll describe the temple and also the story of Rudranath.
There is one main temple dedicated to Shiva and just beside it, there is another temple dedicated to Van Devta. Apart from these two there are 6 more small temples dedicated to Pandavas and their mother Kunti.
So the story of Rudranath goes like this. In Kedarnath blog I told you about the story of Panch Kedar. Rudranath is the 4th Kedar and here the face of Shiva is worshipped. So Pandavas upon a suggestion given by Devrishi Narad came here looking for Shiva but couldn't find him. Bheem the mightiest got furious and threatened Devrishi that if he won't tell the exact location of Shivs, he will throw him away holding is locks. So Narad told Pandavas that Shiva is there only but he is meditating and got hidden behind the long grasses.
Pandavas told him to break Shiva's meditation. But Narad hesitated because as we all know whenever anyone tries to break Shiva's meditation, his third eye gets opened out of anger and whoever stands in front of him, gets burnt down to ashes.
So Narad played his veena to break Shiva's meditation. The moment Shiva opened his eyes, Narad flew up in the sky and hence when Shiva looked he just saw Pandavas and vanished. So when you see the idol of Shiva in the temple, you'll notice that his neck is a little bent and also there is a temple of Narad which is built at a little height.
So that was the story of the temple. I attended the evening aarti which happens at 6:30 pm every evening. Later on I stayed at Pvt. located near the temple managed by a man known as Rudraksha ( calls himself Tinku). It cost me 400inr with food. One can stay at the dharamshala run by a priest and his subordinates. It's free of cost inclusive of food.