Kalpeshwar to Rudranath - One of The Most Beautiful Trek

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Kalpeshwar to Rudranath - One of The Most Beautiful Trek

Postby anirban » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:53 am

Kalpeshwar to Rudranath - One of The Most Beautiful Trek

Kalpeshwar – Rudranath Trek is one of the less frequented pilgrimages in Uttarakhand and that is what has preserved its natural beauty intact. The trail passes through well sustaining villages which mainly depends on vegetation. This trek offers virgin trail with different routes to approach. While most of the people start this circuit from Helang, it can also begin from Saggar and Mandal near Gopeshwar.

Mythological Background:
After the war of Mahabharata ended, Pandavas wanted to visit Lord Shiva. But since they killed their brothers in war irrespective of the reason behind it, Lord Shiva was angry and avoided them. In order to trick them Lord Shiva turned himself into a massive bull and roamed around. Bhim suspected him to be Lord Shiva and chased him. Lord Shiva dug a hole and went inside the earth. Later different parts of Lord Shiva’s body were discovered at various places, these places are now the Panch Kedar temples – Kedarnath, Madhmaheshwar, Tungnath, Rudranath & Kalpeshwar. It is also believed that Pashupatinath in Nepal is the sixth kedar.

Kalpeshwar is the last temple in the sacred Panch Kedar Circuit and the easiest to reach. Kalpeshwar is the only temple that remains open throughout the year. Kalpeshwar Temple has the normally showed up swayambhu jata or hair of Shiva in the state of a projecting rock. In the sanctuary premises there is a little stream which develops out of a stone and water gathers in a rough dejection to frame the Amrit Kund or Nectar Lake.

How to reach Kalpeshwar temple:
Rishikesh to Rudraprayag, Pipalkoti then to Helang. A bus start from Rishikesh bus stand sharp at 5 AM and reach Helang around 3.30 PM. You can book your advance ticket from Rishikesh bus stand. Helang to Urgam share car service available @ Rs. 40/- per head. Then it is an about half an hour trek from Urgam to Devagram. From Devagram it is around 45-mintue stroll to Kalpeshwar Temple.

Best Time to Visit Kalpeshwar:
This is the only kedar which remain open through out the year. The late spring months March to June are warm and sunny with clean sky and satisfying climate. Light cottons will be sufficient for visit around Kalpeshwar. Storm months July and August design Kalpeshwar area with stupendous excellence. Overcoat is the must have thing for visit around Kalpeshwar amid rainstorm. Spring months October and November are dazzling with clear sky, satisfying climate and cool climatic condition in Kalpeshwar. Period of foods grown from the ground, spring makes Kalpeshwar area all the more exuberant and flawless. Winter in Kalpeshwar is chilling icy and here and there the temperature goes underneath zero. Warm woolen garments are must amid Kalpeshwar visit in winter season.

Where to stay:
Prathik Lodge is one of the best accommodation options that you can consider. The lodge runs by Mr. Rajendar Singh Negi (+919758700263 / +919456150263/ +919897391136) and his family members. They are extremely hospitable. Rooms are clean, 24 hours hot water supply available. Foods are reasonably good. There are few other home stay options also available.

Fourth temple in the sacred Panch Kedar Circuit, Rudranath is the hardest one to reach. Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of a face embodied on a shivling at Rudranath Temple. There is a prominent saying for Rudranath Trek amongst local people "Rudranath ki Chadai, German ki Ladai" considering its lofty course.

There are 3 ways to reach Rudranath temple:

Route 1:
From Kalpeshwar temple/ Devagram, it is 18 km trek to Dumak, another 13 km trek to Panar and final 8 km trek to Rudranath. On the way we hear the chirping of birds, noise of the crickets and cicadas, rustling of leaves by the langurs. The gurgling waterfalls add to the surreal experience. Drinking water directly from the fresh water streams is rejuvenating. Devagram to Dumak is near about 9 hour trek.

In the way from Dumak to Panar you will find Toli Tal and Toli bugiyal. Toil Tal / Lake seems like a pearl in a green blanket. We sit on the grass to enjoy the scene. A forest rest house in the distance is visible. At the backdrop of Toli Bugiyal are shadowy mountain ranges. The horses and cattle grazing look like a fairy-tale land. The play of mist, cloud, and sunshine offers us some fabulous drama of nature.

The 360 degree Himalayan view from Panar will remain etched in my memory forever. The elegant Monal bird and grazing cattle add to the beauty. Panar offers the awe-inspiring vistas of flowery meadows where every inch is an implausible and post card beauty that enthralls the eyes. The entire landscape is speckled with wild flowers and it looks just like a flowery carpet of silky flower buds. Usually Panar serves as the resting place for the trekkers. Dumak to Panar trek through the grassy curves is refreshing and exciting since there are no marked trekking trails except that of some marks made by the shepherds. Trekking through the odd paths of deep silent jungles is very refreshing, the memory of which would last for a whole life. Panar is one of the most beautiful bugiyals I have ever seen. It’s a sea of wavy grass occasionally dotted with red flowers. Cows and horses graze along the slope that gradually leads to Panchaganga River bed. Mountains meditate on the other side. They look so near as if a run would take us to the tops.
Pitradhar is a place where our forefathers are said to have departed for the other realms. There is a small unattended shrine here.
Dumak to Panar route goes through Nandadevi Sanctuary and the trail is confusing too, so don’t go without an experienced guide or porter. There isn’t any place to stay or pitch tent in between Devagram to Dumak and Dumak to Panar. This route is the best in terms of scenic beauty.

Panar to Rudranath is 8 KM, approximately two and half to three hours trek. Visiting Rudranath temple easily you can come back to Panar. Otherwise you can stay at Rudranath to enjoy the evening ‘arati’ of lord Rudranath. Keep in your mind that temple remain close from 12.30 PM to 3.30 PM.
The view from Rudranath temple is stupendous. We see a wide range of icy Himalayan mountain peaks. Nanda Devi and Kamet, Trishul, NandaGhunti peaks look very enticing, specially at sunrise. All around the temple are fragrant flower laden meadows. Near the temple is a stream of sparkling water known as Vaitarini.

Where to stay:
Dumak: I will recommend you to stay at Rudra Bhawan . Mr. Pratap Singh Sanwal (+919997330819) is the owner of the lodge. Rooms are new and extremely clean. Foods are excellent. Other option is to stay at Bhandary Lodge.
Panar: There is only one trekkers hut for accommodation. Basic facilities and food available. You can pitch your own tent also.
Rudranath: Accommodation and food available adjoin of the temple, or you can pitch your own tent.
In this route food and accommodation are available everywhere. Even you don’t need to carry sleeping bag.

Route 2:
It is also possible to reach Panar from Saggar, from Saggar it is 12 km and then final 8 km to Rudranath (via Pitradhar and Panch Ganga). This route is extremely tough through a dense forest. The trail is clearly visible so you don’t need guide. You can reach Panar in same day if you start very early morning. There are quite a few dhabas on this route. These dhabas provide good food and basic overnight staying facilities and enclosed toilets. If you are running short of time or don’t like to spend for guide then only I will recommend you this route. Again I like to remind you this route is extremely tough for even a seasoned trekker.
Trekking down through this route (Paner to Sagar) is easy. It will take approximately 5 hours.

Route 3:
Again on the Kund-Chopta-Mandal-Saggar-Gopeshwar-Chamoli Road, one can climb from Mandal. This is 5 km trek to Anusuya Devi temple and another 11 km trek to Panch Ganga and final 3 km to Rudranath temple. After Anusuya Devi, this track is isolated. But this route is good for trekking down, through the Naola pass which is around 14,000 ft above MSL. Taking a guide along for the entire Rudranath trip is highly recommended, as it is the toughest trek a pilgrim may ever do!

Recommended Trekking Guide:

Srinand Mamgai(+917055527845) one very nice and honest person, working as a guide almost for more than 20 years. His experience is par excellence and highly recommended. His knowledge enriches me to understand Himalayan flora & fauna. Specializes in region of Gharwal including Panch Kedar, Kedartal, Deoriatal, Tunganath, Nandi Kund, Chandrashilla, Homkund Gangotri, Gaumukh Glacier, Tapovan, Madhmaheshwar, Kedartal, Satopanth trek etc. He is from Urgam Village near to Helang.
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Postby anirban » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:56 am

Here is few more images……
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Postby anirban » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:59 am

Few more images……
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Re: Kalpeshwar to Rudranath - One of The Most Beautiful Trek

Postby navneet1986 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:23 am

such a crisp writeup and brilliant shots :)
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Re: Kalpeshwar to Rudranath - One of The Most Beautiful Trek

Postby yadavpreetrai » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:05 pm

well written anirban. Images are just awesome.
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Re: Kalpeshwar to Rudranath - One of The Most Beautiful Trek

Postby mosederbaer » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:53 pm

Dada beautifully written and worth saving post. Complete guide to this not so frequented trek route. Thanks a lot. Pictures are very good. If you have been to other trekking routes (in this region) then please do write up about them too :) :) .
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Re: Kalpeshwar to Rudranath - One of The Most Beautiful Trek

Postby getpackingvinod » Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:55 pm

thank you for this comprehensive travel guide and for the lovely pictures anirban :)
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Re: Kalpeshwar to Rudranath - One of The Most Beautiful Trek

Postby anirban » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:38 pm

Thanks navneet1986, yadavpreetrai, mosederbaer, getpackingvinod for ur comments. :)
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