It is an enjoyable drive of 34 km from Srinagar and 18 from Dhari Devi to the small but important town of Rudraprayag, which is situated at the confluence of the Mandakini, flowing from Sri Kedarnath, and the Alaknanda coming from Sri Badrinath. This is the point where the two roads branch off to the holy Shrines of Sri Kedarnath, by tradition the first shrine to visit, and Sri Badrinath. Tumbling and tossing, the two great rivers, the Mandakini and the Alaknanda appear rushing to meet each other. The mingling of these waters is an unforgettable sight for the visitors. This enchanting scene can be viewed from a vantage point near the Rudra Tourist Hotel. The confluence can be reached by a long flight of steps. On way to this point, there is a small temple dedicated to Jagdamba Devi, where the Goddess Durga is worshipped under this name.
Here also, is the ancient Temple of Rudranathji where Shiva is worshipped in the form of Rudranath. It is said that the sage, Narad, meditated here for several years, so as to attain perfection in the science of music. Shiva being pleased, blessed Narad and granted his cherished wish and thus the sage became a repository of Shastric music. Only 3 km away off the main Yatra route is the temple of Koteshwar Mahadev on the bank of Alaknanda. In addition to the temple there also is a cave temple wherein are enshrined some natural shivlingas. The surroundings are beautiful with waters and the precipitous rocks blending into each other.
Only a few years back, a new district of Rudra Prayag was carved out of Chamoli, Tehri and Pauri districts as a result of which Sri Kedarnath now comes in the Rudraprayag District while Sri Badrinath continues to remain in Chamoli district. Rudraprayag now is the capital of the new district of the same name. The population of the main town is nearly 10000 people, but being the district head quarters, a few villages around have been brought under the town area thus raising the population to about 15 thousand. Due to paucity of open land the town is getting congested and a bypass road has been constructed for Sri Kedarnath.
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