Rurukshetra: One of the four Dhams of Nepal

Historical Background of the Rurukshetra

The cause of Rurukshetra is the river Gandaki. Ruru Kanya, Rishikesh, Bhrigutungeshwar etc. developed and became Ruru Kshetradham because of the glory of Gandaki and various sages did penance in its coastal area. The name of this river is Gandaki because it came as sweat from Lord Vishnu's cheek (Gand). Similarly, it is believed that Gandaki was named Gandaki because it was pleased by the penance of the sage Gandaka. This river is also known as Krishna Gandaki or Kali Gandaki because it is the color of Krishna. As Kaligandaki is mentioned in the Mahatmya Puranas, it seems that sages came here to do tapas (meditation). It is mentioned that taking a bath in Kaligandaki is a hundred times more meritorious than taking a bath in Kaligandaki. Since Shaligrams with many types of chakras are found in this river, Yin is also called Chakranadi. Gaurishankar leaves from the arms of Damodar Kund in the Himalayas and passes through Mukti Kshetra Rurukshetra and goes to the Harihar region of Sonpur in India. Kali Gandaki in India merges into the river. Thus the head of the river Gandaki is Mukti Kshetra, the heart is Ruru Kshetra and the foot is Harihar Kshetra.

Kali Gandaki is the only river where Shaligram is found. It is written in the Kartik Mahatmya that Gajendra the elephant was caught by a planet in this river and when Lord Vishnu killed the planet with his Sudarshan Chakra, Shaligram became a forest after the rock was crushed by the chakra. There is no need to perform pranapratistha when worshiping Shaligrama as a deity with a chakra symbol found inside the river Gandaki.

Lord Ramchandra bathed in Gandaki at the time of Digvijaya and visited Pashupatinath through Harihar area, sixteen thousand princesses worshiped Ramchandra on the shores of Gandaki in the Treta Yuga, Lord Krishna's brother Valram came to bathe in Gandaki to wash away Suta murder, Rajarishi Bharata performed penance on the shores of Gandaki, etc. have been In this way, there are many examples where salvation can be achieved only by bathing in the river Gandaki.

In this way, he got salvation only by bathing in the river Gandaki. Due to the glory of Gandaki, Devadatta Rishi of Bhrigukul performed a long and severe penance in the gulf of the place where the bank of Gandaki is now Devadatta Park. Suspecting that his penance would shake Indrasana, Lord Indra sent Gandharvas, Apsaras and Kamadeva to break his penance. Devadatta Rishi. Approaching the holy hermitage where he was doing penance, the Gandharvas started singing in melodious tones. Apsaras started dancing. Kamadeva hit the opportune moment and hurled an aphrodisiac flower at the sage. This environment did not concentrate the sage's attention. He started wandering around the ashram. At the same time, his eyes "Pramlocha" Apsara named Namaki went up. Approached the Apsara. The sage was fascinated by her sarcasm and came close while talking to Apsara. After that he spent some time with all the three Apsaras.

With the passage of time, wisdom dawned on the sage. Disillusioned with his work, he left the Apsara at that place and headed north along the banks of the Gandaki in search of a secluded austerity. After going a little further, he saw a beautiful hermitage and took a bath in Gandaki and performed a long and rigorous penance in that hermitage. Pleased by his penance, Mahadev appeared. As a result of the sage's penance, Shivalingas appeared at that place. This place is called Bhrigutungeshwar where God appeared through the penance of Bhrigu Rishi. In this way Mahadeva appeared, the knowledge received from God and Bhrigu or Devadatta Rishi obtained salvation from his prasad.

Even though the sage left there, Pramlocha Apsara spent some time in that ashram. She was conceived by a sage. She gave birth to a daughter. After the birth of the girl, she left the girl at that place and went to heaven. The girl was raised by milking the deer that wandered around the hermitage. Deer is called "Ruru" and the girl who grew up with milk from Ruru was called "Rurukanya". Rurukanya grew up and towards the end of her teenage years, she became absorbed in the severe penance of Lord Vishnu. The effect of his supernatural austerities shone on his body and the Ashram itself began to shine with that Tapomaya Tej.

Lord Vishnu was pleased with Ruru Kanya's severe penance and appeared in front of her. Absorbed in samadhi and became stable like a stone, it entered his body and activated his senses and appeared in front of him. She was very happy that Vishnu appeared in front of her and bowed down to the Lord. Lord Vishnu said, O girl, I am very pleased with your rigorous austerities. Because of that Lord Vishnu left that place as Rishikesh. Rishikesh is the form of God who entered the senses of Ruru Kanya and made her active. In other words, the senses are called "Rishika" and the "Ish" (owner) of the senses is "Rishikesh". Also, Lord Vishnu gave another boon to Ruru Kanya. Because he gave the boon that your body will be the best among all the shrines and this area will be famous with your name, in the name of Ruru Kanya. The name of this area came to be "Rurukshetra". After that, Rurukanya left her body and got grace from God, so she did not get salvation.

In this way, the famous temples and shrines were built here. Bhrigutungeshwar and Rishikesh are located in the Palpa district on the coast of holy Kaligandaki where sages Devadatta, Rurukanya and many sages of the Bhrigu clan practiced penance, this area is one of the four dhams of Nepal and the entire rural municipality became Ruru


Rurukshetra (Ridi), known as a holy place of pilgrimage since ancient times, is the confluence of Gulmi, Palpa and Syangja districts.

Located about 70 kilometers north of Butwal, the commercial capital of western Nepal, this area is the gateway to Gulmi district. It is located at an altitude of 1800 feet above sea level. Its natural structure looks like a valley as there is a flat land surrounded by hills on all sides.

This place can be reached by road from Kathmandu via Butwal-Tansen Road. All kinds of private and rented vehicles can be found here. You can also reach Gautam Buddha International Airport by air. All the facilities including paved road, communication, electricity, hotel, education and entertainment have made this place accessible.

Located on the banks of the Kaligandaki, the Ridi Bazar was completely devastated by severe floods in 2018 BS. Due to which a large amount of property including historical and religious heritage was damaged.

New houses, temples, pavilions and gardens were built after the catastrophe also added to its beauty. The glory of Rurukshetra on the banks of Kaligandaki is mentioned in Puranas and scriptures. In the Baraha Purana, the mythological history of the Ruru region is described, while in Sri swasthani, it is also mentioned that the tooth of Sati Devi was felt at this place (Bhirgutungeshwar).

Rurukshetra is also one of the four religious regions of Nepal (Ruru kshetra, Barah kshetra, Pashupati kshetra and Mukti kshetra). This place is also known as Banaras of Nepal.

In his book 'Nepal', foreign scholar Percival Landon has commented that all the features available in Banaras are similar to Rurukshetra, comparing it with Benaras and calling it "Nepal's Benaras".

Shaligram, a symbol of Lord Bishnu, can also be found here. Therefore, this area is also known as Shalagram area. Rare shaligrams of chakras and various sizes are found here. There are also many fairs throughout the year. The main fair is held here for three days during Maghe Sankranti and two days during Rishikesh festival. The Maghe Sankranti Mela here is one of the largest fairs in the country.

Also, a big fair is held here every Saturday of the month of Aunshi, Purnima, Eclipse and Baishakh throughout the year. The great feature of this region is that there are more than 40 temples within a single cell area. The Rishikesh Temple here is considered to be one of the most famous temples in Nepal which has even been nominated for the tentative list of World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The confluence of three-dimensional features such as the presence of Lord Rishikesh, the flow of Kaligandaki and the availability of Shaligram has made the Ruru region a distinctive religious identity. The area is not only a religious site but also the main commercial hub of the region. Since ancient times, it has been the trading center of Gulmi, Palpa, Syangja, Arghakhanchi, Baglung, Rukum and Rolpa. Even before road transport was available here, people used to carry goods by themselves and by mule.

In ancient times, this place was suitable for visiting Bhot (Himalayan Valley), Nepal Valley and Madhes (Plain Land of Terai). It is the gateway to Gulmi district and connects Arghakhanchi, Bbaglung and Syangja districts by road. The region has been made a load-shedding free zone by generating 2.4 megawatts of electricity from wasted river water at a time when the country is facing an extreme energy crisis. 

Another feature here is the historical aspect. In history, Palpa is the Power Centre of Palpali King Manimukunda Sen, Bhimsen Thapa, Jung Bahadur Rana and other kings. Also, Bhimsen Thapa has built a temple and a pavilion in this place. Similarly, Shri 3 Juddha Shamsher Rana had come to live in this area. He built a palace in Argali for the same purpose, which still exists today.

Ruru Kshetra
Ruru Kshetra Night View
Ruru Kshetra


"Rurukshetra" is the mythological name of this place. It is also called Ridi. There is a lot of views today about how it got its name. Rurukanya, because the deer breastfed and raised the daughter of the sage Devadatta. It is believed that this place came to be known as 'Rurukshetra' after the name of such little girl who was liberated after hard penance. It is believed that the word 'Rurukshetra' was later corrupted to 'Ridi Kshetra'.

There are various religious beliefs about the Ruru region. Three debts was brought when a person is born: 1. God Debt, 2. Father/Mother Debt and 3. Sage Debt (देव ऋण, पितृ ऋण र ऋषि ऋण). It is believed that the person who bathes in the confluence of Kali Gandaki, i.e. Dobhan, flowing from the Himalayas, washes away his sins and free of debts.

Similarly, according to another belief, the word 'Ridi' comes from the Magar language. In the Magar language, 'Ri' means black and 'Di' means water. That is, it is argued that it is called 'Redi' as it is a black water flowing area (Kali Gandaki).


A long time ago, a Brahmin named Devdatta lived in Rurukshetra. He built an ashram on the banks of Kaligandaki and started doing penance. Seeing that he was engaged in very severe penance, Devraj Indra became suspicious and started breaking his penance. Accordingly, he sent a nymph named Prahmalocha to Devadatta's ashram to break his penance.

When Devdatta came out of his meditation, he started wandering around for some time Then from a distance he saw the very beautiful Prahmalocha playing a ball. Muni was fascinated by the nymph's gesture. Satisfied with her beauty, he proposed marriage and both of them tied the knot and disappeared in worldly happiness. After a while, Prahmalocha gave birth to a baby girl. After that, realizing that she had achieved her goal, she left the girl in the same ashram and went to heaven. Realizing the reality of this, Devdutt seemed to have fallen from grace. Intense resentment awoke in his heart, and then he headed north to the Bhrigu Ashram and began to perform severe penance to Lord Shiva. Seeing his penance, Lord Shiva appeared before him pleased and blessed him. The girl, who was born from Prahmalocha, was later raised by deer. In Sanskrit, deer is called Ruru. Her name was changed to Rurukanya because she was raised by the Ruru.

Later, she began to do severe penance to Lord Narayan. Seeing his hard penance, Lord Narayan was pleased and appeared before him and asked for a gift. Hearing such words of God, Rurukanya begged, "Oh! Nath, if you give me a gift, may you sit here in the form of Chaturbahu (Four-handed) Sri Narayan, and may this region be famous by my name." After hearing his prayer, the Lord said, "From now on, this place will be known as Rurukshetra."

"Those who bathe in this area and visit Chaturbahu Rishikesh will get Salvation," said the Lord.

Due to the blessings of God, Ruru area has become a holy area since that day. This area became very sacred and became known in the Hindu world as Rurukshetra by the name of Ruru Kanya. Located on the banks of the sacred Kaligandaki and Gandaki, which flows from the border of Gulmi and Palpa to the northwest of Tansen Bazar in western Nepal, the site is historically and religiously important. Ridi is a major market in the region. A first model three-faced bridge in Nepal, is constructed here, which connects Gulmi, Palpa and Syangja.

Ridi 3 faced bridge


  • Ramanam Stupa
  • Rurukanya Temple (Rishikesh Complex)
  • Radha Krishna Temple
  • Shantabhakteshwar, Sherbhakteshwar, Shantamukteshwar
  • Kalika Temple
  • Bishnu Temple
  • Kanchaneshwar Mahadev
  • Bhirgutungeshwar Mahadev
  • Ram Temple
  • Bhagwati Temple (Ratamata)
  • Aurravashram Siddha Mandir (Argali)
  • Kalika Temple (Bhatkuwa)

There are more than 40 temples.

** Most of the Pictures shown above are taken from the Ruru Network's website and 3 faced bridge picture is taken from The Rising Nepal.

#Post is Updated on Nov 18, 2023

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