Tapovan Temple also known as “Rudreshwar Shiv Mandir” is nestled in the wilderness of Dehradun. Tapovan is a Sanskrit word which comes from two root words- ‘Tapasya’ meaning penance or austerity and ‘Vana’ meaning forest or wilderness. Therefore, Tapovan literally suggests a forest for spiritual practice.
Snuggled near Raipur, Tapovan Mandir is the place where Guru Dronacharya indulged in a serious penance. On entering inside, one can see a giant statue of Lord Shiva erected at the temple. A Shivalinga is also installed inside the sanctum santorum of the temple. Stone effigies of other Hindu Gods and Goddesses like Lord Hanuman, Goddess Durga, Kali etc. can also be seen here.
In the early ages places where the great sages engaged in serious spiritual retreat, came to be known as Tapovans. Since Guru Dronacharya practiced meditation here therefore, Tapovan temple was built in his name. You can explore the tempting environs of Tapovan by following the placid trail that leads to the dense woods and finally opens up to the view of Tapovan Temple.
Since the area is quaint and peaceful, it is perfect for indulging in Yoga/Meditation. Many shutterbugs come here to capture the beauty of its placid surroundings. One can visit the Tibetan Colony or trek all the way up to Nalapani Fort Memorial and Sagar Tal, a perennial river that fills up in Monsoon season. Some of the other nearby attractions include Mal Devta, Sahastradhara, Paltan Market, Sai Darbar Temple, Dehradun Zoo etc.
The temple remains open for its devotees from 6.00 am – 8.00 pm daily and can be visited all around the year.
Tapovan Temple is a popular place of worship as it was here that Guru Dronacharya, the teacher of Pandavas and Kauravas indulged in a prolong penance. There is also an ashram dedicated to Guru Dronacharya known as Guru Dronacharya ashram. It is a perfect place to find peace and to indulge in Yoga/Meditation.
An old Rudraksha tree can also be seen inside the temple complex. Many devotees collect Rudraksha from here during Diwali or when the tree is laden with Rudraksha seeds. Rudraksha is considered as the tear drops of Lord Shiva and is used as prayer beads in Hinduism.
During Shivratri, many devotees come here to pay obeisance at the temple. The temple also hosts a grand fair during the auspicious occasion and many devotees from far-away places come to enjoy the fest.
Tapovan Temple is located about 5 km from the city centre, Clock Tower towards the Nalapani area near Raipur, Dehradun. It is situated at a distance of 7 km from Dehradun railway station and around 28 km from Dehradun’s Jolly Grant airport. One can easily reach here by taking the Seema Dwar bus that runs to Nalapani daily. From here a short 10-15 minutes walk will take you to the temple.