About Agustmuni

Based on the banks of River Mandakini, Agustmuni, is one of the sacred destinations of the country. According to historical facts, this is the pious location where Rishi Agastya meditated for years and that is how the region got its name. Falling under the jurisdiction of Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand state Agustmuni is a tehsil with the headquarters in Agustmuni town.

Situated at a distance of 18 km from Rudraprayag, this location has excellent scenic extravaganza which pleases the heart of every tourist. This is an important location which falls on the Char Dham Yatra and tourist prefer to spend time here. Especially for the spell-bounding and awe-striking views of the cascading Mandakini River and the sky-high hilly peaks bordering the area and makes it feel more like a place cradled in the lap of Mother Nature. The place has an excellent ambience that tends to refresh the mind and soul and rejuvenates the body.

About Agustmuni

One of the primary attractions of this place is the pious temple which is dedicated to Lord Shankar and where the greatest sage, Agustmuni, used to sit and worship the name of God. Travelers from various places of the country come here to visit the sacred land and the holy temple to seek the blessings.

Apart from this for those visiting Kedarnath this is an important stop especially for the helipad services available here which straight away links Agustmuni to the pious shrine of Kedarnath. Pawan Hans is one of the major company providing helicopter services on this route. The flying time is 45 minutes and the first flight departs at 6:30 in the morning and the last that returns to Agustmini is scheduled at 11:10 pm. These are regular flights and are quite popular mode of conveyance for the visitors to Kedarnath. As a result of this service from Agustmuni, the tehsil has become popular more among the tourists, boosting the economy and facilities available here.

Agustmuni Temple

With immense archeological and historical significance, this temple is one of religious sites of Uttarakhand state. Being a major attraction for the tourists of Rudraprayag district, this temple receives the honor of being mentioned in various Hindu scriptures detailing the rigorous and meticulous meditation of Agustmuni. The place has a beautiful yet old temple of Lord Shankar which is designed with complex figures of various Hindu gods and goddess. All other idols are beautifully sculpted. This is a temple with a pyramid shaped structure with golden gilt, similar to many popular Hindu temples with multicolored windows and doors. A big idol of Lord Hanuman decorates the entrance of the temple. The main temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and a August Kund is based in the temple.

History behind Agustmuni Temple

Agustmuni Temple is the place where Sage Agusta used to meditate. But as per historical influence the place has suffered huge damage due to extensive floods. The whole temple was ruined with nothing left but the remains of the pious shrine. However, after the incident a local devotee and a wise soul of the place saw the temple in his dream. People came to visit the place and found the ruins and the Kund where he used to sit and meditate. In the same place his idol was established and the temple was renovated.

Mythological Significance of Agustmuni Temple

This temple has huge mythological significance and it is encircled with various stories regarding its origin and establishment. Different legendary stories are mentioned in various Hindu scripts but the most believed is the one which refers to two dangerous monsters living in this area before Agustmuni and who terrified the people of the locality. These two monsters were named as Aatapi and Vatapi. The monsters used to live in disguise here and used to call people and innocent saints to their place for lunch. After inviting, one of the monsters use to take the shape of a dwarf and hide in the food offered. The other monster in disguise would offer the food and once the invitee consumed the food, the monster would reveal him from disguise and then call the other who had entered the body through the food. After hearing the call he used to cut out the body of the person and killed him in the process. Later they used to have feast on the dead person’s body. This way they used to kill innocent lives and spread terror in the area.

To safeguard themselves from these terrifying monsters, the people of the village went to Saint Agusta for help and asked him to find a solution. Hearing the same Rishi Agusta went to the place to eat food with the monsters. As soon as the monster placed the food and started the same trick, Saint Agusta threw his divine spells on the monster which instantly killed him. The other one was killed in a fierce battle with the saint. This way Agustmuni helped the people of the locality and in gratitude the temple was created.

Geography of Agustmuni

This particular region is located on the banks of the only and main River Mandakini, and is one of the major blocks of Rudraprayag district. Being a prominent part of Garhwal division, Agustmuni is based at a height of 1000meters from the sea level. On the northern side Agustmini remains bounded by the Ukhimath block of Rudraprayag district, on the south west by district Garhwal, on the north west is the Jhakoli block of Rudrapraya, on the west is Tehri Garhwal whereas on the east it remains framed by the Chamoli district. The total area of Agustmuni is around 1274.11sqkm.

Population and Demographics of Agustmuni

As per census 2011 the total population of the market town is 120,411 and the major languages spoken here are Garhwali and Hindi. However, there are some Urdu speaking inhabitants too. The sex ratio of the area is around 1015 females per 1000 male. The tehsil has a total count of 398 villages of 382 villages are inhabited and remaining 16 are uninhabited.

Climate of Agustmuni

Agustmuni is characterized by chilly and frosty winters and soothing summers. May is the hottest month when the temperature remains between 200C to 340C. The chilly winters have a temperature range between 00C to 60C. The average temperature during the months of April, May and June is the best even for tourists' visit. The monsoon season receives sufficient rainfall which damages the road and there is always a threat of landslides on this hilly area. The average rainfall in the area is around 1230mm.

Administration of Agustmuni

Agustmuni is an important tehsil of Rudraprayag district and is governed by the Agustmuni Nagar Panchayat. The area is divided into 4 major wards, namely Tali Bagar, Baniyani, Vijaynagar and Agustmuni. Tali Bagar has a total of 351 households, Baniyani 103, Vijaynagar 187 and Agustmuni 276. Among this around 713 are well built pucca houses. Working on administration are several Gram Panchyats of the various villages based here.

List of Villages under Agustmuni Block

Agar, Akhori, Agustmuni, Bachani, Bainji, Bairagana, Bajun, Bamsu, Bangaon, Bangoli, Baniyari, Bansou, Baramvari, Barav, Barsu, Bashti, Bawai, Beena, Bhaisgaon, Bharaj, Bhatwari, Bhatwari,Sunar, Bhaunsal, Bheeri, Bhunaka, Bijrakot, Biron, Bora, Chamak, Chamswara, Chandrapuri, Chapar, Chauki,Barsil, Chaunthala, Chhinka, Chopra,Ii, Dadoli, Dalsingi, Dangi,,Singhata, Dankot, Darmvari, Daula, Deewali, Dhar,Tondala, Dharkot, Dungar, Dungara, Dungri, Falai, Fegu, Gadmil, Gadora, Gahar, Gandhari, Geer,Bhutare, Ghandiyalka, Ghimtoli, Ginwala, Gorana, Gugali, Gunau, Gwar,Thapli, Gwefar, Haat, Ishala, Jagoth, Jahangi, Jaikandi, Jakhani, Jalai,Sursal, Jarmwar, Jasholi, Jaula, Jondala, Juntai, Kakola, Kameda, Kamsal, Kanda, Kandai, Kandai,Bainji, Kandai,Jaggi, Kandara, Kandi, Kansili, Karndhar, Kaushalpur, Kera, Khankra, Khatena, Kinjhani, Kodima, Kokhandi, Kolu,Bhannu, Kot, Kothagi, Kumoli,Malkoti, Kunda,Dankot, Kurjhan, Kwali, Kwalli, Kwili, Kyark,Barsuri, Kyunja, Kyuri, Ladoli, Lodla, Loli, Machkandi, Madola, Mahar, Maikoti, Malkhi, Maniguh, Maroda, Moli, Nag,Jagai, Nag,Kakora,Khal, Nagrasu, Naini,Paundar, Nakot, Nari, Narkota, Nawasu, Nisani, Pali, Pata, Pavon, Peeda, Phalasi, Pillu, Pipli, Pokhari, Ratura, Rumasi, San, Sanagu, Sari, Satera, Sauri, Shivanandi, Shivpuri, Silla,Waman,Gaon, Singhata, Sod,Bhargaon, Sumerpur, Syund, Syuni, Taljaman, Tarag, Temriya, Tewari, Thapal,Gaon, Tilwara, Tinsoli, Tuna and Veeroun.

Economy of Agustmuni

The main mode of occupation in Agustmuni is agriculture. Cultivation of various rabi and khariff crops are seen in the river terraces and the gentle hill slopes. As far as Agustmuni is concerned, the maximum cultivated land here is used for cultivation of rabi crops. Wheat has huge production in Agustmuni followed by the second most important crop Barley. However, more and more farmers are lessening the production of Barley as they are cultivating wheat which according to them have more monetary benefits. In rabi season some of the best quality secondary crops like oil seeds are grown in Agustmuni only. Pulses are also grown here but not in very large amount.

Various vegetables are also grown in small quantities in the area but used mainly for local markets and self consumption of the households here. One of the most economical crop grown in this region in considerable amount is potatoe. As per the Agricultural Society, potato farming can be done in this area if proper facility of supplying irrigation water can be regularized here. The khariff crops available here include ramdana, jhangora, madua and paddy.Paddy is one of the major crop grown in Agustmuni. As per the statistics, it has a production of almost 30 quintals per hectares. Mandua crop is also a profitable option for farming here. Apart from this there are other crops grown in various seasons which includes multiple vegetables, chua, cheena, ogal, etc.

Horticulture crops are also quite common here with mango and guava fruit gardens spread across. As for live stock business, Agustmuni does not play a major role. Most of the families don’t have sheeps or goats especially because they don’t have enough financial support to maintain. However, poultry business has a little better performance here. Previously, the people of Agustmuni used to keep porters and mules to help the pilgrims coming through the way to reach Kedarnath and this was one of the major source of income here.

The people of Agustmuni, however, get involved in fishery business due to favorable climatic conditions as well the tributaries and inland waters of Mandakini River which make fishing possible. It is an extreme potential business but needs proper training of the fish farmers here to book the best profits.

There are no major industries in Agustmuni. Some small-scale business operates in the region but majorly it is tourism and hospitality industry which is dominant here. In fact, people here used to earn quite a lot in the yatra season, during May to July, which would support their livelihood for the rest of the year. The major occupation of the people here apart from farming includes labour, mason, driver, painter, tailor, carpenter, shopkeeper and milkman. Handicraft and handloom works, weaving, making various home décor items, candles are also done by the locals. Usually these items get a huge sale during the tourist season.

Natural Disaster in Agustmuni

14th to 17th June 2013 worked havoc on various places of Uttarakhand due to a multi-day cloudburst which caused massive destruction on the face of the earth. Uttarakhand experienced massive floods and devastating landslides which resulted into a loss of thousands of lives as well as huge amount of revenue in terms of damage in various cities, towns and prominent tourist destinations. This disaster was caused due to 75% more rainfall than the standard benchmark in the area which caused melting of Chorabari Glacier which again is also the origin of Mandakini river. This happened at a height of 3800 meters and Mandakini river was erupted and caused huge floods specially damaging various places along line including Agustmuni.

A huge destruction was viewed in Agustmuni tehsil during the floods. Houses and properties were destroyed, roads were damaged and blocked due to landslides, and loss of lives made it more tragic. The agricultural fields which form an important medium of earning suffered massive damaged and lost its fertility and soil quality. Livestock maintained here also suffered a lot as most of them were dead.

Culture of Agustmuni

Culture of Agustmuni specially depicts the rich tradition and customs of the area. Mythology and religious sentiments are extremely strong here among the people of the inhabitants. They encourage festivals and fairs in celebration of the divine Lord and prefer to hear or narrate the mythological stories inspiring people for years. At various occasions they enact these mythological tales of gods and goddesses and spread awareness, wise talks and also entertain all. In case of music and dance the choice of the people here are folk songs and folk dances like Ghariyali or Thadiya dance performed during the Hindu utsav of Vasant Panchami.

Fairs and festivals are the main source of socializing and entertainment here. Among other the main fair celebrated in Agustmuni is the fair during Baishaki which attracts various tourists as well as the locals. It is also an excellent medium to boost small business and pocket some profits.

Among the major festivals celebrated here are Ramnavami, Raksha Bandhan, Nag Panchami, Janmashtami, Vasant Panchami, Dussehra, Makar Sankranti, Diwali, Holi and Shivaratri. The Shiva idol is exclusively decorated at Agustmuni temple during the Shivaratri; special puja is arranged on that day. Devotees come from villages around to pay homage to the God on this pious day.

Society in Agustmuni

Agustmuni is a place which has suffered a lot during the 2013 Uttarakhand floods. To support the inhabitants here with every sort of facilities, training, food and education there are several NGOs and independent social workers working in the area. The main aim of these workers is to revive normal living conditions here and help the inhabitants with various training and skills to earn livelihood and become independent again. Embroidery weaving, shawl stitching, candle making, knitting designer woolen clothes, hospitality training, dairy business, bee keeping, spices making and many other small scale job skills are taught by the NGOs here.

Food in Agustmuni

The staple food of the people of Agustmuni is rice, wheat and potatoes. Pulses like urad, tur, gahat, lopia and masoor are consumed a lot. People of Agustmuni are mainly vegetarian and there are not many shops with availability of non vegetarian foods. Even the local food joints and hotels does not have availability of non vegetarian foods.

Utility Services in Agustmuni

There are not many services available in Agustmuni; whatever services were available remain ruined after the 2013 flood disaster. However, banking facility is available in Agustmuni with popular nationalized banks having branches here. The two banks which have branches in Agustmuni are

Punjab National Bank, Ratura Branch
IFSC Code: PUNB0148600
MICR Code: 246024957
Ratura Village, Agustmuni Tehsil
Rudraprayag district, Uttarakhand 246171
Phone: 01364-239218

State Bank of India, Nagrasu Branch
IFSC Code: SBIN0011500
MICR Code: 246002011
Nagrasu Village, Agustmuni Tehsil
Rudraprayag district, Uttarakhand
Phone: 01364 239518

State Bank of India, Ladoli Branch
IFSC Code: SBIN0009954
MICR Code: 246002429
Ladoli Village, Agustmuni Tehsil
Rudraprayag district, Uttarakhand 246429
Phone: 01372 372342

State Bank of India, Chandrapuri Branch
IFSC Code: SBIN0008423
MICR Code: 262002425
Chandrapuri Village, Agustmuni Tehsil
Rudraprayag district, Uttarakhand 246425
Phone: 01364 258210

Union Bank of India, Agustmuni Branch
IFSC Code: UBIN0571865
MICR Code: Non- Micr
Main Markt Po Agustmuni
Rudraprayag district, Uttarakhand 246421
Phone: 8477000406

Healthcare Facilities in Agustmuni

Though Agustmuni itself does not have much exposure in this category, all cases of medical treatment here falls under the jurisdiction of District Hospital, Rudraprayag. Agustmuni, however, has a PHC centre located in the heartland of the Tehsil. Qualified doctors and experienced staff are present in the health centre to support the immediate medical assistance. Medicines are available in these healthcare centers and some are given for free by the Government.

For any critical cases one can always refer to the district hospital which has all facilities to cater any emergency cases and critical diseases.

Tourism in Agustmuni

Agustmuni is one of the prominent tourist destinations on Char Dham Yatra route with huge religious and historical significance. Far away from the din and bustle of city and urbanization, this beautiful place on the banks of Mandakini river is a treat to the eyes specially for its extensive natural beauty.

The primary attraction of Agustmuni Tehsil is the Agustmuni Temple located here and named after the greatest Saint Priyaranjan popularly known as Saint Agusta who used to meditate here. Almost every devotee, who travel to Kedarnath for offering the prayers to the Mighty Lord, visits this temple of Agustmuni on their way.

Apart from the pious shrine located here there are various other attractions which can also be visited for a more entertaining and fun filled trip. Some of the major attractions near to Agustmuni include

Gauchar
Gauchar is a small town located in Karnaprayag under Chamoli district. With excellent scenic extravagance it also hosts the biggest trade fair of Uttarakhand area. This fair is named as Gauchar Mela and it usually takes place in the month of November and lasts for a week. It is located at a distance of 31.8kms from Agustmuni and can be travelled by a hired taxi.

Kartik Swami
Based in the serene backdrop of Garhwal Himalayas, lies the beautiful temple of Kartik Swami dedicated to the first son of Lord Shiva. The altitude of the temple is 3050 mts and the best attraction is the trekking route to the temple. Located in Rudraprayag district the temple is based at a distance of 3km trek from Kanakchauri village.

Koteshwar Mahadev Temple
Situated close to the Rudraprayag town, on the banks of River Alakananda lies the beautiful Koteshwar Mahadev Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is located in a cave and it is believed that Lord Shiva meditated here on his way to Kedarnath. This temple is located at a distance of 3km from Rudraprayag and it can be easily reached by taxi.

Gopeshwar

One of the important towns of Garhwal region, Gopeshwar is famous for its natural pictorial view and the temples based here. The most prominent religious significance of Gopeshwar is the prehistoric temple of Lord Shiva. The distance of Gopeshwar from Agustmuni is 82km and it can be travelled by local buses or private taxi via NH58.

Hotels in Agustmuni

Agustmuni is a prominent place on the way to Kedarnath, the reason why many pilgrims prefer to stay at this location and take a halt before they travel further for Kedarnath. Also the religious significance of the area is a prominent reason for staying in the town. Though there are not many hotels and guest houses present in the town but there are some with complete facilities in regards to cleanliness, hygiene, spacious rooms, 24 hrs room service, vegetarian meals, car parking facilities, etc.

Some of the prominent hotels in Agustmuni are
Hotel Priyadarshini
Silyasaur, Kedarnath Highway
Rudraprayag Uttarakhand
Price range: Rs 1400 onwards

GMVN Tourist Bunglow, Chandrapuri
Chandrapuri Village, Agustmuni Tehsil
Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand 246425
Price range: Rs 500 –Rs 1000

Apart from this there are ashrams and guest houses too which can be opted for cheap yet comfortable accommodation. It is always best to book accommodation in advance due to huge rush during the tourist season of May and June.

Transport Services in Agustmuni

Transport facility is quite compatible in Agustmuni. The nearest airport to the town is the Jolly Grant Airport based at a distance of 107 kms and which has flights to popular cities of the country. There is no railway station in Agustmuni, the reason why one has to travel to Rishikesh which is the nearest major railway station at a distance of 87 km and connects various cities of North India. One can also travel to Virbhadra which has considerable train connectivity and lies at a distance of 92 km from Agustmuni. Private taxis and local buses are also common to travel to the nearby places or to the nearest railhead or airport. There are various car hire agencies in Rudraprayag district having operation in Agustmuni too.

Quick Facts of Agustmuni

Languages Hindi, Garwali, Urdu
District Rudraprayag
Pin Code 246421
Famous For - Pilgrim
Best Season April to June
Std Code - 01377
Altitude - 1000 m
Weather - Summer 20-34°C, Winter 0-6°C

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