This island represents sakhyam, being a friend.

Lord Nityananda was speaking to Sri Jiva “….Rudradvipa has been cut in two pieces by the Ganges. See how this western island has now moved to the east bank. By the Lord’s desire, no one lives on this side now. From here see Sri Sankarapura. Even from a distance, see how it beautifies the bank of the Ganges. When Sankaracarya went out to defeat all opponents, on his way to Navadvipa, he first arrived there. Within his heart, he was the topmost Vaisnava, but externally he played the role of a mayavadi, a servant of Maya. Actually, he was an incarnation of Lord Siva, and by the Lord’s order he expertly preached a covered form of Buddhism. While engaged in this way, he came to Nadia….”

Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya chapter 15

Why is this island named Rudradvipa?

The village Radupura is situated on the eastern side of the Ganga. Some people also call this place Rudrapura. Rudradvipa is said to be divided into two portions. One portion is on the eastern bank of the Ganga and the other portion is on the western bank. Due to the movement of the Ganga sometimes a portion on the western side of the Ganga moves to the eastern side and vice-versa. Thus the exact location of various places is difficult to ascertain. Sri Isana Thakura, during his parikrama with Srila Srinivasa Acarya, came to this place and gave the following explanation: “This place is now known as Radupura but previously it was called Rudradvipa. The village of Radupura has since disappeared and now only some uninhabited land remains. I will now tell you why this place was known as Rudradvipa. Sri Rudradeva was very happy within his heart knowing that Sri Gauracandra would appear in Nadia. Rudradeva, along with his followers, became mad while describing the glorious qualities of Lord Gauranga. All around him was the sound vibration of drums and various other instruments. Mahesvara was dancing ecstatically with wonderful bodily movements. By the weight of Rudra’s every step the earth was shaking.

 

Who would not become impatient to have darsana of that dance? Who would not dance when Lord Rudra is dancing? From heaven the demigods started to sprinkle flowers. Happiness increased within the hearts of all the demigods, who said, ‘Now all living entities will be free from all kinds of suffering. Before the appearance of the Lord, Rudradeva is chanting the glories of His birth. This means the Lord will appear in Nadia very soon. Our hearts will be filled with happiness to witness the birth pastimes of the Lord.’ Speaking in this way, all the demigods in heaven started dancing. Rudradeva forgot himself while chanting the glories of Lord Gauranga, who therefore became concerned about Rudra’s condition. He appeared in front of Rudradeva, invisible to anyone else. The Lord then pacified Mahadeva by saying,

‘I will fulfill your desire. I will appear very soon along with My associates.’ By hearing the words of the Lord, Rudradeva became peaceful and filled with great happiness.

He offered various prayers, glorifying Lord Gauracandra. Sri Gaurasundara embraced Rudradeva and then disappeared, leaving him very perturbed due to losing the Lord’s darsana. After some time, by the mercy of the Lord, Rudradeva again became pacified. Lord Rudra sits here along with his associates and distributes the nectar of gaura-katha. This place is very pious because Rudradeva had some pastimes here and therefore it is known as Rudradvipa.