Kedarnath Temple, Uttaranchal
About Kedarnath Tourism
This is another important holy town of Uttaranchal drawing thousands and thousands of pilgrims every year. At a height of Kedarnath is 3,584 metres, the temple is abode to one of the twelve major jyotirlings of Kedar or Lord Shiva in the country. Blessed with some great scenic beauty, Kedarnath is also the origin of River Mandakini. Kerdarnath is among the Chardhams, or the four pilgrimages which every Hindu must take to attain salvation. Kedarnath falls in the Rudraprayag district of Uttaranchal, the adjoining Chamoli district has more then 200 shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva but Kedarnath, among them is the most revered.
History of Kedarnath
The Kedarnath temple history dates back to the times of Mahabharata. The legend has it that Pandavas, after killing their brothers in the battle of Kurukshetra, wanted to seek blessings of Lord Shiva to atone their sins. However, Lord Shiva constantly kept eluding them and kept fleeing from one place to another. During this time, he took the form of a bull and stayed in Kedarnath. While Pandavas followed him there, he made a dive towards the ground and left his hump there. This conical protrusion is worshipped as the idol. His other parts are worshipped at other places, arms at Tungnath, mouth at Rudranath, naval at Madmaheshwar and hair at Kalpeshwar. Together with Kedarnath these shrines are called Panch Kedar.
The present temple of Kedarnath was built by Adi Guru Shankaracharya
in 8th century adjacent to the site where Pandavas had built a temple.
It is a mighty structure standing in the middle of a plateau with snow
covered peaks on the periphery. The temple is believed to be more then
1000 years old. The architecture of the temple is exquisite, the walls
are embellished with scenes from mythological stories and images of
In the sanctorum of the temple is the conical lingam that is mainly considered Shiva in his Sadashiva form. The temple also has a 'Garbha Griha' for assemblies and a 'Mandap' for gatherings. Large slabs of grey stones form the temple, it is a matter of surprise that such a structure was built so many years ago without any technology.
Just behind the temple of Kedarnath rest Adi Guru Shankaracharya, his samadhi. People believe that Adi Guru Shankaracharya took samadhi at an early age of 32 after establishing the four pilgrimages or the Chardhams.
Two kilometres from the temple is this beautiful lake where ice floating on the water makes it a beautiful sight. It is believed that the eldest of Pandavas, Yudhishthir departed to heavens from here.
This is a beautiful lake six kilometres from Kedarnath. Set in a picturesque setting, the clear waters of the lake are surrounded by lofty hills from all sides.
Gaurikund To Kedarnath
The trekking to Kedarnath begins from Gaurikund, 14 kilometres from here. There is a temple dedicated to Gauri, wife of lord Shiva here. Also in the vicinity are thermal springs believed to be infused with medicinal properties. It is believed that Gauri had meditated at this place.
This is the meeting place of two important Himalayan rivers, river Son Ganga and river Mandakini. The place is twenty kilometres from Kedarnath. Temperature of the lake is also very low most of the time.
Twenty five kilometres from Kedarnath is this revered place which was witness to Lord Shiva tying knot with Goddess Parvati. The eternal Flame which burns here even today is said to have been the witness to their marriage.
The nearest airport is Jolly Grant , 251 kilometres from Kedarnath.
The nearest railheads are Rishikesh (234 kms) and Kotdwar ( 260 kms).
There is a regular bus service from Rishikersh and Kotdwar for Kedarnath. Private taxis can also be hired to these places. Trek distance to Kedarnath from Rambara is 6 kms and Gaurikund is 14 kms. Other major distances are Sonaprayag (20 kms), Guptakashi (49 kms), Ukhimath (59 kms) and Chamoli (138 kms). These days you can also opt for the Kedarnath helicopter service. There are daily services helicopter to Kedarnath. So more info Badrinath Kedarnath map will help you. And once you are there do take lots of Kedarnath temple photos, but do not take camera inside the shrine.
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