One of the most important temples in the Himalayas, Kedarnath is
amongst the major Shiva temples of the country. Kedarnath is one
of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, and one of the Panch Kedars
and is located at the source of the river Mandakini.
According to mythology the deity of Kedarnath temple is identified
with the rump of a bull, a form assumed by Lord Shiva, when eluding
the Pandavas, who had come to repent for killing their kith and
kin, during the battle of Kurukshetra . When the Pandavas followed
him to the site, he dived into the ground leaving behind him a hump
on the surface. This conical projection is worshipped as the idol
in the temple. The remaining parts of the body are worshipped at
our other sites:-the arms (Bahu) at Tungnath, mouth (mukh) at Rudranath,
navel (nabhi) at Madmaheshwar and hair (jata) at Kalpeshwar. These
five shrines collectively are known as the Panch Kedar.
The Pandavas are given credit for building the temple of Kedarnath.
The statue of Nandi, the divine bull of Shiva, stands at the entrance
of the temple. The wall inside the temple, is exquisitely carved
with images, and the temple houses a shiva lingam, which is worshipped
by hordes of pilgrims. What is truly unique about the lingam is
that it is pyramidal.
As winter dawns in the month of November, the holy statue of Lord
Shiva, is carried down from Garhwal (Kedarkhand) to Ukhnimath, and
is reinstated at Kedarnath, in the first week of May. It is at this
time, that the doors of the temple are thrown open to pilgrims,
who flock from all parts of India, for a holy pilgrimage.
Kedarnath is situated in very scenic locales and is enveloped by
lofty, snow-covered mountains and grassy meadows covering the valleys.
The Kedar dome peak, which can be seen from great distance, is located
immediately behind the temple. The sight of the temple and it's
perpetually snowed landscape will take your breath away.
Built in the 8th
century A.D., The temple at Kedarnath is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The temple was renovated and refurbished by the religious reformer
and saint, Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century. Outside the temple
door a large statue of Nandi the bull, stands as the guardian deity.
Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya
Located behind the Kedarnath Temple is the Samadhi or the final
resting place where the saint gave up his life.
Bhairav Nath Temple
To the south of the main temple stands the temple of God Bhairav,
the deity who guards the Kedarnath Temple in winter, when it is
closed due to severe winter conditions.
1.5 km. A small lake from where Yudhishthir, the eldest of the Pandavas,
is said to have departed to heaven.
6 km. At 4135 mtr. Above sea level, this lake is extraordinary,
surrounded by high mountains and offering an excellent view of the
15 km. The trekking base to Kedarnath and the road head, this village
has a temple dedicated to Gauri and also thermal springs of medicinal
20 km. The confluence of the Son Ganga and Mandakini rivers, where
there is a diversion for Triyuginarayan.
25 km. the mythological venue where the wedding of Lord Shiva and
Parvati was solemnized. It is a short trek of 5 km from Son Prayag.
An eternal flame, which is said to have been the witness to the
marriage, burns in front of the temple even today.
49 km. Famous for the temples of Ardhnarishwar and Vishwanathji.
60 km. Winter home of Lord Kedarnath temple, and the seat of the
Rawal of Kedarnath during winter months.
73 km., Has a temple dedicated to the sage Agastya.
Situated on the Gopeshwar Ukhimath road about 40 km from Gopeshwar
at an altitude of about 2500 mtrs above sea level, Chopta is one
of the most picturesque spots in the entire Garhwal region. It provides
a breathtaking view of Himalayan ranges surrounding it.
Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun
Nearest railhead is Rishikesh : 221 km, of which 207 km. is motorable
upto Gaurikund. The remaining 14 km. has to be covered on foot or
on ponies. See Rishikesh for rail connections.
Regular Yatra bus services are available from Rishikesh and Kotdwar.
Private taxies are also available from Rishikesh.
Some major road distances are
Rambara - 6 km on foot
Gaurikund - 14 km on foot
Sonprayag - 20 km
Guptkashi - 49 km
Kund - 54 km
Agastmuni - 73 km
Tilwara - 83 km
Rudraprayag - 92 km
Ukhimath - 59 km
Dogalbhita - 83 km
Chopta - 89 km
Mandal - 117 km
Gopeshwar - 128 km
Chamoli - 138 km
Clothing: Summer - Woolen; Winters - Heavy Woolen
Language: Hindi, Garhwali
STD Code: 01372-86
General Information & Accomdation info on Kedarnath city of Uttaranchal - India