One among the chhota Char Dham and one among the five of Panch Kedar pilgrimages (please visit the legend of Panch Kedar for legendary history of Kedarnath temple) dedicated to lord Shiva, Kedarnath is situated in Chamoli district of Dev Bhoomi Uttarakhand at an altitude of 3,581 meters above the sea level. Majestically jeweled on the head of river Mandakini, Kedarnath is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of lord Shiva.
When you are going to Kedarnath paying visit to all Panch Kedar, you will start from Tungnath and reach Rudranath then you go to Madhyamaheshwar, Kalpeshwar is the forth and Kedarnath is the last of Panch Kedar. In the return journey Kedarnath is the first pilgrimage of Panch Kedar.
14Km trek from Gaurikund, Kedarnath lingam is pyramidal and at the entrance of the temple sits the rock statue of bull representing Nandi. Statue of Pandava brothers, Draupadi, lord Krishna and Virabhadra are other attractions of the temple. It is believed that Adi Shankaracharya revived the Kedarnath temple along with Badrinath and other pilgrimages in Dev Bhoomi Uttarakhand. Adi Shankaracharya is believed to attain Mahasamadhi in Kedarnath. The Samadhi mandir (temple) of Adi Shankaracharya lies behind Kedarnath temple.
Kedarnath remains closed during winter due to heavy snow fall, the shrine of Kedarnath is brought to Ukhimath and worshipped there during winter season. Rawals from Karnataka are the head priests of Kedarnath temple and pooja is carried by the Rawal’s assistant in his instruction.
Kedarnath experienced dreadful flood in 2013 June 16 which claimed hundreds of lives and physical entities. The Kedarnath temple was saved and Hindu devotees believe that it is the power of lord Shiva.
Kedarnath Temple | Best Time to Visit
You can visit Kedarnath temple anytime from April to October escaping the monsoon months. Kedarnath temple remains open from April/May to October depending upon the Hindu calendar. Monsoon leads to landslide, road blocks and creates hazards to your trip.
Kedarnath Temple | How to Reach?
You need to either trek through a paved path from Gaurikund to Kedarnath or you can also sit on the horse back and reach Kedarnath temple. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Dehradun, 21Km from Rishikesh. The nearest railhead is Rishikesh railway station and Gaurikund is well connected with rest of the part of Uttarakhand state.
Route to Kedarnath Temple
Gangotri – Harsil – Uttarkashi – Chingalisaur – Tehri – Ghansali – Chibitiga – Mayali – Tilwada – Agastyamuni – Kund – Guptakashi – Phata – Gaurikund – Kedarnath
Dehradun – Rishikesh – Narendranagar – Chamba – Tehri – Ghansali – Chibitiga – Mayali – Tilwada – Agastyamuni – Kund – Guptakashi – Phata – Gaurikund – Kedarnath