|Destination Type: Holy Places|
Amidst the dramatic mountainscapes of the majestic Kedarnath range stands one of the twelve ‘Jyotirlingas’ of Kedar or Lord Shiva. Lying at an altitude of 3584 mts. on the head of river Mandakini, the shrine of Kedarnath is amongst the holiest pilgrimages for the Hindus.
The origin of the revered temple can be found in the great epic - Mahabharata. According to legend, the Pandavas sought the blessings of Lord Shiva to atone their sins after the battle of Mahabharata. Lord Shiva eluded them repeatedly and while fleeing took refuge at Kedarnath in the form of a bull. On being followed, HE dived into the ground, leaving behind HIS hump on the surface. This conical protrusion is worshipped as the idol in the shrine.The remaining portions of Lord Shiva are worshipped at four other places - the arms (bahu) at Tungnath, mouth (mukh) at Rudranath, navel (nabhi) at Madmaheshwar and hair (jata) at Kalpeshwar. Together with Kedarnath, these places are known as the Panch Kedar.
The lingam at Kedarnath is pyramidal, unlike its usual form. A status of Nandi – the celestial bull stands at the entrance of the temple and exquisitely carved images adorn the interiors of the temple.
During the winters, the shrine is submerged in snow and hence is closed. The ideal time to visit is between May to October. Kedarnath is reached through a 14 km. long trek from Gaurikund.
One among the holiest pilgrim centers in northern India, which is situated at an altitude of 3584 meters in the lap of the majestic mountain peaks, Kedarnath in the state of Uttarakhand boast of unparallel credentials in the religious arena. This scenic locale in the Gharwal region proffers an unruffled ambiance with it’s snowy peaks, alpine forests and colourful rhodendrons.
Renowned for the ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, Kedarnath pilgrimage offers the joy of a devout centre and the sizzles of an idyllic tourist spot. A serene place that is closely associated with the mighty Pandavas upholds a beautiful legend of its own. It says that in order to evade from the Pandavas, Lord Shiva made himself hidden in the form of a bull here at Kedarnath, and when noticed by the Pandavas the lord drudge himself in to the earth leaving the hump on the surface.
It is not just temples and shrines that Kedarnath is famed for. This lovely land on the majestic backdrop of the lower Himalayas is naturally bestowed with some of the wonderful vistas of nature. These yet to exploit beauty spots are adorned with an aesthetic charm that provides the onlookers a mesmerizing and captivating feeling.
. Nestled in the midst of the imposing peaks of the Himalayas, this holy city with its breezy gentle wind offers an unflustered ambiance. Not only the pious but also those who love to conquer the rough terrain of Garhwal also visit this hilly terrain. The undulating landscapes of this snowy region offer delightful time of escapades. All most all the attractive locations are placed in a higher altitude, Kedarnath and its nearby fascinations proffer excellent opportunities to the brave and the courageous.
Kedarnath presents as a picturesque location, where one can feel the serenity and tranquility of nature in its full bloom amidst the sacred environs of holy shrines.
By Air : Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest Airport to Kedarnath situated at a distance of 238kms. Jolly Grant Airport is well connected to Delhi with daily flights. Gaurikund is well connected by motorable roads with Jolly Grant Airport. Taxis are available from Jolly Grant Airport to Gaurikund..
By Rail : The nearest railway station to Kedarnath is Haridwar. Haridwar Railway station is situated 216kms before Kedarnath on NH58. Haridwar is well connected by railway networks with major destinations of India. Trains to Rishikesh are frequent. Gaurikund is well connected by motorable roads with Rishikesh. Taxis and buses are easily available from Rishikesh to Gaurikund.
By Road : Gaurikund is the point where road to Kedarnath ends and an easy trek of 14km commence. Gaurikund is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand and northern states of India. Buses to Rishikesh and Srinagar are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Buses and Taxis to Gaurikund are easily available from major destinations of Uttarakhand like Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Pauri, Tehri, Uttarkashi, Srinagar, Chamoli etc. Gaurikund lies on National Highway 109 which connects Rudraprayag with Kedarnath.
Kedarnath Temple : Kedarnath is one of the holiest Hindu pilgrims of India with Lord Shiva as its residing deity. This holy site is situated perched at an elevation of 3,584mts above sea level in the foot of imposing snow bound Himalayan peaks. Mythology says that Pandavas wanted to wash their sins they committed during the great war of Mahabharata by killing their own brothers, so they wished to meet Lord Shiva. Shiva was angry with them and he didn’t want to bless them with his presence so Lord Shiva converted himself into a big bull and dug himself under the ground. The places where the body parts were founded were named as kedars. The hump of the bull was found here. The temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya in the early 8th century. The temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of India and the main temple of Panch Kedar.
Chorabari Ta : Chorabari Tal is a beautiful lake situated 3kms ahead of Kedarnath in the mouth of Chorabari Bamak Glacier. Chorabari Tal is a pristine lake which shows the reflections of the gigantic Himalayan peaks. Chorabari Tal is also known as Gandhi sarovar. The trek is easy but be careful while crossing the waterfall in between.
Gaurikund : Gaurikund is the commencement point of the trek of 14kms to the sacred shrine of Kedarnath. The place is named after Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva and a temple Gauri is also situated here. It is believed that Lord Shiva accepted to marry Parvati at this place and married her in Trijuginarayan. The place offers vivid greenery with Vasuki Ganga flowing from below. Gaurikund is situated 66kms from Rudraprayag. The place also has natural thermal springs.
Vasuki Tal : Vasuki Tal can be reached by a 7km moderate trek from Kedarnath. The lake is located at an altitude of 4,150mts above sea level surrounded by Himalayan peaks casting their shadows on the crystal clear water of Vasuki Tal.
Shankaracharya Samadhi : Adi Shankaracharya was a great scholar and a saint who established four sacred dhams in India and after that he went to his Samadhi at an early age of 32..