Kedarnath temple is one of the sacred pilgrimage centre in Northern India, located on the bank of Mandakini river at an altitude of 3584 meters above sea level. The historical name of this region is "Kedar Khand". Kedarnath temple is a part of Char Dhams and Panch Kedar in Uttarakhand and one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva in India. 

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Overview


  • May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov

  • Rudraprayag, Garhwal

  • 1 days

  • Rishikesh, 228 kms

  • Jolly Grant Airport, 248 kms

  • Kedarnath Temple, Char Dham Yatra, Trekking, Himalayas, Pilgrimage, Panch Kedar

There are more than 200 shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand itself, the most important one is Kedarnath. According to legend, the Pandavas after having won over the Kauravas in the Kurukshetra war, felt guilty of having killed their own Kith and Kin and sought blessings of Lord Shiva for redemption. He eluded them repeatedly and while fleeing took refuge at Kedarnath in the form of a bafellow.

On being followed, the Lord dived into the ground, leaving his hump on the surface at Kedarnath. The remaining portions of Lord Shiva appeared at four other places and are worshipped there as his manifestations. The arms of the Lord appeared at Tungnath, the face at Rudranath, the belly at Madmaheshwar and his locks (hair) with head at Kalpeshwar. The Kedarnath and four above mentioned shrines are treated as Panch Kedar (Panch means Five in Sanskrit).

The Temple at Kedarnath presents an imposing sight, standing in middle of a wide plateau surrounded by lofty snow covered peaks. The temple was originally built in 8th century A.D. by Jagad Guru Adi Shankaracharya and stands adjacent to site of an even earlier temple built by the Pandavas. The inner walls of the assembly hall are decorated with figures of various deities and scenes from mythology. Outside the temple door a large statue of the Nandi Bafellow stands as guard.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Kedarnath temple has exquisite architecture Built of extremely large, heavy and evenly cut grey slabs of stones, it evokes wonder as to how these heavy slabs were moved and handled in the earlier centuries. The temple has a Garbha Griha for worship and a Mandap, apt for assemblies of pilgrims and visitors. A conical rock formation inside the temple is worshipped as Lord Shiva in his Sadashiva form.

According to the Skanda Puran, Lord Shankar himself said to Mata Parvati about the importance and antiquity of the Kedar region that this area is as old as himself. At this place, Lord Shankar obtained the divine form of Brahma for creation of The Universe and started creating The Universe, since then this place has become a favorite place for Lord Shankar. This Kedarkhand, being his favorite abode, is like heaven in the earth.
In the Dwadas Jyotirlinga of India, in the middle of the snowy mountain ranges situated in the northern part of Rudraprayag , the frontier district of Uttarakhand, Jyotirlinga is known as Sri Kedar Ekadash and being situated in the Himalayas this is paramount among all Jyotirlingas.
It is believed that this temple has been constructed by the Pandavas after the Mahabharata period. It is undisputed truth that this huge temple about 80 feet high has a beautiful display of architecture. The stones used in the temple are local which are carved and the shape of the temple is quadrangular. Lord Shiva's self-proclaimed Jyotirlinga exists in the form of a large rock in the Garva Grah of the temple. Outside the Garv Grah there is a stone statue of Maa Parvati ji. There are idols of Panch Pandava, Shri Krishna and mother Kunti ji in the Sabhamandap (hall). The main gate has stone sculptures of Ganesha ji and Shri Nandi. There is Amrit Kund in Parikrama Path. In the east part of this path there is a stone idol of Bhairavnath ji.