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Kedarnath


Kedarnath, the picturesque holy town, is located in Uttarakhand's Rudraprayag District on the bank of River Mandakini. The town hosts Kedarnath Temple where Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of lingam.

Hindus from all over the world visit the temple which is counted among:
  • Four holy temples of chota chardham tours (Uttrakhand Char Dham)
  • Panch Kedar (5 holy Shiva temples in Uttarakhand)
  • Twelve Jyotirlingas (shrines where Lord Shiva is worshipped as a pillar of light)
  • 275 Paadal Petra Sthalam (holy abodes of Lord Shiva in Asia)

Located at 3,584 m. above the sea level, Kedarnath is the remotest of the four Himalayan char dhams (other three being Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri). Chorabari Glacier, which acts as the source of River Mandakini, is located nearby. Kedarnath has mesmerizingly divine ambience guarded by snow-capped peaks and cool climate dominated by gentle breeze.

Kedarnath Temple Description The temple, which is a charming stone edifice, dates back to the times of Mahabharata. According to the popular legend, Pandavas pleased Lord Shiva with their penance at this place to erase their sins of fighting a long war against their kith and kin. The present day temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century with additions to the one Pandavas constructed.

Shiva Lingam inside the temple is in the form of an inverted semi-cylindrical rock. There are idols of Lord Krishna, Virabhadra (Shiva's guard), Nandi (Shiva's vehicle), along with the statues of 5 Pandavas. Kedarnath Temple is open only for six months (usually from April end to November start), while it remains shut for rest of the months due to heavy snowfall. During winter season, the temple's idols are shifted to Ukhimath.

How to Access Kedarnath?
Travelling from Delhi to Kedarnath by road is possible using public transport services or private transport facilities available with tour operators. These tour companies offer family tours, group tours and fixed departure tours as popular options for Kedarnath yatra or char dham yatra tour.

A part of the journey can be covered via flights from Delhi to Dehradun (Jolly Grant Airport) and trains from Delhi to Rishikesh. For the subsequent trip, one can hire cabs and taxis or board public transport buses to reach Gaurikund.

It is worth mentioning that Kedarnath Temple is not directly accessible by road. From Gaurikund, one must cover 14 km. on foot to reach the temple. Horses and palanquin services are available for those who are incapable of trekking the route which is indeed challenging at some points on the way.

Helicopter services from Phata, Dehradun and Delhi are a popular choice to access Kedarnath Temple. Helicopter tickets, air tickets and train tickets can be easily booked with the help of an expert Char Dham tour operator.

Places Nearby and Excursions
  • Gandhi Sarovar: Also known as Chorabari Tal, it is a beautiful lake with pristine beauty enhanced by the spectacular views of Himalayan ranges. It is amazing to witness the reflections of peaks in the lake's shiny crystal clear water.
  • Shankaracharya Samadhi: Located near to Kedarnath Temple is the Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharaya, the founder of chardhams.
  • Vasuki Tal: Another beautiful lake with blue waters, Vasuki Tak can be accessed through a challenging climb. The pictorial environs around the lake are absolutely gripping.
  • Udak Kund: It is a holy tank which is believed to contain water from 5 oceans. A popular belief is that the water from this tank remains fresh forever.
  • Sonprayag: Located near the confluence of River Mandakini and Basuki, it is a revered religious place where Lord Shiva tied marital knot with Goddess Parvati. Majestic charm and tranquillity of this place is worth experiencing.
  • Gaurikund: Base camp of Kedarnath yatra, Gaurikund is the place where Goddess Parvati (also known as Gauri) performed penance to please Lord Shiva. It is also believed that Lord Ganesha acquired elephant head from Lord Shiva at this place. Many natural hot springs adorn this place.
  • Chopta: Deservingly called the Uttarakhand's mini Switzerland, Chopta has abundant natural exquisiteness which attracts hundreds of tourists, both nature-lovers and adventure-seekers.
  • Ukhimath: The winter home of Lord Kedarnath, Ukhimath is a divine place, offering splendid views of Himalayan ranges.
Additional Information for Travellers
  • Assess your health to ensure that you can trek the distance to reach the temple
  • Pack light to heavy woollens to wear according to the weather
  • Prefer to book hotels at mid-way destinations in advance, if you wish to halt at other exciting places like Haridwar, Rudraprayag and Guptkashi
  • Booking hotels at Kedarnath in advance can also help you avoid annoyance of last minute running around
  • There are dhabas along the trekking route, where you can enjoy meals as well as light snacks
  • Carry binoculars and cameras to view and capture the breath taking natural beauty spread all around the place.
Kedarnath is indeed a melting pot of spiritual spots, alpine forests and unperturbed vistas of nature.




 

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