Situated at around 221 km from Rishikesh, the Kedarnath temple lies against the backdrop of the picturesque Kedarnath ranges at an elevation of 3,580 mts. The stunning Kedarnath shrine is concealed by the snow hung crests. The temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century A.D. The view of the flowing Mandakini river and the snow covered Himalayan peaks make Kedarnath a haven for peace seekers.
A moderately tough trek to this sacred spot revives the faith and trust of thousands of pilgrims in the Almighty. It is unmistakably one of the most sought after pilgrimage destinations amongst the Hindus. The temple opens for the dharshan in the first week of May on the eve of Akshaya Tritiya and closes down in the month of October-November.
The hypnotizing views and awe-inspiring landscapes of the snow-nourished mountains, rhododendron woods, and salubrious environment make the spot really enchanting.
Mythological Background Of Kedarnath Dham :-
There are more than two hundred temples devoted to Lord Shiva in Chamoli region itself, the most imperative one is Kedarnath. As per legend, the Pandavas in the wake of having won over the Kauravas in the Kurukshetra war, felt remorseful of having executed their own Kith and Kin and looked for the endowments of Lord Shiva for reclamation. Lord Shiva himself in the form of a bull was found here by the Pandavas. The hind part of the bull manifested as a triangular sharped Shiva Ling in this place.
The present structure of the temple was built in 8th century A.D. by Adi Shankaracharya and stands adjoining the site of the old structure assembled by the Pandavas. The lobby and passage have several statues and sculptures of different deities depicting tales from the Hindu mythology. Outside the shrine entryway, a huge statue of the Nandi Bull remains as gatekeeper.
The architecture of Kedarnath dates back to around 1000 years.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.
Architecture Style of Kedarnath Temple
Researchers assert that Kedarnath temple was under snow for very nearly 400 years and say that the majority of the individuals are unconscious of this. As per researchers of Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun, Kedarnath sanctuary survived being covered under the snow for very nearly 400 years which is why its endurance to monstrous stormy rains is relatively good.
Even after all these years, one can find yellowish lines inside the temple on the walls and the stones which are an indication that the place was under thick masses of ice. Actually glaciers move very slowly and are not only made up of snow and ice but also have rocks and mud. The temple not only survived being under the snow for 400 years but also escaped any serious danger due to glacial movement even though its impact can be seen in the form of yellow lines on the stones used in constructing the Kedarnath shrine. Scientists say that even the inside of the temple shows signs of glacial movement and the stones are more polished.
They point out that the period between 1300-1900 AD is known as Little Ice Age when the earth was extensively covered by snow. It is believed that during the period Kedarnath temple and neighbouring area was covered by snow and became a part of glaciers. Although there is no narrative confirmation regarding the age of Kedarnath temple and by whom it was built, but there are several myths about its construction.
Some says Raja Bhoj of Malwa, who ruled between 1076 to 1099 AD, built the temple while another theory is that the temple was built in the eight century by Adi Shankracharya. There is also a legend that Pandavas built a temple behind the Kedarnath shrine in the Hindu Dwapar era. But the temple could not survive the vagaries of times.
As indicated by the Garhwal Vikas Nigam the temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya in the eight century and thus existed when the Little Ice Age of 1300-1900 AD came.
The thoughtful construction style and unique orientation of the shrine has made it strong enough to survive in disasters and withstand the tests of time.
Puja and Abhishek:-
7 a.m. – Darshan of the Lord Shiva incorporeal followed by Balbhog, Maha abishek, Rudra abishek and Ashotar.
8 p.m. – Shiv Ashotatram, Sahasranamam and Ekantha Seva & Aarthi.
Yearly celebrations comprise of incorporate Badri-Kedar Utsav and Doli Yatra of Kedarnath.
Sight Seeing >>
Chorabari Tal :
The Chorabari Tal is an old lake also known as Gandhi Tal. As per Hindu mythology, this lake was the spot where Lord Shiva the first master conferred the knowledge of Yoga to the Saptrishi. The lake is additionally popular just like one of the spots where some of Mahatma Gandhi's ashes were inundated in 1948. There's a precipice close to the Bhairava Temple from which the aficionados used to jump to death trusting it to bring salvation. This practice in any case, was banned and abrogated by the British in the 19th century.
Vasuki Tal :
Vasuki Tal is the beautiful frozen lake and is a relatively simple trekking trail. The trek usually begins at Gauri Kund where once can find the hot sulfur springs and finishes at the astonishing Vasuki Tal. The area is a great outdoor spot with spectacular views of the gigantic Himalayas.
Shankaracharya Samadhi :
Adi Shankaracharya, was a philosopher and theologian who is known to have lived in the early 8th century. He was one of the most renowned scholars and researchers who propogated the Advaita philosophy. He is accepted to have gotten Moksha at the town of Kedarnath and his Samadhi or Tomb is situated close to the Kedarnath temple.
Son Prayag :
Situated at the juncture of the Mandakini and the Sone-Ganga, this town is known for its pleasant natural beauty.
An old temple dedicated to the Goddess Gauri or Parvati, the Gaurikund houses the metallic icons of Gauri and Shiva. As indicated by legend, Parvati meditated here for quite a while, to win Shiva as her partner. Eventually, she succeeded, and the couple were married at Trijuginarayan.
General Information About Kedarnath Dham:
Altitude: 3581 M
Area: 3 Sq. Km
Rainfall: 1475 MM
Best Season: May- October
Clothing : Tourists need to carry light woolen clothes in summer time & heavy woolen clothing in winter. Languages : English, Hindi & Garhwali
Via AIR : The closest air terminal is Dehradun from where numerous helicopters fly into Kedarnath.
BY RAIL : The closest Railway stations are Haridwar, Rishikesh or Kotdwara.
By ROAD : Badrinath is come to by national roadway NH 58 that unites Delhi with Mana Pass in Uttarakhand close to Indo-Tibet outskirts. The road traverses through Rishikesh headed towards Badrinath and branches off at Rudraprayag for Kedarnath.