Kedarnath is one of the four most sacred Hindu pilgrimages, collectively called ‘Char Dham’, along with Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.

Situated at a distance of 220 Km from Rishikesh at an altitude of 12000 Feet in the lap of majestic mountains, Kedarnath shrine is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva and has beautiful legends associated with it which add to its scenic splendour.

The original Kedarnath temple is believed to have been constructed by the Pandavas, which was later renovated by the great Hindu reformer Adi Guru Shankaracharya.

Located in beautiful snowy environs, Kedarnath has more than 200 shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and its divine aura compels both the spiritual and the adventurous to trek through its difficult terrains and revel in its glory!

However, extreme weather conditions in winters, prompts the temple of Kedarnath to be closed from early November to April end.


Opening and Closing Dates of Kedarnath Temple

 The shrine of Kedarnath will open for darshans by devotees on 3rd May 2016 and the closing date will be updated soon.


Legend of Kedarnath

The legend of Kedarnath revolves around the Pandavas of Mahabharata fame.

As the legend goes, after the battle of Kurukshetra, the Pandava brothers felt deeply guilty and remorseful of having killed their own cousins and resolved to do penance.

As advised by their mentor Krishna, they handed over the reign of their kingdom to their kith n’ kin and went on a look-out for Lord Shiva, who alone could absolve them of their sins.

However, Lord Shiva was deeply incensed by the deaths and dishonesty at the Kurukshetra war and eluded the Pandavas. Pursuing Lord Shiva, Pandavas reached ‘Guptkashi’ where to avoid them Shiva assumed the form of a bull and hid amidst a flock of cattle. To identify Lord Shiva, Pandavas devised a ruse.

At dusk, when the cattle were being taken back to their shelters, Bheema, gigantic in stature, stretched his legs across the mountains so that cattle would have to pass through under his legs. As expected, Shiva, in bull form, refused to do so and that let him out.

At once, Bheema caught the bull by its tail and hind legs, but the bull-formed Shiva disappeared into the ground to only reappear later in parts, with the hump raised in Kedarnath, the limbs appearing in Tunganath, the navel and belly surfacing in Madhyamaheshwar, the face showing up at Rudranath and the hair and head appearing in Kalpeshwar.

Pandavas, pleased with this reappearance of Lord Shiva in five different forms built temples at all five places for worshipping Shiva.


Lord Shiva, pleased with their dedication and persistence, pardoned them of their sins. Later, Pandavas meditated here in Garhwal region for salvation and then attained so through the heavenly path called the ‘Mahapanth’ or ‘Swargarohini’.



Things to Do in Kedarnath

Attend Aarti at Kedarnath shrine.

Take a dip in icy waters of Mandakini.

Enjoy a dip in a hot water spring. The medicinal properties of these thermal springs, is an additional advantage.

How to Reach Kedarnath

Nearest Airport - Jolly Grant, Dehradun (251 Km)

Nearest Railway Station – Rishikesh (234 Km)

Route to Kedarnath

There are numerous pilgrimage sites enroute Kedarnath, with beautiful legends associated with them. From Haridwar to Kedarnath is a beautiful journey with magnificent view of mountains and river Ganges all along.

From Delhi the route to Kedarnath is as given :

Delhi – Meerut – Haridwar – Rishikesh – Devprayag – Rudraprayag – Agastyamuni – Guptkashi – Sonprayag – Gaurikund - Kedarnath

Kedarnath shrine is not directly accessible by road and has to be reached by a steep 14 km trek from Gaurikund. From here, one can either trek up or hire horses and palanquins. Gaurikund is well-connected by road to Rishikesh, Haridwar and other hill-stations of garhwal and Kumaon regions.

Daily buses ply from Rishikesh and Haridwar every morning.

If driving down, you will need to park your vehicle at either Gaurikund or Sonprayag. Though there are two parking lots near Gaurikund, getting parking space for private vehicles is difficult here. So, it’s advisable to park at Sonprayag.


Kedarnath Fast Facts                         

State: Uttarakhand

Kedarnath Altitude: 12000 Ft above sea-level

Best Time to Visit Kedarnath: May to Oct (Avoid monsoons as the region is prone to landslides.)

Distance to Kedarnath from Delhi: 447 Km

Distance to Kedarnath from Haridwar: 245 Km

Distance to Kedarnath from Rishikesh: 220 Km



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