Kedarnath Temple is a famous Hindu temple located in the Uttarakhand state of India. It is one of the four important pilgrimage sites in the Char Dham Yatra, along with Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is worshipped in the form of a Jyotirlinga.
In which city is Kedarnath Temple?
The temple is located at an altitude of 3,583 meters (11,755 feet) above sea level, on the banks of the Mandakini River in the Garhwal Himalayas in the Uttarakhand state of India. Snow-capped peaks surround it and are accessible only by foot or on horseback. The trek to Kedarnath is considered one of the most challenging in India due to its steep incline and harsh weather conditions.
Significance of Kedarnath Temple:
According to Hindu legends, the temple was initially built by the Pandavas, and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest Hindu shrines of Shiva. The Kedarnath history dates back to the Mahabharata era. It is believed that after the Kurukshetra war, the Pandavas came to Kedarnath to seek Lord Shiva’s blessings and forgiveness for the sins they had committed during the war. Lord Shiva, however, eluded them and took the form of a bull to hide. The Pandavas followed him and eventually found him in the form of a jyotirlinga. This jyotirlinga is worshipped in the Kedarnath Temple.
The temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century CE. It is a stone edifice with a rectangular sanctum, which houses the jyotirlinga. The temple also has a mandap and a porch. The walls of the temple are adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures.
Kedarnath is open to visitors from April to November every year. During the winter season, the temple is closed due to heavy snowfall and inaccessibility. The temple attracts thousands of pilgrims every year, who come to seek Lord Shiva’s blessings and perform rituals and ceremonies.
Why is Kedarnath temple so famous?
Apart from its religious significance, Kedarnath is also known for its scenic beauty. The trek to Kedarnath offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan range, including the peaks of Kedarnath, Kedar Dome, and Bhairav Parvat. The temple also offers a glimpse into the traditional Hindu culture and rituals.
In 2013, Kedarnath and the surrounding areas were severely affected by a flash flood that claimed thousands of lives and caused extensive damage to the infrastructure. The temple also suffered damage, but it was later restored and reopened for devotees.
Kedarnath Temple is a symbol of faith, devotion, and spirituality. It is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of India and the enduring power of Hinduism.
Famous Places near Kedarnath Temple
Kedarnath is a popular pilgrimage site located in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand, India. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the four sites in the Char Dham Yatra. While Kedarnath itself is a significant tourist destination, there are also several other places nearby that are worth visiting. Here are some of the famous places near Kedarnath:
- Badrinath: Badrinath is another significant pilgrimage site in Uttarakhand and is one of the Char Dham Yatra destinations. It is located about 224 kilometers from Kedarnath and is known for its Badrinath Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
- Gangotri: Gangotri is a famous Hindu pilgrimage site located about 190 kilometers from Kedarnath. It is known for the Gangotri Temple, which is dedicated to the River Ganges, and is one of the four sacred sites in the Char Dham Yatra.
- Yamunotri: Yamunotri is another significant pilgrimage site in Uttarakhand and is located about 235 kilometers from Kedarnath. It is known for the Yamunotri Temple, which is dedicated to the River Yamuna, and is one of the Char Dham Yatra destinations.
- Triyuginarayan Temple: The Triyuginarayan Temple is located about 27 kilometers from Kedarnath and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married at this temple, and the fire that was lit during their wedding is still burning.
- Deoria Tal: Deoria Tal is a beautiful lake located about 55 kilometers from Kedarnath. It is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and offers stunning views of the Himalayas.
- Chopta: Chopta is a small hill station located about 50 kilometers from Kedarnath. It is known for its scenic beauty and is a popular destination for trekking and camping.
- Vasuki Tal: Vasuki Tal is a high altitude lake located about 6 kilometers from Kedarnath. It is surrounded by the Vasuki Parbat and offers stunning views of the Himalayan range.
According to Hindu mythology, the Ganges River originated from the matted locks of Lord Shiva, and Goddess Ganga descended to earth to purify the souls of the mortals. The Gangotri Temple is believed to be the place where King Bhagirathi performed penance to bring the Ganges River to earth. The temple is situated in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, and it is dedicated to Goddess Ganga, the river goddess.
Badrinath Temple, which is also called Badrinarayan Temple, is positioned in Badrinath town on the banks of the Alaknanda River in Uttarakhand state of India. It is a significant Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is counted as one of the four Char Dham pilgrimage sites and one of the 108 Divya Desams.
Char Dham Yatra Registration and Hemkund Sahib Registration
There is no fee involved in the Tourist registration process.
Please carry valid personal ID proof during the Chardham and Hemkund Sahib yatra.
Modes of Registration
1) Online through this Web Portal
2) Through Mobile Application – Tourist Care Uttarakhand (Download Android App & iOS App )
3) Through WhatsApp Facility – Mobile Number: +91 8394833833
Type: “Yatra” to initiate the registration process in WhatsApp.
Mode of Verification
Physically only at the shrine being visited through scanning of the “QR Code” in the mobile app or downloading the “Yatra Registration Letter”.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about Kedarnath
What is special about Kedarnath Temple?
Kedarnath Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, located in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand, India. It is one of the four sites in the Char Dham Yatra and is a popular pilgrimage site for Hindus.
What is the best time to visit Kedarnath?
The best time to visit Kedarnath Temple is between May and June and then from September to November. The weather is pleasant during these months, and the temple is accessible.
How to reach Kedarnath Temple?
The nearest airport to Kedarnath Temple is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, and the nearest railway station is in Rishikesh. From there, one can take a taxi or bus to Gaurikund and then trek for 16 kilometers to reach the temple.
What are the opening and closing dates of Kedarnath Temple India?
Doors of the Holy Kedarnath temple opening date 2023 – Opened on 25 April 2023 at 06:20 am with a special Pooja in the temple. The opening date of Kedarnath Dham for 2023 has been declared on Mahashivratri. The closing date of Kedarnath is fixed i.e. 2 days after Diwali when Bhai Dooj is celebrated.
What are the other places to visit near Kedarnath?
The other places to visit near Kedarnath include Badrinath, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Triyuginarayan Temple, Deoria Tal, and Chopta.
What are the precautions to take while trekking to Kedarnath?
Some of the precautions to take while trekking to Kedarnath include carrying warm clothes, a first-aid kit, sufficient food and water, trekking gear, and following the instructions of the trekking guide.
What is the duration of the trek to Kedarnath?
The trek to Kedarnath temple distance is approximately 14 kilometers long and takes about 6-7 hours to complete.
In conclusion, Kedarnath and its surrounding areas offer a rich cultural and natural heritage worth exploring. These places allow visitors to experience the beauty and spirituality of the Himalayas and the rich Hindu mythology associated with them.