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Located in the Garhwal Himalayas, at the source of the Mandakini River, Kedarnath is widely considered to be one of the holiest Hindu shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva.

In Hinduism, the four places known as “Char Dham” (Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath) are very important spiritually. Perched atop the Garhwal Himalayan range, with the Mandakini River flowing by, and framed by the impressive and beautiful Kedarnath Mountain Range, the town of Kedarnath is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and is one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in India.

Due to the high altitude and extreme weather conditions, Kedarnath remains closed during winter, and opens from the end of April to the end of October.

The journey from Haridwar is filled with pure delight; travellers will have no cause for a  single dull moment, as the road winds its way through beautiful mountains, valleys, and small towns with friendly, warm and gentle people. 

To gain access to the actual temple, visitors need to trek 14 km from Gaurikund, the last motorable stop on the way.  Gaurikund is the base camp from which one can embark on the trek to Kedarnath, which sits at an impressive height of 2000 m above sea level.  

Kedarnath is an exquisitely designed temple dating back more than 1000 years; this temple is believed to have been originally built by the Pandavas and was later re-constructed by the Adi Sankaracharya, a great scholar, saint and philosopher. It is also believed that Sankaracharya passed away here about 820 AD.

Kedarnath is one of the twelve traditional Jyotirlinga (a sacred place where Lord Shiva is worshipped in Lingam form) in India.
The structure of the temple was built out of huge, heavy slabs of stone cuts with the greatest precision, at a time when human habitation and development was still at a very early stage.  The temple is divided into two sections: the Garbha Griha, where people worship, and the Mandap, where pilgrims and visitors are met. In the inner chamber of the temple rests Lord Shiva in his three-aced Lingam form, representing the hump of a bull. In the first hall of the main entrance of the temple, Pandava statues can be seen. 

As it is written in the Puranas, the Pandavas tried to appease Lord Shiva and performed penance in Kedarnath, after killing their relatives in the great battle of Kurukshetra. The Pandavas went to Varanasi to seek Lord Siva’s blessings, but Shiva avoided them and came to Uttarakhand. Eventually the Pandavas tracked him there, so Siva wore the disguise of a bull. Bhima recognized him and grabbed him by the tail. The bull tried to sink into the ground, but Bhima held on, so Lord Siva then appeared and instructed them to worship the remaining hump of the bull. Even today this place draws huge number of pilgrims from all over the world.

Due to heavy snowfall in November, the deity of Kedarnath is brought down to the village of Ukhimath, which has a lesser altitude; in the first week of May the statue it is reinstated at Kedarnath. At this time, the shrine is declared officially open for pilgrimage. It is widely believed that one’s soul attains eternal peace after leaving the body and becomes one with Shiva, in this temple.

Shankaracharya Samadhi
The “Samadhi” (final resting) place of Adi Guru Shankaracharya, who at a young age went for his “Samadhi”, is located just behind the main Kedarnath temple.
Chorabari (Gandhi Sarovar)
This lake is located 2 km from Kedarnath. It is believed that the eldest of Pandava brothers, Judhishthira, departed to heaven through this lake.
Vasuki Tal
Surrounded by snow-clad mountains, Vasuki Tal (lake) is at a staggering height of 4,135 m. The lake and its surroundings are 6 km away from Kedarnath and truly an ideal place for nature lovers and trekkers. The peak of Chaukhamba can be seen in its mightiest form from this place.
Dedicated to Goddess Gauri, Gaurikund is the base-camp site for trekkers trying to visit Kedarnath temple, which is 14 km away. Gaurikund temple is known for its thermal springs, which have medicinal value. According to legend, this is the place where Goddess Parvati or Gauri meditated to win over Shiva. Eventually she was successful and the couple was wed at Triyuginarayan.
This place is believed to have been the venue of the eternal wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvati. In front of the temple even today, an eternal flame burns; according to local folklore, this flame was lit at the wedding itself, and has withstood the vagaries of nature and time. Trivyuginarayan is 25km away from Kedarnath town.
During winter when the main temple is covered with snow, the deity of Kedarnath is brought down to Ukhimath and remains there until spring. Ukhimath is 60 km from Kedarnath.
A strictly vegetarian region.  Liquor and non-vegetarian food are strictly prohibited.
Nearby places Train stations Airports
Jolly Grant 234 Km 03H 28m
Haridwar Junction 241 Km 03H 37m
Rishikesh 218 Km 03H 17m
Nearby major cities
Name Distance Duration
71 Km 01H 07m
71 Km 01H 07m
Nestled in the arms of Kumaon Himalaya, Chopta a picturesque small hamlet of breathtaking beauty is situated on the Gopeshwar-Ukhimath road. Its easy connectivity by roadways makes it an excellent base for some splendid treks and bird watching walks.
238 Km 03H 32m
Haridwar, located on the banks of the River Ganges, is one of the most revered Hindu pilgrimage destinations. Haridwar is the point where the Ganges descends to the plains; the city is world famous for the celebration Kumbh Mela which takes place every 12 years.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Best Seasons
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Season Min. Temp. Max. Temp.
Summer 18 °C 30 °C
Winter 4 °C 20 °C
Summer months are pleasant with average maximum temperature around 18°C and average minimum temperature around 4°C. Monsoon brings scanty rains. Winters are freezing with heavy snow falls.Kedarnath temple is open during May - October period.

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