The holiest destination in India, Kedarnath is known for being the seat of Lord Shiva. Located at a height of 3,584 at river Mandakini, Kedarnath is among 12 'Jyotirlingas' of Lord Shiva. Kedarnath is home to several Kunds (tanks) holding great religious significance. These include Shivkund, Hanskund, Retkund, Rudhirkund and Udakkund. Pilgrims visit Garbha Griha for worship and a Mandap where assemblies of devotees and visitors take place. The temple also houses a conical rock formation in Sadashiva form which is worshipped by devotees.
The shrine of Kedarnath Temple holds great importance among Hindus. Lying in the backdrop of the splendid looking Sri Kedarnath range, the Temple can be reached by taking a 14 km trek from Gaurikund. It is believed that this was the place where Lord Shiva was enshrined by Adi Guru Shankaracharya, a great scholar and saint. The inside walls of the assembly hall here are decorated with idols of various deities and scenes from mythology. A big statue of Nandi Bull has been placed outside the temple door which guards the temple.
Places to Visit
Situated at a height of 14, 200 ft, Vasuki Tal lies on the right part of the valley. Just 6 km away from Kedarnath, this lake offers breathtaking natural beauty.
Situated at the merger of the Son-Ganga and Mandakini, this tiny village offers impressive vistas of nature.
Dedicated to Goddess Gauri of Parvati, this historic temple is known with the name of Gaurikund. Here one can see metallic statues of Gauri and Shiva. It is said that Goddess Parvati once meditated here to win Shiva as her husband. When she succeeded, the cosmic couple got married at Trijuginarayan.
Apart from this, there are five shrines of Lord Shiva, which are known as Panch Kedar. The body parts of God appeared at these places.
How to Reach
By Air: Jolly Grant in Dehradun is the nearest domestic airport. The international airport is in Delhi.
By Rail: Rishikesh is the nearest railhead.
By Road: Kedarnath is accessible by road.