KEDARNATH FACTS & FIGURES
Location: Uttar Kashi , Uttar Pradesh, North India
Best time to Visit: May to October.
Significance: It is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva
Kedarnath is a Hindu holy town located in the north - Indian state of Uttaranchal. It is a nagar panchayat in Rudraprayag district. The most remote of the four Char Dham sites, Kedarnath is located in the Himalaya, about 3584m above sea level near the head of river Mandakini, and is flanked by breathtaking snow-capped peaks. Kedarnath hosts one of the holiest Hindu temples and is a popular destination for Hindu pilgrims from all over the world.
The Kedarnath is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. Lying against the backdrop of the majestic Kedarnath range, at an altitude of 3,581 m, the imposing Kedarnath temple is surrounded by lofty snow covered peaks. One of the the panch Kedar Shrines, the temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century A.D., standing at the site of an earlier temple built by the Pandavas. Behind the temple itself is the Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya. Chorabari (Gandhi Sarovar) with floating - ice on the crystal clear waters of the lake and Vasuki Tal, another lake at an altitude of 4,150 m are fascinating sites around Kedarnath. Wild unparalleled scenic beauty, rare panoramic views of innumerable snow - clad peaks, rhododendron forests Alpine meadows make the area utterly enchanting. An exciting blend of pilgrimage and Travelmasti, indeed !
According to legend, Lord Shiva wished to elude the Pandavas, who had come to seek penitence for having killed their kin in the battle of Kurukshetra. He took refuge in Kedarnath in the form of a bull. Bhima, one of the Pandava brothers, found Shiva amongst a herd of cattle. Having identified the meanest and most arrogant of the herd as Shiva, Bhima is said to have grabbed him by the hindquarters. What remains at the shrine in Kedarnath is the rear end of the bull, with the rest of its body scattered throughout the Garhwal. Shiva dived into the ground leaving behind him a hump on the surface. This conical protrusion is worshipped as the idol.
Pilgrim/Tourist Attractions in Kedarnath
Built in the 8th century A.D., The temple at Kedarnath is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple was renovated and refurbished by the religious reformer and saint, Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century. Outside the temple door a large statue of Nandi the bull, stands as the guardian deity.
Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya
Located behind the Kedarnath Temple is the Samadhi or the final resting place where the saint gave up his life.
Bhairav Nath Temple
To the south of the main temple stands the temple of God Bhairav, the deity who guards the Kedarnath Temple in winter, when it is closed due to severe winter conditions.
How to Reach Vrindavan
Air : Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun.
Rail :Nearest railhead is Rishikesh .
Road : Regular Yatra bus services are available from Rishikesh and Kotdwar. Private taxies are also available from Rishikesh.