- One of the holiest Hindu pilgrim sites is perched at an altitude of 3584 metres amidst towering snow-clad Himalayan peaks on the head of river Mandakini.
MODE OF COMMUNICATION:
- Airport: Jolly Grant Airport, Dehra Dun (DED), 246 kms away from Kedarnath town.
- Rail: Rishikesh Railway Station, Rishikesh, 229 kms away from Kedarnath town. Kotdwar Railway Station, Kotdwar, 260 kms away from Kedarnath.
- Road: Well connected by road.
SIGHTSEEING AT A GLANCE
Kedarnath Temple Guptkashi Okhimath Gaurikund Koteshwar Temple Panch Kedars Son Prayag Rudra Prayag The Panch Prayag Dev Prayag Rudra Prayag Vishnu Prayag Nanda Prayag Karna Prayag
ATTRACTIONS OF KEDARNATH
- Kedarnath Temple:
- 8th century shrine built by Adi Shankracharya enshrines one of the twelve sacred Jyotirlingas here resembles a hump of a bull.
- In front of the temple door is a large statue of Nandi as a guard.
- The mandapa walls are adorned with idols of the five Pandavas and Draupdi.
- There is also an image of Lord Ganesha.
- The shrines closes for the winters on the first day of Kartik (October – November) and re-opens in Vaisakh (April – May).
- Shankaracharya Samadhi:
- It is located just behind the Kedarnath temple.
- Adi Shankaracharya after establishing four sacred Dhams is said to have gone into his Samadhi here at an age of 32 years.
- Chorbari Glacier:
- River Mandakini emerges from here and later merges into the Alaknanda at Rudraprayang.
ATTRACTIONS AROUND KEDARNATH
- 39 kms away from Kedarnath town.
- Pilgrim site famous for the ancient temples of Vishwanath and Ardhnareshwar.
- 60 kms away from Kedarnath town.
- It is the winter residence of Lord Kedarnath and the seat of the Rawal of Kedarnath.
- Trekking base for Kedarnath, 14 kms away from Kedarnath town.
- There is a temple dedicated to Gauri Parvati and hot water springs of medicinal value.
- Koteshwar Temple:
- 3 kms away from Kedarnath town.
- Cave temple of Lord Shiva lies on the banks of Alaknanda.
- It is said that Shiva meditated here before going to Kedarnath.
- Panch Kedars:
- ‘Panch’ or five Kedar lie in the valley between the rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda.
- According to legends, after the battle of Mahabharta, the Pandavas repented the killings of their cousins Kauravas and came here seeking forgiveness from Lord Shiva.
- But, Shiva eluded them and took refuge at Kedarnath in the form of a bull.
- When Pandavas sighted him, he submerged into the ground leaving behind his hump, which is worshipped at the shrine of Kedarnath.
- His arms are believed to have appeared at Tungnath, his face at Rudranath, navel at Madmaheshwar, his matted hairs and head at Kalpeshwar.
- These five most sacred Shiva temples of Garhwal came to be known as the ‘Panch Kedars’.
- Son Prayag:
- Sacred confluence of river Basuki and Mandakani lies on the main Kedarnath route, about 5 kms from Gaurikund and 20 kms from Kedarnath.
- Trijuginarayan, 12 kms from Son Prayag is said to be the site of Lord Shiva and Parvati’s marriage.
- Rudra Prayag:
- 86 kms away from Kedarnath town.
- Pilgrim site on the confluence of river Alaknanda and Mandakini is named after Rudra, an aspect of Lord Shiva.
- According to a legend Lord Shiva appeared here as ‘Rudra’ to bless Narad Muni.
- An ancient shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of ‘Rudra’.
- Rudraprayag is of immense significance for the pilgrims of Chardham Yatra, as it is the junction for visiting Badrinath and Kedarnath Dham.
- The Panch Prayag:
- ‘Panch Prayag’ or the five most sacred river confluences of the Garhwal Himalayas are of immense religious importance.
- Dev Prayag:
- It is set on the confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi Rivers, on the Rishikesh – Badrinath route, about 87 km from Narendra Nagar.
- Rudra Prayag:
- On the confluence of Alaknanda and Mandakini Rivers.
- Vishnu Prayag:
- It is 12 kms from Joshimath on the confluence of Alaknanda and Dhauli Ganga Rivers.
- Nanda Prayag:
- It is the confluence of Alaknanda and Mandakini Rivers, about 21 kms from Karnaprayag, on the main route to Badrinath.
- The famous Gopalji temple is situated here.
- Karna Prayag:
- It is situated on the sacred confluence of Alaknanda and Pindari Rivers and is known for the Karna Temple and the Uma Devi Temple.