About Kedarnath Temple Uttarakhand:
Kedarnath Temple is one of the most sacred Hindu shrines located in Kedarnath town in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. This sacred place is situated at an altitude of 3,584 meters in the Garhwal region of the Himalayas. Lord Shiva presides over the temple. This Kedarnath Mandir is one of the Panch Kedars as well as one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva.
Who built Kedarnath Temple?
The original Kedarnath temple is said to have been built by the Pandavas. The present shrine is said to have been built in the 8th century AD by the Hindu spiritual leader Adisankaracharya near the old temple. The Kedarnath Dham is still intact after the 2013 floods that washed away the town surrounding the temple.
Kedarnath Temple History:
The history behind Kedarnath Temple is very interesting as it is linked with the mythological stories of Mahabharata. The Pandavas, after the Kurukshetra war, felt guilty for killing their Kaurava relatives. Pandavas wanted that Lord shiva’s blessings and to wash away their sins and mistakes but, Lord Shiva got angry with them. The Pandavas first went to Kashi to meet Lord Shiva, where they learned that he was in the Himalayas. They even went to the Himalayas, but Lord Shiva did not want to absolve them of their sins easily. Lord Shiva was decided as he disguised himself as in the form of Bull and went to Guptakashi. Pandavas also reached to Guptakashi and there they spotted a bull which is in very unique look. Bhima, one of the Pandavas grabbed the tail of bull and it broke off in different direction.
It is believed that its crest fell in Kedarnath and hence the Kedarnath temple was born. Other parts of the bull body fell at places like Tungnath, Rudranath, Kalpeshwar and Madhyamaheshwar. These four places along with Kedarnath are known as the holy ‘Pancha Kedars’.
After that Lord Shiva forgave the mistakes of the pandavas and decided to stay in Kedarnath as one of the Jyotirlinga.
Construction of Kedarnath Temple
The Kedarnath Temple has a distinctive architectural structure with two distinct sections, similar to other Hindu temples in the country. One is the garbhagriha, which is the main deity and the other is the mandapam, which is a large space to accommodate a large number of pilgrims and devotees. The temple is equally engineered and built on a rectangular platform with heavy and massive stone slabs. At the entrance of the temple, there is a huge idol of Nandi (Vehicle of Shiva).
The holy shrine consists of a cone-shaped stone structure, which is highly revered by devotees as the Sadasiva form of Lord Shiva. It is believed to be Swayambhu, the self-manifested form of Lord Shiva and is considered the tallest of all the 12 Jyotirlingas spread across India.
Kedarnath Temple Timings of Pujas and Rituals
- Kedarnath Temple Morning Open Time: 04:00 AM to 07:00 AM.
This includes Maha Abhishekam (Rs. 1700 per head), Rudrabhishekam (Rs. 1300 per head), Laghu Rudra Abhishekam (Rs. 1100 per head) and Shodashopachara Puja (Rs. 1000 per head). You can also attend balbhog, regular morning puja, and other rituals at nominal rates.
- Evening Pooja Timing: 06:00 PM to 07:30 PM.
A Shiva Sahasranamam lesson is conducted where a total of 1008 names of Shiva are recited (Rs. 360 per head). To attend the Shiva Mahimastotra path, the charge is the same. A 16-syllable Shiv Tandav Stotra path is recited per stall to describe the power and beauty of Lord Shiva (Rs 340 per head).
Festivals are celebrated in Kedarnath Mandir
- Kedarnath Temple Opening Ceremony, Maha Shivratri, Shravana Mela, Karthika purnima, and other festivals like Diwali, Holi, Navratri and other hindu festivals were celebrated in Kedarnath temple with great devotion.
Best Time to Visit Kedarnath Temple
During the summer seasons from the months of April to June it is the best time to visit Kedarnath Temple. This time is also ideal for visiting Gangotri, Yamunotri and Badrinath temples. The temple remains closed during winter and is declared open on Mahashivratri.
Kedarnath Temple Location
Kedarnath, Uttarakhand – 246445
How to Reach Kedarnath Temple
- Kedarnath Trek Route
Trek routes to Kedarnath Temple start from Gaurikund to Rambara to Kedarnath. One has to walk for a distance of 14 km to reach the temple. The route is very safe and equipped with shelters, public facilities, fences and shops.
Those who cannot trek on foot can get ponies, palkis and dolis to reach Kedarnath Dham. The cost of these are different; it depends on distance and weight of the person.
- By Air: Arrive at Jolly Grant Airport Dehradun. Hire a taxi to reach Gaurikund and then start your trek to reach Kedarnath.
- By Road: Gaurikund destination is easily accessible via Rishikesh, Dehradun, Uttarkashi and Tehri, Pauri and Chamoli roads. Buses and taxi services are regularly available to reach the destination.
- By Rail: Rishikesh Railway station is the nearest railway station which is located at a distance of 215 kms. Other stations are Haridwar with 241 kms, Kotdwar with 246 kms, Dehradun with 257 kms. From all these Haridwar is well connected to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmadabad, Amritsar etc. Haridwar is just 25 kms away from Rishikesh.
Tips for Visiting Kedarnath Temple
- Take enough woolen clothes with you as the temperature drops after sunset.
- Alcohol is strictly prohibited.
- Carry basic emergency medicines with you.
- People with asthma should take extra precautions due to high altitude.
- Carry mosquito or insect repellent to prevent diseases like malaria.
- Avoid eating raw and cold food. Boiled or cooked food is safe.
- During the trip, do not rest at places where warning signs are visible.
- Avoid drinking tap water.
- You should get a medical fitness certificate before starting the trek to Kedarnath. These can be found in Guptakashi and Sonprayag.
Restaurants Near Kedarnath Temple
There are many restaurants and hotels near to Kedarnath Temple that serve you sumptuous vegetarian food. Some of them are
- Shivalik Valley Restaurant
- Jai Maa Durga Restaurant
- Bharat Hotel & Restaurant
- Chauhan Hotel
- Hotel Dev Dham
- Hotel Vijay Palace
What to see in Kedarnath Mandir?
- Bhairav Temple
- Gauri kund
- Vasuki Tal
- Gandhi Sarovar
Kedarnath Temple Distance from Delhi
Delhi -> Haridwar -> Rishikesh -> Byasi -> Teendhara -> Devprayag
Srinagar -> Rudra prayag -> Guptakashi -> Gauri kund -> Kedarnath.
Kedarnath Temple Photos: