Kedarnath Dham is one of the most sacred and serene pilgrimages where we worship Lord Shiva. This Dham is located in the Rudraprayag district of the Gharwal region in Uttarakhand State. This place stands ahead being the most important Dham of the Chardham yatra. Owing to the historical embodiment of Kedar Khand, Kedarnath is an important part of Panch Kedar and stands among the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva.
This Dham is located on the bank of Mandakini River on the height of 3584mts above sea level. This Dham offers the visitors the mesmerizing view of the snow-capped mountains and alpine forests.
Kedar means the powerful which displays another form of Lord Shiva who is the protector and destroyer of this earth. The main attraction in Kedarnath is the “Kedarnath Temple” that offers a captivating and serene aura to the visitor to suit his/her desire to meditate. This popular Hindu shrine attracts thousands of visitors every year. This place is really very attractive with natural beauty. Also, it’s the place where you may find heavy spirituality.
The devotees take on the pilgrimage tour to Kedarnath to explore the spiritual significance of the place and also to display their true faith in the power of the almighty.
Legendary History of the Kedarnath
There are several highly popular stories related to the establishment of this famous and sacred Shrine. One of such stories is about the penance that the two incarnations of Lord Vishnu that are Nar, and Narayan performed before the Shivlingam. As per mythology, both Narayan and Nar performed the deep penance in front of a holy Shivlingam that came out of Earth in Badrikashraya of Bharat Khand.
Because of their deep and attractive penance, Lord Shiva appeared in front of them and asks for their wishes. And, as per their request, he took the form of Shivlingam and established himself there Permanently so as to wash out sins of other devotees too.
The Jyotirlingam of Kedarnath holds the top position among the 12 Jyotirlingams. It’s not in the shape than how we assume of a normal Shivlalingam. This lingam is pyramidal in shape.
Another story reveals that while Pandavas were looking forward to Lord Shiva’s blessings as forgiveness against their endeavors of killing their cousins, Lord Shiva on account of avoiding the Pandavas left Kashi, and formed Guptkashi. But, Bhima recognized him and started pulling him out, but Shiva started drowning himself into the ground, and as a result, his hump left outside, and that is what we call the Shivlingam today. The place got high popularity in the future.
There’s another story also, according to which, the wife of Lord Shiva “Goddess Parvati” worshipped the Lord Kedareshwar to fulfill the wish to unite with Shiva as “Ardhanareeshwar”.
The famous Bhairon temple also holds the historical significance in Kedarnath. This is the temple where devotees worship Bhairon Baba on the occasion of opening and closing of Kedarnath temple. As per belief, when Kedarnath temple remains closed for a certain period, it is Bhaironathji that takes care of the surrounding areas from the evil.
Tourist’s Attractions in and Near Kedarnath
It is one of the holiest Hindu pilgrimages that is located at an altitude of 3584mts above sea level. It is the main temple of Panch Kedar. Also, this place holds a special position among the 12 Jyotirlingas situated all around the country.
It is a beautiful lake that reflects the beauty of the Himalayan peaks. This place is at a distance of 3kms away from Kedarnath and is also renowned as Gandhi Sarovar.
It is the entry point of the trekking that leads the trekker to the sacred shrine of Kedarnath. “Gauri” is another name of Mata Parvati, and Kund means a place to bath. Therefore, the literal meaning of Gaurikund is the place where Devi Parvati used to bath when she was doing the Tapasya to get lord Shiva as her husband.
This place is at an altitude of 4150mts above sea level and looks really very gorgeous. Visitors can reach the lake by following a trek of mere 7km from Kedarnath.
Adi Shankaracharya took the Samadhi at this place after establishing the four hams in India. He was a great scholar and saint of the century.
It is the holiest place that allows freedom from all the sins. It is the confluence of the two holy rivers Basuki and Mandakini.
It is a small village located on the way to Kedarnath. It has the Helipad that you may use to visit Kedarnath Dham if taking the Air route.
It is the small water source located around 200mts from Kedarnath Temple. It got its name due to the availability of ret into the small tank.
Bhairon Nath Temple
It’s the temple where people worship Bhairon Baba. As per belief, during winters, when the Kedarnath temple remains closed, the Bhairavnath Ji deity protects the surroundings from evil.
Activities to Do in Kedarnath
A trip to Kedarnath offers the tourists with wide exposure to trekking to various destinations. Gaurikund, Vasuki Tal, Chorabari and Bhairon Temple are some of the best routes for trekking here.
Through its vast coverage of temples, the holy Kedarnath offers the best and most revered pilgrimage location. Lots of devotees come here every year.
Weather in Kedarnath
Kedarnath Shrine is one of the holiest destinations in the country that allows the visitors and pilgrims to enjoy the captivating view of the snow-capped mountains and nearby surroundings in the summer season. In summers, the weather of the region is pleasant and cool and offers the best time to enjoy your visit to Kedarnath and Kedarnath temple.
Summer season from May to June is the ideal time to enjoy the sightseeing around the available attractions in Kedarnath and Kedarnath temple. The weather during this season remains pleasant with moderate climate and average temperature hold by 17 degrees Celsius.
Monsoon season is the most dangerous time to visit the Kedarnath. This is usually the time when there’s a lot of probability of facing the landslides. Therefore, if you choose to have the tour this time, you may probably be doing the next lunch, dinner, or breakfast with Yamraj.
Winter season that stays from November to April, is the time when the holy Kedarnath Shrine faces the heavy snow-fall. Therefore, it causes great difficulties for tourists. Even if somehow you reach the temple, you will find the doors of the Kedarnath temple closed for the Darshan. As a tourist, you should avoid this time period. It’s the time when the idol of Kedarnath gets shifted to a new location called Ukhimath that is located near Guptkashi. After the ending of the season, the doors of the temple open again for the pilgrims in the month of May.
Best Time to Visit Kedarnath
Throughout the year, the Kedarnath experiences the cold climate. The months of May, June, September, and October, are the best periods to have Kedarnath tourism. The rainy season is the hell time for visiting Kedarnath as the region comes under the risk chambers of facing landslides. Even the chilly winter season is should be avoided because it may make you face the heavy snowfall.
How to Reach Kedarnath?
How to reach Kedarnath by Air route
The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport that is located at a distance of 238kms. The airport is easily connected with Delhi via regular flights. Also, the airport is smoothly connected to road transport. Most Pilgrims Take Kedarnath Yatra by Helicopter from Nearest Helipad “Phata”.
How to reach Kedarnath by Rail Route
Rishikesh is the nearest railway station located near Kedarnath at a distance of 216kms. The rail network is smoothly connected with other major destinations in the country. Also, road transport such as taxis and buses allow smooth connectivity with various destinations in Kedarnath and its nearby areas.
How to Reach Kedarnath by Road route
Regular buses and taxis are easily available to connect the pilgrims with the entry point of the Kedarnath journey, i.e. Gaurikund. Also, road transport allows smooth connectivity with the road transport of other states and cities of India.
Kedarnath offers the splendid view of the snow-capped mountains, rhododendron forests and mesmerizing environment that will fill your heart with ultimate peace and joy. One must go here for the captivating vistas and amazing sceneries and watch out the auspicious abode of the great almighty.