Founded by the great saint, sage, seer and philosopher Adi Shankaracharya during the 8th century and against the majestic snow-capped backdrop of the Garhwal Himalayas, Kedarnath Dham is located in Rudraprayag district at an elevation of 3,583 meters above sea level. Literally translated as ‘lord of the region’, the temple of Kedarnath is known as one of the oldest and most important Jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva. Here Lord Shiva is worshiped as Lord Kedar with the presiding deity as a triangular, shiny black rock. Kedarnath – Home of Lord Shiva.
Kedarnath Dham stands on the banks of the Mandakini River and above the Garhwal Himalaya at an elevation of 3584 meters above sea level. It is the abode of Kedarnathji, a manifest form of Lord Shiva and one of the Chardhams in the Chota Chardham pilgrimage circuit. Baba Kedar Tirtha is one of the 12 Shiva Jyotirlingas of the country. It is one of all the Lord Shiva Jyotirlingas present in our country. Snow-capped Himalayan mountain ranges encircling Kedarnath Dham. The temple of Kedarnath lasts from the month of April to November.
After November, the temple was closed due to heavy snowfall. The Kedarnath Dham Yatra is organized every year during the yatra season; That is, when the temple is open. When and how Kedarnath Dham came into existence, it is embedded in the mysteries of time. There are many fascinating legends and mythology associated with the origin of Kedarnath Dham. In other words, the history of Kedarnath is buried in myths. Let us learn about the myths and legends associated with Kedareshwar Dham.
A legend says that when Nar and Narayana; The incarnations of the two lord Vishnu underwent harsh austerities in the presence of an earthen Shivling at Badrikashram in Bharata Khand, with Lord Shiva shaken by their devotion. He appeared to them to bless them and bestow them a boon. When Prabhu told them that they could ask for a boon, they encouraged him to settle in the same place as a cosmic pillar or ‘Jyotirlingam’, so that subsequent generations could pray to the Lord, get his blessings and Get rid of their sufferings. Lord Shiva agreed to his wish and settled in Kedarnath forever. And thus Kedarnath Dham came into existence.
Another legend says that the Pandavas, after the great war of Mahabharata, suffered from immense guilt for committing the sin of killing their own kin. He wanted to pray to Lord Shiva and was freed from his sin. They went in search of him to visit Kashi but Lord Shiva became angry with him for his sinful act, not wanting to free him from his sin so easily. Therefore, he survived and hid in Guptkashi; That is, Kash hidden Kashi. The Pandava brothers went in search of Guptkashi. To drive them away, Lord Shiva took cover of a bull and dived into the underground areas and tried to escape. But Bhima; One of the Pandava brothers seized ‘him’; That is, the bull by the tail. As a result, the bull’s body shattered and shattered in different directions. The hump of the bull fell on the area where the temple of Kedarnath currently stands. This explains why the Shiva linga enshrined in the temple of Kedarnath is of the shape of a hunch of an ox. Later, a temple was built above the hump-shaped Shiva Lingam and thus the Kedarnath temple came into existence. Other parts of the bull’s body fell in other parts of the Garhwal Himalayas and on each of those parts, a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva was built. All those pilgrimages along with the temple of Kedarnath are collectively known as Panch Kedars. Panch Kedar Yatra is another important pilgrimage for all the devout Shiva devotees.
Yoga and Meditation Cave in Kedarnath
A modern cave at Kedarnath has been constructed by a wood-stone construction company in collaboration with the Jindal Group. It has all the facilities and equipment required for the functioning of a state of the art yoga center, which provides the visitor with peace of mind and some spiritual knowledge. Facilities like electricity, water and a DSPT phone are provided inside the cave. The initiative was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who, on a visit to Kedarnath Dham, directed the Uttarakhand government to construct a cave primarily on yoga and meditation. Following strict instructions from the Prime Minister, CM of Uttarakhand – Trivendra Singh Rawat, CM of Uttar Pradesh – Yogi Adityanath along with Chief Secretary Utpal Kumar made regular visits to Kedarnath Dham to keep a keen eye on the construction of this cave yoga center.
Facilities Available Inside the Cave
This unique cave yoga and meditation center is situated at a distance of one and a half km from the main Kedarnath shrine on the banks of the Chorbadi lake. The respected DM Mangesh Ghildiyal of Rudraprayag also kept a keen eye on the construction and development of this unique place. The overall area of the cave is 5 meters long and 3 meters wide with a toilet with 2.5 meters long bathroom. This cave also has electricity services along with a DSPT phone due to security concerns. There is a small courtyard present right outside the cave along with a Havan Kund right next to it which is used for performing puja rituals. The most impressive feature is the presence of beds inside the cave which makes the stay here all the more comfortable. Contribution has also been made by the Jindal group to wood stone construction company as a generous gesture in order to make this dream into a reality. This construction company had kick-started the work on this magnificent cave on 20th April 2018 and has now been completed.
Trek Details from Gaurikund to Kedarnath
Kedarnath Dham is one of the Chardhams in the Chota Chardham circuit and is dedicated to Lord Shiva who is commonly known as Kedareshwar. It is the highest of all Lord Shiva Jyotirlingas in the country. Kedarnath Dham is located at an altitude of 3584 meters above sea level and falls within the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. The Kedarnath Temple is much more revered among the snowy peaks of the majestic Garhwal Himalaya.
A visit to the Kedarnath shrine combines the spiritual joy of a religious destination and the aura of an attractive tourist destination. The route to Kedarnath passes through alpine forests, rhododendron trains and Panna Ghats. To reach the Kedarnath temple, you have to travel 14 kilometers from the Gaurikund base camp located at an altitude of 2900 meters above sea level. The first stop of the Kedarnath yatra is Sonprayag. It can be reached by vehicle. From Sonprayag you can reach Gaurikund via hired taxis which is only one way from Sonprayag to Gaurikund to avoid unwanted traffic trail.
From Gaurikund you have to start your trek towards Kedarnath temple. The path is bumpy, the mountainous Himalayan road runs between the peaks of the Himalayas. Trekking on that route requires a lot of strength of mind and body. Himalayan weather is unpredictable. You can never travel during the day because the weather changes most and suddenly throughout the day. Keeping the weather guide map of Kedarnath with you when you trek can be useful in times of emergency.
Facilities available on the track route
On the Kedarnath Dham trek route you can expect some of its features:
– On the route up to Rambara, there are small shops selling biscuits, tea, chocolate, noodles etc. every 200 meters.
– In Rambaraat, you will find some other guest houses along with the GMVN guest house
– Those who find trekking difficult can take advantage of other conviction modes such as Ponies or Palkis. After walking approximately on km on the route post Gaurikund, you will get government booking counters for booking these booking facilities
Places to Visit around Kedarnath Dham
Shankaracharya Samadhi: As the name suggests, this place is dedicated to the famous sage, seer and philosopher Adi Shankaracharya who is said to have propagated Advaita philosophy during the 8th century with the establishment of the All India Char Dham Yatra.
Sonprayag: Situated at an altitude of 1829 meters above sea level, this place is an iconic site where Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati have said to marry each other. This place is an ideal place for nature lovers and adventure seekers. You will be greeted by impressive views of the snow-capped mountain top and a spectacular natural beauty.
Chandrashila: The beautiful and picturesque Chandrashila peak is situated amidst lofty and lush green deodar and rhododendron forests. A trekking trip will take you across some of the most captivating and awe-inspiring sights and paths. This trekking expedition is an easy option for beginner treks tasting Himalayan adventure.
Vasuki Tal: Situated at an altitude of 14,200 feet above sea level, this beautiful, blue, high glacial lake is believed to be the spot where Lord Vishnu bathed. The entire lake is surrounded by a series of blooming Brahman Kamal and other Himalayan flowers, which is a treat for the eyes.
Helicopter Yatra to Kedarnath
16 km trekking from Gaurikund to Kedarnath can be done all day and it is not for everyone. The Kedarnath yatra by road is time consuming and involves some physical inconveniences. If you value your time and want to avoid inconvenience, the easiest and fastest way to fulfill your spiritual obligation is to opt for a trip by helicopter. There are many helicopter services to Kedarnath that take you to Kedarnath and get you back to your destination in just one day. You can board a Bell helicopter in Guptkashi, Agastyamuni, Phata, Sersi or Sonprayag and fly into Kedarnath, have darshan and then return the same day. There are helipads at each of these locations.
It is also possible to make a pilgrimage to Badrinath. Some helicopter services include Badrinath-Kedarnath in a Do Dham Yatra. Such facilities are available at the Sahastradhara helipad in Dehradun. You get off in a helicopter at around 12.45 am, fly to Kedarnath, have a quick darshan and then fly to Badrinath, have darshan and return to Dehradun by 4.45 pm and you can return to Delhi at night.
By Air – The nearest airport to Kedarnath Dham is located on the Rishikesh – Dehradun route which is the Jolly Grant Airport. After getting down from the airport you can hire a taxi or drive yourself towards Rishikesh / Haridwar or go to Gaurikund, whichever you like best.
By Rail – The nearest railhead to reach Kedarnath Dham is located at Haridwar and Dehradun. These railway lines cater to trains from various different big and small cities and you can choose according to your needs.
By Road – The last road to Kedarnath is Gaurikund which caters to many private cars, buses, taxis and state transport. These transport services come from various nearby cities like Rishikesh, Dehradun, Pauri, Dehradun, Uttarkashi.
Opening and Closing Dates
The temple is opened for Kapat Darshan according to the change in the weather on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya. The entire Dham and their surrounding areas spring to life. Filled with fun and spending spiritual time, the temple closes during the sacred time of Kapat Bhai Dooj, which takes place a few days after Diwali.
Many budget-friendly accommodation facilities are available that cater to the needs of all travelers to Kedarnath Dham. If you wish to have a more comfortable stay, you have the option of booking near a hotel or lodge in Kedar Valley for example. In Guptkashi. There are also options for comfortable camping and tents located in the area near the main temple. Government guesthouses are also available at the cheapest rates by GMVN, which have separate rooms as well as dorm room facilities. Accommodation in Kedarnath is not a matter of great concern as there are many options available, but make sure that all your booking in advance to avoid any kind of hotel related problems and problems arising during the journey To be done only.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Kedarnath
Q. Which is the best time to visit Kedarnath?
A. May to October is considered the best month to visit the holy valley of Kedarnath. Most of the temples in the region are closed during winters so it is best to not visit the place during the month of winters.
Q. How to reach Kedarnath?
A. There is no direct route via flight or train to reach Kedarnath. If you are taking a flight, the nearest airport is Dehradun, from there you have to cover the distance via rail or road. The nearest railway station to Kedarnath is Rishikesh. There are also options to travel by helicopter from Dehradun and Rishikesh.
Q. Can I include other pilgrimages to visit on my Kedarnath trip?
A. Yes, you can definitely do that. You may just have to increase the number of days in order to cover these places in a single trip. There are a number of pilgrimage sites near Kedarnath. Tungnath Temple, Rudranath temple, Madhyamaheshwar Temple, Kapleshwar temple, Agastamuni, etc. are some of the important and popular pilgrimage sites situated close to Kedarnath.