The kedarnath Shrine stands facing the Mandakini valley against the backround of majestic, snowy peaks and is one of the twelve most sacred places dedicated to shiva, The form of shiva worshipped here is peculiar.
Dedicated to Shiva, built by the Pandavas after the wars of mahabharat, the simple stone shrine is constructed on a ridge at a height of 3,584 metere and at right angles to the mahapanth peak.
The temple is made of grey stone and with gilded pinnacle, The Pandavas lost their peace of mind after committing the great sins of slaying their Guru and kins folk in the war, here they came to worship the Lord shiva and atone for their sins, they first set out on a Yatra to Varanasi to be absolved of their sin by receiving the blessings of Lord shiva, who was however, unwilling to oblige the Pandavas, Shiva fled from Kashi to uttarakhand and live incognito in Guptakashi, thus giving it name.The pandavas were not ones to give up easily and traced the Lord whereabouts, Shiva then went to Keadrnath and assuming the form of bull, began to graze among the cattles but the disguise was easily penetrated by the adamant Pandavas. They approached and the cattle began to wend their way home, the gigantic Bhim, endowed with a equally giant courage,stood asride the mountains and let the cattle pass under his legs. All of them did but the exception of shiva whom Bhim noticed. As Bhim bent down to hold the bull, Shiva sank into the earth leaving the hump alone above the ground which came into Bhim hands. Shiva was impressed with great determination of the Pandavas and deigned to appear before the brothers. They were exonerated from their sins and instructed to worship the hump, from that day aeons ago, the hump is worshipped in the temple of Shri Kedarnath in the conical shiva pinda form.
According to the Hindu scriptures while then front portion of the Lord appeared at Pashupatinath, Kathmandu, the other four parts are worshipped at the following:
- Tunganth for the Arms (Bahu)
- Rudranath for the Face (Mukh)
- Madhyamaheswar for Stomach (Nabhi)
- Kalpeshwar for the Hair (Jata)
Jointly these five parts are worshipped as the Panch Kedars. Among these the shrine of Kedarnath is considered the most sacred.
Travel Information for Kedarnath
- Nearest Airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun
- Nearest Railway Station is Rishikesh
Distances from Important Cities
- Rudraprayag – 92 kms
- Ukhimath - 59 kms
- Dogalbhita - 83 kms
- Chopta - 89 kms
- Mandal – 117 kms
- Gopeshwar - 128 kms
- Chamoli – 138 kms