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Kedarnath Temple

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By lalitkumar
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Title tag: Kedarnath Temple

Description: Kedarnath temple is Shiva's abode and he is worshiped here as the 'Lord of the Hills.' It is built by Adi Sankaracharya at the bank of Mandakini River in Kedarnath town of Uttranchal State.

Descriptive Title: Kedarnath Temple - Where Wishes Come True

Keywords: kedarnath temple, how to reach kedarnath temple

Kedarnath is a small town in the lap of Garhwal Himalayan range in Uttranchal State. It falls under Rudraprayag district and is at an elevation of 11,657 ft. from the sea level. It is situated on the banks of the Mandakini River and is blessed with breathtaking views flanked by snow-covered mountains. This small town is an important pilgrimage destination for Hindus all over the world. People visit this town because of the Kedarnath temple that is considered as one of the small Char Dham pilgrimage.

The town was ruled by King Kedar during the Satya Yug time and hence got the name. It is believed that Adi Sankaracharya built the temple in this town to worship Shiva in the form of Kedarnath, which means the King of the Mountains. The temple also has some relevance with the Pandava brothers of the great epic Mahabharata. It enshrines Shiva's Jyortilinga.


Pandavas won the battle of Mahabharata. However, after killing their own brothers, they were repenting over their victory. Since the battle had forced them to commit sins, they were denied an entry to heaven. To remove their sins and have an access to heaven, they were supposed to worship Lord Shiva. To do the penance, all the brothers came to this holy town and started looking for Shiva since they knew the lord liked this place and visit it to seek respite. However, to conceal his identity from them, Shiva took a form of bull. When Bhim, one of the five brothers, identified him, Shiva hid himself into the ground. The five different parts of the bull that appeared in different places are considered as the Panch Kedar. The bull's hump remained in this place only.

Another story says that Vishnu took the avataar of Nara and Narayan both of whom devoted their entire life in worshipping Shiva. Seeing their relentless devotion, Shiva appeared in front of them and asked what they wish. They requested the Lord to stay in the form of Shivalinga in Kedarnath forever so that devotees can offer their prayers and find freedom from pain and miseries. Shiva agreed and resided in the temple.


The Kedarnath temple is located amidst the tall Himalayan Mountains and is one of the holiest Hindu places in the country. The sacred building enshrining the Jyortilinga is important for pilgrims and has the power to grant wishes. The altar that was adored by Upamanyu during the Satya Yug and the Pandavas after the battle of Mahabharata reveals the importance of the temple.

The Temple

The temple is built with white stone and is believed to be 1000 years old. The primary deity inside the temple is the Jyortilinga. Outside the temple, there is an idol of Nandi. The temple also has an idol of Virbhadra who served the Lord as his guard. The connection with the tale of Mahabharata is evident from the idols of Pandava brothers inside the temple. To worship Shiva in order to wash away their sins, they built the temple. Adi Sankaracharya built the present building. There are some delicate carvings on the inside wall. The main deity in the shrine is triangular.

The temple is opened from April to October because the high altitude at which it is located makes it unreachable during the winter. During winter, the priests bring the Shivalinga to Ukhimath for darshan. In spite of the height and remote accessibility, millions of Hindus visit the temple. To have a darshan of the Shivlinga, it is a custom to first visit the Ganga and Yamuna Rivers and carry the holy water in a pot to Kedarnath for worship.

It is constructed in three parts giving it a look of three chambers, but one structure. After climbing few steps, one reaches the entrance door. A head of a man is carved on the top front portion of the temple and there is no way to find out the reason for that. Upon entering, there are statues of the Pandavas brothers, Lord Krishna, and Virbhadra. At the backside of the temple there is a samadhi of swami Adi Sankaracharya.

How to Reach Kedarnath Temple

Travelling to Kedarnath is possible from April to November. One can reach to the temple by trekking 14 km from Gaurikund. You can reach Gaurikund from Rudraprayag. However, the trek is challenging but one can enjoy the scenic beauty of the Mandakini River and the snow-clad mountains. The state government also offers services of helicopter against payment. Renting ponies and porter to carry you and your luggage from the base are also another option.

By Air

The Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is 240 km and is the nearest. From Delhi, there are daily flights to Dehradun. Taxis are available at the airport to Kedarnath.

By Rail

The Rishikesh Railway Station is the nearest and is 220 km from Kedarnath.

By Road

State and private buses from Dehradun, Delhi, Rishikesh, Kotwar, Haridwar reach Kedarnath.

All Hindus have to visit the Kedarnath temple once in their lifetime. The divine power of Shiva's Jyortilinga is believed to fulfill devotees' wishes and wash away their sins.…...

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