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State
Uttar Pradesh
Badrinath
Kedarnath
Yamnotri
Gangotri
Puttaparthi
State Uttar Pradesh
City Badrinath
Airport Jolly Grant
Distance from Airport 317 Km/202 Mile
Railway Junction Rishikesh
Local Languages Hindi
Chardham

KEDARNATH

THE CELESTIAL JYOTIRLINGAM

Amidst the dramatic mountainscapes of the majestic Kedarnath range stands one of the twelve ‘Jyotirlingas’ of Kedar or Lord Shiva. Lying at an altitude of 3584 mts. on the head of river Mandakini, the shrine of Kedarnath is amongst the holiest pilgrimages for the Hindus.

The origin of the revered temple can be found in the great epic - Mahabharata. According to legend, the Pandavas sought the blessings of Lord Shiva to atone their sins after the battle of Mahabharata. Lord Shiva eluded them repeatedly and while fleeing took refuge at Kedarnath in the form of a bull. On being followed, HE dived into the ground, leaving behind HIS hump on the surface. This conical protrusion is worshipped as the idol in the shrine.The remaining portions of Lord Shiva are worshipped at four other places - the arms (bahu) at Tungnath, mouth (mukh) at Rudranath, navel (nabhi) at Madmaheshwar and hair (jata) at Kalpeshwar. Together with Kedarnath, these places are known as the Panch Kedar.

The lingam at Kedarnath is pyramidal, unlike its usual form. A status of Nandi – the celestial bull stands at the entrance of the temple and exquisitely carved images adorn the interiors of the temple.

During the winters, the shrine is submerged in snow and hence is closed. The ideal time to visit is between May to October. Kedarnath is reached through a 14 km. long trek from Gaurikund.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Area : 3 sq. km.

Climate : Winter: Sep. to Nov. cold during the day and chilly at night.

Summer: May - August- Cool during the day and cold at night.

Rainfall : 1475 mm.

Best Season : May to October except monsoon.

Clothing : Light woollens in summer. Heavy woollens in winter.

Language : Hindi, Garhwali and English.

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ACCESSIBILITY

Airport : Jolly Grant, Dehradun (251 kms.)

Railhead : Rishikesh (234 kms.) Kotdwar (260 kms.)

Road : Approachable on foot from Gaurikund, which is connected by road to Rishikesh, Kotdwar, Dehradun, Haridwar and other important hill stations of Garhwal and Kumaon region.

ACCOMMODATION

Dharamshalas, Ashrams, Cottages and Tourist Rest House offer a comfortable stay.

PRIME SITES

Kedarnath Temple

The present temple, built in 8th century A.D. by Adi Guru Shankaracharya lies adjacent to the site of an ancient temple built by Pandavas. The walls of the exquisitely architectured temple are embellished with figures of deities and scenes from mythology. The temple has a conical lingam - the main idol, a statue of Nandi - the celestial bull, a ‘garbha grah’ for assemblies of pilgrims and visitors. The temple is believed to be more than 1000 years old.

Shankaracharya Samadhi

Behind the Kedarnath Temple lies the samadhi or the final resting place of Adi Guru Shankaracharya. It is believed, after establishing the four dhams in India, he went for his samadhi at an early age of 32 years.

IMPORTANT FAIRS & FESTIVALS

FAIRS:

  1. Nagnath (Feb.)
  2. Sardotsava, Joshimath (Feb.)
  3. Sardotsava Chamoli, Gopeshwar (Feb. - Mar.)
  4. Shivaratri, Gopeshwar (Feb. - Mar.)
  5. Nanda Devi, Nauti (Mar.)
  6. Maithan, Maithan (Mar.)
  7. Bishwat Sankranti, Karnaprayag/

Nandprayag (April.)

8. Bikhot, Agastyamuni (April.)

9. Nautha, Adi Badri (May)

10. Kaviltha, Kaviltha (Jun.)

11. Naumi, Jasoli Haryali (Aug.)

12. Bhaikhal, Mela, Bhaikhaltal (Aug.)

13. NandaDevi, Bedni Bugyal (Sept.)

14. Nanda Devi, Lata (Sept. –Oct.)

15. Krishna Mela, Joshimath (Nov.)

16. Gauchar Mela, Gauchar (Nov.)

17. Ansi Mela, Anusuya Devi (Dec.)

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FESTIVALS:

  1. Makar Sankranti (Jan.)
  2. Basant Panchmi (Jan-Feb.)
  3. Shivaratri (Feb.)
  4. Nandasthmi (Mar.)
  5. Holi (Mar.)
  6. Baisakhi (Apr.)
  7. Rakshabandhan ( Aug.)
  8. Mata Murti (Sept.)
  9. Lekhpal (Sept.)
  10. Janamashtami (Aug.-Sept.)
  11. Dusshera (Oct.)
  12. Deepawali (Nov.)

 

EXCURSIONS

Chorabari (Gandhi Sarovar)

(2 kms.)

A small lake from where Yudhishthir, the eldest of the Pandavas, is believed to have departed to heaven. The floating ice on the sparkling waters of the lake is a fascinating sight.

Vasuki Tal (6 kms.)

A picturesque lake, 4,135 mts. above sea level is encircled by lofty mountains and offers a commanding view of the Chaukhamba peaks.

Gaurikund (14 kms.)

The trekking base to Kedarnath. A temple dedicated to Gauri and thermal springs of medicinal value are noteworthy.

Sonprayag (20 kms.)

The confluence of Son Ganga and Mandakini rivers. The road to Triyuginarayan diverts from here.

Triyuginarayan (25 kms.)

A 5 kms. trek from Sonprayag, it is the mythological venue of the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. An eternal flame, which is said to have been a witness to the marriage, burns in front of the temple even today.

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Guptkashi (49 kms.)

The temples of Ardhnarishwar and Vishwanath are noteworthy.

Ukhimath (60 kms.)

Winter home of the deity of the Kedarnath Temple and the seat of the Rawal of Kedarnath.

Agastyamuni (73 kms.)

Famous for the temple dedicated to sage Agastya.

Panch Kedar

The five most important temples of Lord Shiva in Garhwal Himalayas - Tungnath, Rudranath, Madmaheshwar, Kalpeshwar and Kedarnath.

Madmaheshwar: (74 kms) Located at an altitude of 3,289 mts. above sea level, 25 kms. northeast of Guptkashi. There is a motorable road from Guptkashi to Kalimath. The best statue in India of Har Gauri measuring over 1 mt. high is found in the Kali temple. The trek from Kalimath to Madmaheshwar is distinguished by scenic mountainscapes. This spot received the belly of Lord Shiva according to the Kedarnath myth.

Tungnath: (90 kms.): At an altitude of 3,680 mts. is the highest Shiva shrine among the Panch Kedars where Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of arms. It is easily accessible. Nearest roadhead : Chopta.

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Rudranath : (142 kms.):

The temple, where the face of Lord Shiva is worshipped, lies at an elevation of 2,286 mts. and is 23 kms. from Gopeshwar. 5 kms. of the distance is motorable and the rest 18 kms. is to be trekked. Wild orchards and picturesque bugyals or high altitude meadows dominate the trek. The temple site provides a fascinating view of surrounding peaks. Anusuya Devi Temple and a number of holy kunds nearby are worth a visit.

Kalpeshwar: (160 kms.): Located in the Urgam valley at an altitude of 2,134 mts. above sea level, the temple is a 10 kms. trek from Helong - the motorhead on Rishikesh-Badrinath route. Here the locks (hair) with head of Lord Shiva are worshipped.

Chandrashila (93 kms.)

The Chandrashila peak provides a rare view of snow-clad peaks. The rhododendron forests and alpine meadows dominate the trek from Tungnath to Chandrashila.

Deoria Tal (68 kms.)

Sari village is the last bus terminus on Chopta-Ukhimath road from where a 2 kms. trek leads to Deoria Tal. This beautiful lake at an altitude of 2,438 mts. gives the spectacular reflection of snow capped peaks in the lake water. Ideal spot for angling and bird watching.

Camp Outer View

Camp Inner View

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