Kedarnath temple is located in the Himalayan Range near the Mandakini River of Kedarnath, Uttarakhand, India. Being located in the lap of the Himalayas this place faces extreme conditions. Due to this reason Kedarnath temple remains open from the wend of April to Karthik Poornima. Lord Shiva is worshipped as Kedarnath (Lord of the Kedar Khand) as this region was primarily known as Kedar Khand.
This temple is believed to have existed from the time of the Pandavas as they pleased Lord Shiva here by a penance. Kedarnath is one of the holiest Hindu shrines where people flock in lakhs to visit during the time it remains open.
It is believed that Kedarnath temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya. The Pandavas after killing their own relatives in the famous war of Mahabharata left for a pilgrimage in the Himalayas. But they found that Lord Shiva was hiding from them as they had committed several sins. Upon reaching Gaurikhand, the two smallest of the Pandava brothers found a buffalo. When Bheema went to catch it he couldn't succedd and rather it's face stretched to Nepal. The place is still worshipped as Pashupatinath Temple in Nepal. From the Hind side came out a tremendous light and Lord Shiva emerged out of it. He decided to stay in the form of a triangular Jyotirlinga in Kedarnath forever. This place is also considered as one of the Chota Char Dham.
Structure And Significance
The Jyotirlinga in this temple is in the form of a pyramid. At the gate there is a statue of Nandi and the walls are carved with beautiful carvings. It belongs to the time of the Pandavas. It is one of the ancient shrines of Lord Shiva. Kedarnath stands at a height of about 12,000 feet. There is one more interesting thing about the structure of the temple.
A pilgrimage to Kedarnath is one of the most aspired dreams of the Hindus. For the Kedarnath yatra you have to walk 14kms from Aurikhand. People say that once blessed by Kedarnath, sorrows cannot even touch you in your dreams.
By Bus: Kedarnath is well connected by bus routes to almost all major cities in India. Gaurikhand is accessible by buses plying from major cities like Rishikesh (221kms), Dehradun (215kms) and so on.
By Rail: The nearest rail head to Kedarnath is Rishikesh (221kms) which is in turn well connected all other major railway stations in the country.
By Air: Dehradun is the nearest airport (239kms) to Kedarnath. You can easily avail a bus from Dehradun in order to reach Kedarnath.
You must visit this place at least once in a lifetime as it will give tremendous peace to your soul.