Yatra Chardham – Sri Kedarnath

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Sri Kedarnath Dham  is situated at a height of 3584 meters above the sea level on the head of river Mandakini surrounded by snow capped mountains , it is a plateu having the most popular Hindu pilgrimage in the Chardham. The temple here is dedicated to Lord Shiva and worshiped here of his back which is conical  in shape. This place is accessible from April till October , rest of the year the idol is kept and worshiped at Ukhimath near Guptkashi . Out side the main entrance there is a big stone statue of Nandi Bull facing the temple , upon entering the hall there are statues of five Pandava brothers , Lord Sri Krishna , Vidharba the guard of Lord Shiva. It is said that one who pays the visit here and bows his head is relived of Sorrows , it was from here onward towards the Swargarohan the Pandwa were blessed and relived of guilt and sorrow of killing their relatives in the Mahabharata war.

Sri Kedarnath Temple main entrance

Legend

This land was once ruled by the King Kedar who is also father of Vrinda , she had worshiped for sixty thousand years , to honor him this region was called as Kedarkhand. It is said the  Pandu the Pandva King died here while trying to  love  Madri .

When Bhim tried to stop the Lord Shiva who had disguised as bull had a fight with mace which hit the Lord Shiva , Bhim having guilt of hurting the Lord massaged the body with Ghee , today the pilgrims follow the ritual by applying the Ghee at the triangular Jyotirlinga along with offering of Bel leaves and milk in the puja .

Their existed a temple of Mahabharata time before this temple was constructed  in Eight centenary by the Adi Shankracharya .

Adi Shankarachrya took samadhi at this place in Sri Kedarnath Dham

When to travel

This temple opens along with the other temples of Chardham on Akshya Tritiya and closes on Depawali for winters , mid June till August is monsoon period , there are land slides and roads blocks quite common and during this period journey is not recomended.

What to see

The main place is the Sri Kedarnath temple , just behind it is the Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi , little above at a small distance on the left side of the temple is the Bhairo temple . Chorbari is a crystal clear snow water lake about a kilometer trek from Kedarnath with floating ice in the water. Vasuki Tal  is 6 km at a height of 4150 meters in the snow caped mountains , one can have a beautiful view of Chaukhamba peaks from here.

Where to stay

There are many guest houses and dharamshalas here but all are with basic facilities only.

How to reach here

There are Buses and trains available up to Hardwar or Rishikesh connections from all over India , one can also reach Dehradun by air onward journey could be performed by buses, cars and jeeps , opening of Helicopter service is a big relief for old age people , the helicopter service is available till Kedarnath from Guptkashi ( Phata) and Dehradun . There is a good road till Gaurikund from here the 14 km trek can be done by walking or hiring the mules or palkis .

Delhi to Rishikesh                      230 km

Rishikesh to Guptkashi            201 km

Guptkashi to Gaurikund            32 km

Gaurikund to Sri Kedarnath      14 km

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