Kedarnath, located in Uttar Kashi in the state of Uttaranchal is one of the most important pilgrimage and religious sites for the Hindus. It is very close to the indo- Chinese border, where the Mandakini River originates. Nestled in the Garhwal Himalayas, this pilgrimage site remains covered with snow I the winters. The best time to visit Kedarnath is between May and October. There are temples of Lord Shiva, which are worshipped with great devotion.
At Kedarnath, you will find one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Kedar or Lord Shiva. The temple is a majestic site and draws in thousands of pilgrims every year from all over the world. It is the holiest all Hindu pilgrimages and is said to be built during the 8th century by the great Adi Shankaracharya. You can find the temple standing just next to the temple, which is said to be built by the Pandavas. Outside the Kedarnath Temple, you can find a huge Nandi Bull, which guards the temple of Lord Shiva. The walls of the temple are carved with the figures of various deities from mythology.
Standing for more than 1000 years, Kedarnath temple in Uttaranchal is wholly deeicated to Lord Shiva. The pilgrims climb the mountain to worship the Lord. The temple is built of voluminous and huge slabs of stone. The main shrine is known as Garbha Griha, where the devotees pay their offerings and worship Lord Shiva. The idol of Lord Shiva is made out of naturally of a conical rock formation. The formation is known as the Sadashiva form.
There are five Kedar sites and the Kedarnath at Uttaranchal is the main one. The four other Kedar temples are Madhyamaheshwar, Tunganath, Kalpeshwar and Rudranath. Climbing Kedarnath temple is a very dangerous and people climb it to seek blessing from Lord Shiva.
There are a large number of attractions in Kedarnath, which are also worth watching. Some of them include the following:
- Kedarnath Temple
- Shankaracharya Samadhi
- Chorabari (Gandhi Sarovar)
- Vasuki Tal
- Agastyamuni temple
- Deoria Tal
In winter, the temple remains closed because the temple remains covered with snow. You can reach Kedarnath by a long trekking route from Gaurikund during May to October.