Of all the chardham pilgrimage sites, Kedarnath has the remotest location, a 2-day journey from Gangotri in Uttarakhand. The sanctity of the site also lies in the fact that it is one of the twelve jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, a powerful deity of the Hindu Trinity. The temple town of Kedarnath is snuggled up at an altitude of 3,584 meter above sea level. Picturesque mountain ranges and snow-laden peaks wonderfully circle the pilgrimage town of Kedarnath. The shrine of Kedarnath is at the source of the Mandakini River, near the Indo-Chinese border. The ideal time to visit Kedarnath is anytime between the months of May and October.
Altitude: 3,584 mts
Climate: Summer: Cool during the day and cold at night.
Winter: Snow-bound touching sub-zero.
Clothing: Summer-Light woollens, Winter- Heavy woollens.
Languages: Hindi, Garhwali, English.
HOW TO REACH US
Air: Nearest Airport is Jolly Grant, 251 kms Dehradun.
Rail: Nearest railhead is Rishikesh 234 kms, Haridwar 254 kms.
Road: Road Approachable on foot form Gaurikund, which is connected by stations of Garhwal and Kumaon region. Kedarnath is near to Rishikesh 234 kms. and Dehradun 250 kms.
Panch (Five) Kedar
There are Five Kedars in all including Kedarnath. The origin of the Panch Kedars has an interesting legend associated with it. Hindu mythology states that when the Pandavas wanted to perform penance in the wake of the great battle of Mahabharat, they came here looking for Lord Shiva. Seeing that Shiva has taken up the form of bull, Bhim followed Shiva but all he could get hold of was his tail. Shiva emerged, with the remaining parts of his body, at the four other kedars.
It is the first of all the Kedars. It was at Kedarnath that Bhim, the most powerful of all the Panadava brothers, grabbed hold of Shiva's tail, after the latter transformed himself into a bull, known as Nandi in the Hindu mythology.
Madhyamaheshvra or (Madhyamaheshwara)
Lord Shiva's navel appeared at this place. Madhyamaheshwara (one of the Panch Kedars) can be reached by covering a distance of 30 km from Guptkashi. Around 6 km of the route is motorable while the rest 24 km can be covered by trekking. While you travel here, do remember to visit the Shiva Temple, located at 3,490 m above sea level.
It is the site of the Tunganath Temple. According to the legend, Lord Shiva's arms appeared at Tunganath after he dived into the ground at Kedarnath. The temple stands at a height of 3,680 m above sea level. This Kedar also happens to be the most elevated of all the Five Kedars or Panch Kedars.
It is the Kedar where emerged the face of Lord Shiva. To commemorate the legend, Lord Shiva's face is worshipped at the Rudranath Temple. If you are reaching Rudranath from Gopeshwar, you need to cover 5 km by a private vehicle and the rest 18 km by trekking. Rudranath feature many sacred tanks or kunds and also affords absorbing views of the surrounding peaks. The Rudranath temple is at an elevation of 2,286 m above sea level.
The place is dedicated to Lord Shiva's hair. The name Kalpeshwar has been derived from 'kalpvriksh' tree. Sage Durvasa is also believed to have meditated under the Kalpvriksh tree here. The Kalpeshwar temple lies at an altitude of 2,134 m above sea level on the banks of River Kalpeshwar. The Badrinath Kedarnath Mandir Samiti looks after this temple.