Kedarnath is a holy place in the Rudraprayag district of Uttrakhand. Located in a landscape flanked by awe-inspiring snow-clad capped peaks of the Himalayas, the plcae is home to one of the twelve Jyotirlingas.
A visit to Kedarnath, the most remote of the four Char Dham sites, provides a wonderful opportunity to have a brush with divine. Situated at an elevation of 3584 mts. on the head of river Mandakini, Kedarnath temple, enshrining the Jyotirlinga, was built in the 8th century by Adi Shankaracharya, one of the greatest theologians and scholars of the world.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Kedarnath temple is stupendous piece of architecture built of extremely large, heavy and evenly cut gray slabs of stones. The construction Kedarnath temple was a feat of human genius as it handling of these heavy slabs in the earlier days and that in a mountainous terrain and extreme climate.
Architecturally and artistically stunning, the Kedarnath Temple is the centerpiece of any visit to Kedarnath, Built in 8th century A.D. by Adi Guru Shankaracharya an ancient Hindu theologian, this exquisitely architectured shrine is situated in close proximity to the site of an ancient shrine believed to have been built by built by the Pandava brothers.. The walls of the Kedarnath Temple are embellished with figures of deities and scenes from mythology.
The samadhi or the final resting place of Adi Guru Shankaracharya is located behind the Kedarnath Temple. Traditionally it is believed, after establishing the four dhams at the four corners of India, he went for his samadhi at an early age of 32 years.
The picturesque lake also named as Gandhi Sarovar presents an awesome view of Nature. The lake is believed to the place from where Yudhishthir, the eldest of the Pandavas, left for heaven. The floating ice on the sparkling waters of the lake will mesmerize any visitor.
Located at an altitude of 4,135 mt above sea level, Vasuki Tal is a picturesque lake. Surrounded by lofty mountains, Vasuki Tal offers a commanding view of the Chaukhamba peaks.
An important Hindu pilgrimage site on the way to Kedarnath, Gauri Kund is considered to be the gateway to Kedarnath. The place is home to a temple dedicated to Gauri. The thermal springs are famous for their medicinal value.
At an altitude of 1829 mts. Son Prayag lies at the confluence of river Son Ganga and Mandakini on the main Kedarnath route. The popular belief is that a mere touch of the holy water of Son Prayag helps one to attain the “Baikunth Dham”.
A 5 km trek from Sonprayag, Triyuginarayan is supposed to be the marriage place of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. One can see an eternal flame burning in front of the temple. The flame is said to have been a witness to the marriage.
Situated at an altitude of 1319 mts. Guptkashi is place of immense religious significance for the Hindus. It is at Manikarnik Kund in Guptkashi where a stream of the Ganga river is believed to have met with another of Yamuna river. Vishwanath temple and Ardhnareshwar temple are the main places of interest in Guptkashi. 3 km from Guptkashi, the evocative remains of Ramgarh is associated with the legendary love between Anniruddha, son of Lord Krishna, and Usha, daughter of Vanasur.
By Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant at Dehradun which is 240 km from Kedarnath. Delhi is the most convenient airport.
By Rail: The nearest railhead is Rishikesh which is 229 km from Kedarnath which is connected via Haridwar with major cities and towns in India.
By Road: Gaurikund, 14 km away is the place from where one can reach Kedarnath on foot, or on horse back. Kedarnath is connected via Gaurikund with Agasta Muni (65 km), Guptakashi (45 km), Deoprayag (154 km), Badrinath via Rudraprayag (242 km), Rishikesh (229 km), Dehradun (240 km), Haridwar (253 km), Srinagar (Garhwal) 118 km and Delhi (447 km).