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Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath Temple is regarded by the Hindus as the one of the holiest places that has tremendous spiritual significance. It is also one of the oldest shrines and is dedicated to the Hindu Lord Shiva who is worshipped here as Kedarnath or the Lord of Kedar Khand as it was previously known. It is one of the char dhams that has high religious connotations among Hindus. The other three are Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.


Kedarnath temple is the highest of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. It is located on Garhwali ranges in Kedarnath in the state of Uttarakhand. Standing at an elevation of 3584 meters above sea level, the temple is believed to be more than 5000 years old. It is said to have been built by the Pandavas and revived by Adi Shankaracharya, a renowned Hindu saint and religious reformer.


Kedarnath is believed to be named after King Kedar who ruled in the Satyug. This place is where Lord Shiva finally freed Pandavas from the sin of killing Kauravas in the epic battle of Kurukshetra. The Pandavas undertook a major atonement in Kedarnath to please Lord Shiva in this region. The present shape and form of the temple is attributed to the Adi Shankaracharya. A Samadhi of the saint is seen just behind the temple. Inside the shrine, there are statues of the five Pandavas in cornices in the and also those of Parvati, Lakshmi and Narada, the mythological sage.

Marvels that Defy Modern Technology

One of the most memorable images of the temple is the imposing figure of the Nandi Bull that stands as if guarding the temple. The architecture of Kedarnath Temple is strikingly beautiful and highly detailed. It is a mystery as to how such heavy and extremely large slabs of grey stones were lifted to such great heights during those times when lifting technologies were unheard of.

The temple’s Garbha Griha or Sanctum Sanctorum is the place where pilgrims and visitors assemble for prayers and religious ceremonies. There is a huge conical formation of heavy rock inside the temple which is worshipped as Sadashiva, one of the forms of Lord Shiva. All the rituals of the temple are focused on this stone structure or the lingam.

Important Information

Kedarnath Temple remains open only for six months of the year from April to November. This is the time when the sun enters Aries of the English Zodiac System. When the sun enters Scorpio, the temple is closed to visitors and no rituals are conducted. However, the pooja and other rituals are shifted to Ukhimath, where the worship of Kedareshwara is continued during the winter season by the priests who reside here during this season.

How to Reach

By Road

Kedarnath is well-connected by road from Haridwar and Dehradun. It is 240 km from Haridwar and around 257 km from Dehradun. There are buses leaving every half-an-hour from Haridwar and Dehradun.

By Rail

The nearest railway station is Rishikesh at 221 km.

By Air

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant at 239 Km. It is in Dehradun.

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