Panch Kedar Temple Home > Uttarakhand > Attractions > Temples > Panch Kedar Temple

Panch Kedar Temple

Panch Kedar is the term that refers to five holy Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and belonging to Shaivite sect. These five temples are located at different places in the Garhwal Himalayan region in Uttarakhand, India. The legends behind these temples associate their creation with the Pandavas and Mahabharata era. These five temples include Kedarnath located at an altitude of 3583 m, Rudranath located at an altitude of 2286 m, Tunganath located at an altitude of 3680 m, Madhyamaheshwar located at an altitude of 3490 m and Kalpeshwar located at an altitude of 2200 m. Out of these five, Kedarnath is the most popular temple and is also a part of the Chota Char Dhams. The other three temples in Chota Char Dhams include Gangotri, Yamunotri and Badrinath.

Kedarnath is also one of the 12 Jyotirlingas located in India. Being exemplified by the splendor of the purity of ceremony and shrines, all the five Panch Kedars are positioned near to each other. In addition, the vistas of snow covered mountains and greenery give these temples the most astounding backdrop.


It is believed that these temples were built by Pandavas after the battle between them and Kauravas was over.


The most popular folk legends of these five temples relates to Pandavas who won the battle against their cousins. It is believed that, Pandavas after defeating and killing their cousin brothers, the Kauravas wanted to atone for the sins which they committed including Brahamahatya that is, the killing of Brahmins and fratricide that is, Gotrahatya. Thus, after winning the battle, they handed over the kingdom to their kin and started the search of Lord Shiva to seek his blessings. Initially, they went to the holy city of Kashi, nowadays known as Varanasi. Kashi is believed to be the favorite city of Lord Shiva, but since, Lord Shiva wanted to avoid them as he was profoundly incensed by the dishonesty and killings at the Kurukshetra war, he went insensitive to the prayers of Pandavas. He took the form of a bull (Nandi) and hid himself in the Garhwal region. When Pandavas did not find Lord Shiva in Varanasi, they headed towards Garhwal region. Bhima while standing astride the two vast mountains started looking for Lord Shiva. He then saw a large bull grazing grass near Guptkashi, which got its name from the hiding act of Lord Shiva. Bhima instantly recognized the bull as Lord Shiva and immediately got the hold over the bull by catching his hind legs and tail. But, Lord Shiva in the form of bull disappeared into the ground and later reappeared in different places in parts.

His hump raised in Kedarnath, his face showed up at Rudranath, his arms appeared at Tunganath, his stomach and naval surfaced at Madhyamaheshwar and his head and hair appeared in Kalpeshwar. The Pandavas were extremely pleased with the reappearance of Lord Shiva in five different forms and thus, they built temples at all these places for worshipping and venerating Lord Shiva. As a result, the Pandavas got freed from their sins.

As per another legend, the fore portions of Lord Shiva appeared at Kathmandu where Pashupatinath temple stands today. As per another variant of this tale, it is believed that Bhima not only caught the bull but also stopped him from disappearing. He tore the bull in five parts which appeared at five different locations.

After building the five temples, the Pandavas started meditating at Kedarnath for achieving salvation. They performed yagnas and then, took the heavenly path known as Swargarohini or Mahapanth to attain salvation.

Best Time to Visit

These five temples are located in the higher Garhwal region at quite high altitudes. The winters and monsoons are not the perfect time to visit these temples. The ideal time to plan a visit to Panch Kedar is from May – October except the monsoon seasons. During winters, these areas receive very high snowfall.

How to Reach

Kedarnath is located in the Rudraprayag district and presents some astoundingly wonderful natural sites with breathtaking views. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport of Dehradoon. The nearest railway station is located in Rishikesh and this place is also accessible via road. Once you reach Rishikesh, you can hire a taxi or board a bus which takes you through Rudraprayag, and Guptkashi in order to reach Kedarnath.

Rudranath is located in Garhwal Himalayan Mountains. The nearest airport and railway station to Rudranath is Jolly Grant Airport and Rishikesh railway station respectively. One can also reach Rudranath via road. Once you reach Rishikesh, you have to follow the road path passing through Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Gopeshwar and finally Saggar village to reach Rudranath.

Kalpeshwar can also be reached via same path, however, after reaching Karnaprayag through Rishikesh and Rudraprayag, one need to head towards Chamoli and Joshimat to reach Kalpeshwar.

Tunganath can be reached via Rudraprayag. After reaching Rudraprayag, head towards Ukhimat and then Chopta to reach Tunganath.

Finally, for reaching Madhyamaheshwar, you have to route towards Tilwara from Rudraprayag. From Tilwara, head towards Guptakashi, Ukhimat and then, Uniana to reach the temple.

Related Image

Monuments 1
Monuments 2
Monuments 3
Monuments 4
Monuments 5
Monuments 6

Related Topics

Birla Mandir

Known by the name Birla Mandir, there are a number of similar types of temples being constructed across different parts....

Gunupudi Someswara

The Gunupudi Someshwara Temple is located in Bhimavaram situated in the western direction of Godavari in the Indian....

Imax Theatre

Hyderabad has revolutionized its enter...


Among the various religious monuments...