One of the most revered temple destinations of India, Kedarnath Dham is nestled in the mighty Garhwal Himalayas.
The town, built around the revered Kedarnath temple, is located at an altitude of 3,580 m, near the Chorabari glacier, which is the source of the Mandakini River.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the ancient temple has exquisite architecture and is built of extremely large but evenly shaped grey stone slabs. A conical rock formation inside the temple is worshipped as Lord Shiva in his “Sadashiva” form.
The Kedarnath temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is a part of the Char Dham pilgrimage circuit and is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva in India.
Behind the Kedarnath Dham, stands the Kedarnath Peak, Kedar Dome and other Himalayan peaks.
From May to October is the best time to visit Kedarnath Dham. During winter months, the town remains closed due to heavy snowfall.
According to Hindu mythology, the Kedarnath Dham was built by the Pandavas, the heroes of the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, as a way to atone for their sins.
Lord Shiva, who was being pursued by the Pandavas, took the form of a bull and disappeared into the ground at Kedarnath.
The temple is believed to have been built on the spot where Lord Shiva disappeared, and the lingam inside the temple is said to have been formed naturally by the elements of earth, air, water, and fire.
In terms of its historical significance, the exact date of the construction of the Kedarnath temple is not known, but it is believed to be more than 1,000 years old.
The temple has undergone several renovations and rebuilding efforts throughout its history, due to natural disasters such as heavy snowfall, landslides, and earthquakes.
The name “Kedarnath” means “god of the field”: it is derived from the Sanskrit words Kedar (field) and nath (god). As per Kashi Kedara Mahatmya, Shri Kedarnath Dham is a “Crop of Liberation.”