Kedarnath is a small town situated on the bank of the Mandakini River. This town is situated in the Rudraprayag district of Dev Bhumi, Uttarakhand. It is a stretch of land flaked with Kedar Dom and Kedarnath Mountains at a height of 3584 meters. This valley has a breathtaking view of snow-capped mountains as well as of flower valleys.
Kedarnath is the most famous and worshipped town in Uttarakhand. This mesmerizing town is also known as Kedarnath Dham. As the Kedarnath temple is one of the 12 Jyotir Lingams of Lord Shiva. The valley is counted as important among the Char Dhams of Uttarakhand. This holy land is situated in the foothill of the Himalayas. This valley is an astonishing location with great spiritual value.
The story behind Kedarnath Temple
This temple is 1200 years old and is assumed to be formed by Pandavas. The temple has a story behind its formation which say that it is the first temple of Panch Kedar. The old people say that when Pandavas after the war of Mahabharata went to Banaras. As they were feeling guilty for killing their relatives, that time Lord Shiva went to Guptakashi for avoiding them.
However, when they found him, he decided to change himself to a buffalo and roamed in Garhwal Himalayas. After that when Pandavas reached near him for asking his blessings Shiva decided to hide beneath the land. So, he dived inside the land but Bhima held his legs and tail in order to pull him back. And in a blink of a second the buffalo evaporated in the air, only his humps were left behind.
In Kedarnath temple, the humps of the buffalo (Lord Shiva) are worshipped now. And the remaining parts of buffalo are worshiped in the other four Kedar temples known as Panch Kedar. This temple was originally built by Pandavas to compensate for their wrongdoings. After that Adi Shankaracharya rebuilt this temple in the 8th century. Hence he revived the glory of the temple which was buried under the snow for 400 years.
Tourist attractions of Kedarnath
- Kedarnath Temple :- This town is famous for its religious values. Kedarnath temple is the center attraction of the valley. Tourists visit the valley to worship the sacred Lingam of Lord Shiva. The temple is between the snow-capped mountains which gives a magnificent view to the visitors.
- Gaurikund :- This is the starting point of the trek for the temple. Here is a temple of Goddess Parvati near the Kund. In this temple Goddess, Parvati meditated for marrying Lord Shiva. Additionally, half kilometers away from this Kund there is a temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha.
- Gandhi Tal :- It is the most famous Sarovar 4 km from the temple. In this Sarovar, some ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were lashed. This Tal is also known as Chorabari Tal as it is formed from Chorabari Glaciers. It is the most beautiful location to see here.
- Vasuki Tal :- This lake is 8kms away from the temple. It is a paradise for visitors visiting here. They can have an astonishing view of the Himalayas from this point. The trek to this lake is quite difficult as well as challenging. As to reach this lake trekkers must trek through the glaciers.
- Shankaracharya Samadhi :- This is the place where Adi Shankaracharya got Moksha at the age of 32 years. He was a saint as well as a philosopher who found the main thought behind Hinduism. The temple of Kedarnath was rebuilt by him in the 8th century after 400 years.
- Guptakashi :- It is a town 47kms before Kedarnath on the west side of Mandakini River. This place is a holy land that hosts so many important religious locations like Ardhnareshwar Temple, Vishwanath Temple, Manikarnika Kund, and so on. It is a beautiful town of Uttarakhand with great religious value.
- Kalimath :- It is an old temple devoted to Goddess Kali. They believe that the goddess went underground here after killing the demon Raktbeej. This temple is at a height of 1800 ft. between the divine and peaceful environment. Kalimath is one of the Shakti Peeths of the country as well as very famous.
- Kedarnath Trek :- It is a magnificent trek of 3584 meters above sea level on Kedar Peak. On this trek, you can have scenic views of Chaukhamba Peak and Mandakini Valley. It is a trek to Kedarnath Temple with picturesque views of snowy mountains and flower valleys.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Kedarnath is in the months of April to June. These are the months of the summer season when the temperature here is quite pleasant and moderate. This is the best time to visit the different locations without being tense about falling sick. During this time, you can easily visualize the beauty of the region and capture so good moments.
If you want to witness the snowfall in the region then it is advisable to visit in September and October. These are the months of winter and monsoon ends. During this time, you can experience a little rain along with the cold breeze, and snowfall has already started in the Himalayas.
Therefore, this holy place is a combination of spirituality and heavenly views. Kedarnath is a mesmerizing destination for everyone from nature lovers to adventure junkies. However, in this land Lord Shiva has a divinity with solitude in the air. You can easily be lost in the beauty of this glorious location. This valley is a haven in between the Himalayas.
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