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Kedarnath
 
Location: 14 kms. Trek From Gaurikund
Altitude: 3,581 mt.
Dedicated To: Lord Shiva
Built In: 8th Century AD

The Kedarnath shrine, one of the 12 jyotirlings of Lord Shiva, is a scenic spot situated, against the backdrop of the majestic Kedarnath range. At an altitude of 3,581 mt it is a 14 km trek from Gaurikund.

Dedar is another name of Lord Shiva, the protector and the destroyer. Shiva is considered the embodiment of all passion-love, hatred, fear, death and mysticism which are expressed through his various forms.

There are more than 200 shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva in Chamoli district itself, the most important one is Kedarnath. According to legend, the Pandavas after having won over the Kauravas in the Kurukshetra war, felt quilty of having killed their own brothers and sought the blessings of Lord Shiva for redemption. He eluded them repeatedly and while fleeing took refuge at Kedarnath in the form of a bull.

On being followd he dived into the ground, leaving his hump on th surface. The remaining portions of Lord Shiva appeared at four other place and worshipped there as his manifestations.

The arms appeared at Tungnath, the face at Rudranath, the belly at Madmaheshwar and his locks (hair) with head at Kalpeshwar. Kedarnath and the four aboce mentioned shrices are treated as Panch Kedar.

Kedarnath Temple
An imposing sight, standing in the middle of a wide plateau surrounded by lofty snow covered peaks. The present temple, bulk in 8th century A.D. by Adi Shankaracharya, Stands adjacent to the site of an earlier temple built by the Pandavas. The inner walls of the assembly hall are decorated with figures of various deities and scenes from mythology. Outside the temple door a large statue of the Nandi Bull stands as guard.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the exquisitely arhitectured Kedarnath temple considered to be more than 1000 years old. Built of extremely large, heavy and evenly cut grey slabs of stones, it evokes wonder as to how these heavy slabs had been handled in the earlier days. The temple has a "Garbha Griha" for worship and a Mandap, apt for assemblies of pilgrims and visitors. A conical rock formation inside the temple is worshipped as Lord Shiva in his Sadashiva form .

Shankaracharya Samadhi
The Samadhi of Adi Guru Shankaracharya is located just behind the Kedarnath temple. It is said that after establishing four sacred Dhams in India, he went into his samadhi at an early age of 32 years.

EXCURSIONS FROM KEDARNATH

Chorabari (Gandhi Sarovar)
Only a km trek away from Kedarnath. Floating - ice on the crystal clear waters of the lake fascinates the visitors.

Vasuki Tal
Situated at a height of 4,150mt, the lake is surrounded by high mountains and offers an excellent view of Chaukhamba peaks.

Gaurikund
It is the base for a trek to Kedarnath and serves as a roadhead. The village has a temple dedicated to Gauri and hot water springs.

Sonprayag
Situated at the confluence of Sone Ganga and Mandakini rivers. The road to Trijuginarayan diverts from here.

Trijuginarayan
According to legend, this was the place where the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvati was solemnised. In front of the Shiva Temple is an eternal flame, which is said to be a witness to the marriage. It can be reached by a 12 km drive from Sonprayag.

Guptkashi
Famous for the temples of Ardhnarishwar and Vishwanath.

Ukhimath
Winter home of the deity at Kedarnath temple and the seat of the Rawal of Kedarnath. Connected by bus services to Rudraprayag and other major centres.

Agastymuni
The temple of sage Agastya is the main attraction here.

Panch Kedar
Madmaheshwar, Tungnath, Rudranath and Kalpnath with Kedarnath from the Panch Kedar, the five most important temples of Lord Shiva in Garhwal Himalayas

Madmaheshwar
One of Panch Kedars, the temple of Madmaheshwar is located at an altitude of 3,289 mt above sea-level, on the slope of a ridge, 25 km northeast of Guptkashi. There is a motorable road from Guptkashi to Kalimath.

The best statue of Har Gauri in India measuring over a metre high is found in the Kali temple. The trek from Kalimath to Madmaheshwar is distinguished by wild unparalleled scenic beauty and engulfed by Chaukhamba, Kedarnath and Neelkanth peaks. Gaundar at the confluence of Madmaheshwar Ganga and Markanga Ganga, is the last settlement before one reaches Madmaheshwar, the place where Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of belly.

Tungnath
The arms of Lord Shiva came out as per the Kedarnath myth at Tungnath. He is worshipped here as one of the Panch Kedars. Tungnath Temple at an altitude of 3,680 mt, is the highest Shiva shrine among the Panch Kedars but the easiest to reach from Chopta, the nearest roadhead.

 
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