(1st Kedar)

Kedarnath is one of the 12 Jyothirlingas and also one prominent shirine in char dham yatra along with Badrinth, Gangothri and Yamunothri. Kedarnath is the 1st Kedar among the Pancha Kedar. The Shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva and located in the Himalayan ranges at an elevation of 12000 ft above sea level takes place in deva bhoomi (land of gods and goddesses). The temple located in the banks of River Mandakini and one of the most important pilgrimage Centres. Kedarnath is prone to extremely cold and freezing weather conditions.

From Rudraprayag the next stop will be at Gaurikund via Agastyamuni, Guptkashi, Phata, Sitapur and Sonprayag. Gaurikund will mark the starting point for the commencement of trekking  journey towards. From Rudra Prayaga the route devided in two parts. One goes to Kedarmnath Shrine and the other to Badarinath through Karna Prayag, Nanda Prayag and Vishnu Prayag. There two ways to reach Kedarnath from Rudra Prayag.

Kedarnath Temple in winters
  1. Pilgrims may reach Guptkashi and stay there for the night.  In the morning there are helicopter service from Pata helipad (near Guptkashi) and may travel to Kedarnath by helicopter. The service provides will give 2 hours time for darshan  and again reach to Guptkashi. Again pilgrims have to stay and return to Rudra Prayag on the next day. It will take 3 days trip to Kedarnath by helicopter.
  2. Pilgrims may reach to Gaurikund which is 75 km and the travel time is4-5hours. Kedarnath is a steep 16 km trek from Gauri Kund. Horses and palanquins are available for hire by using new trek. A New route of 14 km from Gourikund to Kedarnath formed which is being utilized by the Pilgrims.
  3. Kedarnath Temple is at a height of 12000 ft above to sea leval. Breathing problem to heart patients and Senior Citizens arises here and it is suggested to kept Oxygen cylinders along with them. Kedarnath Yatra is pleasant to youth and children and boon to elder people in their olden days The Jyothirlinga emerged on Himalayan mountain from Nara and Narayana, the two incarnations of Vishnu and Shiva and famous as Kedareswar Jyothirlinga. The jyothirlinga ful fil all the desires of the pilgrims visited the temple. It is believed that all people irrespective of gender of  AQUARIUS  Zodic sign visit and worship the Kedareswar Jyothirlingam will be relieved from all their hurdles in life. Though it was stated that Jagadguru Adi Sankaracharya expired at Kanchi, it is believed that Paramacharya died at Kedarnath and his Samathi is behind to the Kedareswar Temple.

 The local people legend on Pancha Kedar is that Pandavas, the heroes of the Mahabharata, defeated and killed Kauravas in Kurukshetra war. They wished to free from their sins of Gotra Hatya and Brahmana Hatya in the war. Pandavas handed over the ruling  of their kingdom to their kin and left searching lord Shiva and to get his blessings. They went to Varanasi, the favourite city of Shiva. Shiva wanted to avoid them as felt angry to the death and dishonesty in Kurukshetra war and not insensitived to Pandavas’ prayers. Shiva assumed the form of a bull (Nandi) and disappeared in the Garhwal region. Pandavas have not  find Shiva in Varanasi and gone to Himalayas.  Bhima stand between to mountains and started to find out Shiva. He has find a bull grazing near Guptakshi and Bhima recognised the bull to be Shiva. Bhima caught hold the tail of the bull and it was disappear in the ground and later re appeared by splitting the body into five parts.  The parts with the hump raising in Kedarnath, appearing the arms in Tunganath, the navel and stomach surfacing in Madhya maheshwar, the face in Rudranath and hair and head  in Kalpeshwar. The Pandavas, built temples at the five places for worshipping Shiva and thus freed from their sins. The front body of Shiva appeared at Doleshwor Temple, Nepal. After construction of the Pancha Kedar Temples, Pandavas meditated at Kedarnath and performed Yagna.  They have attained Swargarohana through the Mahaprastana.

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