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kedarnath temple overview

#1 of 11 Places To Visit in Kedarnath
kedarnath temple
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address
Kedarnath, Uttarakhand, India
contact
+91-135-2430261
timings
All days of the week
4:00 AM - 12:00 PM
3:00 PM - 9:00 PM
visit duration
1 to 2 hours

how to reach kedarnath temple

The motorable road ends at Gaurikund, which is well connected with the major cities of Uttarakhand and other parts of North India. From here, Kedarnath lies 14 km away which is covered by trekking.

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about kedarnath temple

Kedarnath temple is one of the holiest Hindu Temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is a part of the Chota Char Dham Yatra, a pilgrimage circuit in the Himalayas, with stops at the Badrinath Temple, Kedarnath Temple, Gangotri (origin of river Ganga) and Yamonotri (origin of Yamuna). Shiva is worshipped as Lord Kedarnath here. Kedarnath Temple remains closed from Kartik Purnima (in November) to Akshay Tritiya (April end). The temple also is part of the Panch Kedar and Panch Prayag.

History

The original Kedarnath Temple is thought to be built by the Pandavas because they wanted to do penance for killing their relatives. For centuries after that the temple lay forgotten until in the 8th century Adi Shankaracharya visited Kedarnath and established the present Kedarnath Temple adjacent to the original temple built by the Pandavas. Shankaracharya is believed to have attained samadhi here, A shrine dedicated to him lies close to the temple. 

Temple

This is an ancient temple made up of huge stone slabs placed on a platform. It stands on a plateau surrounded by the Himalayan mountains and glaciers, The steps leading up to the temple are inscribed in Pali. Kedarnath Temple has a Garbha Griha (inner shrine) and a Mandapa (hall) in front. The Hall contains the statues of the Pandava brothers, Krishna, a personal guard of Shiva and vehicles of Shiva and Veerabhadra. A statue of the Nandi Bull sits right across the inner shrine. The inner shrine contains a roughly conical shaped stone which is worshipped as the Sadashiva form of Shiv. An unusual feature here is the carving of a man's face on this stone.

Rituals

There are 5 priests in the temple, who become the Head priest for a year's term on a rotation basis. Unlike other Hindu temples, the Head priest (Rawal) does not perform the rituals, instead his assistants do the deed. All the mantras read during the various rituals are read in Kannada - a practice that has been followed for hundred of years. During the winters, the Kedarnath temple is closed (November to April end) and the deity is moved to Ukhimath.

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