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Kedarnath

KEDARNATH


 About 

Kedarnath is a holy Hindu town located in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand in India. It is one of the Char Dhams located in the Himalayas. Kedarnath is situated at an astonishing height of 3584 meters above sea level near the head of Mandakini River.
Kedar means power, also refers to Lord Shiva the creator, protector and the destroyer of this world. The place is very peaceful and quiet, one of the best place to do meditation.

History 

Theologically Lord Shiva agreed to live in Kedarnath on request of Nara-Narayan. But after Kurukshetra war the Pandavas came to meet Shiva to ask forgiveness for the killings during war. Shiva did not want to forgive for the sin they have committed. So he turned himself in a bull and roam in Garhwal Himalayas. On being found by the Pandavas, Shiva tried to sink him in the ground (head first). Bheem got his tail in hand and forced him to appear before them and forgive them. Other parts of Shiva in the form of bull showed up at different places.

The Pandavas then build the first temple Kedarnath.

The hump of the bull was found in Kedarnath, the navel emerged in Madhya-Maheshwar, two forelegs appeared in Tunganath, the face in Rudranath, and the hair in Kalpeshwar. These are collectively called the Panch Kedar - the five sacred places.

The temple is said to be more than 5000 years old and one among the 12 jyotirlingas in India. The majestic Kedarnath peak (6,940 metres) stands behind the temple along with other peaks and adds to the scenery of the area. Built from large, heavy and evenly cut grey slabs of stones, the structure is a masterpiece. The conical Shiva lingam is worshipped as the Lord in his Sadashiva form. It adds a unique feature to the temple among all Shiva shrines.

 Climate 

 Kedarnath has three main seasons.


→ Summer (May to June) when the weather is cool and pleasant. Summers are the ideal time for all sightseeing, temple visit and also for adventure activities. The average temperature is around 17°C. 

→ In Monsoons (July to August) there are occasional rains and the temperature drops till 12°C. Landslides are common during this time. 

→ The winter season (November to April) sees heavy snowfall, causing the locals to leave town and the temple stays shut. For these six months the idol of Lord Kedarnath is moved to Ukhimath, a place near Guptakashi and is transferred back to Kedarnath, in the month of May.

 How to Reach   

Kedarnath is well connected from many cities like Chandigarh (387 km), Delhi (458 km) and Rishikesh (189 km). Nearest Railway Station is Rishikesh (215 km) and Haridwar (241 km)  The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport Dehradun (257 km). There are direct buses from Delhi to Haridwar.

Gaurikund is accessible from Haridwar. Buses start from Haridwar every morning. Bookings can be also made in advance by GMOA (Garhwal Mandal owners Associations). It takes nearly a full day. 
Route
Rishikesh → Devaprayag (70 kms) → Srinagar (35 kms) → Rudraprayag (34 kms) → Tilwara (9kms) → Agastamuni (10 kms) → Kund (15 kms) → Guptkashi (5 kms) → Phata (11 kms) → Rampur (9 kms) → SonPrayag (3 kms) → Gaurikund (5 kms) → Rambara (7 kms) → Linchauli (4 Kms) → Kedarnath (3 Kms).

Helicopter service is also available from various parts of Uttarakhand, like Dehradun, Guptkashi, Sirsi and Phata.



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