Kedarnath Temple India

The magnificent temple of Kedarnath (3581 m) one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, is dedicated to Sadashiva, a form of Lord Shiva, is situated in Garhwal Himalayas (Rudraprayag district). While huge statue of Nandi stands in the court yard, the images of Pandavas and Droupadi are skillfully carved on the wall of the temple. There are number of 'Kund' in Kedarnath Peeth. Shiv Kund is the prominent one. Rudhir Kund is known because of water being of red colour. 'Purandar Parvat' divides the area around Kedamath temple which are known as 'Narayan Kshetra' and 'Sakambhari Kshetra'. Some other places of pilgrimage are Tungnath, Rudranath and Kalpnath. The whole Kedamath valley (2 km x 1/2 km) is surrounded by snow covered peaks from three sides and it lends a unique setting to this divine place. Mandakini glaciers and Gandhi Sarovars are only few kilometers away from Kedarnath.

According to legends, the shrine of Kedamath was built by Pandavas after Mahabharat war. The present temple was built in 8th century AD by Adi Shankaracharya. It is believed that Sadashiv escaped from the clutches of Pandavas and took refuge here in the from of buffalo and finding himself hard pressed dived into the ground and left certain parts of his body at four other places along the Himalayan ranges i.e. the arms (Bahu) at Tungnath, the face (Mukh) at Rudranath, the belly (Nabhi) at Mad Maheshwar and the hair (lata) and head at Kalpeshwar. Together with Kedamath all these temples are called 'Panchkedar' and are worshipped by Hindu devotees during their pilgrimage.

Panch Kedar
Tungnath for the Arms (bahu) :
The sanctity of the region of Tungnath is considered unsurpassed. The peak of Tungnath is the source of three springs that form the river Akashkamini. At this temple at 3,680 mts., Shiva's arm is worshipped. The highest Hindu shrine in the Himalayas, 3 kms uphill from Chopta, Thungnath is reached through a path that wends through alpine meadows and rhododendron thickets. An hour's climb from here leads to Chandrashila with its panoramic views. The entire journey and the shrine are located in some of the finest, most picturesque pocket of the Himalayas.The temple comes to sight only a few hundred yards before the finish of the trekking.

Standing in the centre of the stone paved platform, under 3,600 metres high summit of Chandrashila (4,090m) the monument is a fine piece of ancient architecture. The strong built and powerful looks of the temple, made with stone, symbolize the power and anger of Lord Shiva. The idols of Vyas and Kalbhairav stand along the "Shivling" inside the temple. The other four 'Kedar' are beautifully engraved on silver plate. Facing the small, low height gate of the temples, sits Nandi-the divine bull, the vehicle of the Lord. Two small temples, dedicated to Parvati and Kalbhairav embellish the small courtyard, on a flat rock possible to have an idea before starting the construction.

Rudranath for the Face (mukh) :
Situated amidst thick woods, here the 'mukh' or the Lord's face appeared and Shiva is worshipped as Neelkanth Mahadev. Situated at a height of 2,286 metres all around are fragrant flower laden meadows where herbs, grow in profusion. In the background, in all their glory, are the glittering snow-covered peaks of Trishul, Nanda Devi, Devastan etc. Near the temple is a stream of sparkling water known as Vaitarini - the 'Water of Salvation'.
Passing through the glorious mountain scenery, the seventeen kilometres trek passes on its way through Anusuyadevi.At a height of 2,439 metres,

Nandikund is a place where the people worship some rusty old histor,c swords thrust into the rocks.The local populace earnestly believe that the swords belonged originally to the Pandvas.

The trek to Rudranath can be organised either from Gangolgaon or Helang. A cross-country trek from Mandai to Helang via Anusuyadevi, Rudranath, Bansi Narayan, Urgam and Kalpeshwar or vice-versa can really be rewarding.

The temple is surrounded by a number of pools - Surya Kund, Chandra Kund, Tara Kund, Manas Kund - while the great peaks of Nand a Devi, Trishul and Nanda Ghunti rear overhead.

Madhyamaheshwar for the Stomach (nabhi)
After disappearing at Kedarnath, the Navel reappeared at Madhyamadheshwar, 30 km from Guptkashi (24 km trek + 6 km motorable).Here, at a height of 3490 mtrs is a magnificent Shiva Temple, approachable through a trekking route that passes through the famous Siddha Peeth of Kalimath. With a back-drop of the imposing peaks of Chaukhamba, Kedarnath and Nelkanth soaring up to the Heavens, the unparralleled beauty of the route starts from Guptkashi. Guptkashi is at a height of 1319 mtrs where Shiva went incognito.

Kalpeshwar for the Hair (jata) :
In this small rock temple entered through a cave, 2km from Urgam or 11 km from Helang, the manifestation is of the hair or Jata. The 14 km distance from Joshimath to Helang is motorable and the rest 11km bridle path via Urgam begins with the crossing of the Alaknanda at Helang. Most of the trek is a gradual climb. Just 2 km before Kalpheshwar is the friendly village of Urgam (2134 mtrs) set amidst delightful natural surroundings. Urgma is a picturesque valley with terraced fields, lust green forests and gentle, warm and friendly people.