Kedarnath Dham - Kedarnath Temple - Kedarnath Yatra - Kedarnath Mandir
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Chardham Yatra is the most popular spiritual yatra starting from April-May and continues till Oct-Nov every year in Uttarakhand India. This is the best time to visit Char Dhams and enjoy the scenic beauty of the environment and nature.
It comprises of 4 destinations namely Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.

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Kedarnath Mandir - Kedarnath Temple - Kedarnath Dham is a Hindu temple (shrine) dedicated to Lord Shiva. Located on the Garhwal Himalayan range near the Mandakini river, Kedarnath is located in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Due to extreme weather conditions, the temple is open to the general public only between the months of April (Akshaya Tritriya) and November (Kartik Purnima, the autumn full moon). During the winters, the vigrahas (deities) from Kedarnath temple are carried down to Ukhimath and where the deity is worshiped for the next six months. Kedarnath is seen as a homogenous form of Lord Shiva, the 'Lord of Kedar Khand', the historical name of the region.

Kedarnath Dham - Kedarnath Temple - Kedarnath Yatra - Kedarnath Mandir

The Kedarnath Mandir - Kedarnath Temple - Kedarnath Dham is not directly accessible by road and has to be reached by a 22 kilometres (14 mi) uphill trek from Gaurikund. Pony and manchan service is available to reach the structure. According to Hindu legends, the temple was initially built by Pandavas, and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest Hindu shrines of Shiva. It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, expounded in Tevaram. Pandavas were supposed to have pleased Shiva by doing penance in Kedarnath.The temple is one of the four major sites in India's Chota Char Dham pilgrimage of Northern Himalayas. This temple is the highest among the 12 Jyotirlingas.

Kedarnath Dham - Kedarnath Temple - Kedarnath Yatra - Kedarnath Mandir

Kedarnath was the worst affected area during the 2013 flash floods in North India. The temple complex, surrounding areas, and Kedarnath town suffered extensive damage, but the temple structure did not suffer any "major" damage, apart from a few cracks on one side of the four walls which was caused by the flowing debris from the higher mountains. A large rock among the debris acted as a barrier, protecting the temple from the flood. The surrounding premises and other buildings in the market area were heavily damaged

Kedarnath Dham - Kedarnath Temple - Kedarnath Yatra - Kedarnath Mandir

The Badrinath Dham temple is mentioned in ancient religious texts like Vishnu Purana and Skanda Purana. It is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, an early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD

History and legends of origins of Kedarnath Mandir - Kedarnath Temple - Kedarnath Dham

The temple, at a height of 3,583 m (11,755 ft), 223 km from Rishikesh, on the shores of Mandakini river, a tributary of Ganga, is a stone edifice of unknown date. It is not certain who built the original Kedarnath temple and when. The name "Kedarnath" means "the lord of the field": it derives from the Sanskrit words kedara ("field") and natha ("lord"). The text Kashi Kedara Mahatmya states that it is so called because "the crop of liberation" grows here.

Kedarnath Dham - Kedarnath Temple - Kedarnath Yatra - Kedarnath Mandir

According to a mythological account, the god Shiva agreed to dwell here at the request of Nara-Narayana. After the Kurukshetra War, the Pandava brothers, came here to meet Shiva on the advice of the sage Vyasa, because they wanted to seek forgiveness for killing their kin during the war. However, Shiva did not want to forgive them: so, he turned into a bull and hid among the cattle on the hill. When the Pandavas managed to track him, he tried to disappear by sinking himself head-first into the ground. One of the brothers grabbed his tail, forcing him to appear before them and forgive them. The Pandava brothers then built the first temple at Kedarnath. The portions of Shiva's body later appeared at four other locations; and collectively, these five places came to be known as the five Kedaras ("Panch Kedar"); the head of the bull appeared at the location of Rudranath.

The Mahabharata, which gives the account of the Pandavas and the Kurukshetra War, does not mention any place called Kedarnath. One of the earliest references to Kedarnath occurs in the Skanda Purana (c. 7th-8th century), which contains a myth describing the origin of the Ganges river. The text names Kedara (Kedarnath) as the place where Shiva released the holy water from his matted hair.

Kedarnath Temple 1882

According to the hagiographies based on Madhava's Sankshepa-shankara-vijaya, the 8th century philosopher Adi Shankara died at Kedaranatha (Kedarnath); although other hagiographies, based on Anandagiri's Prachina-Shankara-Vijaya, state that he died at Kanchi. The ruins of a monument marking the purported death place of Shankara are located at Kedarnath. Kedarnath was definitely a prominent pilgrimage centre by the 12th century, when it is mentioned in Kritya-kalpataru written by the Gahadavala minister Bhatta Lakshmidhara.

According to a tradition recorded by the English mountaineer Eric Shipton (1926), "many hundreds of years ago", the Kedarnath temple did not have a local priest: the priest of the Badrinath temple used to hold services at both the temples, traveling between the two places daily.

Inside Kedarnath Mandir - Kedarnath Temple - Kedarnath Dham

The presiding image of Kedarnath in the form of lingam is of irregular shape with a pedestal 3.6 m (12 ft) in circumference and 3.6 m (12 ft) in height. There is a small pillared hall in front of the temple, that has images of Parvathi and of the five Pandava princes. There are five temples around namely Badari-kear, Madhya Maheswara, Tunganatha, Rudranatha and Kallesvara. The first hall inside Kedarnath Temple contains statues of the five Pandava brothers, Lord Krishna, Nandi, the vehicle of Shiva and Virabhadra, one of the guards of Shiva. Statue of Draupadi and other deities are also installed in the main hall. An unusual feature of the temple is the head of a man carved in the triangular stone fascia. Such a head is seen carved in another temple nearby constructed on the site where the marriage of Shiva and Parvati was held. Adi Shankara was believed to have revived this temple, along with Badrinath and other temples of Uttarakhand; he is believed to have attained Mahasamadhi at Kedaranath. Behind the temple is the samadhi mandir of Adi Sankara.

Kedarnath Dham - Kedarnath Temple - Kedarnath Yatra - Kedarnath Mandir

The head priest (Raval) of the Kedarnath temple belongs to the Veerashaiva community from Karnataka. However, unlike in Badrinath temple, the Raval of Kedarnath temple does not perform the pujas. The pujas are carried out by Raval's assistants on his instructions. The Raval moves with the deity to Ukhimath during the winter season. There are five main priests for the temple, and they become head priests for one year by rotation. The present (2013) Raval of Kedarnath temple is Shri Vageesha Lingacharya. Shri Vageesh Lingacharya who belongs to the Village Banuvalli of Taluka Harihar of Davanagere district in Karnataka. A triangular shaped lingam is worshiped in Garbhagriha of the temple. Surrounding Kedarnath, there are many symbols of the Pandavas. Raja Pandu died at Pandukeshwar. The tribals here perform a dance called "Pandav Nritya". The mountain top where the Pandavas went to Swarga, is known as "Swargarohini", which is located off Badrinath. When Dharmaraja was leaving for Swarga, one of his fingers fell on the earth. At that place, Dharmaraja installed a Shiva Linga, which is the size of the thumb. To gain Mashisharupa, Shankara and Bheema fought with maces. Bheema was struck with remorse. He started to massage Lord Shankara’s body with ghee. In memory of this event, even today, this triangular Shiva JyotirLinga is massaged with ghee. Water and Bel leaves are used for worship.

Gauri Kund Kedarnath Mandir - Kedarnath Temple - Kedarnath Dham

Gauri Kund is a Hindu pilgrimage site and base camp for trek to Kedarnath Temple, in Uttarakhand, India. It is situated at an altitude of 6502 feet above mean sea level in the Garhwal Himalayas.

Please Note :- Yatri Must Visit and Take a Hot Water Spring Dip, Before Performing Kedarnath Yatra.

The Gauri Kund at Kedarnath Mandir - Kedarnath Temple - Kedarnath Dham, a hot sulphur spring just is considered to be medicinal; many pilgrims consider it a requirement to bathe in the springs before visiting the temple.

Gauri Kund Kedarnath

Folklore connection of Gauri Kund is connected with Shiva's wife Parvati, also known as Gauri. In Hindu folklore, Gauri committed to penance involving many ascetic and yogic practices to win over Shiva's affections. Local tradition claims that Gauri Kund is the spot where Gauri lived while carrying out these practices and it was here that Shiva finally admitted His love for Her. They were married at Triyugi Narayan, which is located nearby. There are hot springs in Gaurikund and they are converted to bathing places.

Gauri Kund Kedarnath

Legend of Gauri Kund

This kund or water well is on the way to main kedarnath temple that is the main reason why it attracts much of crowd. It is believed that kedarnath yatra ( pilgrimage ) is incomplete without visiting this step well ( Gauri Kund ) So people do visit it in spite place is not maintained as it should be.

Gauri kund is the starting point of 19 km trek to Kedarnath temple.

Gauri Kund is also associated with the legend of how Ganesha acquired his elephant head. While bathing in the kund, Goddess Parvati fashioned Ganesha from the soap suds on her body, breathed life into Him and placed Him at the entrance as Her guard. Lord Shiva happened to arrive at the spot and He was stopped by Ganesha. Indignant at this affront, Shiva cut off Ganesha's head and Parvati was inconsolable. She insisted that the boy be brought back to life and Shiva took the head of a wandering elephant and placed it on Ganesha's body. Parvati had Her son back and Ganesha acquired the persona by which He is known all over the Hindu world since then.

Just below the starting point to Kedarnath trek is the Gauri kund hot spring. The water is boiling at 50° C and one can only sprinkle that water or use the cold Mandakini river water to mix and bath. The earlier kund was washed away in the 2013 deluge and this one has come up again.

Administration at Kedarnath Mandir - Kedarnath Temple - Kedarnath Dham

The temple was included in the Uttar Pradesh state government Act No. 30/1948 as Act no. 16,1939, which came to be known as Shri Badarinath and Shri Kedarnath Mandir Act. The committee nominated by the state government administers both temples. The act was modified in 2002, which provisioned adding additional committee members including Government officials and a Vice chairman.

Kedarnath Dham - Kedarnath Temple - Kedarnath Yatra - Kedarnath Mandir

There are a total of seventeen members in the board; three selected by the Uttaranchal Legislative Assembly, one member each by the Zilla Parishads of Garhwa, Tehri, Chamoli and Uttarkashi, and ten members nominated by the state government. On the religious side, there is a Rawalji (chief priest) and three other priests: Nayab Rawal, Acharya/Dharmadhikari and Vedpathi. The administrative structure of the temple consists of a chief executive officer who executes the orders from the state government. A deputy chief executive officer, two OSDs, an executive officer, an account officer, a temple officer and a publicity officer assist the chief executive officer.

Badrinath Dham - Badrinath Temple - Badrinath Yatra - Badrinath Mandir

The Badrinath Dham temple has undergone several major renovations due to its age and damage by an avalanche. In the 17th century, the temple was expanded by the Kings of Garhwal. After significant damage in the great 1803 Himalayan earthquake, it was largely rebuilt by the King of Jaipur. It was still under renovation as late as the 1870s but these were completed by the time of the First World War. At that time, the town was still small, consisting of only the 20-odd huts housing the temple's staff, but the number of pilgrims was usually between seven and ten thousand. The Kumbh Meld festival held every twelve years raised the number of visitors to 50,000. The temple also enjoyed revenue from the rents owed to it by various villages bequeathed by various rajas.

During 2006, the state government announced the area around Badrinath as a no construction zone to curb illegal encroachment.

Timings for Badrinath Dham Prayers

4 am – 9 pm

Getting there and around - How to Reach Kedarnath by Helicopter Road

By Air: Jolly Grant Airport near Dehradun is the nearest Airport to Kedarnath situated at a distance of 238 kms.

How to Reach Kedarnath by Helicopter Road

How to Reach Kedarnath by Helicopter Road

By Train. Rishikesh Railway station is the nearest railway station from Kedarnath, at a distance of 216 km. This railway station is well connected to major cities and towns of the country. You can hire a taxi from the station or board a bus from nearest bus station to reach Gaurikund (And further trek to Kedarnath).

By Road: Gaurikund is the point where road to Kedarnath ends and an easy trek of 22 km commence. Kedarnath is very well connected with the important cities like Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun and the cities of Kumaon.

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