Kedarnath is a town and a temple in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is a very important place for Hindus who worship Lord Shiva. Kedarnath Yatra is also a part of the Char Dham Yatra, which is a pilgrimage to four holy places in the Himalayas.
Kedarnath is a beautiful and peaceful place, surrounded by mountains, rivers, and waterfalls. Many people visit Kedarnath every year to pray, meditate, and enjoy nature.
History of Kedarnath Yatra Temple
The Kedarnath Temple is very old and has a lot of stories. One story says that the Pandavas, who were heroes in the Mahabharata, built the temple to ask Lord Shiva for forgiveness. They had killed many people in a war and felt guilty. Lord Shiva did not want to forgive them easily and hid himself as a bull. He left his hump at Kedarnath and the temple was made there.
Another story says that Adi Shankara, who was a great Hindu teacher, built the temple in the 8th century. He also made four religious groups and spread Hinduism in India. He died at Kedarnath when he was only 32 years old.
The temple has faced many problems over the years. It has been destroyed and rebuilt many times by natural disasters and enemies. The last big problem was in 2013, when a flood damaged the temple and the town. Many people died and many buildings were washed away. The temple was fixed and opened again in 2015.
Significance of Kedarnath Yatra Temple
The Kedarnath Temple is very special for Hindus. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, which are places where Lord Shiva appeared as a light. It is also one of the Panch Kedar, which are five places where Lord Shiva’s body parts came out of the ground. The temple has a statue of Lord Shiva that is black and looks like a hump. The statue is said to have magical powers and can heal people.
The temple is also a place of learning and wisdom. Many Hindu saints and scholars have visited the temple and written books and poems there. The temple has a library that has many old and rare books. The temple also has a special fire that is always burning. It is said that the fire was lit by Adi Shankara and has never gone out.
Architecture and Design of Kedarnath Yatra Temple
The Kedarnath Temple is made of stone and has a simple and strong design. It can survive in the cold and harsh weather of the mountains. The temple has a square base and a cone-shaped top. It has a small entrance and a big hall. The hall has a silver platform where the statue of Lord Shiva is kept. The hall also has statues of other gods and goddesses and paintings of scenes from Hindu stories.
The temple has a tower that has a golden roof and a flag. The tower has bells that ring when the wind blows. The temple also has a pond that has water from the nearby river. The water is very cold and clean. People take a bath in the pond before entering the temple.
The Kedarnath Yatra
The Kedarnath Yatra is a journey to the Kedarnath Temple. It is a part of the Char Dham Yatra, which also includes Yamunotri, Gangotri, and Badrinath. The Kedarnath Yatra is a difficult but rewarding journey. It is a test of faith and devotion for the pilgrims.
The Kedarnath Yatra starts from a town called Gaurikund, which is about 16 kilometers from the temple. Pilgrims have to walk on a steep and narrow path that goes through forests, bridges, and waterfalls. The path has many shops and rest houses where pilgrims can buy food and stay. The path also has horses, mules, and helicopters that can carry pilgrims who cannot walk.
The Kedarnath Yatra ends at the temple, where pilgrims can see the statue of Lord Shiva and offer prayers. They can also see the other attractions near the temple, such as the Shankaracharya Samadhi, the Bhairav Temple, and the Chorabari Lake. The Kedarnath Yatra is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many pilgrims who feel closer to God and themselves.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Kedarnath is from May to June and from September to October. These are the months when the weather is pleasant and the temple is open. temple is closed from November to April because of snow and cold. The temple opens on a special day called Akshaya Tritiya, which is in late April or early May. The temple closes on a special day called Bhai Dooj, which is in late October or early November.
The months of July and August are not good for visiting Kedarnath because of rain and landslides. These are the months when the monsoon season is in India. The rain can make the path slippery and dangerous. The rain can also cause floods and block the roads and bridges. It is better to avoid these months and plan the trip in advance.
How to Reach the Kedarnath Yatra Temple
To reach the Kedarnath Temple, one has to first reach the state of Uttarakhand, which is in northern India. Uttarakhand has many airports, railway stations, and bus stations that connect it to other parts of India. The nearest airport to Kedarnath is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is about 250 kilometers away. nearest railway station to Kedarnath is Rishikesh Railway Station, which is about 230 kilometers away. The nearest bus station to Kedarnath is Rudraprayag Bus Station, which is about 90 kilometers away.
From these places, one has to take a taxi or a bus to reach Gaurikund, which is the starting point of the Kedarnath Yatra. Gaurikund is about 16 kilometers from the temple and can be reached by road. From Gaurikund, one has to walk or take a horse, a mule, or a helicopter to reach the temple. The walk takes about 5 to 8 hours, depending on the speed and stamina of the pilgrim. The horse, the mule, and the helicopter take less time but cost more money.
Places to Stay Near Kedarnath Temple
There are many places to stay near Kedarnath Temple for pilgrims who want to spend some time there. There are hotels, guest houses, ashrams, and camps that offer rooms and tents for rent. These places have basic facilities and services, such as beds, blankets, toilets, food, and water. They also have heaters and generators for the cold and dark nights. Some of these places are:
- GMVN Tourist Rest House: This is a government-run guest house that has 28 rooms and 124 beds. It is located near the temple and charges 300 to 800 rupees per night.
- Punjab and Sindh Awas: This is a private hotel that has 42 rooms and 168 beds. It is located near the temple and charges 500 to 1500 rupees per night.
- Kedar Camp Resort: This is a private camp that has 25 tents and 50 beds. It is located 4 kilometers from the temple and charges 3000 to 5000 rupees per night.
- Himalayan Comforts: This is a private guest house that has 12 rooms and 24 beds. It is located 6 kilometers from the temple and charges 1000 to 2000 rupees per night.
Nearby Attractions of Kedarnath Yatra temple
There are many nearby attractions that pilgrims can visit after seeing the Kedarnath Temple. These attractions are:
- Shankaracharya Samadhi: This is the place where Adi Shankara, the great Hindu teacher, died and was buried. It is located behind the temple and has a small shrine and a stone marker.
- Bhairav Temple: This is a temple dedicated to Lord Bhairav, who is a fierce form of Lord Shiva. It is located 1 kilometer from the temple and has a black stone statue of Lord Bhairav.
- Chorabari Lake: This is a lake that is formed by the melting of a glacier. It is located 3 kilometers from the temple and has clear and cold water. It is also called Gandhi Sarovar, because some ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were immersed here.
- Vasuki Tal: This is a lake that is surrounded by mountains and meadows. It is located 8 kilometers from the temple and has a lot of flowers and birds. It is also a good place for trekking and camping.
Kedarnath is a holy place in the mountains that has a lot to offer to pilgrims and tourists. having a temple that is very old and very special. It has a journey that is very hard and very rewarding. It has a nature that is very beautiful and very peaceful. Kedarnath is a place that can make anyone feel happy and blessed.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Kedarnath:
Q: Is Kedarnath Temple open throughout the year?
No, Kedarnath Temple is not open throughout the year. It is open from May to June and from September to October. It is closed from November to April because of snow and cold.
Q; Can children and senior citizens undertake the Kedarnath Yatra?
Ans; Yes, children and senior citizens.