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Kedarnath Dhaam

Kedarnath DhaamKedarnath is a Hindu holy town located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is a nagar panchayat in Rudraprayag district. The most remote of the four Char Dham sites, Kedarnath is located in the Himalayas, about 3584m above sea level near the head of river Mandakini, and is flanked by breathtaking snow-capped peaks. Kedarnath hosts one of the holiest Hindu temples and is a popular destination for Hindu pilgrims from all over the world.

Kedarnath is accessible only after a steep 14 km trek through a paved path (horses or palanquins are available for rent) from Gaurikund, which is connected by road from Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun and other important hill stations of the Garhwal and Kumaon regions in Uttarakhand. The temple is open only during the months of April/May(on Akshaya Trithiya) to October/November (closes on Diwali - festival of light), due to heavy snowfall and extreme cold weather during winter.

Kedar is another name of Lord Shiva, and the name for the stone rounded by years long travel in Ganga (Ganges River). In all there are over 200 shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva in the Chamoli district itself, the most important surely being Kedarnath. Kedarnath is also one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva.

There are a few small places en route from Gaurikund to Kedarnath, like Janglechatti, Rambara and Garurchatti, where you can rest a while or spend the night if the travel becomes too tiring, or if you wish to take it a bit slower and enjoy the magnificent surroundings. Just one kilometer before Rambara there is a high and beautiful cascading waterfall which crashes down the heights.

Kedarnath Dhaam

As one approaches from Garurchatti, the Kedarnath temple is visible on advancing some 500 meters. With the background of towering white mountains mantled with snow, the temple presents an enchanting sight. All around it is an aura of peace and purity. Here, the unholy are said to become holy and the holy, holier still.

The temple is magnificent in its style and architecture. It is built on a morainic ridge jutting out at right angles from the snowy range. The present temple, built in the 8th century by Adi Shankaracharya, stands adjacent to the site of an earlier temple built by the Pandavas. The inner walls of the assembly hall are decorated with figures of various deities and scenes from the Indian mythology. Outside the temple door a large statue of Nandi Bull stands as guard. Built of extremely large, heavy and evenly cut grey slabs of stones, it evokes wonder as to how these heavy slabs had been handled in the earlier days. The temple has a Garbha Griha for worship and a Mandap, apt for assemblies of pilgrims and visitors. A conical rock formation inside the temple is worshipped as Lord Shiva in his Sadashiva form.

Kedarnath Dhaam

 

Kedarnath is approachable on foot from Gaurikund, which is directly connected by road to Rishikesh, Haridwar and Dehradun. The closest rail connection is at Rishikesh (234 km from Kedarnath and at Kotdwar (260 km from Kedarnath). The closest airport is the Jolly Grant in Dehradun (251 km from Kedarnath). The best time to visit Kedarnath is between May to October.

Accessibility
Air : Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun, 239 km.
Rail : Nearest railway station is Rishikesh, 221 km.
Road : Kedarnath is approachable on foot, 14 km from Gaurikund, which is connected by road with Rishikesh, Kotdwar, Dehradun, Haridwar and other important hill stations of Garhwal and Kumaon hills.
Local Transport : Horses, dandies and ponies are available at Gaurikund for going and carrying luggage to Kedarnath.

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