Located on the Garhwal Himalayan Range of Uttarakhand near Mandakini River, Kedarnath Temple is a highly esteemed Shiva Temple for Hindus across the world. Perched at a height of around 3583m, this Shiva shrine is counted among the four destinations of Chardham destinations of Uttarakhand along with Yamunotri, Gangotri and Badrinath. Kedarnath is also one of the five temples constituting the Panch Kedar and is located in Dev Bhumi, Uttarakhand. Due to its high elevation, the temple receives high snowfall in winter and remains open from April end till mid-November.
Said to have been built by Pandavas, After the Kurukshetra War the 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. In the form of Lingam, the presiding image of Kedaranth is of irregular shape with a pedestal 3.6 m (12 ft) in circumference and 3.6 m (12 ft) in height. The statues of the five Pandava brothers, Shree Krishna, Nandi, the vehicle of Shiva and Vidarbha are installed in the first hall inside Kedarnath Temple. Statue of Draupadi and other deities are also installed in the main hall. There’s an unusual feature of the temple, a head of a man carved in the triangular stone. Such a head is seen carved in another temple nearby constructed on the site where the marriage of Shiva and Maa Parwati was held.
The temple can be reached by travelling 16 KMs uphill from Gaurikund. The temple remains closed for 6 months due to the harsh weather conditions. The temple shuts down one day after Diwali, on the day of “Bhai-duj” and reopens on “Akshay tritya” between April-May.