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Kedarnath, the famous holy town of Lord Shiva has been situated at the height of 3583 m above sea-level on a marshy plain, on the slope of Himalayas. Kedarnath is the place where Lord Shiva Lingam has been installed in the beautiful temple where the perpetual snow-clad exists on the Himalayas and down to the flower-decked Mandakini Valley.
The ancient temple of Kedarnath was constructed by Pandavas. This is one of Dwadashi Jyotirlinga. In the outer area of the temple, the statues of Goddess Parvati, Pandava, Goddess Lakshmi, etc are situated. Hanskund is situated near to Kedarnath temple where Shradha-Tarpan is used to perform for Moksha of Pitra (the ancestors). Amritkund is situated behind the Kedarnath temple and Retas kund is situated at little distance from the temple. The lake of cold water (ice) is located very near to the temple which is the origin of river Mandakini. Uddandkund is situated at a few distances from the temple which has great importance in history.
History of Kedarnath
After the war of Kurukshetra, the Pandavas set out on a yatra to Varanasi in order to be blessed by Lord Shiva and be absolved from the sin of killing their own brothers-the the Kauravas. Lord Shiva, unwilling to give darshan to the Pandavas, fled from Kashi to Uttrakhand and lived in Guptakashi.
On being detected by the Pandavas, Shiva went to Kedarnath, but the Pandavas followed him. He assumed the form of a bull and started grazing amongst the cattle, but even then could not escape detection by the Pandavas, At dust, when it was time for the cattle to return home, Bhim (of gigantic stature, great courage, and strength) stretched his legs across the mountains (standing on either side of the Kedamath Valley) in order to identify Shiva. All the cattle passed under his legs except Shiva, whom Bhim noticed. As Bhim bent down to catch hold of him, Shiva sank into the earth and only his back portion (the hump) was taken in Bhim's hand. Shiva being pleased with the determination of the Pandavas exonerated them from their sin, gave them darshan, and requested them to worship his hump. It is from that date the hump of Shiva worshipped in the Temple of Sri Kedarnath-in the conical Shiva pinda form.
Geographic Details of Kedarnath Altitude: 3584mts Trek: 14 km. (Ponies & palanquins available)
Climate In summers: Cool during the day and cold at night. In winters: Very cold, about to touching sub-zero
Clothing required April to July - Light woolen. September to November - Heavy woolens
Distance Chart Rishikesh to Haridwar - 24 km
Rishikesh to Deoprayag - 70 km
Deoprayag to Srinagar - 33 km
Srinagar to Rudraprayag- 36 km
Rudraprayag to Syalsur - 22 km
Syalsur to Kund - 9 km
Kund to Guptakashi - 12 km
Guptakashi to Gaurikund - 19 km
Gaurikund to Kedarnath- 14 kms