Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Kedarnath Temple is one of the most prominent places in Hindu mythology. It literally spells out ‘Lord of Kedar’ meaning the lord of the field with thousands of tourists coming here every year to pray the almighty one. Kedarnath is among the 12 Jyotirlingas the most auspicious Hindu shrines of Lord Shiva. Temple is also part of the Char Dham pilgrimage of the Northern Himalayas along with Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath.
Temple is located in the Garhwal Himalayan range near the Mandakini river, Kedarnath is a holy town in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand in India. Amidst the snow-capped mountains, Kedarnath temple is built at a height of 3584 meters above the sea level. As the winter approaches extreme conditions are seen in the area, the Vigraghas (Deities) are taken downhill to Ukhimuth and lord is worshipped there for the next six months.
Kedarnath Kapat(Doors) Opening and Closing date 2019
Kapat for Kedarnath Dham opened at 5:35 AM on the 9th May. From his winter Seat Ukhimuth, the Panchmukhi Doli of Kedarnath started its journey back on 6th May reached Gaurikund on 7th May and at Kedarnath on 8th May respectively. Closing time has been placed on the 9th of November till them devotees can pay their visit to the Lord of Kedar.
How to Reach Kedarnath?
Guptakashi is the last well-reached destination connected with highways. From Guptakashi one can move forward to Sonprayag using local vehicles. Gaurikund, is the location from where the trek to Kedarnath starts is further 5Kms away from Sonprayag.
Compulsory Bio-metric Registration:
Now the Government of Uttarakhand has made it compulsory for all public to make their presence verified through the Bio-metric registration at Sonprayag. Online and manual both are available for pilgrims to go forward take this journey for the Lord Shiva temple. At Sonprayag you will find a huge parking facility for personal vehicles near the Mandakini river. As personal vehicles are not allowed after this point. Local shuttles and Jeep are available to take you higher to Gaurikund just 5Kms from this point. There are a lot of hotels and accommodations available at Sonprayag and Gaurikund where pilgrims stay during the course of their journey.
Trekking to Kedarnath
Location of the temple is not accessible with the roads and there is a 16 Kilometres (9.9mi) uphill trek from the near Gaurikund. Pilgrims take the pony and manchan services to reach the temple for Lord Shiva blessings.
Journey to the Lord Kedarnath
With long trek in the mountains to be around 5 to 6 hours, one needs to have proper planning. Here are some interesting things that will help you in every aspect of making your journey to Kedarnath easy.
Make sure you stay in the night and start as early as possible. Due to noon temperature can suddenly ho high with sunlight. Always keep an umbrella/raincoat in case of a quick shower. Carry minimum load while trekking. Again you have to find the accommodation to stay at night. The evening is the right time for photography and enjoying the views of the mountains full of snow. Feel the evening atmosphere around the temple and take the rest at night. Wake up early the next day and take blessings from Lord Kedarnath. If there is a rush it might take around 2 to 3 hours to complete the darshan. Baba Bhairav Temple is another hilltop destination around 600m from here that pilgrims most often visit thereafter.
As per the Hindu mythology, God Shiva had agreed to dwell in this place at the request of Nara-Narayana. After the war ended in Kurukshetra, the Pandava brothers came here to seek forgiveness for killing their kins during the war meet Lord Shiva under the guidance of great sage Vyasa. But the Lord did not intend to forgive them and hid among the cattle in the form of a bull. When Pandavas were able to track him, he started to sink head-first in the ground and soon one of them get hold of their tail and forced to appear in front of them for forgiveness. It is said that the body of Shiva appeared in a total of five different locations with Kedarnath, Tungnath, Madhyamaheshwar, and Kalpeshwar among them. Temple was revived by the Great Indian sage Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th Century CE when along with his four disciples changed the outlook of this historical place.
In the Uttarakhand floods of 2013, Kedarnath was the worst-hit area when the whole valley saw the destruction of never seen proportions. Temple was least affected though as devotees took refuge in the premises. The vast government rehabilitation program has made the entire journey of Kedarnath with better planning.
Hotels And Accommodations
Kedarnath has Government Guest Houses, Tents and Cottages only that can accommodate around thousand pilgrims regularly. You can also pre-book the entire journey for the comfort of your family.