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Shri Kedarnath ji
Shri Kedarnath ji is amongst the holiest pilgrimage for the devout Hindu, located in the Uttaranchal state of India. Kedarnath ji, where a form of the Lord Shiva is venerated as one of the twelve jyotirling (linga of light), is one of the four sites in India's pilgrimage Char Dham. The most remote of the four Char Dham sites, Kedarnath ji is located in the Himalayas, about 3584m above sea level near the head of river Mandakini, and is flanked by breathtaking snow-capped peaks.
Besides its affiliation with Shiva, Kedarnath ji is also believed to be the site of Shankaracharya's samadhi (achievement of beatified afterlife). The actual temple is an impressive stone edifice of unknown date. No specific family of pujaris supervises rituals at Kedarnath ji, which focus around veneration of the stone lingam that rests in the inner sanctum of the temple.
Kedarnath ji is accessible only after a steep 13 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 Uttaranchal. The temple is open only during the months of May to October, due to heavy snowfall and extreme cold weather during winter.
Shri Kedarnath ji Temple
The opening of date of Kedarnath ji's Temple is fixed and depends on the Shiva Ratri and decided by priests in Ukhimath. Normally Kedarnath ji temple opens on Mid May. The closing date of Kedarnath ji is fixed on Yama Dwitiya (second day after Diwali, November).
Kedarnath ji Temple is open for devotees from 6 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 8 pm. Shingar Darshan is from 5 pm onwards and Aarti is performed at 6:45 pm. Sharavani Annakoot Mela is celebrated on the day before Raksha Bandhan during August. Special Samadhi puja is help on the closing day of Kedarnath ji. The Kedarnath ji Temple committee office organises booking for special pooja which is performed before the general darshan in the morning.
Places to Visit Kedarnath ji
A small lake from where Yudhishthir, the eldest of the Pandavas, is said to have departed to heaven. A km trek from Kedarnath ji, floating ice on the crystal clear waters.
Base for a trek to Kedarnath ji & serves as a roadhead, the village has hot springs & a temple dedicated to Gauri.
6 km. At 4135 mtr. above sea level, this lake is extraordinary, surrounded by high mountains and offering an excellent view of the Chaukhamba peaks.
20 km. The confluence of the Son Ganga and Mandakini rivers, where there is a diversion for Triyuginarayan.
25 km. the mythological venue where the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvati was solemnized. It is a short trek of 5 km from Son Prayag. An eternal flame, which is said to have been the witness to the marriage, burns in front of the temple even today.
49 km. Famous for the temples of Ardhnarishwar and Vishwanathji
Situated on the Gopeshwar Ukhimath road about 40 km from Gopeshwar at an altitude of about 2500 mtrs above sea level, Chopta is one of the most picturesque spots in the entire Garhwal region. It provides a breathtaking view of Himalayan ranges surrounding it Deoria Tal. At an altitude of 2,440 mt., this beautiful lake is situated on the Chopta - Ukhimath motor road. In the early morning, the snow-capped peaks are clearly reflected. on the lake waters. This lake also provides an excellent venue for angling, as well as birdwatching.
Kedarnath ji, Madmaheshwar, Tungnath, Rudranath, Kalpeshwer are the five most important temples of Lord Shiva in garhwal Himalayas. They are known as Panch Kedar.
Best Time to visit Kedarnath ji
The best time to visit Kedarnath ji is between May-October.
CLIMATE (Weather) in Kedarnath ji Summer: Cool during the day and cold at night.
Winter: Snow-bound. Touching sub-zero.
CLOTHING Summer: Light Woollens.
Winter: Very Heavy Woollens.
How to reach Kedarnath ji
Kedarnath ji is well connected through road. The National Highway (NH 58, total length 538 km) from Delhi to Mana is accessible throughout the year.
Air: Jolly grant (Dehradun)-239 km away from Kedarnath ji of which 225 km is by road and rest 14 km is on foot.
Rail: Railhead at Rishikesh, 221 km away of which 207 km is by road and the rest 14 km is on foot. Railhead at Kotdwara, 250 km away, of which 236 km is by road and rest 14 km is on foot.
Road: Kedarnath ji is approachable on footfrom Gaurikund, which is connected by road with Rishikesh, Kotdwara, Dehradun, Haridwar and other important hill stations of Garhwal and Kumaon Hills.
Bus This service is available at Rishikesh, Haridwar and Kotdwara for Gaurikund. During Yatra season, some special Yatra services are also arranged to Gaurikund.
Distance from Rishikesh to Kedarnath ji 223 km, via Deoprayag 70 km, Shrinagar 35 km, Rudraprayag 34 km, Tilwara 9 km, Agastyamuni 10 km, Kund 15 km, Sonprayag 3 km Gaurikund 5 km, Rambara 7 km, Garurchatti 4 km, Sri Kedarnath ji 3 km.
Transport: Buess, private taxies and other light vehicles also ply between Rishikesh and Garikund-Badrinath and back. The charges are not fixed.