The origin of the Kedarnath temple can be found in the great epic, Mahabharata. According to legend, the Pandavas sought the blessings of the Lord ShivaShiva
Shiva is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindu Trinity that ... to atone their sins after the battle of Mahabharata. Lord Shiva eluded them repeatedly and while fleeing took refuge at Kedarnath in the form of a bull. On being followed, he dived into the ground, leaving behind his hump on the surface. This conical form is worshipped as the idol in the shrine. The remaining portions of Lord Shiva are worshipped at four places-the arms (bahu) at Tungnath, mouth (mukha) at Rudranath, naval (nabhi) at Madmaheshwar and hair (jata) at Kalpeshwar. Together with Kedarnath, these places are known as the Panch Kedar.
Kedarnath is situated about 77 kms. from Rudraparayg. Kedarnath is situated amidst the background of snow covered mountain peaks of the majestic Kedarnath range, at an altitude of 3584 meters on the head of the Mandakini river. The Kedarnath temple is one of the twelve 'Jyotirlingas' of Lord Shiva and one of the holiest pilgrimage shrine for the Hindus. The Kedarnath temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and visited by many pilgrims every year. The main idol in the temple is the Linga Linga is a phallic shaped symbol of Shiva which is considered his source of power and is worshipped by Hindusof Lord Shiva, in pyramidal shape. In summers, the temperature is very cool during the day and cold at night and in winters, it is very cold during the day and chilly at night and below zero. During the winters, the shrine is submerged in the snow and closed. The ideal time to visit this place is between May and October. Hindi, Garhwali and English are the main languages which are spoken here.
Tourist Attractions in Kedarnath
The main tourist attraction in Kedarnath is the Kedarnath Temple. Besides this temple, the Shankaracharya Samadhi and Gandhi Sarovar are the other worth visiting places.
The Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi or the final resting place is situated behind the Kedarnath Temple. It is believed that after establishing the four dhams in India, he went for his Samadhi at an early age of 32 years.
Chorabari (Gandhi Sarovar)
Gandhi Sarovar is a small lake from where Yudhishthir, the eldest of the Pandavas is believed to have departed to heaven. The floating ice on the sparkling waters of the lake is a fascinating sight.