Kedarnath is amongst the holiest pilgrimages for the devout Hindu. Kedarnath temple is set amidst the stunning mountainscape of the Garhwal Himalayas at the head of the Mandakini River. Kedar is another name of lord Shiva, the protector & the destroyer. lord Shiva is considered the embodiment of all passions - love, hatred, fear, death & mysticism which are expressed through his various forms. Lord Shiva manifested in the form of Jyotirlingam or the cosmic light.
Kedarnath temple is highest among the 12 Jyotirlingas. This ancient and magnificient kedarnath temple is located in the Rudra Himalaya range. Kedarnath temple, over a thousand years old is built of massive stone slabs over a large rectangular platform. Ascending through the large gray steps leading to the holy sanctums we find inscriptions in Pali on the steps. The present temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya.The inner walls of the temple sanctum are adorned with figures of various deities and scenes from mythology.
The origin of the revered temple can be found in the great epic - Mahabharata. According to legends, the Pandavas sought the blessings of lord Shiva to atone their sin 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 ground leaving behind his hump on the surface. Outside the temple door a large statue of the Nandi Bull stands as guard.
A conical rock formation inside the temple is worshipped as Lord Shiva in his Sadashiva form. The temple, believed to be very ancient, has been continually renovated over the centuries. It is situated at an altitude of 3,581 mt. It is a 14 km trek from Gaurikund