Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath Mandir in Uttarakhand is one of the 12 Jyotirlings of India and the first of the Panch Kedars. It is also one of the Chhota Char Dhams, along with Yamunotri, Gangotri and Badrinath. Kedarnath, located at an altitude of 3583 metres (11755 feet) above the sea level is known as the Abode of Lord Shiva where His spiritual energy can actually be felt. This pilgrimage dates back to the Mahabharata times.

Presiding Deities

  • Kedarnath Jyotirlinga

Photo Gallery

About Kedarnath Temple

Darshan Timings

6:00 am to 3:00 PM || 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Dress Code


Photography and Videography

Not Allowed



Kedarnath Temple Puja and Darshan Timings


Puja And Darshan NameTimings
Morning6:00 am to 3:00 PM
Evening 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

History of Kedarnath Temple

An ancient pilgrimage, the story and history of Kedarnath Jyotirling temple begins some time after the end of the great Mahabharata war. The five Pandavas felt they had committed grave sins of killing Gurus, cousins and elders. Rishi Ved Vyas, the writer of the Mahabharata advised them to seek forgiveness from Mahadev. Lord Shiva was in mood to forgive them and was hiding from them in the form of a bull. But the Pandavas were determined and managed to find Mahadev in Guptkashi, a town about 45 km from Kedarnath. When they approached Him, Mahadev in His bull form dived into the earth. Before He could fully disappear Bhima caught the tail of the bull. Mahadev forgave them, the bull then disintegrated into five parts which landed in different places – Kedarnath, Tungnath, Rudranath, Madhyamaheshwar and Kalpeshwar. The hump landed in Kedarnath. The grateful Pandavas decided to build temples dedicated to Mahadev in all these five places. The first temple they built was in Kedarnath. Ever since Kedarnath has been a pilgrimage. Kedar means field and Nath means Lord. Kedarnath is the Lord of the field. This refers to the field of the human body which gives the crop of Moksha if correctly farmed and ploughed. This was the Dwapar Yuga. Centuries passed and Kaliyuga appeared.

The origins of the present temple are not known as to who built the temple.What is known is that Kedarnath was a pilgrimage since times unknown. There was a temple made of stone here. In the 8th century CE Adi Shankaracharya came to Kedarnath and revived the temple. This led to an increased number of devotees making their way to Kedarnath. The Shivling in this temple is in the shape of a hump. In the small hall in front of the Sanctum there are images of Mata Parvati, Lord Krishna, Nandi, the five Pandavas and Draupadi. A little distant from the temple is Bhairavnath Mandir, which is believed to be the guardian of the Kedarnath temple when the puja is shifted to Ukhimath for the duration of winter. Behind the temple is the Samadhi temple of Adi Shankaracharya, who left his mortal body and achieved Maha-Samadhi at this place.

By the 12th century Kedarnath was a major pilgrimage. This is written about in the Kritya-Kalpataru by a minister of the Garhwal kingdom – Lakshmidhar Bhatt.

Many signs and relics connected to the Pandavas have been found in the surrounding areas. It is known these are the places the Pandavas passed through on their way to heaven. The peak from where they eventually ascended to heaven is called Swargarohini. Kedarnath Jyotirling is the most remote of the Chhota Char Dhams and the motorable road ends 20 km before the temple, Kedarnath.

Importance of Kedarnath jyotirling Mandir

The importance of Kedarnath as a pilgrimage does not have to be related. This is a place,   where Mahadev Himself has chosen to be worshipped. Adi Shankaracharya revived the temple and achieved Maha-Samadhi here. The Pandavas have built the original temple and are inseparably connected with this area. Kedarnath and its surrounding areas are overflowing with spiritual energy.

Best time to visit Kedarnath jyotirling Mandir

The best time to visit Kedarnath is either on May, June or September to till Mandir Open.

How to Reach Kedarnath

Gangotri to Gaurikund distance is about 324 km and the route is via Uttarkashi, Guptkashi and Sonprayag to Gaurikund. The motorable road ends in Gaurikund, from there it is an approximately 20 km trek to Kedarnath.

If you want to go directly from Haridwar to Kedarnath, the distance from Haridwar to Gaurikund is about 235 km. The route will take you via Rishikesh, Devprayag, Srinagar and Sonprayag up to Gaurikund. From there it is an approximately 20 km trek to Kedarnath.

Ponies and palanquin services are available from Gaurikund. Two days is the minimum time required to return.

Helicopter services are available to Kedarnath from Phata etc. One can return on the same day.

Dehradun to Gaurikund distance is  about 258 km. The route goes via Devprayag, Srinagar and Guptkashi.



Nearby Attractions

  • Gaurikund
  • Trijuginarayan Temple
  • Chopta
  • Badrinath Temple

Temple Location



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