Amazing History Of Kedarnath In English | 23 Kedarnath Places

Nestled in the majestic Himalayas, Kedarnath stands as a testament to India’s rich cultural and spiritual heritage. This sacred town, located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, holds immense significance in Hindu mythology and history. As we embark on a journey to uncover the profound history of Kedarnath in English, we delve into a realm where myth and reality intertwine seamlessly, captivating hearts and minds alike.

History Of Kedarnath In English

Kedarnath, nestled in the majestic Himalayas, boasts a history as captivating as its surrounding peaks. Let’s embark on a detailed exploration of this sacred site:

Ancient Legends and Mythology

History Of Kedarnath In English
History Of Kedarnath In English
  • The Pandavas’ Redemption: The most prominent legend centers around the Pandavas, the righteous warriors of the Mahabharata. Seeking absolution for the bloodshed of the Kurukshetra war, they sought Lord Shiva’s forgiveness. However, Shiva, reluctant to absolve them immediately, took the form of a bull and vanished into the ground. The Pandavas persistently followed, with Bhima, the strongest Pandava, finally grasping the bull’s hump. As Shiva emerged from the earth, his bull form divided – the hump forming the base of the Kedarnath mandir and other parts manifesting in four other locations, collectively known as the Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit.
  • Legend of Nara and Narayana: It is believed that the sages Nara and Narayana meditated at Kedarnath for many years, and Lord Shiva was so pleased with their devotion that he granted them a permanent dwelling place at the temple.
  • Legend of the Shiva Lingam: The Shiva lingam, a symbol of Lord Shiva, at the Kedarnath mandir is said to have been formed naturally by the elements of earth, air, water, and fire.

Unveiling Historical References

  • Early Mentions: While the exact origins remain shrouded in mystery, written references to Kedarnath surface around the 7th-8th centuries. The Skanda Purana, a revered Hindu text, mentions Kedarnath as the site where Lord Shiva released the holy Ganges River from his matted hair.
  • Adi Shankaracharya’s Rejuvenation: The 8th-century scholar Adi Shankaracharya is credited with reviving Kedarnath’s pilgrimage significance. He established mathas (monasteries) along the pilgrimage route and restored the temple’s glory. Some traditions even believe he attained enlightenment (Mahasamadhi) here.
  • A Flourishing Pilgrimage Center: By the 12th century, Kedarnath had become a well-established pilgrimage destination. Kritya-kalpataru by Bhatta Lakshmidhara, a minister of the Gahadavala dynasty, mention it as a prominent pilgrimage site.
History Of Kedarnath In English
History Of Kedarnath In English

The Enduring Kedarnath Temple

  • Architectural Grandeur: The current Kedarnath mandir, estimated to be over 1200 years old, is a testament to the enduring devotion of pilgrims. Built in the Nagara style of architecture, the grey stone structure is adorned with intricate carvings depicting deities and mythological scenes. The inner sanctum houses the revered Jyotirlinga, a naturally formed Shiva lingam, making it one of the twelve most sacred Shiva shrines in Hinduism.
History Of Kedarnath In English
History Of Kedarnath In English

Beyond Legends and Stones

  • Spiritual Significance: Kedarnath mandir occupies a pivotal place in Hindu pilgrimage. It’s part of the Chota Char Dham yatra, a revered pilgrimage circuit in the Himalayas, and serves as the starting point for the Panch Kedar pilgrimage. The arduous trek to Kedarnath, coupled with its remote location, imbues the pilgrimage with a sense of challenge and spiritual reward.
  • Challenges and Resilience: Kedarnath’s history is not without its share of adversity. The devastating 2013 floods wreaked havoc on the region, causing immense loss of life and damage to the temple. However, the spirit of Kedarnath mandir and the unwavering devotion of pilgrims have ensured its continuous revival and resilience.

Kedarnath Inside

Kedarnath Inside
Kedarnath Inside
  • Sanctum Sanctorum (Garbhagriha):
    • The sanctum sanctorum of the Kedarnath mandir is the holiest space within the temple complex.
    • It houses the main shrine where the divine lingam of Lord Kedarnath is enshrined.
    • Devotees enter the sanctum with reverence and awe, recognizing it as the abode of Lord Shiva.
  • Main Shrine:
    • The main shrine is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures depicting various deities and mythological figures.
    • It serves as the focal point of worship, drawing devotees from far and wide to offer their prayers and reverence.
    • The shrine is illuminated by oil lamps and decorated with garlands of flowers, creating a serene and sacred atmosphere.
  • Divine Lingam:
    • The divine lingam of Lord Kedarnath is the central deity worshipped in the temple.
    • It represents the formless and eternal nature of Lord Shiva, the supreme deity of destruction and transformation.
    • Devotees offer prayers, flowers, and other offerings to the Shiva lingam, seeking blessings and spiritual upliftment.
inside kedarnath mandir
Inside Kedarnath Mandir
  • Rituals and Offerings:
    • Devotees perform various rituals and offerings inside the temple as expressions of their devotion and gratitude.
    • Abhishekam (sacred bathing) is a common ritual where the Shiva lingam is bathed with water, milk, honey, and other sacred substances.
    • Aarti (ritual of offering light) is performed multiple times a day, accompanied by chanting of hymns and bhajans.
  • Spiritual Experience:
    • Inside the sanctum sanctorum, devotees experience a profound sense of connection to the divine presence of Lord Kedarnath.
    • The atmosphere is filled with spirituality and tranquility, allowing devotees to transcend mundane concerns and immerse themselves in devotion.
    • Many devotees describe their experience inside the temple as transformative, feeling uplifted and blessed by the divine grace of Lord Shiva.

Kedarnath Yatra Trek Distance

The trekking distance for the Kedarnath Yatra varies depending on the route taken by pilgrims. There are primarily two main trekking routes to reach Kedarnath:

Kedarnath Yatra Trek Distance
Kedarnath Yatra Trek Distance
  1. Gaurikund Route: This is the most common route taken by pilgrims. The trek starts from Gaurikund, which is the base camp for Kedarnath, and covers a distance of approximately 16 kilometers (10 miles) one way. Pilgrims trek through picturesque landscapes, crossing rivers and forests, with resting points along the way.
  2. Sonprayag Route: Another route to reach Kedarnath is from Sonprayag, which is relatively less traveled compared to the Gaurikund route. The trek from Sonprayag to Kedarnath covers a distance of approximately 18 kilometers (11 miles) one way. This route offers scenic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Both routes involve moderate to difficult trekking terrain, with steep ascents and descents at certain sections. Pilgrims typically take around 6 to 8 hours to complete the trek, depending on their fitness level and pace. It’s essential to be adequately prepared with proper trekking gear, clothing, and provisions for a safe and comfortable journey.

Kedarnath Places To Visit Nearby

Vasuki Tal (Lake)

  • Situated about 8 km from Kedarnath mandir, Vasuki Tal is a glacial lake nestled amidst towering peaks.
  • Trekkers often visit this serene spot for its pristine beauty and tranquil ambiance.
  • The trek to Vasuki Tal offers stunning views of the surrounding Himalayan landscape.

Chorabari Tal (Gandhi Sarovar)

  • Also known as Gandhi Sarovar, this lake is located at an altitude of about 4,000 meters.
  • It’s named in honor of Mahatma Gandhi, who visited Kedarnath mandir in 1929.
  • Pilgrims and nature enthusiasts often trek to this sacred lake for its scenic beauty and spiritual significance.

Shankaracharya Samadhi

  • This memorial is dedicated to Adi Shankaracharya, a revered Hindu philosopher and saint.
  • Located near the Kedarnath mandir, it’s a place of reverence and contemplation.
  • Devotees pay homage to Adi Shankaracharya and seek blessings for spiritual fulfillment.

Triyuginarayan Temple

  • Situated around 20 km from Kedarnath, this ancient temple is believed to be the site of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati’s wedding.
  • The temple’s architectural splendor and mythological significance attract pilgrims and history enthusiasts alike.
  • Surrounded by lush greenery and serene atmosphere, it offers a tranquil retreat for spiritual seekers.


  • Gaurikund serves as the starting point for the trek to Kedarnath Temple.
  • It’s renowned for its hot water spring, believed to be the spot where Goddess Parvati performed her penance to win Lord Shiva’s heart.
  • Pilgrims take a dip in the holy waters before embarking on the sacred journey to Kedarnath.


  • Situated at the confluence of Mandakini and Basuki Rivers, Sonprayag is a picturesque spot with spiritual significance.
  • Pilgrims often stop here to offer prayers and perform rituals before proceeding towards Kedarnath.
  • The serene ambiance and scenic beauty make it a memorable stopover on the pilgrimage route.
Kedarnath Places To Visit nearby
Kedarnath Places To Visit nearby

Tungnath Temple

  • Tungnath Temple is the highest Shiva temple in the world, located at an altitude of 3,680 meters.
  • It’s one of the Panch Kedar temples and holds immense religious importance for devotees.
  • Accessible via a trek from Chopta, it offers panoramic views of the Himalayas and is a must-visit for adventure enthusiasts and spiritual seekers alike.

Deoria Tal

  • Deoria Tal is a captivating lake nestled amidst lush green meadows and towering peaks.
  • Accessible via a moderate trek from Sari village, it offers stunning reflections of the surrounding Chaukhamba peaks.
  • Ideal for camping, birdwatching, and nature photography, it provides a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Chandrashila Peak

  • Chandrashila Peak is renowned for offering panoramic views of the Himalayan ranges, including Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Chaukhamba.
  • Accessible via a trek from Chopta, it’s a popular spot for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers.
  • Watching the sunrise or sunset from Chandrashila is a mesmerizing experience that leaves visitors in awe of nature’s grandeur.

Madmaheshwar Temple

  • Madmaheshwar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the Panch Kedar temples and holds great religious significance.
  • Located amidst serene surroundings, it offers a tranquil atmosphere for meditation and spiritual introspection.
  • The trek to Madmaheshwar Temple is not only a pilgrimage but also a journey through picturesque landscapes and breathtaking vistas.

Kalimath Temple

  • Kalimath Temple is a sacred shrine dedicated to Goddess Kali, situated amidst scenic surroundings.
  • Devotees throng to this temple, especially during Navratri, to seek the blessings of the divine mother.
  • The tranquil ambiance and natural beauty surrounding Kalimath Temple make it a must-visit destination for spiritual seekers and nature lovers alike.


  • Guptkashi is a pilgrimage town renowned for its ancient temples and spiritual ambiance.
  • It serves as a base for treks to Kedarnath and Tungnath, offering stunning views of the Himalayan peaks.
  • Pilgrims visit Guptkashi to seek blessings and embark on their spiritual journey to the sacred shrines of the region.


  • Rudraprayag is a holy town situated at the confluence of the Alaknanda and Mandakini Rivers.
  • It’s dotted with temples, ashrams, and spiritual centers, attracting devotees and travelers seeking solace.
  • Rudraprayag serves as a gateway to Kedarnath dham and Badrinath dham, offering a serene retreat amidst nature’s splendor.


  • Augustmuni is a scenic village renowned for its tranquil environment and spiritual significance.
  • It’s home to Sage Augustmuni’s ashram, where visitors can experience serenity and spirituality.
  • The village offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas, making it a perfect destination for those seeking peace and solitude amidst nature’s beauty.
Kedarnath Places To Visit nearby
Kedarnath Places To Visit nearby

Badrinath Temple

One of the Char Dham pilgrimage sites dedicated to Lord Vishnu, located around 223 km from Kedarnath.


A sacred town and pilgrimage site where the river Ganges originates, situated approximately 280 km from Kedarnath.


Another Char Dham pilgrimage site, known for the Yamunotri mandir dedicated to Goddess Yamuna, located around 280 km from Kedarnath.


A hill town and pilgrimage center with temples and scenic views, about 228 km from Kedarnath mandir.

Valley of Flowers National Park

A UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its rich biodiversity and stunning alpine flowers, located approximately 212 km from Kedarnath.


A popular ski destination offering panoramic views of the Himalayas, situated around 245 km from Kedarnath dham.


A spiritual town known for its ashrams, yoga centers, and the iconic Lakshman Jhula bridge, located about 216 km from Kedarnath.

Kedarnath Places To Visit Nearby
Kedarnath Places To Visit Nearby


A holy city on the banks of the Ganges, known for its ghats, temples, and vibrant religious ceremonies, situated approximately 244 km from Kedarnath dham.


Known as the “Mini Switzerland of India,” Chopta is a picturesque hill station and base for treks to Tungnath and Chandrashila, located around 31 km from Kedarnath dham.

Kedarnath Famous Dish

Kedarnath, being a sacred pilgrimage site, may not have a wide array of famous dishes specific to the region. However, the local cuisine available around the area includes:

Kedarnath Famous Dish
Kedarnath Famous Dish

1. Garhwali Cuisine:

  • Kafuli: A popular dish made from spinach or fenugreek leaves cooked with spices and lentils.
  • Phaanu: A nutritious dish made from a mixture of lentils cooked with spices and served with rice.
  • Chainsoo: Another lentil-based dish made from black gram dal, flavored with local spices.
  • Aloo Ke Gutke: Spicy fried potatoes cooked with local Himalayan spices.

2. North Indian Cuisine:

  • Roti/Naan: Traditional Indian bread made from wheat flour, usually served with various vegetable or meat dishes.
  • Dal Tadka: Lentils cooked with spices and tempered with ghee and cumin seeds.
  • Paneer Dishes: Cottage cheese dishes like Paneer Butter Masala, Paneer Tikka, or Kadai Paneer are commonly available.

3. Street Food:

  • Momos: Tibetan-style dumplings filled with vegetables or meat, served with spicy sauce.
  • Pakoras: Deep-fried fritters made from gram flour batter mixed with vegetables like potatoes, onions, or spinach.

4. Sweets and Desserts:

  • Bal Mithai: A traditional sweet from Uttarakhand made from khoya (reduced milk) and coated with sugar balls.
  • Singal: Deep-fried sweet dough twisted into shapes and dipped in sugar syrup.
  • Jalebi: Crispy fried batter soaked in sugar syrup, commonly found in sweet shops.

Kedarnath Aarti Time

Kedarnath Aarti Time
Kedarnath Aarti Time
  1. Morning Aarti:
    • Usually conducted at dawn, around 4:00 AM to 5:00 AM.
    • This Aarti marks the beginning of the day’s rituals and prayers at the temple.
  2. Evening Aarti:
    • Conducted during the evening, around 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM.
    • This Aarti signifies the end of the day’s worship and is often accompanied by chanting and devotional songs.

Kedarnath Aarti Booking

Best Time For Kedarnath Yatra

The best time for Kedarnath Yatra is generally from May to October. Here’s why:

Best Time For Kedarnath Yatra
Best Time For Kedarnath Yatra
  1. May to June (Spring/Early Summer): This period marks the beginning of the pilgrimage season after the winter closure. The weather is pleasant, with moderate temperatures and clear skies, making it ideal for trekking and visiting the temple.
  2. July to August (Monsoon): While the monsoon season brings rainfall to the region, it’s also a time when the landscape is lush green and beautiful. However, landslides and heavy rainfall can make trekking difficult and risky during this time.
  3. September to October (Autumn): This is considered one of the best times for the Kedarnath Yatra. The weather is cool and stable, with clear skies and minimal rainfall. The surroundings are vibrant with autumn colors, offering a picturesque backdrop for the pilgrimage.

Also Read: Amazing Yamunotri Temple History | 1st Dham In India

How To Reach Kedarnath

Reaching Kedarnath dham involves a combination of road and trekking routes, as the temple is situated in the Himalayas at an altitude of approximately 3,583 meters. Here’s how to reach Kedarnath mandir | dham:

How To Reach Kedarnath
How To Reach Kedarnath

1. By Air:

  • The nearest airport to Kedarnath is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, located approximately 238 km away.
  • From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the nearest town of Gaurikund, which is the base point for the trek to Kedarnath mandir.

2. By Rail:

  • The nearest major railway station is Haridwar Railway Station, located approximately 241 km from Kedarnath.
  • From Haridwar, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Gaurikund, the starting point of the trek to Kedarnath.

3. By Road:

  • Kedarnath is well-connected by road to major cities like Haridwar, Rishikesh, and Dehradun.
  • You can drive or take a bus/taxi from these cities to reach Sonprayag or Gaurikund, which are the base points for the trek to Kedarnath.

4. Trekking Route:

  • From Gaurikund or Sonprayag, you need to start the trek to Kedarnath dham, which is approximately 16-18 km long.
  • The trekking route passes through picturesque landscapes, dense forests, and steep inclines.
  • Ponies and palanquins are also available for hire if you prefer not to trek on foot.
  • Helicopter services are also available from Phata, Guptkashi, and other nearby towns to Kedarnath for those who prefer air travel or have limited time.

5. On Foot:

  • Once you reach Gaurikund or Sonprayag, you have to trek on foot to reach Kedarnath.
  • The trek usually takes around 6-8 hours, depending on your pace and the weather conditions.
  • It’s advisable to start the trek early in the morning to avoid trekking during the hottest part of the day and to reach Kedarnath dham before nightfall.

FAQ’s About Kedarnath In English

Q Is Kedarnath dham accessible throughout the year?
Ans: While Kedarnath dham remains open for most of the year, it is inaccessible during the winter months due to heavy snowfall. The best time to visit is during the summer months from May to October.

Q Are there any accommodation options available near Kedarnath?
Ans: Yes, there are various accommodation options available ranging from guesthouses to tents. However, it is advisable to book in advance, especially during peak pilgrimage seasons.

Q What are the trekking routes to Kedarnath?
Ans: The two main trekking routes to Kedarnath are from Gaurikund via Rambara and from Sonprayag via Lincholi. Both routes offer mesmerizing views of the Himalayas.

Q Is photography allowed inside the Kedarnath Temple?
Ans: No, photography and videography are strictly prohibited inside the temple premises as per religious customs.

Q What precautions should I take during the pilgrimage to Kedarnath?
Ans: It is advisable to carry sufficient warm clothing, trekking gear, and essential medications. Additionally, maintaining physical fitness and acclimatizing to high altitudes are essential for a safe and enjoyable pilgrimage experience.

Also Read: Best Time For Char Dham Yatra | Chota 4 Dham Yatra

In conclusion, the history of Kedarnath is a saga of devotion, resilience, and spiritual enlightenment. From its mythological origins to its contemporary significance, Kedarnath dham embodies the essence of Hinduism and serves as a symbol of faith for millions worldwide. As custodians of this sacred heritage, it is our collective responsibility to safeguard and cherish the sanctity of Kedarnath for generations to come.

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