Kedarnath

One of the most sacred Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva is Kedarnath Temple. It is located in the Rudraprayag, Uttrakhand. The temple is established near the banks of river Mandakini. The temple is open for pilgrims during the month of April and Kartik Purnima (autumn full moon) due to extreme weather conditions in the region. The murtis from Kedarnath are brought up at Ukimath where they are worshipped for six months. Kedar khand is the historical name of the region and Lord Shiva is worshipped here as Kedarnath, Lord of Kedar Khand.

This 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. Outside the temple door a large statue of the Nandi Bull stands as guard. The origin of the revered temple can be found by Pandavas and revived by Adi Shankaracharya. According to legends, the Pandavas sought the blessings of lord Shiva to atone their sin after the battle of Mahabharata and was named Panchkedar. Lord Shiva eluded them repeatedly and while fleeing took refuge at Kedarnath in the form of a bull.