Kedarnath Temple (Kedarnath Mandir) is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to the god Shiva. It is on the Garhwal Himalayan range near the Mandakini river in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand in India.
Due to extreme weather conditions, the temple is open only between the end of April (Akshaya Tritriya) to Kartik Purnima (the autumn full moon, usually November). During the winters, the vigrahas (deities) from Kedarnath temple are brought to Ukhimath and worshiped there for six months.
Lord Shiva is worshiped as Kedarnath, the 'Lord of Kedar Khand', the historical name of the region.The temple was built by Pandavas and revived by Adi Sankaracharya and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest Hindu shrines of Shiva.
Pandavas were supposed to have pleased Shiva by doing penance in Kedarnath. The temple is one of the four major sites in India'sChota Char Dham pilgrimage of Northern Himalayas.
The first hall inside Kedarnath Temple contains statues of the five Pandava brothers, Lord Krishna, Nandi, the vehicle of Shiva and Virabhadra, one of the guards of Shiva.
Statue of Draupadi and other deities are also installed in the main hall. A medium-size conical rough stone formation is worshiped in the Garbagruha and considered as Sadashiva form of Lord Shiva.
Kedarnath temple is one of the sacred pilgrimage centre in Northern India, located on the bank of Mandakini river at an altitude of 3584 meters above sea level. The historical name of this region is "Kedar Khand".
Kedarnath temple is a part of Char Dhams and Panch Kedar in Uttarakhand and one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva in India.
Renowned temple Kedarnath is dedicated to incarnations of Lord Shiva. Kedarnath is named after King Kedar who ruled in the Satya Yuga. It is believed that Kedarnath Dham is the place where Lord Shiva absolved Pandavas from the sin of killing their own cousins Kauravas in the battle of Kurukshetra war. There is an interesting Story behind the Town and its temple.
According to the Puranas, the Pandava brothers did a major penance in Kedarnath to please Lord Shiva.Earlier the temple was built by Pandavas and Present temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya. Just Behind the temple you will seen samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya.
Kedarnath is a tremendous space. The utterance of the sound "Shiva attains a completely new dimension and significance in Kedar. It is a space which has been specially prepared for this particular sound.
When we utter the word "Shiva", it is the freedom of the uncreated, the liberation of one who is not created. It is not right to say this, but it is almost like on this planet, the sound "Shiva" emanates from this place.
For thousands of years, people have experienced that space as a reverberation of that sound.When we say "Shiva", it is not about creating one more idol or god that we can ask for more prosperity or better things in life