Kedarnath Yatra

At Yamunotri & Gangotri, the pilgrims are cleansed body & soul and with having achieved purity in that sense, pilgrimage to Sri Kedarnath becomes most rewarding.It is also customary to worship Lord Shiva with water of Ganga, which pilgrims going from Gangotri as well take some there to Kedarnath.                   

 
Kedarnath is the seat of Lord Shiva. It is one of the twelve “Jyotirlingas”of Lord Shiva. Lying at an altitude of 3548 m at the head  of river Mandakini, the shrine of Kedarnath is amongst the holiest pilgrimage for the Hindus. It is no wonder that Adiguru Shankaracharya – a great scholar and saint, chose to enshrine Lord Shiva in this land, where the unholy becomes holy and the holy becomes holier. It is the place where Lord Shiva absolved Pandavas from the sin of killing their own cousins Kauravas in the battle of Kurukshetra.The origin of the revered temple can be found in the great epic Mahabharat.
                       
At Kedarnath there are several  Kunds (pools,tanks) that are known for their religious significance – Shivkund, Retkund, Hanskund, Udakkund, Rudhirkund are the most  important. A little away from Kedarnath is a temple dedicated to Bhaironathji who is ceremoniously worshipped at the opening & closing of Kedarnath .The belief is that Bhairavnathji protects this land from evil during the time when temple of Kedarnath is closed.
                         
During the winters, the shrine is submerged in snow & hence is closed. Fortunate are those who have good weather, but twice blessed are those who are at Kedarnath on a moonlit night - the snow peak gleams like hundred silver pinnacles atop the glittering mountains.