Kedarnath Dham

This holiest of Shiva’s shrines is likened to gold among base metals so that evey pilgrim finds peace here, and it is said that devotees who die here become one with Shiva himself. Beyond the temple is the highway to heaven called Manapanth. According to legend, the place came into being during the period  when the five Pandava brothers were asked to seek Shiva’s blessings, purging them  of the sin of killing their cousins.  Lord Shiva unwilling to give darshan to the Pandavas fled Kashi to live incognito in Guptkashi, where eventually he was detected by the Pandavas. While fleeing Shiva took refuge at Kedarnath in the form of a bull and started to plunge underground when he was spotted by the Pandavas. He dived into the ground, leaving behind his hump on the surface. No wonder the natural rock formation that is worshipped here resembles the hump of a  bull. Thus Shiva pleased with the determination of the Pandavas, exonerated them from their sin, gave them darshan &bestowed upon them the opportunity to worship his hump.

The other four places where Shiva is worshipped take their appearance from different parts of his body – the navel at Madmaheshwar, the arms at  Tungnath, the face at Rudranath, and the matted hair at Kalpeshwar. The latter four along with Kedarnath are known as the Panch Kedars.