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Kedarnath


Kedarnath is one of the holiest Hindu pilgrims of India with Lord Shiva as its residing deity. This holy site is situated perched at an elevation of 3,584mts above sea level in the foot of imposing snow bound Himalayan peaks. Mythology says that Pandavas wanted to wash their sins they committed during the great war of Mahabharata by killing their own brothers, so they wished to meet Lord Shiva. Shiva was angry with them and he didn't want to bless them with his presence so Lord Shiva converted himself into a big bull and dug himself under the ground.

The places where the body parts were founded were named as kedars. The hump of the bull was found here. The temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya in the early 8th century. The temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of India and the main temple of Panch Kedar. The temple is still intact after the floods of 2013 as the town surrounding the temple has been washed away. This year some 32000 pilgrims visited the sacred shrine after the floods. Kedarnath has some amazing views of the surrounding mountains. The primary attraction here is the Shiva temple also called the Kedarnath temple. You can also visit the remaining four temples of the panch kedar namely - Tungnath temple, Rudranath temple, Madmaheshwar temple and the Kalpeshwar temple. You should also check out the high altitude lake Vasuki Tal. Know more about the places to visit in Kedarnath.

Triyuginarayan

Triyuginarayan is located at a distance of 5 km trek from Son Prayag. Situated in a beautiful village in Rudraprayag, this place is famous for the old temple, which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple located within the destination has its architecture and design resembling to the Kedarnath shrine.

In addition, the temple has immense mythological importance as it is believed that Triyuginarayan is the same place where Lord Shiva tied married knot with his consort Parvati. Moreover, it is also believed that a perpetual flame, which is lit in front of the Shiva temple, has witnessed the holy matrimony. Tourists visiting this sightseeing place can also make a visit to other attractions such as Vishnu Kund, Rudra Kund and Brahma Kund.

Rambara :
 

Rambara is a scenic hamlet like you have imagined in a fairytale. It is nestled at an elevation of 2,591mts above sea level at a distance of 7kms from Gaurikund and 7kms before Kedarnath Dham. Rambara acts as a mid-point of the 14km trek to Kedarnath Dham, therefore it is an important destination. GMVN Tourist Rest House provides accommodation to the devotees and travelers at Rambara. The rooms are equipped with basic amenities and are affordably priced.

Gaurikund :
 

Gaurikund, among the famous pilgrim centres, is located en route to the Kedarnath shrine. Situated at an altitude of 1,982 m, this holy place houses an ancient temple, which is dedicated to Goddess Parvati. According to a legend, it is believed that Parvati meditated at this destination for a long time so as to win Lord Shiva as her husband.

There is also a hot water spring located at Gaurikund by the same name. It is believed that a dip in this pond makes a person pure. Additionally, after a dip, a holy darshan in the shrine would fulfil all their desires. This destination also serves as a starting point of a trek to Kedarnath.

Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary :

Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, sprawling over an area of 967 sq.km, was established in 1972. Located in the district of Chamoli, it is named after the famous Kedarnath temple. Situated on the catchment area of Alaknanda River, this sanctuary is home to temperate forests, which include low and coniferous, alpine and Bugyals.

Owing to its diversity in physiological and geographical features, the sanctuary is home to rich floral species. Trees of Oak, Pine and Birch are in abundance in this sanctuary along with several flowering plants. In addition, the sanctuary also has a wide variety of fauna as well, which include reptiles, mammals, birds and primates. Black bear, leopard cat, jackal, snow leopard and common leopard are some of the animals that tourists can spot in this sanctuary. Some of the other animals residing in this sanctuary are sambhar, goral, tahr, serow, bharal and endangered musk deer.

Guptkashi :

Guptkashi, an ideal stopover place for the devotees travelling to Kedarnath, is famous for the Ardhanareeshwar and Viswanath temples. According to the Hindu Mythology, it is believed that Lord Shiva hid at this place for some time.

Viswanath temple, located within this destination is among the several incarnations of Lord Shiva. In addition, the temple reflects the architectural style and design of the bygone eras. Ardhanareeshwar, on the other hand, is a divine concept that depicts the idol in the form of half man and half woman. The Ardhanareeshwar temple portrays Lord Shiva in the form of half male and half female. In addition, there are two streams of water located in the temple, which symbolises the two holy rivers, Ganges and Yamuna. Tourists can also see the image of Nandi bull, guarding the entrance of this temple.

Bhairav Nath Temple :

Bhairav Nath Temple, located within the vicinity of the main temple complex, is one of the most popular temples after Kedarnath temple. Dedicated to God Bhairav, the temple is located to the south of the main temple. According to a belief, during winter months due to the heavy rainfall, when the Kedarnath temple remains closed, the main temple complex is guarded by the deity placed in Bhairav Nath temple.

Ukhimath :

Situated at a height of 1311 m above sea level, in Rudraprayag, it lies on the Gopeshwar – Guptkashi road. It is the winter seat of Lord Kedarnath and Madhyamaheshwar. Since it snows heavily in Kedarnath during the winter season, the deity is worshipped at the Omkareshwar Temple here. Apart from Shiva and Parvati, there are also temples dedicated to Usha and Anirudh. According to legend, Ukhimath is named after the daughter of Banasur, Usha.

Shankaracharya Samadhi :

Shankaracharya Samadhi, the grave of Adi Guru Shankaracharya, is one of the most popular tourist attractions. Located slightly behind the Kedarnath Temple, it is also one of the most visited places in Kedarnath. Sri Sankaracharya, a famous Hindu philosopher, is considered to be the renovator of the Kedarnath shrine. According to the chronicles of history, it is said that he had made relentless journeys so as to propagate his Advaita Philosophy.

Vasuki Tal :

Vasuki Tal is a high glacial lake situated at an impressive altitude of 14,200 feet above sea level in Kedarnath Dham of Uttarakhand. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that during Rakshabandhan, Lord Vishnu bathed in the water of this pristine lake. Thus, it was named as Vasuki Tal. One can spot Brahma Kamal and other Himalayan flowers blooming around the placid lake, making the aura divine. The travellers can also savour a majestic view of the Chaukhamba peaks from Vasuki Tal. The great Himalayan ranges and the scenic vista around the placid lake lure the tourists for a rendezvous. In addition, the luscious terrains around the Vasuki Tal are suitable for trekking.

Sonprayag :

Sonprayag is a beautiful, small village that is situated at an altitude of 1829 m. It is also a place where the two holy rivers, Sone-Ganga and Mandakini, meet. It is believed that a dip in these rivers will bring good fortune and blessings of the almighty. Visitors must visit this place during their Kedarnath Yatra and have a memorable experience. The snow-clad mountains and captivating appeal of the place entice plenty of visitors each year. Embellished by the splendid environment and gushing waters, the place offers an absolute calmness to the devotees.

Agastyamuni :

Agastyamuni is a renowned temple of Sage Agastya that is located around 70 kms from Kedarnath on the banks of the River Mandakini. The sage meditated in this place for one year. Tourists can see the stunning carvings of the Hindu Gods and Goddess on the walls of the temple. Devotees throng this temple in large numbers during the festival of Baisakhi. The tourists can also enjoy fishing in the Mandakini River and have an unforgettable experience.

Chopta :

Chopta, popularly known as the ‘Mini Switzerland’ is nestled in at an altitude of 2900 m above sea level in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. It is essentially a picturesque valley that entices tourists from various parts of the world. The stunning views of the Himalayan ranges, such as Trishul, Nanda Devi and Chaukhamba from Chopta certainly remains glued to the heart. The whole area is rich in diverse flora and fauna. The valley is surrounded by different kinds of trees like pine, rhododendron and deodar. The tourists can visit this place in winters from December to February and enjoy trekking in snow.

Deoria Tal :

It is a pristine natural lake situated in the state of Uttarakhand in India. The lake is surrounded by dense green surroundings and snow-covered peaks. The reflection of the magnificent Chaukhamba peak in the lake certainly amazes the tourists. It is also a great destination for fishing and bird watching. The place can be quite easily reached through buses and jeeps. The best time to visit Deoria Tal is from July to September and from December to February.



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