Kedarnath is at the head of the Mandakini river and among the holiest pilgrimage for the devout Hindu. Kedarnath temple, built in the 8th century AD, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The conical rock in its sanctum is the idol, and outside the temple door, a giant statue of Nandi stands as a guard. As stated by a legend, Lord Shiva wished to escape the Pandavas and had taken refuge in Kedarnath in the form of a bull. When the Pandavas followed him here, too, he dived into the ground leaving behind him a hump on the surface. His conical protrusion is worshipped as the idol in the shrine.
Subsequently, the body’s remaining parts are worshiped at four other places- the arms at Tungnath, mouth at Rudranath, Navel at Mahamaheshwar, and hair at Kalpeshwar. Together with Kedarnath, these places are known as Panch Kedar. The lingam is one of the 12 jyotirlingas. Kedarnath Temple darshan is closed from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, so plan to be at the temple before 3:00 pm. Before 3:00 pm, visitors can touch idle and do inauguration with Ghee. After 5:00 pm, no one can feel idle but can get Darshan at a distance. At this time, idle is in Emperor costume. The temple at Kedarnath enshrining the jyotirlingas of Shiva opens only six months of a year, from April to November, when the sun enters the zodiac sign of Aries, it is closed when it is completed, and the sun enters Scorpio.
Shankaracharya Samadhi: It is located just behind the Kedarnath Temple. After establishing four sacred dhams, Adi Shankaracharya is said to have gone into his Samadhi here at the age of 32 years.
Chorbari: Here, river Mandakini emerges from and later merges into the Alakananda Rudraprayag. It’s located at a distance of 3 km from Kedarnath temple.