Kedarnath, located in the Himalayan mountain ranges, is part of the 'Char Dham", or one of the four holy places a devout Hindu visits during his lifetime. The Kedar shrine is among the 12 jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Kedar is another name of Lord Shiva the protector and the destroyer. Shiva, is considered the embodiment of all passions-love, hatred, fear, death and mysticism which are expressed through his various forms.
According to legend, the place came into being during the period when the five Pandavas brothers were asked to seek Shiva's blessings purging them of the sin of killing their cousins. Lord Shiva unwilling to give darshans to the Pandavas frled 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 naval 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.
Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is about 239 km from Kedarnath. Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is a domestic airport located at about 20 km away from city center of Dehradun. Taxi cabs are available from Dehradun airport to Kedarnath, which cost about Rs 3,500. The airport operates daily flights to Delhi. Nearest International airport is Delhi.
Rail: Nearest railhead at Rishikesh, 221 km away from Kedarnath. Prepaid taxi services are available in the railway station which charge about Rs 3,000. One has to travel 207 km by road and the rest 14 km by foot to reach Kedarnath.
Road: Kedarnath is well connected through road. The National Highway from Delhi to Mana (538 km) is accessible throughout the year. Kedarnath can be accessed by foot from GauriKund. Gaurikund is connected by state buses to Rishikesh, Dehradun, Kotdwara, Haridwar and other hill stations of Kumaon and Garhwal Hills. The bus charges are not fixed. It will vary depending on season.
Kedarnath is the abode of Lord Shiva according to Hindu mythology. From decades sages and mystics have traveled to Kedarnath in search of salvation. One of the major pilgrimage sites for Hindus, it is a town which has temples all over and there are shops beside and around these temples. If you are planning for Shopping in Kedarnath, then drop into these shops in Kedarnath.
There are not too many items for shopping in Kedarnath. For souvenirs you can visit the small shops in Kedarnath which sell portraits and photographs of the Kedarnath and Badrinath Temple or of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Besides these photographs or framed pictures of temples you can also get Rudraksh Malas made from Rudraksh, an essential fruit which is quite important to the Hindus. Besides these, the shops in Kedarnath also sell crystals, saligrams, herbs, Shilajit, natural vitalizers, precious stones and tulsi beads.
Moreover if you are going for shopping in Kedarnath do not miss the ornamental brass work. Beautifully embellished these brass items can be excellent souvenirs. The shops of Kedarnath in Uttaranchal also sell woolens and beautiful and intricately designed local handicrafts.
Kedarnath is one of the holiest places of worship for the Hindus and also a chief destination of pilgrimage. There are various options for travelers to accommodate themselves on their way to Kedarnath.