Named after the legendary Hindu king Kedar, Kedarnath is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in India. Kedarnath is part of the Chota Char Dham pilgrimage; the others being Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. These places hold a great religious significance because it is believed that whoever does this yatra at least once in their lifetime, is relieved from the cycle of life and death and attains salvation.
Kedarnath in ancient times was accessible by pilgrims only through hiking. However, it was only after the 1962 Sino-Indian war that the Indian government made some major infrastructural developments and constructed roads and highways. Since then it has been attracting hordes of pilgrims every year.
Begin your tour of the town with the Kedarnath Temple – dedicated to Lord Shiva and located near Mandakini river. The origin of the temple dates back to Mahabharata when the Pandavas built the temple to absolve themselves of the sin of killing during the Mahabharata war. The temple has a great architecture and the carved idols of various deities inside definitely make it worth a visit.
Apart from having a religious significance, Kedarnath is also a haven for trekkers and adventure lovers. It serves as a base camp for mountaineers and trekkers going toward the Kedarnath Peak. Other attractions to explore near Kedarnath include Sonprayag, Ratus Kund, Bhairavnath Temple and Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary.
Located a short distance from the base camp of Kedarnath Temple, is another important pilgrimage site called the Triyuginarayan Temple. This place is said to be where Lord Shiva married Goddesses Parvati and it is believed that all gods had come here to witness their holy union. The exact location of the wedding is symbolized by a stone called Brahma Shilla kept in front of the temple. Interestingly, there is an eternal flame inside the temple that is believed to be burning since their union.