Kedarnath

Kedarnath is the most important Hindu shrine in Himalayas, and among the major Shiva temples, of the country. Located at the source of the river Mandakini, Kedarnath is one of the twelve Jyothirlingas, of Lord Shiva, and one of the Panch Kedars.

Mythology identifies the deity at Kedarnath temple, with the rump of a bull, a form assumed by Lord Shiva, when eluding the Pandavas, who had come for repentance for killing their kith and kin, in the great battle of Kurukshetra. When the Pandavas followed him to the site, he dived into the ground leaving behind a hump on the surface. This conical projection is worshipped as the idol in the shrine.

The remaining parts of the body are worshipped at four other sites-the arms (Bahu) at Tungnath, mouth (mukh) at Rudranath, navel (nabhi) at Madmaheshwar and hair (jata) at Kalpeshwar. These five shrines collectively are known as the Panch Kedar.

It is believed that the temple of Kedarnath, was constructed by the Pandavas. At the entrance of the temple, is the statue of Nandi, the divine bull of Shiva. The wall inside the temple, is exquisitely carved with images, and the temple houses a shiva lingam, which is worshipped by hordes of pilgrims. The lingam, here, unlike its usual form, is pyramidal.

At the approach of winters in the month of November, the holy statue of Lord Shiva, is carried down from Garhwal (Kedarkhand) to Ukhimath, and is reinstated at Kedarnath, in the first week of May. It is at this time, that the doors of the temple are thrown open to pilgrims, who flock from all parts of India, for a holy pilgrimage.

Legends notwithstanding, the shrine of Kedarnath is very scenically placed, and is surrounded by lofty, snow - covered mountains, and grassy meadows covering the valleys. Immediately behind the temple, is the high Keadardome peak, which can be sighted from great distances. The sight of the temple and the peak with its perpetual snows is, simply, an enthralling sight.  

Around Kedarnath 

Vasuki Tal

Situated at an altitude of 14, 200 ft, and 6 kms away from Kedarnath, Vasuki Tal is situated on the right side of the valley. The crystal clear lake with stupendous scenic surroundings, offers a splendid view for the nature buff. 

Son Prayag

Located at the confluence of the Mandakini and the Sone-Ganga, this quaint village is known for its picturesque beauty.

Gaurikund

An ancient temple dedicated to the Goddess Gauri or Parvati, the Gaurikund houses the metallic idols of Gauri and Shiva. According to legend, Parvati meditated here for a long time, to win Shiva as her consort. Ultimately, she succeeded, and the cosmic couple were wed at Trijuginarayan. 

Some of the most exhilarating Pilgrimage in India include 
Ajmer Sharief (Rajasthan)
Badrinath (Uttar Pradesh)
Rishikesh (Uttar Pradesh)
Haridwar (Uttar Pradesh)
Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu)
Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu)
Trichy (Tamil Nadu)
Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu)
Velangani (Tamil Nadu)
Konark (Orissa)
Amarnath (Jammu & Kashmir)
Tabo (Himachal Pradesh)
Kangra Valley (Himachal Pradesh)
Pawapuri (Bihar)
Sikh shrines (Amritsar)
The Modhera Sun Temple (Gujarat)
Pushkar (Rajasthan)
Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh)
Kedarnath (Uttar Pradesh) 
Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) 
Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu) 
Tanjavur (Tamil Nadu)
Basilica of Bom Jesus (Goa)
Bhubaneshwar (Orissa)
Puri (Orissa)
Vaishno Devi (Jammu & Kashmir)
Buddhist sites (Himachal Pradesh)
Bodhgaya (Bihar)
Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh)
Shirdi (Maharashtra)
Madurai(Tamil Nadu)