Kedarnath is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is also an important part of the Char Dham Yatra pilgrimage. Located in the high-altitude region of the Garhwal Himalayas, Kedarnath attracts devotees and Shiva worshippers from across the globe. Gracing the banks of the holy Mandakini River and against the backdrop of the Kedar dome, Kedarnath was established by Adi Shankaracharya. Its location in the lap of the Himalayas has opened doors for trekkers and outdoor adventure enthusiasts. There are many places where people can go and fulfill your wanderlust.
Here are some famous Tourist attractions in Kedarnath:
Kedarnath Gufa is situated just 1 km above the Kedarnath temple valley. It was made famous after the honorable prime minister; Narendra Modi had paid a visit to the temple prior to the result declaration. The Gufa is a one-bedroom cave room consisting of a bed, a small table with an intercom phone, and nothing else. The main intention of the cave has been to provide some much-needed peaceful time to meditate. The cave is situated at a very strategic point from where people can savour some of the most fantastic views of the Kedar Valley and the temple below. Although getting a reservation at the Gufa can be a challenging one, the experience here is worth it.
Situated at an elevation of above 6,500 meters above sea level, Triyuginarayan temple is a very important place for Shiva and Parvati worship. Just 5 kms away from Sonprayag, the temple stands at the place where Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were tied together in the eternal bond of marriage. This was done during the Satyug in the presence of Lord Vishnu and other famous sages, saints, seers, and philosophers of that time. The temple is very humble-looking yet very powerful in a spiritual and religious sense. Surrounded by the lush green Himalayan surroundings the temple is a sight to behold. Many famous celebrities have also chosen to get married at the temple since it promises a lifetime of a pure, strong bond between the man and woman, just like Shiv Parvati.
Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary
Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary or the Kedarnath musk deer sanctuary is the largest protected area in the western Himalayas. Spread out over an area of 975 sq km, the wildlife sanctuary is famous for its alpine musk population along with the Himalayan Tahr, Himalayan Griffon, Himalayan Blackbear, and snow leopard among a huge selection of flora. The diversity of flora and fauna here is internationally acclaimed. The sanctuary gets its name from the ancient Kedarnath temple that is located within the Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary premises. In fact, the entire 14 kms of trek from Gaurikund to the temple goes through the sanctuary.
Tungnath Mahadev Temple
Gracing an altitude of over 12,000 feet above sea level, Tungnath Mahadev is the highest Shiva temple in the world. The temple architecture will remind devotees of the Kedarnath temple and rightly so. Tungnath is a part of the iconic Panch Kedar Yatra that was established by the Pandavas Brothers. The temple is reached via a short hike from the base camp for Tungnath in Chopta. It is the perfect blend of spirituality and adventure that is enjoyed by families from all over India. The temple offers stunning views of the surrounding Chaukhamba Peaks which makes the entire hiking adventure totally worth it.
River Confluence Point
Streaming down from the peaks of Kedarnath is the Mandakini River. She makes her way through the banks of Kedarnath Mandir and meets up with the Alaknanda River at their confluence point in Rudraprayag. This makes Rudraprayag an important place for pilgrim goers and devotees. People on their way to Kedarnath make it a point to stop at the confluence point of these rivers. Taking a holy dip here and offering your prayer is a rejuvenating experience. This Sangam point is home to an important Shiva Temple. Even if you don’t wish to take a dip, people make it a point to at least take insta worthy Pictures.
Kartik Swami Temple
In recent years, Kartik Swami Temple has gained a lot of public attention. This is mainly because of its incredible location. Hidden amidst the cotton clouds and offering expansive views of the Garhwal valley below, the temple is a great place to experience the lord in close proximity. The temple is dedicated to Lord Kartikeya, the elder son of Lord Shiva. It is placed on a narrow ridge and is enclosed by deep valleys and gorges. The mystical beauty and charm of the Himalayas can be experienced in a pure manner here. The temple in itself is simple and humble-looking and is home to one of the finest carved-out idols of Lord Kartik Swami.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Omkareshwar Temple is the winter home of Lord Kedar. Located in Ukhimath, on a reachable elevation, the temple serves as the winter abode of Kedarnath from November to April. When the temple of Kedarnath shuts down for 6 months from November, the region becomes too hostile for devotees to go there and offer prayer to Lord Kedar. As a solution, the priests move the idol of the presiding deity from Kedarnath to Omkareshwar so that the devotees continue to offer their prayers to the Lord. It is a great way of continuing your Kedarnath Yatra without letting the weather conditions halt your devotion.
Gaurikund is the base camp for the Kedarnath trekking route. Situated above 6,000 feet above sea level in the Garhwal Himalayas, Gaurikund is considered a very powerful and holy place for Devi worship. The Kund is marked by the presence of a high-altitude small lake. According to Hindu folklore, Gaurikund is the place where goddess Parvati had prepared herself and performed vigorous yoga and other ascetic practices to win over the heart of Lord Shiva in marriage. They, later on, went ahead and got married at the Triyuginarayan Temple in Chopta.
Speaking of Chopta and Tungnath Mahadev Temple, a visit to Chandrashila peak is inevitable. The Chandrashila peak is located about 1 km ahead of Tungnath Mahadev Temple. Many people choose to go the extra mile and check out incredible views of the Chaukhamba range of mountains on all sides. The peak is believed to also be the spot where Raavan, one of the greatest Shiva devotees is believed to have performed intense meditation to please the Lord. The peak is also a great place to witness the scenic sunsets and take surreally beautiful pictures.
These are some of the most interesting tourist attractions in Kedarnath. You can include all these places during your Kedarnath visit for a more wholesome and memorable experience.