In the state of Uttarakhand, five temples dedicated to Lord Shiva are known as Panch Kedar This temple attracts devotees and tourists due to its natural fantastic view and serene environment. The Panch Kedar holy temple of Lord Shiva is located in Uttarakhand’s Garhwal region. Natural scenes such as green meadows, mountains, snow-capped peaks, and so on surround these Panch Kedar temples, providing devotees with a sense of peace. Panch-Kedar refers to the five temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, namely Kedarnath, Tungnath, Rudranath, Madhyamaheshwar, and Kalpeshwar. The purity, combined with the meadows, mountains, snow-capped peaks, and wildlife, make the Panch Kedar Yatra unique and a trip to remember for both devotees and tourists. There is no direct motorable road to these temples; instead, each temple must have trekked with varying degrees of difficulty, and this Panch Kedar Yatra typically takes 11/12 days to complete.
Tungnath is an ancient Shiva temple located at Chopta in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. There is an ancient belief that the Tungnath Shiva temple was built by the Pandavas during the Mahabharata era. Pleased with the Pandavas` repentance, Lord Shiva appeared at the Tungnath Temple itself. Thereafter, the Pandavas built the thousand-year-old Tungnath temple as a monument. Situated at an altitude of 14,000 feet above sea level, Tungnath Shiva Temple is one of the natural scenic spots in the state of Uttarakhand.
Kedarnath Shiva Temple is a thousands-year-old Shiva temple located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. Kedarnath Shivdham temple is considered his one of Panchkedar temples. Kedarnath Temple, built in the Kachuri style, was built with stones made from natural rocks. Historians believe it was built under the rule of the Pandavas by Maharaja Jammejaya, a grandson of the Pandavas. But later, Adi Guru Shankaracharya renovated the temple. The tomb of Adi Guru Shankaracharya is located behind Kedarnath Temple. The ancient Swayambhu Siblings in the sanctuary of the Kedarnath Shiva Temple are naturally occurring Siblings. Kedarnath Temple is considered one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples in the country. Elevation of the Temple The Kedarnath Shiva Temple is located at an altitude of 3,562 meters above sea level. Each year, the timing of opening the Kedarnath Temple portal is determined by his Omkareshwar Temple priest in Ukhimath, according to Hindu Panchang’s calculations. The temple doors are most often thought to open on Akshaya Tritiya or Maha Shivaratri days in March or April. Likewise, the time to close the doors of the temple is on Baiduji after Diwali in November.
Rudranath is another important site of the Panch Kedar Yatra which consists of natural rock formations. Rudranath Temple is located at an altitude of 2,286 meters amidst alpine meadows and dense rhododendron forests, where Lord Shiva is worshiped as ‘Neilkanth Mahadev’. This is where the Pandavas saw the face of Lord Shiva in the form of a bull. The temple also offers spectacular views of the mountains of Nanda Devi, Nada Gunti and Trishur. Another special feature of the temple is that it is surrounded by several ponds and pools such as Surya Kund, Chandra Kund, Tara Kund and Mana Kund. The trek to this temple is considered to be the most difficult trek compared to all other temples in Panch Kedar which involves a trek of around 20 km. Most of the treks to Rudranath start from various points in his Gopeshwar (Chamoli district) which is about 20 km long.
Located at an altitude of about 3,289 meters, Madhya Yamaheshwar is where the central or navel part of Shiva appeared. The temple is located in the beautiful green valley of Manthona village in the Garwal Himalayas, surrounded by the majestic snow-capped mountains of Kedarnath, Chaukamba and Neelkanth. Madhyamaheshwar can be reached by trekking from Aniyana, about 18 km from Ukhimath. From Bantri, where Madhyamheshwar Ganga joins Matiendra Ganga, the road becomes slightly bumpy. This migration includes the endangered Himalayan monal and musk deer. waterfalls; and you can also see the surrounding mountains, making this hike truly unforgettable. The trek to Madhyaheshwar Temple can be started from Uniana, 18 km from Ukhimath. The hike is 19 km long and can easily be covered from Aniana to Bantri at 10 km. However, the trek from Bantri becomes a little more difficult, the road from here becomes bumpy and requires a lot of climbing.
Kalpeshwar is another important pilgrimage site of Panch Kedar Yatra. According to legend, this is where the hair (jata) of Lord Shiva appeared. He is also called Jatadari or Jateshwar because of Shiva’s long, tangled hair. The Karpeshwar Temple is located in the quiet and scenic Urgam Valley at an altitude of 2,200 meters in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. The predominantly densely forested Urgam Valley offers interesting views of apple orchards and potato plantations on terracotta farms. Kalpeshwar Temple is one of the Panch Kedar Yatra temples that is easier to reach by trekking than others. His Helang on the Rishikesh-Badrinath road is the access point to the Urgam Valley. There is an easy 2 km trek from Urgam to Kalpeshwar. The beautiful confluence of the Alaknanda and Kalpsanga rivers can be seen on the journey from Helang to Kalpeshwar.
Panch Kedar consists of five famous temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. If we look at the legend of Panch Kedar or the origin of Panch Kedar, the most famous legend behind the construction of Panch Kedar can be traced back to the fierce battle of Mahabharata. During the fight, the Pandavas had killed their relatives and gurus and went to Lord Shiva to repent for this crime. However, Lord Shiva was enraged by their foul play on the field due to which he was furious with the Pandavas and hid in the form of a bull at Guptkashi in the Garhwal Himalayas. This is how Guptkashi (literally meaning hidden Kashi) got its name. The Pandavas came in search of Shiva in the Garhwal region and recognized Lord Shiva in the form of a bull. Bhima tried to catch the bull but it fell into the ground and split into different parts. Shiva reappeared in different parts of Garhwal. After which the hump of that bull appeared at Kedarnath, navel emerged at Madhya-Maheshwar, face at Rudranath, hands at Tungnath and hair of that bull at Kalpeshwar.
After this incident, at each of these places, a temple was built by the Pandavas and all these five temples together are known as Panch Kedar.
Panch kedar Darshan
- Tungnath Mahadev
- Kedarnath Dham
- Rudranath Mahadev
- Madhyamheshwar Mahadev
- Kalpeshwar Mahadev