Panch Kedar of Uttarakhand, India

Panch Kedar refers to five holy places dedicated to god Shiva. They are located in the Garhwal Himalayan region in Uttarakhand, India. They are the focus of many mythologies that directly link their creation to Pandavas.  The five temples chosen in the strict pecking categorize to be followed for pilgrimage for worship are the Kedarnath, the Tungnath, Rudranath Madhyamaheshwar,and Kalpeshwar. The Kedarnath is the main temple, which is part of the Chota Char Dhams.
The approximate altitudes of panch kedars from the sea level are as follows : —
  • Kedar Nath – 3,583 m or 11,766 feet
  • Tungnath – 3,680 m or 12,070 feet
  • Rudranath – 2,286 m or 7,500 feet
  • Madhyamaheshwar – 3,490 m or 11,450 feet
  • Kalpeshwar – 2,200 m or 7,200 feet
As per the beliefs, Panch Kedar journey could be related to the Gorakhnath Temple of Nepal. It is said that the zenith of the pilgrim was at the famous Pashupatinath temple in Nepal at the place where Lord Shiva’s head is worshipped. The famous story about the Panch Kedar relates to Mahabharata heroes, the Pandavas.  As everyone knows that Pandavas defeted Kauravas, their brothers and during this war, they had to kill their brothers and Brahmins. After the war, they wished to get pardoned about their sins of these killings; therefore, they left their kingdom in the search of Lord Shiva to seek his pardons.  But Shiva wanted to avoid them, so that he transformed himself into a bull called Nandi and hid into the Uttarakhand region. When Pandavas reached Uttarakhand in search of Lord Shiva, Bheem (second brother of Pandavas) saw a bull grazing near Guptkashi he immediately recognized it to be Shiva. He hold the bull by its tail and rear legs but bull disappearaed into the ground.  Later it reappeard in parts, with the hump raising in Kedarnath, at the Tungnath the arms appeared, in Madhyamaheshwara the navel an stomach, at Rudranath, the face showed up and in Kapleshwar the hair and head appeared. Pandavas were happy to see his reappearance in these five places and they built the temples at these five places for worshipping Shiva.  Thus, the Pandavas were become free from their sins.
How to reach
All five Kedar temples can be accessed only from the nearest roads.  The total trek length is about 170 km. to reach all the five temples.  It also includes road travel up to Gaurikund.  The trekking is undertaken during two seasons; during the three months of summer and two months after the monsoon season, as during the rest of the time, excluding Rudranath, the other four Panch Kedar temples are unreachable due to snow cover.