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Panch Kedar

The five Kedars, Kedarnath, Tungnath, Rudranath, Madhyamaheswar and Kalpeshwar lies in the valleys between the rivers of Bhagirathi and Alakananda. Lord Shiva is worshipped at the five Kedars in different appearances. The term Kedar symbolizes a natural formation of rock or a glacier moraine. According to the magnificent legend, after the battle of Kurukshetra, the five brothers Pandavas visited Lord Shiva as a form of penance of all the sins they accumulated during the war. But Lord Shiva avoided them and took the form of bull as a disguise and tried to plunge himself underground. But the Pandavas spotted him and Bhima tried to pick up the bull. But he was not successful and the bull scattered into pieces. The pieces submerged under the earth but Bhima managed to retain the hump of the bull. Satisfied at their deeds Lord Shiva blessed them and freed them from their sins. The Hump of the bull is worshipped as the idol in the shrine. The other parts of the bull i.e. Lord Shiva appeared as Arms (Bahu) at Tugnath, Face (mukh) at Rudranath, Navel (nabhi) at Madhyamaheswar and Hair (jata) at Kalpeshwar. These shrines are known as Panch Kedars.

The Panch Kedar trek is one of the best ways to review the magnificent Garhwal Himalaya. The Panoramic view of the Himalayas is soul stirring. Every year thousands of travelers gather here for taking part in various trekking. The crowd includes both amateur and professional trekkers. The Garhwal Himalaya consist of some of the highest peaks in India, such as Nanda Devi (7,817m), Trishul (7,120m), and Chaukhamba (7,138m). It is also the source of the revered Ganga and Yamuna rivers. There are the popular Badrinath and Kedarnath shrines and also the forests of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Valley of flowers National Park, Askot wildlife sanctuary and the Benong Reserve.

The Panch Kedar trek includes all the five shrines associated with the Hindu legends.

Places To Visite

Kedarnath

Kedarnath, the ancient and religious temple is situated in the Rudra Himalaya range in Rudraprayag district of the northern state of Uttaranchal. It is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated at an elevation of 3,584 m above sea level. In this temple Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of his hump.

Tunganath

Tunganath is set on the Chandranath parbat in the Rudraprayag district of Uttaranchal. The temple of Tunganath is considered to be more than 100 years old. It is one of the Panch Kedar. It is the highest temple of Lord Shiva set at an elevation of 3,810 m above sea level. The style and architecture of this temple is magnificent. The temple can be reached by an easily trek of 4 km from Chopta (2,700 m). Tunganath temple is the place where Lord Shiva is worshipped for his Hands (Bahu). A temple dedicated to Goddess Parvati and few other smaller temples found to be seen in the close vicinity.

Rudranath

Rudranath is the fourth temple in the nexus of Panch Kedar pilgrimage. The temple is situated at an elevation 2,286 m above sea level. It is located in Chamoli district of Uttaranchal. Rudranath temple trek is the hardest one compared to the rest of the temples of Panch Kedar. The trekking route offers brilliant views of Mother Nature and the trek leads through dense forest, and alpine meadows and deep gorges.

Madhyamaheshwar

Madhyamaheshwar is a small holy town named after the religious temple of Lord Shiva of the same name. It is located at an elevation of 3,289 m above sea level. Unaina is the last place connected by road and from there an easy trek of 21 km reaches at Madhyamaheshwar. But from Bantoli to Madhyamaheshwar there is a steep ascent.

Kalpeshwar

Kalpeshwar is located at an altitude of 2,134 m above sea level near Urgam Valley in Chamoli district of Uttaranchal. Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of matted hair. Kalpeshwar can be reached by an easy trek of 11 km commencing from Helang.

Panch Kedar Trek

Region Garhwal Himalayas(city area)

Duration 15 days

Altitude Max 4500 m

Grade Moderate

Best time to Visit May, June, July, September, October, November

How to Reach

The Panch Kedar temples are accessible by only from the nearest road heads but in different directions, lengths and level of difficulty. The total length to cover all the five temples is about 170 km involving 15 to 16 days.

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