Kedarnath , Uttarakhand
Every year, from April onwards lord Shiva’s worshippers take the arduous trek to the temple located at an altitude of 3581 m. The trek is grueling but the devotion and passion that one sees in the eyes of all the pilgrims makes it possible. The journey to Kedarnath starts from Rishikesh which is 12 hours away from the destination. But the zigzag drive in the Garwal hills is so mesmerizing and gripping that one is enthralled by the beauty around. This journey leads to Gaurikund, a place from where the shikesh is located which is 12 hours away from the destination. The 14 km trek to the entrance of the temple starts. Based from the Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva’s Jyotirling emerged after he eluded in the form of a bull to save himself from the Pandavas. Pandavas were seeking reparation of their sins carried out in the Mahabharata battle. Lord Shiva dived into the earth leaving his hump (bull) at Kedarnath. The original temple was built by the Pandavas. Later on the temple was repaired by Guru Shankracharya. This was done after Guru Shakracharya recognized Kedarnath as one of the “Char dhams.” What a magnificent sight it is when one approaches the temple. Standing upright in the middle of a snow clad in Garwhal Himalayas is the magnanimous Kedarnath temple.
Visit Kedarnath from May to October, but during the monsoons it is not recommended to take this grueling journey as the mountains are prone to landslides. Helicopter services are also available to complete the journey to the temple for all those whose time is at stake.
Once at Kedarnath, do take a dip into the holy Mandakini. It is believed to wash away all your sins according to the legend. The foremost purpose is to wash off all the wrong doings and purify one's soul. It is truly an amazing experience. Every person visiting Kedarnath is surely going to come back refreshed as this journey brings you in contact with your inner self.