Panch Kedar Yatra is a pilgrimage tour of five sacred temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The temples, known as the Panch Kedar, are located in the Garhwal region of the Himalayas and are considered some of the most important shrines for devotees of Lord Shiva. The temples are Kedarnath, Tungnath, Rudranath, Madmahesswer or Madhyamaheshwar, and Kalpeshwar. Each temple is believed to house a different form of Lord Shiva and is said to have its unique legend and history. Panch Kedar Yatra is considered as sacred as Char Dham Yatra, by participating in it you can bless yourself with spiritual opulence.
It is believed that after the bloodshed in the Mahabharata war, the Pandavas worshipped Lord Shiva to eliminate their “sin” of killing their family members. Lord Shiva was angry with the Pandavas for the same reason. Due to this, he divided himself into five parts and tested the spirit of the Pandavas. These five parts are known as Kedarnath, Tungnath, Rudranath, Madhyamaheshwar and Kalpeshwar. Among all these parts, Kedarnath is the most prominent section, where the Pandavas saw the Kedar form of Lord Shiva.
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Kedarnath is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, Chota Char Dham and Panch Kedar of India. It is situated at about 3,583 meters in Rudraprayag, Garhwal Himalayan region. Being one of the forms of Baba Kedar, this Dham is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Kedarnath Temple is a popular destination for Hindu pilgrims. Pilgrims visit it as part of a spiritual pilgrimage famous as the “Char Dham Yatra.” However, anybody can visit only Kedarnath temple with this package tour exploring only Kedarnath Dham.
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Tungnath Temple is one of the five “Panch Kedar Trek” in Uttarakhand. Situated at about 3,690 m (12,106 ft), this temple is the highest shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is over 1000 years old and is one of the most critical sites in Hindu pilgrimage. The temple is also famous for the beautiful hilltop views of the Himalayas and the Tungnath-Chopta trek, which makes it a popular tourist destination.
Rudranath is the third temple in the Panch Kedar Yatra circuit of Lord Shiva, located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. This is the last and very famous temple of the Garhwal region, where “Rudra” and “Neelkanth” – forms of Lord Shiva are worshipped. Being situated at an altitude of about 2290 m (7513 ft), it also entices the devotees as an adventurous trek. From dense forests to alpine pastures, the journey to the temple is full of natural beauty.
One of the most beautiful temples of “Lord Shiva“, Madmaheshwar is located in the Gondar region of the Rudraprayag district. “Madhya (Sanskrit) means middle” The middle part and navel of Lord Shiva are worshipped in the temple. It is included in the Panch Kedar Yatra circuit as the fourth temple of Kedar Khand. Built-in the old Himalayan style architecture, the temple overlooks the beautiful peaks of the Chaukhamba mountains.
Kalpeshwar is the fifth and last temple of the Panch Kedar circuit, located in the “Urgam village” of Chamoli district in Uttarakhand. The hair of Lord Shiva is worshipped in this temple. That’s why Lord Shiva is also called Jatadhar or Jateshwar. The temple priests are considered disciples of Adi Shankaracharya, Negi, Gusai, and Dashnami. The temple is located inside a cave, which is much easier to reach than the other five Kedar temples. Every year on Shivratri, Shishu Janam Mela is organized in the temple.