Destinations Covered: Kedarnath, Tungnath, Rudranath, Madhmaheshwar, Kalpeshwar
Set in a spectacular background of snow-clad peaks and forests, Kedarnath temple is situated in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand and occupies a prominent position among the Panch Kedar temples. The temple houses a conical shaped Shiva lingam which is considered to be the hump of Shiva. It is located at a height of 3,584 m. The trek till Kedarnath temple begins from Gaurikund and is an around 19-km uphill trek. It trek can be finished in 6-7 hours.
One of the highest Shiva temples in the world, Tungnath lies at a height of 3,680 m in the Rudraprayag district. Lord Shiva's arms are said to have appear here. To reach here, pilgrims need to do a moderate trek of about 4 km from Chopta. While on the way, you will be able to see peaks such as Nanda Devi, Chowkhamba and Neelkanth.
A natural rock temple, situated at 2,286 m amid alpine meadows and thick forests of rhododendrons, here Lord Shiva is worshipped as 'Neelkanth Mahadev'. It is believed that here his face came up the ground. Sacred kunds (pools) such as Surya Kund, Chandra Kund, Tara Kund and Mana Kund exist around the temple. There are many trek routes till this temple, most of which start from Gopeshwar village. A 5-km travel via road till Sagar village followed by an approximately 20-km trek brings you to this temple. A 3-km road travel till Gangolgaon followed by 17-km uphill trek is another route. Yet another route from Gopeshwar is a 13-km route till Mandal, followed by 6-km trek till Anasuya Devi temple and another 20-km to reach the Rudranath temple. There are other routes from Joshimath (45 km) and Kalpeshwar as well.
Situated at the height of about 3,289 m, it is said that in Madhmaheshwar or Madhyamaheswar the middle or navel part of Shiva emerged. Lying in a beautiful green valley in the Mansoona village of Garhwal Himalayas, the temple is encircled by spectacular snow-covered peaks of Kedarnath, Chaukhamba and Neelkantha. The trek till Madhyamaheswar begins from Uniana, about 18 km away from Ukhimath. There is provision for accommodation after trekking for 3 km at Ransi village, and at Gaundhar village after another 6 km. It is a total of a 19-km long trek.
The last and fifth temple in the list of Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit, Kalpeshwar is the only temple among the sacred Panch Kedar temples that remains open throughout the year. The matted hairs of Lord Shiva are worshipped inside this temple. A road trip till Urgam village has made this tour very easy. From here, it's a 2-3 km long trek.