Kedarnath is a town located in Rudraprayag district of the Indian state of Uttarakhand and has gained importance because of Kedarnath Temple. Kedarnath is located in the Himalayas, about 3,583 m (11,755 ft) above sea level near Chorabari Glacier, the head of river Mandakini, and is flanked by snow-capped peaks. The nearest road head is at Gaurikund.
Kedarnath is located at a distance of 223 km from Rishikesh in Uttarakhand Behind the town and Kedarnath temple, stands the majestic Kedarnath peak 6,940 m (22,769 ft), Kedar Dome 6,831 m (22,411 ft) and other peaks of the range.
Belief: It is believed, Kedarnath and its temple exist from the Mahabharata era when the Pandavas are supposed to have pleased Lord Shiva by doing penance there. It is one of the most important dhams amongst the Chota Char Dham. The Shiva statue here is considered to be decapitated where as the head is believed to be in Doleshwor Mahadeva Temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal.
Other than Kedarnath temple, on the eastern side of the town is Bhairava temple and the deity of this temple, the Bhairava, is believed to protect the town during winter months. About 6 km upstream from the town, lies Chorabari Tal, a lake cum glacier also called Gandhi Sarovar. Near Kedarnath, there is a cliff called Bhairav Jhamp, from where pilgrims used to jump to death, believed to get instant moksha.
During winter due to heavy snowfall, the Temple is closed and no one stays in Kedarnath. For six months (November to April) the Palki with the utsava murti of Lord Kedarnath is transferred to a place near Guptakashi called Ukhimath. People shift their settlement too from Kedarnath to nearby villages.