Region: Uttarakhand, India.
Tour activity type: Group Tour.
Group size: Minimum 4 People per Group.
Duration: 12 nights / 13 days.
Difficulty level: Medium.
Best time to travel: Apr to October.
The trip begins and ends at: Haridwar.
Maximum altitude gain: 3, 680 meters / 12, 073 feet.
Type of accommodations: Hotel / Guest House / Tent.
The word ‘Panch Kedar’ is self-explanatory. ‘Panch’ means ‘five’ and ‘Kedar’ stands for ‘Lord Shiva’. Thus, ‘Panch Kedar Tour’, ‘Panch Kedar Yatra‘, ‘Panch Kedar Trek‘ refers to the five different temples that are dedicated to Lord Shiva and fall in the circuit of the Himalayas. The five shrines discussed here are Kedarnath, Madhyamaheshwar, Tungnath, Rudranath, and Kalpeshwar.
An Overview of the Tour
According to mythology, when the Pandavas were looking for Lord Shiva, he changed himself to a Buffalo making it difficult for them. Then one of the Pandavas, Bheem placed his foot at two different locations and the Buffaloes had to pass through them.
When Lord Shiva in the form of Buffalo passed under his feet, the different parts of his body fell off at five different locations that later came to be known as Panch Kedar.
Among all these five locations, Tungnath is the highest temple in the world that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located at an altitude of 3, 680 m above sea level.
The famous Kedarnath Temple in Rudraprayag is located at an altitude of 3, 583 meters and one can reach here after a trek of 16 KMS from Gaurikund. The place is also regarded as a source of Mandakini River that confluences with Alaknanda River in Rudraprayag. The shrine is only accessible for 6 months from May to October.
During the other 6 months of extreme winters, the Doli of Baba Kedar is shifted to Ukhimath Omkareshwar Temple. There are several other routes to reach Kedarnath but they are not just difficult to trek but also take more days. The best part about such routes is that they are abundant in natural beauty.
Madhyamaheshwar is also known as Madmaheshwar is located at an altitude of 3, 497 meters and it is here that the central part of Lord Shiva is worshipped. You need to do a steep hike of 10KM to reach here. The Rakesweri Temple in Ransi village is also famous here.
The Tungnath Temple is the third temple in the Panch Kedar tour and is the highest in the world that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The ‘Bhuja’ or the hands of Lord Shiva are worshipped here.
Rudranath Temple at 3, 600 meters is regarded as one of the toughest destinations in the Panch Kedar tour since it is located in a remote location of the Himalayas. This shrine can only be reached by a trek and the route is filled with natural beauty of dense forests, variety of flora and fauna, meadows and wild animals. The face of Lord Shiva is worshipped here.
The Kalpeshwar Temple at 2, 200 meters is one the most easily accessible Kedars in the tour. It lies in the Chamoli district in the Urgam Village. The ‘Hair’ or the ‘Jata’ of Lord Shiva is worshipped here. The temple can be easily visited at any time of the year because of its low altitude.
Panch Kedar Tour — 13 Days
The 13 days Panch Kedar Tour organized at Divine Kailash is not just fit for devotees and pilgrims but also trekkers alike. It covers a number of destinations and several natural phenomenons such as meadows, valleys, waterfalls, rivers, etc form a part of it. The tour is a major attraction for bird watchers, nature lovers, photographers, and trekkers besides the very obvious Hindu pilgrims.