Panch Kedar: The Five Sacred Temples of Lord Shiva in Uttarakhand


Uttarakhand has numerous Hindu temples scattered throughout the state. In the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, five revered shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva exist.

These five temples are collectively known as Panch Kedar, which means "five". The five temples are Kedarnath, Madhmaheshwar, Tungnath, Rudranath, and Kalpnath

According to mythology, during one of the ages described in the ancient Hindu scriptures, the Pandava princes were instructed to worship Lord Shiva in Uttarakhand.

The Pandava brothers were to worship Lord Shiva as penance for the bloodshed caused in the war, as mentioned in the Hindu epic Mahabharata.

Legend has it that Lord Shiva took the form of a buffalo to evade the Pandavas but was identified by Bhima.

Upon recognition, the deity disappeared and manifested himself in five different locations in the Himalayas.

Each of the five sites is dedicated to a part of the Lord - Kedarnath (the hump of Lord Shiva), Madhmaheshwar (His belly button), Tungnath (His arms), Rudranath (His face), and Kalpeshwar (His jata or hair).