According to legend, after Mahabharata war, Pandavas felt guilty of having killed their own brothers and sought the blessings of Lord Shiva for redemption, but unable to find at kedarnath. Having, identified by the Bhima, amongst a herd of cattle. Shiva dived into the ground leaving behind him a hump on the surface and appeared at four other pales and are worshiped there as his manifestations.
(1) KEDARNATH: Here in Kedarnath the conical protrusion (Hump) is worshiped as the idol. It is the main site of the Panch Kedar temples.
(2) TUNGNATH: At this temple at 3680 mtr. Shiva’s arm is worshiped. The highest Hindu Shrine in the Himalayas, 3 km uphill from Chopta. The peak of Tungnath is the source of three springs that form the river Akashkamini. An hour’s climb from here leads to Chandrashila.
(3) RUDRANATH: Situated at a height of 2286 mtr. Shiva’s ‘mukh’ (Lord Face) is worshiped. Near the temple is a stream of sparking water known as ‘Vaitarini’. The temple is surrounded by a number of pools – Surya kund, Chandra kund, Tara kund, Manas kund.
(4) MADMAHESHWAR: Situated at a height of 3490 mtr. Shiva’s ‘belly’ is worshiped. It is 30 km from Guptkashi (24 km trek and 6 km motorable), through a trekking route that passes through the famous Siddha Peeth of Kalimath.
(5) KALPESHWAR: Situated at a height of 2134 mtr. Shiva’s ‘hair or jata’ is worshiped. The small rock temple to be entered through a cave, 2 km from village Urgam, 11 km from Helang. The 14 km distance from Joshimath to Helang is motor able & rest 11 km bridle path via Urgam begins with the crossing of the Alaknanda at Helang.
HOW TO REACH: From Rishikesh by road. Rishikesh is well connected to the major parts of the country. BEST TIME TO VISIT: MAY TO OCTOBER