Kedarnath is a famous Shaivite (see SHAIVISM) PIL-GRIMAGE site in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh; one of India’s svamyambhu, or “Self-generated” LINGAMS is located there. As in Amarnath the focus is upon an ice lingam. Pilgrimage can take place only during the middle of the summer, because of the inaccessibility of the mountainous location.
   Kedarnath has been a pilgrimage site at least since the 12th century; it is listed in the eighth chapter of the text Krityakalpataru of Bhatta Lakshmidhara, a chief minister to King Govin-dachandra of the Gahadvala dynasty of Kanauj. It is usually said that there are four abodes of sanc-tity in all of India: BADRINATH, Puri (see JAGAN-NATH TEMPLE, PURI), RAMESHVARAM, and DWARAKA. In North India alone Kedarnath is considered one of the additional three abodes of sanctity; the other two are Yamnotri and Gangotri.
   Further reading: Anne Feldhaus, Connected Places: Region, Pilgrimage, and Geographical Imagination in India (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003); Subhadra Sen Gupta, Badrinath and Kedarnath, the Dhaams in the Himalayas (New Delhi: Rupa, 2002).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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