The present temple, built in 8th century A.D. by Adi Shankaracharya, stands adjacent to the site of an earlier temple built by the Pandavas. The inner walls of the assembly hall are decorated with figures of various deities and scenes from mythology.
Outside the temple door, a large statue of the Nandi Bull stands as guard. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the exquisitely architectured Kedarnath temple is considered to be more than 1000 years old. Built of extremely large, heavy and evenly cut gray slabs of stones, it evokes wonder as to how these heavy slabs had been handled in the earlier days. The temple has a “Garbha Griha” for worship and a Mandap, apt for assemblies of pilgrims and visitors. A conical rock formation inside the temple is worshipped as Lord Shiva in his Sadashiva form.
No specific family of pujaris supervises rituals at Kedarnath, which focus around veneration of the stone lingam that rests in the inner sanctum of the temple. Besides its affiliation with Shiva, Kedarnath is also believed to be the site of Shankaracharya’s samadhi (achievement of beatified afterlife). The Kedarnath Temple committee office organises booking for special pooja which is performed before the general darshan in the morning
Temple is closed from 3 pm to 5 pm so plan to be at temple before 3 pm. Before 3 pm visitors can touch idle and do Abhishek with Ghee. After 5 PM no one can touch idle but can get Darshan with a distance. At this time idle is in Emperor costume.
The temple at Kedarnath enshrining the Jyotirlingam of Shiva opens only six months of a year (April-November) when the sun enters the zodiac sign of Aries and it is closed when the sun enters Scorpio.
Under The Uttar Pradesh Act No. 30/1948 the administration of Kedarnath was included in the Badarinath Temple Act no. 16, 1939 and it came to be called Shri Badarinath and Shri Kedarnath Mandir Act. The same Mandir Samiti (committee) now governs both the temples. Further amended in 2002 after the formation of the 27th state of union of India, the act provides provisions of increasing the number of members, one vice chairman and adding Government officials to the committee.