The Legend of Panch Kedar
Panch Kedar has an interesting legend. When the Pandavs went to the Himalayas, Shiv avoided them because they had killed so many people in the war. To avoid them He ran in the form of a Bull, and Bhim chased him. On being followed, the colossal Bull dived into the ground to resurface at other places. He left his hump at Kedarnath. But when he resurfaced, it seems that he had assumed human form and emerged at different areas in these mountains. His Face resurfaced at Rudranath. His Arms resurfaced at Tungnath. His Naval (torso, I guess) emerged at Madha Maheshwar. His Hair emerged at Kalpeshwar.
These temples of Panchkedar have been and are seats of Tapasyas for sages from time immemorial. It is believed that even today the area abounds with siddhas and sadhaks.
Hump at Kedarnath: one of the 12 Jyotirlings. Arms at Tunganath: Highest temple in the region. Face at Rudranath: Natural Rock Temple. From Gopeshwar drive 4 Km to Sagar. Trek 20 Km to Rudranath. Mid-body (naval) at Madhyamaheshwar: 25 km northeast of Guptakashi. From Guptakashi drive to Kalimath and then trek to Madhyamaheshwar. Hair at Kalpeshwar: Between Rudranath and Helong, a motor head on Badrinath route.
What is the route of the Panch Kedar Parikrama?
The proposed route is as follows:
From Kedarnath return to Kalimath.
From Kalimath trek 16 km to Gaundher.
From Gaundher trek 10 Km to Madhyamaheshwar. This is 2nd Panchkedar.
From Madhyamaheshwar return to Gaundher.
From Panargupha trek 12 Km to Rudranath. This is 4th Panchkedar.
From Rudranath trek 18 Km to Dumuk.
From Dumuk trek 14 Km to Kalpeshwar. This is 5th Panchkedar.
Rest at Badrinath
From Badrinath return to Delhi.