Panch Kedar Yatra refers five Hindu temples or holy places of shaivism devoted to Lord Shiva. These five places are located in the Garhwal Himalaya region of Uttarakhand, India. It is believed that the five temples at these five places were built by the Pandavas.
Traveling in Kedars is a difficult journey for pilgrims. All these places of pilgrimage are situated at Garhwal Himalayas on the extreme height. Four of which are open only in the months of April to October. This is the name of Kedar Dham, Kedarnath, Tungnath, Rudranath, Madhyeshwar and Kalpeshwar. Kalpeshwar is the only temple that remains open for pilgrims throughout the year. Among them, Kedarnath is the main temple, which is one of the small four dham of Garhwal Himalaya and its name also included in 12 Jyotirlinga’s.
The Garhwal area is also called Kedar khand, which is the local name of Lord Shiva. Particularly the western part of this region, which is half a part of Chamoli district, known as Kedar region or Kedar Mandal, contains all the five temples of Panch Kedar formed in it.
According to a legend, When after the war of Mahabharata Pandavas wanted liberation from their sin, therefore Lord Krishna advised Pandavas that they would get the blessings of Lord Shankar. Therefore, Pandavas reached Varanasi to get the blessings of Lord Shankar, but Lord Shankar left Varanasi and hide in Guptkashi because Lord Shiva was annoyed with Pandavas, Pandavas had killed their dynasty. When Pandavas reached the Guptkashi then Lord Shankar reached Kedarnath where Lord Shankar had assumed the shape of the bull. Pandavas discovered Lord Shiva and received blessings from them. It is believed that When Lord Shankar disappeared in the form of a bull, the upper part of their torso appeared in Kathmandu. Now there is a famous temple of Pashupatinath. Shiva's arms appeared in Tungnath, mouth in Rudranath, navel in Madhyameshwar, hair in Kalpeshwar and Lord Shankar in the form of the shape of the back of Bull (hump), there is worshiped in Shri Kedarnath. Therefore, in these five places, Shri Madhyamaheshwar is called Panchkedar.