Kedarnath is a town in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and has gained importance because of Kedarnath Temple. It is a nagar panchayat in Rudraprayag district. The most remote of the four Chota Char Dham sites, Kedarnath is located in the Himalayas, about 3,583 m (11,755 ft) above sea level near Chorabari Glacier, the head of river Mandakini, and is flanked by snow-capped peaks, most prominently Kedarnath mountain. The nearest road head is at Gaurikund.
The town suffered extensive destruction during June 2013 from flash floods caused by torrential rains in Uttarakhand state.
Kedarnath has been a pilgrimage centre since the ancient times, although it is not certain who constructed the original Kedarnath temple and when. A mythological account ascribes the temple's construction to the legendary Pandava brothers mentioned in the Mahabharata.However, the Mahabharata does not mention any place called Kedarnath. One of the earliest references to Kedarnath occurs in the Skanda Purana (c. 7th-8th century), which names Kedara (Kedarnath) as the place where Shiva released the holy water from his matted hair, resulting in the formation of the Ganges river.
According to the hagiographies based on Madhava's Sankshepa-shankara-vijaya, the 8th century philosopher Adi Shankara died near the Kedaranatha (Kedarnath) sanctuary; although other hagiographies, based on Anandagiri's Prachina-Shankara-Vijaya, state that he died at Kanchi. The ruins of a monument marking the purported resting place of Shankara are located at Kedarnath. Kedarnath was definitely a prominent pilgrimage centre by the 12th century, when it is mentioned in Kritya-kalpataru written by the Gahadavala minister Bhatta Lakshmidhara