Kedarnath temple is the most revered and remote pilgrimage site in India.

Kedarnath temple
Kedarnath Temple

Namaste!

Welcome to the world of engrossed readings at www.onindianpath.com. Let’s embark on a tour to the majestically marvelous Kedarnath, nestled amidst snow-capped mountain peaks and surrounded by the mesmerizing sounds of the Mandakini River.

Introduction

I can still feel the goosebumps as I write this blog, reminiscing about the mesmerizing sounds of chanting ‘Har Har Mahadev’ during my trek to Kedarnath. The divine Darshana of Lord Kedarnath left me spellbound, melting me in that unforgettable moment.

When my gaze fell upon the idol of Lord Kedarnath, I felt a profound connection that transcended time. In that suspended moment, everything around me faded away, leaving only me and the majestic Kedarnath Baba, enveloped in a sacred stillness.

Introduction to Kedarnath

It’s a place of spiritual awakening, where the Earth meets the heavens, promising an unforgettable journey of serenity and divine connection. Additionally, this majestic temple is located in the serene Garwal mountains of Himalayan range, at an altitude of 3,583 mts above sea levels.

Further, Kedarnath is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Hindu religion. Moreover, it is considered highest Jyotirlinga of all. Also, it is one of the chota Char Dham yatra pilgrimage site of northern India. For me it is more than just a sacred shrine, it’s a testament to human resilience and divine faith.

Location of Kedarnath

Shree Kedarnath Temple, located in the town of Kedarnath in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, India, is a major pilgrimage site. Uttarakhand, also known as Devbhoomi, encompasses Badrinath, Yamunotri, and Gangotri along with Kedarnath Dham, attracting a large number of tourists.

Key Highlights of Kedarnath temple

a) The significance of this sacred place cannot be defined in words. The serene beauty, the stillness of the snow-covered mountains, and the chanting of the Panch Akshariye mantra ‘Aum Namah Shivaya’ throughout the journey to the shrine thrilled me. It is situated between 3 mountains and surrounded by 2 rivers. Infact, Kedar mountain, kharchkund and Bharat Kund mountains make this place more charming and eye catchy. While Mandakini River and Alaknanda River attracts lots of tourists and devotees to have blissful scenic beauty.

b) Additionally, the Mandakini River enhances the beauty of the location with its snowy hills and mountains. The area is also home to the Panch Kedar, which are worshipped and revered with deep devotion. It is believed that the air here comes from Swarg (heaven).

c) Moreover, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the 12 jyotirlingas. Indeed, it was built by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century. Visitors can find solace at the recently constructed samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya.

d) The shivlinga is swayambhu means it is self manifested. In addition to, main Hall in front of Kedarnath Temple has images of Goddess Parvati and five Pandavas. Infact, the entrance hall is decorated with statues of Lord Krishna, Draupadi, five Pandavas and Virbhadra (guard of Lord Shiva).

Although, a big stature of Nandi (vehicle of Lord Shiva) is installed at main entrance.

e) Did you know the head priest places a ghee lamp in the temple when it is closed (Kartik Purnima) for four months? Remarkably, when the temple reopens on Basant Panchami, the lamp is still burning. Isn’t it surprising? You must be wondering how do devotees worship meanwhile? Let me tell you, Vigrah of Lord Kedarnath is brought to Ukkhimath during the closure of Kedarnath for worship rituals. As the region is highly affected by heavy snowfall.

Story behind Kedarnath Temple

Apparently, as per ancient texts, after the Mahabharat war at Kurukshetra, Pandavas felt guilty of killing relatives and Kauravas. Thus, they went to sought redemption from Lord Shiva. Thus hindu god Mahadev eluded them repeatedly and took refuge at Kedarnath in the form of a bull. Further, it is believed that Lord Shiva dived into the ground, leaving his hump on the surface at Kedarnath in form of Shivlinga.

Panch Kedar

However, the remaining portions of Lord Shiva appeared at four other places called Panch Kedar. These locations are worshipped as follows:

  • Tungnath, where the arms of the Lord appeared.
  • Rudranath, with the face of God Shiva.
  • Madmaheshwar, representing the belly.
  • Kalpeshwar, where his locks are revered.

Infact, Kedarnath Temple has a garbh griha, puja mandapa and Shiva in Lingam form.

Other stories behind the appearance of Lingam

  • As per ancient texts, there were two sages named Nara and Narayana. They meditated at the place of Kedarnath for many years. Thus, Lord Shiva was so pleased with their devotion that he granted them a permanent dwelling place at the temple.

As per sages and scholars, shivlinga at Kedarnath is swayambhu. And, it is said to have been formed naturally by the elements of earth, air, water and fire.

Timings of Kedarnath Temple

Morning Timings : 7 AM to 3 PM

Evening Timings : 5 PM to 7 PM

Best time to visit : Temple opens on Basant Panchami and closes on Kartik purnima. However, best time to visit from April to November.

Because of heavy snowfall, darshana are suspended from December to April.

How to reach Kedarnath Temple

  • By Air : Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun is the nearest Airport to reach Kedarnath. From there, one can take cab to Gaurikund. From here, one can go trekking or can take palanquins or pony.
  • By Train : Nearest Railway station is Rishikesh. From here, once can take a can to Rudraprayag to Sonprayag and at the end to reach Gaurikund.
  • By Road : From Delhi, there are multiple services of buses to Dehradun and from there one can reach Gaurikund. Here, one need to got for 16km long trek to have divine Darshana of Lord Kedarnath.

Certainly, some devotees prefer the 16 km long trek to reach the shrine. However, if you prefer an alternative, ponies, palanquins, and helicopter rides are excellent options. There are 3 to 4 companies that operate helicopter rides, and tickets can be booked online. The area has three helipads: Guptkashi, Shehsri, and Fata. Indeed, children and elders with severe health conditions are advised not to undertake this yatra.

Conclusion

At the end, I would recommend my readers to come to this astonishing and most revered place to witness the timeless legacy of Lord Shiva. Fill your lungs with the air coming from Heavens. Kedarnath Temple is a must visit shrine for every Hindu.

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