About Kedarnath Temple In Kedarnath
Located in the Garhwal Himalayan range in proximity to river Mandakini, in Uttarakhand, the temple of Kedarnath is a Hindu temple dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. The hilly terrain and hostile climatic conditions do not allow the temple to be open throughout the year. The temple is usually open from the end of April to the month of November. According to the Hindu religious calendar, the opening period of the temple is marked by the Akshaya Tritiya till its closing on the eve of Kartik Purnima, when you can view the full moon of autumn.
Period of creation
According to the Hindu religious texts and popular legends, the temple of kedarnath is one of the holiest shrines of Lord Mahadev. Moreover, the temple is also among the twelve Jyotirlingas. The construction period of the temple traces back to the ancient periods. This magnificent historical and religious construction was an establishment by the Pandavas, later revived by Adi Shankaracharya around 8th century A.D. Moreover, if you go by Tevaram, this particular temple is one of the most important Paadal Petra Sthalams, among the other 275 ones.
Description of the temple
The site of the location of the temple structure is on a plateau; among snow clad mountains and glaciers. Pilgrims visiting from across the world are sure to find a statue of Nandi, one of lord Shiva’s prime confidants, situated at the front side of the main temple. It is in a direction opposite to the main shrine. After going through a series of statues, of the holy deities, you can enter the main arena, known as the Garvagriha. Considered as the abode of the resident deity Lord Shiva, this place has a tranquil and calm ambience.
Representation of the deity
Lord Shiva has a unique representation in the kedarnath temple. A rough, conical structured stone represents the all powerful Lord Shiva. Apart from this unique representation of the Lord, there exists an interesting facet of the temple. The stone pane, which is of a triangular shape, contains the head of a man in the form of a carved structure. Then again, pilgrims will witness the presence of the statues of other deities in the main hall of the temple. Statues of the five Pandava brothers, their wife Draupadi and Lord Krishna are present. Apart from these statues, there exists a statue of Virabhadra, one of the significant guards of Lord Shiva.
Methods of worship
The main worshipper or the head priest is known by the name of Raval, with roots in the Veerashaiva community of Karnataka. But this temple slightly differs in the mode of worshipping with the Badrinath temple. The Raval accompanies the deity towards Ukhimath at the time of the winter season. Throughout the year, the assistants of Raval perform the rituals of worship.