Kedarnath Temple

About The Temple

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.

How To Reach

Efficient and well connected transport facilities of the area allow pilgrims to have a hassle-free journey in reaching the temple. Now, national as well as international pilgrims can have a glimpse of the kedarnath temple history.

 

  • By Road: Kedarnath is well accessible by the road transportation facilities of the area. Pilgrims can rely on the regular bus services that ply from Rishikesh and Kotdwar to Kedarnath. The bus fares fluctuate by the season. Moreover, you can take the National Highway, connecting Delhi to Mana, which is open throughout the year.
  • By Rail: Devotees from other states can also take the train route, the closest station being Rishikesh, situated at a distance of 221 km.
  • By Air: For international and national pilgrims, reaching the place is convenient through airways. The closest domestic airport is the Jolly Grant Airport, situated in Dehradun. It is about 239 km away from the place of the main temple. There are regular flights to Delhi, the nearest international airport, as well as taxi services from Dehradun to reach the temple.

Some of the dedicated devotees also opt for travelling a distance of 14 kilometers by foot. It is possible from Gaurikund, which is further connected through state bus services to Rishikesh and other places.

 

Nearby Attractions

The area of this temple bears the testimony of great religious significance. After paying respects in the kedarnath mandir, pilgrims can go for a visit to the nearby destinations.

  • Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya: The place of the salvation of the Adi Guru Shankaracharya is just on the posterior side of the main temple. He was the major driving force behind the establishment of the Char Dham, the famous four Hindu pilgrimage destinations. The final resting place of the Guru is of great religious significance.
  • Bhairav Nath Temple: To the south of the main temple, stands the temple of Bhaiarv Nath. The resident deity of this temple is Lord Bhairav, who guards the main temple during winter.
  • Gaurikund: As the name suggests, this particular place is the holy land of Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva’s wife. Pilgrims visiting Gaurikund do not forget to visit the Gauri Temple. Situated at a distance of 66 kilometers from Rudraprayag, this place offers a scenic view of the river Ganga. Moreover, the place is of great mythological significance as Lord Shiva took the decision of marrying Goddess Parvati in Gaurikund.
  • Vasuki Tal: Amidst the great Himalayan range, at an altitude of 4,150 metres above sea level, you can find the Vasuki Tal. The tranquil crystal clear and transparent waters of the lake offer a soothing view for tourists. Devotees and pilgrims can reach the place by trekking a distance of 7 kilometers from Kedarnath.
  • Triyuginarayan: To reach this place, you have to trek for a moderate distance of approximately 5 kilometers. Located in an exquisite village of Rudraprayag, the place houses one of the ancient temples. The main deity of this temple is Lord Vishnu.
  • Mandakini River: The holy water of this river is indeed one of the most important spots for devotees and tourists.

 

History Of Temple

According to the mythological legends associated with the creation of kedarnath dham, the Pandavas wanted to get a glimpse of Lord Shiva, to wash away their sins of assassinating their people in war. Followed by their decision of going on a pilgrimage, they took the way of Haridwar to reach the Himalayas. After their arrival, they got a glimpse of God Shiva from a distance, but the Lord chose not to meet them and subsequently hid his existence. Since that day, the place came to be known as Guptakashi and is one of the famous shrines of the country.

Presence of unique legends

It is quite intriguing for devotees and nationwide pilgrims to know unique legends associated with the deity of the temple. It is said, that after reaching Gaurikund, Nakul and Sahadev discovered a buffalo and Bheema was after it. In this race, Bheema was unable to catch the Buffalo but was successful in striking it with his mace. As a result, the Buffalo hid his face deep underneath the earth. To pull it, the face of the Buffalo reached Nepal, whereas the posterior part remained in Kedar.

Mythological legends

Now, according to the Hindu mythological stories, the posterior part displayed the appearance of a JyotirLinga and Lord Mahadev appeared. On the other hand, the anterior part found its destination as Doleshwar Mahadev in the Bhaktipur region of Nepal. Again, if legends are to be believed, on his way towards the heaven, Dharmaraj Yudhisthir lost one of his fingers. On that particular piece of land, he constructed a Shiva Linga.