Story and History of Kedarnath Temple
Pandavas had built the Kedarnath Temple.
Kedarnath Jyotirlinga is considered to be one of the holiest shrines of Lord Shiva out of the four dhams Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath in Uttarakhand.
The Pandavas wanted to get rid of the sin of fratricide (killing of one’s brother or sister) when they were victorious in the war of Mahabharata. For this he wanted to get the blessings of Lord Shankar, but he was angry. Therefore, Lord Shankar settled in Kedar after being imparted. The Pandavas followed them to Kedar. By then, Lord Shankar took the form of a buffalo and he joined other animals. So Bhima took his huge form and spread his legs on two hills. All the other cattle and buffaloes left, but the Lord Shankar (in the form of buffalo) was not ready to go under the feet and pass. Bhima forcefully pounced on this buffalo, but the buffalo began to penetrate the land. Then Bhima holded the triangular back of the bull. Lord Shankar was pleased to see the devotion and determination of the Pandavas. He immediately freed the Pandavas from sin by giving darshan. Since that time, Lord Shankar is worshiped in the form of buffalo’s back in Sri Kedarnath.
Shiva’s parts at five different places-
According to the beliefs, the back portion of Lord Shiva as Mahish by Bhima is left with Kedarnath, the remaining four parts are located at four different places. Lord Shiva’s back is in Kedar, the navel in Madhyamaheshwar, Bahu in Tungnath, Mukha in Rudranath and the Jata of God in Kalpeshwar.
Structure and Nature of temple-
The origin of the Mandakini river is believed to be behind the main temple at an altitude of about 3581 meters. This temple made of light gray stones is a good example of architecture. The main Shivalinga situated in the sanctum;sanctorum is of the shape of a Mahishpaja made of stone. The temple has statues of five Pandavas and outside the temple are images of Shiva-Parvati and other deities.
Importance of offering Kada-
The Kedarnath temple has a tradition of offering Kada to God.As mentioned in Shivpuran, here all the sufferings of the person who offers Kada at the temple, are destroyed and he gets salvation.
Secrets Of Kedarnath Temple
The supreme among the twelve Jyotirlingas.It is said that the ancient temple of Kedarnath Jyotirlinga was built by the Pandavas. According to the Puranas, Kedar is the last part of Mahish (i.e. buffalo). Here Lord Shiva entered the Land.
In ‘Skanda Purana’ Lord Shankar says to Mata Parvati, ‘Oh Praneshwari! This area is as ancient (old) as I am. I attained Parbrahmattva in the form of Brahma for creation of this place, since then this place is my familiar residence. This Kedarkhand is like a land of paradise due to being my visit here before.
It is mentioned in Kedarkhand,
‘अकृत्वा दर्शनम् वैश्वय केदारस्याघनाशिन:,
यो गच्छेद् बदरी तस्य यात्रा निष्फलताम् व्रजेत्’
‘Akrutva Darshnam Vaivashya Kedharsthanaghanashina:,
Yo Gachedaha Bhadhri Tasya Yatra Nishphalatma Vrajeta’
If one visits the Bhadrinath Temple without visiting Kedarnath,
then his/her journey will become Incomplete.
According to the Purana story, on the Kedar Shringa of the Himalayas, the great sage Mahatapasvi Nara and Narayana Rishi used to do penance. Pleased with his worship, Lord Shankar appeared and according to their wish Lord Shankar settled there forever as Jyotirlinga. This place is located on the Kedarnath mountain (Raja) called Kedar in the Himalayas.
The temple gates are closed during the winter season on the second day (Padwa) of Deepavali Mahaparva. The lamp keeps on burning for 6 months. The poojaris close the honors boards and take the Deity of God and the punishment to Ukhimath under the mountain for 6 months. After 6 months, the doors of Kedarnath open in May. No one lives in and around the temple for 6 months, but wonder if the lamp keeps on burning continuously for 6 months.
Visiting Time (Darshan Time)
- The temple of Kedarnath ji opens for common visitors at 6:00 am.
- Special poojas take place from three to five in the afternoon and after that the temple is closed for rest.
- Again the temple is opened for public viewing at 5 pm.
- The regular Aarti is performed from 7:30 am to 8:30 pm, with the five-faced Lord Shiva’s statue duly adorned.
- The temple of Kedareshwar Jyotirlinga is closed at 8:30 pm.
How to Reach the Temple
The nearest railway station to Kedarnath is Haridwar. Only 120 km distance between Haridwar and Kedarnath. After that one can travel by road to reach the destination.Climbing Kedarnath is considered very difficult, many people also go by walk.
The nearest airport to Kedarnath is Dehradun Airport, which is about 110 km from Kedarnath. After that one should go by road to reach the destination (Kedarnath).