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Kedarnath Temple is one of the Jyothirlingams, which is located in the Garhwal Himalayan range in Uttarakhand. It is heavily snow-clad. It is the northernmost and very close to Lord Shiva’s abode, which is Mount Kailash. The temple is only accessible for six months in a year, between April and November. For the next six months of the year, the idol is shifted to the temple of Ukhimath. The Lingam of Lord Shiva is said to be self-manifested. The temple cannot be directly reached by vehicles, but one has to trek almost 22 kilometers or reach the temple by ponies. It is one of the important pilgrimage sites for devotees of Lord Shiva and draws people from across the globe. During 2013, the temple withstood a great flood and was closed for a year. Later, it was opened after a thorough inspection of the shrine by various groups, including IIT Madras and the Archaeological Survey of India.
The legends of Kedarnath are connected to the Mahabharata. After the Kurukshetra war, the Pandavas felt guilty for killing their kith and kin, so they prayed to Lord Shiva for redemption. As per Lord Shiva’s advice, they prayed in the temple of Kedarnath. When the Pandavas arrived there, they got divided into four groups. A hump was created on the surface of Kedarnath. All four places are highly revered and became great worship centers. The arms appeared at Tungnath, his face at Rudranath, the stomach at Madmaheshwar, and his hair along with his head, at Kalpeshwar. The shrine of Kedarnath and all four temples are considered as Panch Kedar. In Sanskrit, Panch denotes five.
An interesting legend connects it with King Bhima, one of the Pandava princes. While he was traveling, he saw some strange things on earth. He thought it was a bull and tried to pull it. The front part went to Nepal and became Pasupathinath temple, and the latter half of the bull stayed in Kedarnath, as a Suyambu Lingam.
The Temple at Kedarnath is magnificent in terms of its architecture and the mystical force which surrounds the temple. The splendid temple is in the middle of the snow-clad mountains. The entire temple is a huge complex and is built in the Pagoda Style of architecture. Behind the temple, there is a shrine where Sage Adi Sankara attained Samadhi and became one with the universe. A triangular-shaped Lingam is worshipped in the sanctum and is venerated with ghee, water, and bel leaves.
The original temple of Lord Shiva was believed to be built by the Pandava Kings, which was reconstructed during the 8th century by Sage Shankaracharya. The walls of this temple have intricate carvings and details about the ancient history of India. There is a gigantic statue of Lord Nandi, who is the animal mount of Lord Shiva, which is placed before the sanctum sanctorum. The temple of Kedarnath was built using black unpolished heavy granite stones, and are carved to perfection. The huge hall has a lot of statues of Lord Shiva, Nandi, Virabhadra, the five Pandava princes, and Lord Krishna. The temple hall is supported by magnificent pillars, which have carved details and motifs.
There are many festivals celebrated in this temple. Among them, Shiva Ratri and Navaratri are highly celebrated, where all the ten days are filled with a lot of celebrations. Shiva Ratri is very important here. The main priests are from Karnataka and are called Raval.
Lord Shiva is highly benevolent. It is believed that visiting Kedarnath Temple will curb the birth-death cycle. Shiva protects the lives of his devotees and helps them to have an enhanced life.
The nearest international airport is in Indore, which is just 75 kilometers away from the temple.
The nearest railway station is 12 Kilometers away from the temple in the town of Indore. People can take local transport from the railway station to the temple.
The city of Indore is well connected to most of the cities. Local transport is available in plenty. The city offers frequent bus service and connects to most of the important cities.
If you wish to have customized spiritual tours or pilgrimages arranged in India for yourself or for a group of people, please contact Brindavan Mystic Services
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