kedarnath temple history –Kedarnath Temple is one of the most revered temples in India. Kedar-nath Dham is situated in Himalaya Garhwal. Kedarnath Temple is the fourth revered temple among the Char Dhams. The town is situated at an altitude of 3,580 meters near the Chorabari Glacier, the source of the Mandakini River. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Kedarnath Temple is an ancient temple and a fine example of exquisite architecture. This grand temple is made of gray stone boulders of equal size. The conical rock in the sanctum sanctorum of the Kedar temple is worshiped as “Sadashiv” of Lord Shiva.
kedarnath mandir is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva. The area where the legendary temple of Lord Kedar is situated. In mythological scriptures, this area is mentioned by the name of “Kedarkhand”. According to the Hindu epic Mahabharata, at this place, after defeating the Kauravas, the Pandavas saw Lord Shiva at the time of ascension to heaven and received his blessings. Lord Shiva appeared before the Pandavas in the form of a bull.
Legend has it that when Lord Shiva appeared before the Pandavas in the form of a bull. But the Pandavas could not recognize him. It is said that Lord Shiva was angry with him because of the carnage in the Mahabharata war and did not want to see him. But due to the devotion of the Pandavas and the capture of their bodies by Bhima, Lord Shiva had to appear before them in the form of Kedar. Pleased with his mercy plea, blessed him and showed him the way to heaven.
After appearing on the earth, the body of Lord Shiva also appeared in four other places. Where they are worshiped in different forms. The Lord’s arms appeared in Tungnath, face in Rudranath, stomach in Madmaheshwar, and His hair in Kalpeshwar. And the head of Lord Shiva appeared at Pashupatinath in Nepal.
Bhim Shila Kedarnath
The severe kedarnath floods in Uttarakhand on June 16, 2013 had caused a lot of devastation, there was no such place in Kedar-nath Dham which did not come under the grip of flood. In Kedar-nath too, there was hue and cry over the severe floods. It is said that a lake was formed near the Chaurabari glacier, 5 km above the Kedar-nath temple, as soon as it broke, all its water came down. It was like a deluge.
The temple was protected from this great deluge by this Bhima Shila. It is said that along with the flood, a huge rock also stopped at a distance of about 50 feet behind the temple. Due to which the temple could be saved from flood water and the temple remained safe. People felt as if some power had installed that rock behind the temple. Due to which the temple could be saved from flood. Since then people worship this rock by the name of Bhim Shila.
Trek To Kedarnath
The route to Kedarnath starts from Rishikesh, which reaches Rudraprayag via Devprayag (confluence of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda). From there one has to go by bus till Guptkashi, Sonprayag, Gaurikund. From Gaurikund you will have to complete your trek on foot towards Kedar Dham. Which is a zigzag and steep climb. Only after that you will reach Kedarnath. You can also use heli service or horse palanquin to reach here as per your convenience.
Best time to visit Kedarnath\temperature in kedarnath
The best time and season to visit Kedarnath is summer. When the temperature remains between 15-30°C. By the way, this journey lasts for 6 months. But the best time to visit Chardham is in the months of April to June.
PANCH KEDAR In Uttarakhand
There are many temples scattered in the state of Uttarakhand dedicated to several deities of the Hindu pantheon. There are five such revered temples located in the Garhwal region of the state where Lord Shiva is worshipped. Collectively known as Panch Kedar (Panch means five in Hindi), these temples are Kedarnath, Madmaheshwar, Tungnath, Rudranath, and Kalpanath.
According to mythology, there are many beliefs behind the construction of these five sites. According to popular belief, during an era described in the ancient Hindu scriptures, the Pandava princes (characters of the Hindu epic Mahabharata) were advised to worship Lord Shiva in Uttarakhand after the bloodshed in the Mahabharata war as described in the epic.
Legend has it that Lord Shiva was hiding from the Pandavas by assuming the form of a buffalo, but was discovered by Bhima, one of the five Pandava brothers. On being recognized, the deity disappeared and manifested himself in five different places in the Himalayas.
It is said that each of these sites is dedicated to a part of the Lord – Kedarnath (the hump of Lord Shiva), Madmaheshwar (his navel), Tungnath (his arms), Rudranath (his face), Kalpeshwar (his mane or hair).
Set against the spectacular backdrop of snow-capped peaks and forests, the Kedarnath Temple is situated in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand and holds a prime position among the Panch Kedar temples. The temple has a conical-shaped Shivalinga which is believed to be the hump of Shiva. It is situated at an altitude of 3,584 meters. The trek to Kedarnath Temple starts from Gaurikund and is an uphill trek of about 19 km. This trek can be completed in 6-7 hours.
One of the highest Shiva temples in the world, Tungnath is situated at an altitude of 3,680 meters in the Rudraprayag district. It is said that the arms of Lord Shiva appeared here. To reach here, the pilgrims have to make a moderate trek of about 4 km from Chopta. On the way, you will be able to see peaks like Nanda Devi, Chaukhamba, and Neelkanth.
A natural rock temple situated at an altitude of 2,286 meters amidst alpine meadows and dense forests of rhododendrons, Lord Shiva is worshiped here as ‘Neelkanth Mahadev’. It is believed that here his face had reached the ground. Holy kunds like Surya Kund, Chandra Kund, Tara Kund, and Mana Kund are present around the temple. There are several trek routes to this temple, most of which start from Gopeshwar village.
After traveling 5 km by road to Sagar village, a trek of about 20 km takes you to this temple. Another route is a 17 km climb followed by a 3 km road trip to Gangolgaon. Yet another route from Gopeshwar is a 13 km trek to Mandal, followed by a 6 km walk to Anasuya Devi Temple and another 20 km to reach Rudranath Temple. There are also other routes from Joshimath (45 km) and Kalpeshwar.
Situated at an altitude of about 3,289 meters, it is said that the middle or navel portion of Shiva emerged at Madmaheshwar or Madhyamaheshwar. Situated in a beautiful green valley in the monsoon village of the Garhwal Himalayas, the temple is surrounded by the majestic snow-capped peaks of Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, and Neelkanth. The journey to Madhyamaheshwar starts from Uniyana, about 18 km from Ukhimath. After 3 km trekking at Ransi village and after 6 km there is accommodation at Goundhar village. It is a total trek of 19 kms.
The last and fifth Temple in the list of the Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit, Kalpeshwar is the only temple among the sacred Panch Kedar temples that remains open throughout the year. The matted hair of Lord Shiva is worshiped inside this temple. The Panch Kedar route ends at Kalpeshwar (Kalpnath). Motorable roads connect Sagar village to Helang (about 58 km away) from where jeeps can be availed to Urgam. A few kilometer-long trekking paths from Urgam lead to the temple.