A closeup view of Kedarnath Temple
A closeup view of Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath Temple is located near the river Mandakini in kedarnath of Uttarakhand state, dedicated to Lord Shiva, and also one of the Jyotirlinga Temples. This temple is built by Pandavas and it is said that they have pleased Lord Shiva by doing penance in Kedarnath. And later the temple was resuscitated by the king Adi Sankaracharya. Kedarnath Temple stands at a height of 11,755 feet on the shores of Mandakini River.

A beautiful view of Kedarnath Temple
A beautiful view of Kedarnath Temple

The mythology is that during the Kurukshetra war, the Pandavas killed their own brothers and relatives. To exonerate themselves of the sin, they went looking for Lord Shiva. But Lord Shiva converted himself into a bull and tried to escape from them. On seeing this bull which was unique, the Pandavas followed it. And the bull went into the ground. When it came up, the different body parts of the bull fell up in different places.

From the hind part of the bull, a Jyotrilinga appeared and Lord Shiva appeared from the light. The pandavas were exonerated of their sins after getting the Darshan of Lord Shiva. From then, the Lord remained there as a triangular shaped Jyotrilinga. The temple will be opened only between the months of April to November due to the extreme weather conditions.

A distant view of Kedarnath Temple
A distant view of Kedarnath Temple

Specialty

The idol of Lord Kedarnath is a triangular shaped Lingam known as Sadashiva form of Lord Shiva, placed in the sanctorum, is considered as a presiding deity of this temple. The deities of Kedarnath Temple are brought to Ukhimath for worship during the winter season. The other important deities of this temple are Lord Krishna, Nandi, Lord Virabhadra (a guard of Shiva). The Kedarnath Temple is one of the twelve Jyotrilinga temples, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The twelve Jyotrilinga temples are:

  1. Somnath Temple
  2. Mallikārjuna Swāmi Temple
  3. Mahakaleshwar Temple
  4. Omkareshwar Temple
  5. Kedarnath Temple
  6. Bhimashankar Temple
  7. Kashi Vishwanath Temple
  8. Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple
  9. Vaidyanath Temple
  10. Nageshvara Jyotirlinga Temple
  11. Rameshwar Temple
  12. Grishneshwar Temple
An aerial view of Kedarnath Temple
An aerial view of Kedarnath Temple

It is believed that the word “Shiva” attains entirely a new dimension. The statues of Pandava brothers (five brothers) are also found in this temple. It is believed that by worshipping Lord Kedarnath, devotees would attain piety. Beside the Kedarnath Temple, there is a Samadhi (shrine) of Adi Sankaracharya. The entire surroundings of the temple is filled with symbols of the Pandavas.

Poojas in Kedarnath Temple

Morning Poojas

  • Baal bhog pooja
  • Mahabhishek
  • Abhishek
  • Laghurudraksha abhishek pooja
  • Shodshopchar pooja
  • Ashtopchar pooja
  • Chopchar pooja
  • Sadharan Shiva pooja
  • Sampoorna din ki pooja
  • Sampoorna arti
  • Pandva Pooja
  • Ganesha pooja
  • Bahirava pooja
  • Parvati pooja
A view of the Kedarnath Temple in winter
A view of the Kedarnath Temple in winter

Evening Poojas

  • Shiv ashtottar Patha pooja
  • Shiv sahastranam pooja
  • Shivnamawali pooja
  • Shiv mahiman istotra pooja
  • Apradha samapan istotra pooja
  • Shiv tandava istotra pooja
  • Ekanta seva pooja

Festivals

  • Vinayak Chathurthi – September or October
  • Deepawali – September or October
  • Shravani Annakoot Mela – August
By Road

Kedarnath is well connected through road via major cities like Chandigarh (387 kms), Delhi (458 kms), Nagpur (1421 kms), Bangalore (2484 kms), Rishikesh (189 kms).


By Train

The nearest railway stations to kedarnath are at Rishikesh (215 kms), Haridwar (241 kms), Dehradun (257 kms), Kotdwar (246 kms). Haridwar railway station is connected with New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Amritsar and Howrah.


By Air

The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport near Dehradun, is about 239 kilo meter and it also closer to Rishikesh (16 kilo meters).

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