Thursday, 27 December 2012

Kedarnath Temple - Lord Shiva | Chardham Yatra, Uttarakhand, India

Kedarnath Temple - Lord Shiva

Kedarnath Temple
Having  thoroughly cleansed their bodies and souls at Yamunotri and Gangotri, the journey to Sri Kedarnath Ji for the pilgrims becomes most rewarding.Kedarnath is the seat of Lord Shiva. It is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. Situated at the head of river Mandakini, at an altitude of 3581 meters, the shrine of Lord Kedarnath is amongst the holiest pilgrimage for the Hindus. It is no wonder that Adi Guru Shankaracharya choose to enshrine Lord Shiva in this land where unholy things become holy and the holy ones become holier. Fortunate are those who find good weather, but doubly blessed are those who are at Kedarnath on a moonlit night when the snow peaks gleam like a hundred silver pinnacles a top the glittering mountains.

The temple was built in the 8th century AD by Adi Guru Shankaracharya. It stands adjacent to the site of an ancient temple said to have been built by the Pandavas. It is magnificent in its style and architecture, and to construct such a temple at this height over a millennium ago must have been quite a feat. The temple has a Mandapam and a Garbh Griha built of extremely large, evenly cut, grey slabs of stones on a rectangular platform.

Kedarnath Temple
Puja timings are in the morning and evening. Morning puja is called Nirvana Darshan, when the Shiva pinda (conical rock) is worshipped in the natural form i.e without any ornamentation, floral or otherwise. Ghee and water are the main offerings. Evening puja is called Sringar Darshan, when the Shiva pinda is adorned with ornaments and flowers. The pinda is graced with a golden umbrella suspended from above.
It is the place where Lord Shiva absolved Pandavas from the sin of killing their own cousins Kauravas in the battle of Kurukshetra. The origin of the revered temple can be found in the great epic Mahabharata.




Sights to See :


Kedarnath Temple
Located at an altitude of 3,581 metres, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, Kedarnath, is among the most revered pilgrim centres in the country. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple according to legend was first built and venerated by the Pandava brothers, to atone for their sins after the battle of Mahabharat.

Bhairavnath Temple:
To the south of the main temple stands the temple of Bhairav, the deity who guards Kedarnath in winter, when it is closed for worship.

Chorabari (Gandhi Sarovar):
Situated 1 km from Kedarnath, it is usually referred to as Gandhi Sarovar, because the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were immersed in the lake.

Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharaya:
Behind the Kedarnath temple is the samadhi where Adi Shankaracharya, the saint and philosopher gave up his life.

Vasuki Tal:
This Lake with its crystal clear water is located at an altitude of 14,200 ft. The other Kedars are: Madmaheshwar, Tungnath, Rudranath and Kalpeshwar.

On Route Rishikesh-Kedarnath
(Route from Rishikesh to Rudraprayag same as in Rishikesh - Badrinath Route) Agastamuni:
Agastamuni is very scenic with its rich green forests.

Kund: From Kund one can visit Ukhimath (8 km), the winter seat of Lord Kedarnath and three of the Panch Kedars namely Tunganath, Rudranath and Kalpeshwar. Accom: Tourist Rest House (GMVN), Ukhimath, Tel: 01364 264236.

An important pilgrim centre, with the Chandrasekhar and Ardhanarishwar temples. GMVN Accomodation Tel: 01364 267221, Accom: Tourist Rest House (GMVN), Guptkashi, Dist. Chamoli, Tel: 01364 26721. The Chardham Camp

Situated at the confluence of the Sone Ganga and Mandakini rivers. Accom: Tourist Rest House (GMVN), Rampur (20 km before Soneprayag) 01364-262114

This is the last motor head and from here one has to trek 14 km to Kedarnath via Garurchatti and Rambara. Horses, dandies, ponies and coolies for luggage are available. Accom: Tourist Bungalow (GMVN), Tel: 01364 269202.

How to reach kedarnath :

How to Reach Kedarnath by Airways 
The nearest airport is that of the Jolly Grant airport at Dehradun.

How to Reach Kedarnath by Railways 

The nearest railway stations to reach Kedarnath are that of Rishikesh which is at a distance of 234 kms and Kotdwar at a distance of 260 kms.

How to Reach Kedarnath by Roads 

There is a 14 km trek by foot on a paved path from Gaurikund that has to be covered. There is however options for people to take on rent horses or palanquins also.

Tourism Office:

The Manager, Tourist Rest House
GMVN, Kedarnath,
Tel: 01364 263228;

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