Kedarnath -A place where Gods and Goddesses and their holy divinity lingers in every corner, where nature is not just full of lush green forests but it also bestows peace and bliss. Have you ever been to such a place? If not, then you surely need to visit Uttarakhand. This northern state of India also known as, “Devbhoomi”, which literally means ‘Land of Gods’ is visited by people round the globe in pursuit of attaining peace and ultimate bliss. There are a number of pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand which attracts a huge number of devotees to visit these holy shrines. One of the well-known pilgrimage sites in India, Kedarnath Dham is also situated in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. It is set in the Garhwal region near the Mandakini River with the Himalayas in the background.
Kedarnath Dham is a sacred place of worship dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the most significant parts of the Uttarakhand Char Dham Yatra. Every year devotees visit Kedarnath to discover the Almighty God who grants their wishes. It is believed that this place not only purifies the soul but also cleanses your Karma.
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There are a number of stories of its origin and history. Today we will open up some of the lesser known and fascinating facts about Kedarnath.
- It is believed that the Pandavas originally built the temple. It is one of the 12 jyotirlingas in India. They were seeking forgiveness for killing their own relatives in the Mahabharata war. Lord Shiva wanted to make their pursuit to forgiveness even difficult. So, he hid himself in Guptakashi. The Pandavas saw a unique bull and one of the Pandav’s, Bheem identified that the bull was actually Lord Shiva hiding in the form of Nandi, the bull. Bheem even tried to catch the bull but only got the tail. From here, Lord Shiva disappeared and reappeared in five forms in Panch Kedar. In the end, Lord Shiva was impressed by the efforts of Pandavas and he granted them forgiveness for their sins.
- According to myths and Rudra Samhita, Nar and Narayan, the two brothers who were Lord Vishnu’s incarnation, underwent extreme penance on one leg for 1000 years in Bhadrika village by building a Shiv Linga. Lord Shiva got pleased by their devotion and granted them a wish. They asked Lord Shiva to make this place divine with his existence. He thereafter started to live there and was known as Lord Kedar.
- It is said that Lord Bhaironath is the temple guardian of Kedarnath temple. He is a very important God in the Garhwal region and often considered as the God of protection and justice. The Bhaironath temple is located on the south of Kedarnath temple and he protects the temple form all kinds of evils. He is another form of Lord Shiva and also a Kula Devta of Kedarnath Tirth Purohit Association.Read This Also :Rongpas-A brief insight of Bhotiya community of Chamoli
- Just like the divine shrine of Kedarnath, the architecture of the temple is quite interesting. The temple is around 1000 years old and giant stone slabs were placed on a rectangular platform to form the walls. It was established by Shri Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century. The steps of the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine are full of inscriptions written in Pali language.
- The temple of Kedarnath is one of the Panch Kedar of Uttarakhand. It is said that devotees must visit these five places in a sequence- Kedarnath (hump of Lord Shiva); Rudranath (face of Lord Shiva); Tungnath (arms); Madhyamaheshwar (Lord Shiva’s stomach and navel) and Kalpeshwar (where the locks (Jata) of Lord Shiva fell).
- There is a cave which is located one and a half kilometres left from the temple, known as Rudra Gufa which is also called Dhyan Kutiya. It is solely built for the purpose of meditation. There is no internet connection in this cave in order to avoid any sort of distraction and it helps to focus deeply. It does have some basic amenities such as a bed, attached bathroom, CCTV camera, and a telephone for any emergencies.
- It is believed that Shri Adi Shankaracharya who found the Adwaita Philosophy attained Nirvana at the age of 32 in the premises of Kedarnath. His grave was said to be slightly behind the temple which is known as Shankaracharya Samadi.This final resting place (Samadhi) was destroyed in the flash floods of 2013 and was reconstructed and a 12-feet long statue of Shri Adi Shankaracharya was built at the Samadhi. The Prime Minister of India inaugurated the newly built statue on November 05, 2021.
- The Kedarnath temple is none other than a wonder as it stood firmly in the intense rains, flash-floods and landslides of 2013. Everything around the temple was destroyed and a large number of locals as well as devotees lost their lives due to the massive destruction. Many believe that it was Lord Shiva’s divine powers that the temple stood amidst nature’s fury. Some people who witnessed those flash-floods said that a massive boulder blocked the rear portion of the temple which prevented the water and debris from hitting the temple building. It may be a coincidence that the temple survived but one cannot deny the holiness of this spiritual place.
Kedarnath is truly a serene place where the surroundings and the scenic beauty help one to attain Moksha and also to purify their soul as well as their Karma. A visit to this place can totally amuse one and the hidden facts make it even more interesting to see the wonderful Kedarnath temple.
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