Kedarnath Temple is situated at a height of 3583 meters in the Garhwal region of the Himalayas of Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand state of India. The majestic Himalayas behind the Kedarnath temple give a beautiful view that leaves a lasting imprint on the hearts of devotees. To experience the real beauty of Kedarnath you have to do the Kedarnath Yatra. Kedarnath Yatra is one of the revered and most sacred journeys in Hinduism. Many people opt for the Kedarnath Yatra package to fulfill their dream of Kedarnath Yatra.
1. Creation Of Kedarnath
Lеgеnd states that whеn Nar and Narayana, two incarnations of Lord Vishnu, pеrformеd a sеvеrе pеnancе in thе Badrikashraya of Bharat Khand, thеy worshipеd a Shivalingam that appеarеd bеautifully out of thе Earth. This plеasеd Lord Shiva, who thеn appеarеd in front of Nar and Narayana and askеd thеm to sееk a gift. Nar and Narayana thеn rеquеstеd that Lord Shiva pеrmanеntly rеsidе as a Jyotirlingam at Kеdarnath, so that thosе who comе to worship Lord Shiva hеrе will no longer bе еnslavеd to thеir lifе’s misеriеs.
2. Protector of Kedarnath Temple
It is believed that the Bhairav Nath temple which is situated just 500 meters from the Kedarnath Temple is the protector of the Kedarnath temple. Lord Bhairav is one of the incarnations of Lord Shiva. Legends state that Lord Shiva created Lord Bhairava to protect the Kedarnath Temple from evil spirits and negative powers. Bhairavnath Temple gives the Bird’s eye view of the whole Kedarnath region.
3. 2013 Flood
Thе Kеdarnath Tеmplе is at lеast a thousand yеars old and has bееn blеssing thе Himalayas and thе pilgrims who visit it еach yеar. According to lеgеnd, thе еntirе town of Kеdarnath was dеstroyеd during thе 2013 Uttarakhand floods, but thе tеmplе survivеd bеcausе a massivе rock bеhind thе tеmplе divеrtеd thе massivе flood watеr coming towards thе shrinе.
4. Mahabharata connection to Kedarnath Temple
Even after winning the Kurukshetra war, Pandavas were unhappy. They were unhappy because of killing their own brothers and teachers. They were dying under the sins of fratricide (Gotra Hatya) and Brahamhatya. Pandavas want atonement for their sins. Hence they started the search of Lord Shiva on the advice of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna told them that only Mahadev (lord Shiva) could provide them with atonement. Pandavas first searched for Lord Shiva in Varanasi also known as Kashi thinking that it was the favourite abode of Lord Shiva. But Pandavas got nothing in Varanasi because Lord Shiva transformed himself into a bull and hid in the Garhwal Himalayas. Lord Shiva was angry with them due to the unfair circumstances of the Kurukshetra war and he didn’t want to meet them. Pandavas also embarked on the Himalayas in search of Lord Shiva. One of the Pandava brothers Bheem was standing on the top of two mountains and saw a bull grazing near Guptkashi. He looked at the bull closely and carefully. Bheem immediately recognizes the bull as Lord Shiva. Bheem tried to catch the bull’s hind legs and tail. But Bheem failed to hold Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva in the form of a bull disappeared in the ground and reappeared in a different location. The hand appeared in Tungnath, Hump appeared in Kedarnath, Nabhi, or Madhya or the Middle part of the body appeared in Madhyamaheshwar, Face appeared in Rudranath, and Matted hair or Jata appeared in Kalpeshwar. Then Pandavas built temples in all these locations and got atonement from Lord Shiva.
5. Who built the Kedarnath Temple?
Initially, the Kedarnath temple was built by Pandavas. But in the 8th century AD, a saint named Adi Shankaracharya rebuilt the temple. Adi Shankaracharya was one of the great philosophers and saints. Adi Shankaracharya got enlightenment at a very young age of 32.
6. Spiritual significance of Kedarnath Temple
Kedarnath temple is one of the 12 jyotirlingas in India. Kedarnath temple is also part of the Char Dham Yatra circuit along with Yamunotri, Gangotri, and Badrinath. Kedarnath is also part of the Do Dham Yatra along with Badrinath.
7. Closed for Six months is a year
Kedarnath temple is situated at a height of 3583 meters in the Garhwal Himalayas. Due to the high altitude, Kedarnath experiences harsh weather and in winter the whole region gets covered with sheets of snow and it is impossible to reach the temple in winter. After a break of 6 months, the Kedarnath temple again opens on the date of Akshay Tritiya and again closes on the date of Bhai dhuj.