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Kedarnath, Uttarakhand 246445 , District: Rudraprayag
Dedicated to
Shiva

Deity Posture

Architecture Style

Creator

Pandavas established it and was reglorified by Adi Shankaracharya

Completed on

8th Centruy A.D

Number of Vigrah/Pratima

1

Steps

15KM

About Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand

The protector and the destroyer, the praiser, the critic, the darkest night and the brightest of light, Shiva, the source of life, resides in the mountain peaks of Kedarnath. Situated in a spectacular location, near the springs of the Mandakini river, at the height of 3,358 meters, Kedarnath Dham welcomes the worshippers to the Shiva’s shrine. Located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, forming one of the four sites of Chota Char Dham pilgrimage, Kedarnath is one of the 12 jyotirlingas of Bhagwan Shiva and the most significant one among the Panch Kedars. The temple is open for worshippers only between the months of April and November due to extreme weather conditions. During the winter season, the shrine gets submerged in the snow so, the deity is carried down to Ukimath and is worshipped there for the next 6 months. Located in the Garhwal Himalayan range, direct access to the temple by road becomes a little difficult. The road stretches till Gauri Kund and then one has to trek 14km uphill to reach the main temple. Ponies and palanquins are easily available for covering the distance. One can also avail helicopter services for the same. The divine presence paves an easy way for every pilgrim to reach him and witness the divinity. The aura of the place is surrounded by piety.

The Legend

Going by epic, the temple was built by Pandavas. Full of remorse, after realizing the truth of killing their own kinsmen in the Kurukshetra war, Pandavas decided to atone for their sins, handed over their kingdom to their kins and began their search for Prabhu  Shiva to seek his blessings. The search began from Varanasi, Kashi Vishwanath temple, Shiva’s favourite residing place. But, deeply disdained by the dishonesty and brutality in the war, Shiva wanted to avoid them and hence, disguised as a bull and hid in the Garhwal region. Pandavas then went to the Garhwal hills in search of him. While looking between the mountains, Bhima saw a bull and recognized him for  Bhagwan Shiva. On being seen, Shiva dove underground but Bhima could catch the hump. Since then, the temple was established.

The hump of the bull was found in Kedarnath, the navel appeared in Madhya-Maheshwar, two forelegs emerged in Tunganath, the face in Rudranath, and the hair in Kalpeshwar. These five sacred places are collectively called the Panch Kedar – The original Pandavas built the Kedarnath temple according to the legend and the present temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya, who reglorified the Shiva shrine in 8th century A.D.

 

Architecture of Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand

Shrine and the structure

The lofty Kedarnath peak stands beautifully behind the temple along with the other peaks. The structure is a paragon, built from large, heavy, and evenly cut grey slabs of stones. The stone slabs are interlocked with each other through iron clamps. The architectural style of the temple is similar to the style by which most of the ancient temples are built,i.e, “ashlar style of construction”.  The conical Shiva lingam is revered as the god in his Sadashiva form. The Shiva lingam is of irregular shape with a pedestal of 3.6 m  in circumference and 3.6 m in height. A small pillared hall in front of the temple has images of goddess Parvati and the five Pandava princes. Statues of the five Pandava brothers, Krishna, Nandi the vehicle of Shiva, and Virabhadra, one of the guards of Shiva are found in the first hall inside the temple. The main hall has the statues of Draupadi and other deities installed in it. An atypical feature of the temple is the head of a man sculpted in the triangular stone lingam. A similar head is seen sculptured in another temple nearby constructed on the site where the marriage of Shiva and Parvati took place. Adi Shankaracharya was believed to have glorified this temple, along with Badrinath and other temples of Uttarakhand, and is believed to have attained Mahasamadhi at Kedarnath. A samadhi mandir of Adi Shankaracharya is constructed behind the temple.

How to reach Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand?

By Train: Rishikesh Railway Station is the nearest railhead from Kedarnath. It is well connected to major cities of India and can be easily reached. Trains are available almost on regular basis.
By Air: Jolly Grant airport, Dehradun, is the nearest airport from Kedarnath, approx. 239 Kms away from it and has regular flights from Delhi and in a way is connected to major cities.
By Bus: Regular buses can be boarded by pilgrims from Rishikesh and Kotdwar for Kedarnath.

Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand Timings

Morning : 7 am to 2 pm

Evening:  5 pm to 8:30 pm

Morning Aarti : 7:30am to 8:30am

Special prayer: 1pm to 2pm

 

Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand Images

Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand on Map

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