Kedarnath Dham Yatra
Kedarnath Temple is a famous Hindu temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Kedarnath Temple is located in Rudraprayag district (Garhwal Himalaya ranges) in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Kedarnath Temple is one of the most popular and largest Shiva temple in Uttarakhand. Kedarnath temple has been constructed by mixing large boulders of cut stones.
History of Kedarnath Dham
Kedarnath temple located in Uttarakhand is included in the twelve Jyotirlingas. Kedarnath Dham is one of the Char Dham and Panch Kedar. The great ascetics and sages used to do penance of Lord Shiva on the Kedar mountain of the Himalayas. Lord Shiva appeared pleased with his penance and after his prayer assured to stay on Kedar mountain forever in the form of Jyotirlinga. Regarding the history of Kedarnath temple, it is believed that this temple was originally built by the Pandavas, but it is also believed that the present Kedarnath temple was established by Adiguru Shankaracharya, who got this temple rebuilt.
Lord Shiva is worshiped in Kedarnath temple in the form of bull’s back. The arms of Lord Shiva appeared in Tungnath, the navel in Madamdeshwar, the mouth in Rudranath and the hair of Lord Shiva in Kalpeshwar. Hence Shri Kedarnath Dham along with these four holy places is called “Panchkedar”.
Kedarnath temple remained buried in snow for about 400 years. But when this temple came out of the snow, it was completely safe. According to the famous Himalayan Geological Scientist (Vijay Joshi) of Wadia Institute in Dehradun, there was a small ice age from the 13th century to the 17th century (about 400 years), in which a large part of the Himalayas was buried under the ice, in which this temple area Was also.
The traces of this ice age can still be seen on the walls and stones of the temple. This area of Kedarnath temple is a part of Chorabari Glacier. Scientists say that due to this type of continuous melting of glaciers and moving rocks, such deluge or other natural disasters can come even further.
The temple of Kedarnath is built on a six feet high square platform. In the courtyard outside the temple, Nandi bull is seated as the vehicle of Lord Shiva. Kedarnath temple can be divided into three main parts. 1. Garbha Griha 2.Central part 3.Sabha Mandap
In the central part of the sanctum sanctorum, the Swayambhu Jyotirlinga of Shri Kedareshwar ji is situated, on the front part of which is the Shri Yantra of Mother Parvati ji along with the figure of Lord Ganesha. A natural yogyopavit on the Jyotirlinga and a garland of natural crystals can be seen on the back. There is a Nav Lingakar Deity in it, for this reason this Jyotirlinga is also known as Nav Linga Kedar. There are four huge pillars around it, which are also considered to be the Dhotak of the four Vedas. A huge lotus-like roof rests on the pillars. The walls of the sanctum are decorated with artefacts and beautiful attractive flowers. The circumambulation of Lord Kedareshwar is done from behind the four pillars of the sanctum sanctorum.
Worship of Lord Kedarnath
In the morning, after taking bath of Shiva-Pind naturally, Ghee-coat is done on Shiva-Pind. After this, the aarti of Shiva-Pind is performed by lighting incense-lamp. At the time of Aarti, pilgrims can enter the temple and perform puja. Lord Kedarnath is adorned in the evening. They are decorated in a variety of eye-catching ways. At this time, devotees can only have darshan of Kedarnath from a distance.
Lord Kedarnath Darshan Timings
- The temple of Lord Kedarnath ji opens for the visitors at 6:00 am.
- There is a special worship of Lord Kedarnath in the afternoon and after that the temple is closed for the Lord’s rest.
- The temple is reopened for public viewing at 5 o’clock in the evening.
- After duly adorning the idol of Lord Shiva, there is a regular evening aarti from 7:30 to 8:30.
- The temple of Lord Kedarnath is closed at 8:30 pm.
In winter, Kedar Ghati is completely covered with snow. Although the Muhurta is taken for the opening of the temple and the closing of the temple. Normally the temple closes before 15th of November (two days before Vrischik Sankranti) and opens after 6 months i.e. Vaisakhi (April 13-14). At this time the idol of Kedarnath is brought to Ukhimath.
Way to reach Kedarnath Dham
To reach Kedarnath Dham, you can also come from Haridwar or through Rishikesh route.
To reach Shri Kedarnath Dham, you can go from Haridwar to Gaurikund via road. The distance from Haridwar to Gaurikund is about 230 kms. But this road remains closed during night time.
The distance from Gaurikund to Kedarnath temple is about 16 kms. You can cover this distance by foot, horse-mule or by palanquin. This path is very beautiful. You reach the Kedarnath temple by looking at these beautiful natural scenes.