Kedarnath Jyotirlinga

Important information

  • Location: Kedarnath, Uttarakhand 246445
  • Festivals: Shivratri, For Other Festival Detail Click here
  • Main Deity: Lord Shiv For Other Festival Detail Click here
  • Languages: English & Hindi
  • Darshan Timings: 04:00 AM To 09:00 PM
  • Best Season To Visit: The temple is open only from April to usually November
  • Entry Fee: Free and for VIP Darshan: Rs.2500 per person
  • Dwarkadhish Mandir Contact Number: +911389222083
  • How To Reach
  • Note: Mobile, Camera & electronics equipment are not allowed on temple premises.

Kedarnath temple is located in the Rudra Himalaya range in Uttarakhand, India. Temple is one of the sacred pilgrimages of Hindus. This ancient and magnificent temple is a part of Char Dhams and Panch Kedar in Uttarakhand and one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva in India. Swyambhu Shivling located in the temple is immemorial. Due to extreme weather conditions, the temple is open only between the ends of April (Akshaya Tritiya) to Kartik Purnima (the autumn full moon, usually November).

History

It is believed that Pandavas was supposed to have pleased Shiva by doing penance in Kedarnath. The temple is among the 4 significant sites in India’s Chota Char Dham pilgrimage of Northern Himalayas. This temple is the highest amongst the 12 Jyotirlingas.

According to Hindu History, during the Mahabharata war, the Pandavas killed their loved ones; to absolve themselves of this sin; the Pandavas undertook a trip. Lord Vishweshwara was away in Kailasa in the Himalayas. On learning this, the Pandavas left Kashi. They reached the Himalayas through Haridwar. They saw Lord Shankara from a distance who attempted to cover from them. Dharmaraj believed: “Oh, Lord, You have hidden from our sight since we have sinned. We will seek You out somehow. Only after we take your Darshan would our sins be rinsed away. This place, where You have hidden will be known as Guptakashi and become a well-known temple.”

From Guptakashi (Rudraprayag), the Pandavas went ahead till they reached Gaurikund in the Himalayas valleys. They wandered there looking for Lord Shankara. While doing so, Nakul and Sahadev found a buffalo that was unique to take a look at.

Bheema went after the buffalo with his mace. The buffalo was smart and Bheema might not catch him. Bheema handled to strike the buffalo with his mace. The buffalo had its face hidden in a crevice in the earth. Bheema began to pull it by its tail. In this tug-of-war, the face of the buffalo went directly to Nepal, leaving its hind part in Kedar. The face is Doleshwar Mahadev in Sipadol, Bhaktapur, Nepal.

On this hand part of Mahesha, a Jyotirlinga appeared and Lord Shankara appeared from this light. By getting a Darshan of Lord Shankar, the Pandavas was absolved of their sins. The Lord informed the Pandavas, “From now on, I will stay here as a triangular-shaped JyotirLinga. By taking a Darshan of Kedarnath, devotees would attain piety”. A triangular-shaped rock is worshiped in Garbhagriha of the temple. Surrounding Kedarnath, there are numerous signs of the Pandavas. Raja Pandu passed away at Pandukeshwar.

The tribals here perform a dance called, “Pandav Nritya”. The mountain top where the Pandavas went to Swarga is considered as “Swargarohini”, which is located in Badrinath. One of his fingers fell on the earth when Darmaraja was leaving for Swarga. At that place, Dharmaraj installed a Shiva Linga, which is the size of the thumb. To gain Shankara, Mashisharupa and Bheema battled with maces. Bheema was struck with regret. He began to massage Lord Shankara’s body with ghee. In memory of this occasion, even today, this triangular Shiva JyotirLinga is rubbed with ghee. Water and Bel leaves are used for worship.

Shiva appeared before them when Nara-Narayan went to Badrika town and began the worship of Parthiva. Nara-Narayan desired that, for the well-being of humanity, Shiva should stay there in his original form. Approving their desire, in the snow-clad Himalayas, in a place called Kedar, Mahesh himself there as a Jyoti. Here, He is considered as Kedareshwara.

Architecture

  • The 1st hall inside Kedarnath Temple includes statues of the 5 Pandava brothers, Lord Krishna, Nandi, the vehicle of Shiva and Veerabhadra, among the guards of Shiva. Statue of Draupadi and other deities are also installed in the primary hall. A medium-size conical rough stone formation is worshiped in the Garbagruha and believed as Sadashiva form of Lord Shiva. An uncommon feature of the temple is the head of a man sculpted in the triangular stone fascia.
  • Such a head is seen sculpted in another temple close-by built on the site where the marriage of Shiva and Parvati was held. Adi Shankara was considered to have restored this temple, together with Badrinath and other temples of Uttarakhand; he is considered to have attained Mahasamadhi at Kedarnath. Behind the temple is the samādhi mandir of Adi Sankara. The head priest of the Kedarnath temple comes from the Veerashaiva community from Karnataka.
  • The Raval of Kedarnath temple does not carry out the pujas. The pujas are performed by Raval’s assistants on his guidelines. He moves with the deity to Ukhimath during the winter. There are 5 main priests for the temple, and they become head priests for one year by rotation.

Idol

The Idol of lord shiva and one of the other names are Kedarnath

Legend Of Jyotirlingas

  • According to the Shiva Purana, when Brahma and Vishnu had an argument in terms of supremacy of creation. In order to resolve the dispute, Shiva decided to pierce the 3 worlds as a countless pillar of light. Both Vishnu and Brahma started downwards and upwards respectively to discover the end of the light. Brahma lied that he had discovered the end while Vishnu accepted that he could not and accepted defeat. Shiva cursed Brahma that as punishment for lying to him, Brahma would not be part of any ceremonies while Vishnu would always be worshipped.
  • The jyotirlinga is the supreme partless reality, out of which Shiva partly appears. The jyothirlinga temples, hence are locations where Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light. Each of the twelve jyothirlinga sites take the name of the presiding deity– each believed to be a various manifestation of Shiva. At all these sites, the main image is the jyotirlingam representing the infinite nature of Shiva.

12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva in India

  1. Somnath Jyotirling Gir Somnath in Gujarat
  2. Somnath Jyotirling Gir Somnath in Gujarat
  3. Nageshwar Jyotirling – Daarukavanam in Gujarat
  4. Bhimashankar Jyotirling – Pune in Maharashtra
  5. Trimbakeshwar Jyotirling – Nashik in Maharashtra
  6. Grishneshwar Jyotirling – Aurangabad in Maharashtra
  7. Baidyanath Jyotirling – Deoghar in Jharkhand
  8. Mahakaleshwar Jyotirling – Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh
  9. Omkareshwar Jyotirling – Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh
  10. Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirling – Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh
  11. Kedarnath Jyotirling – Kedarnath in Uttarakhand
  12. Rameshwaram Jyotirling – Rameshwaram Island in Tamil Nadu
  13. Mallikarjuna Jyotirling – Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh

Festivals

  • Badri – Kedar Utsav – The temple usually held this festival in June. The festival lasts for 8 days. Artists from all over Uttarakhand come together to show their musical talent. They dedicate their music to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.
  • Shravani Annakoot Mela – This is held a day before the Raksha Bandhan festival. The priests do Pooja by covering the entire Jyotirlinga with rice.
  • Samadhi Pooja – A grand Pooja is performed on the Samadhi of the great Sri Adi Shankaracharya every year. Also, on this day, the Kedarnath Temple closes.

Other Place Near Temple

  • Omkareshwar Temple, Ukhimath 
  • Triyuginarayan temple
  • Kalimath Temple 
  • The Panch Kedar Temples

How To Reach

By Road – people can board buses from Dehradun, Rishikesh, and Haridwar. Buses are also available from Pauri, Tehri, Srinagar, and Chamoli.

By Train – The nearest railway station is Rishikesh and It is 216 km from Kedarnath.

By Air – The nearby Airport is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun and It is 238 km away from the Temple town.

Temple Timings

Temple Darshan Timing

Morning Darshan Timing 04:00 AM to 03:00 PM
Evening Darshan Timing 05:00 PM to 09:00 PM

Temple Aarti Timing

Morning Aarti07:00 AM
Afternoon Aarti12:00 PM
Evening Aarti07:00 PM
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