Kedarnath, in the Uttarakhand region of Rudraprayag, is the farthest-away religious site in the world. Most people think that the Pandavas were the ones who built the first Kedarnath Temple. The current building was built by Adi Shankaracharya in the eighth century. It is right next to the first temple. The huge gray stone building is a true architectural masterpiece because it has stood the test of time in such a hard place for so many centuries.

One of the holiest sites for Hindus is the Kedarnath temple, one of Uttarakhand’s Char Dham, often known as the Chota Char Dham (little four abodes), which includes the four holiest locations in Uttarakhand, India. These four essential Char Dhams that Hindus must visit are Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. It is unknown when or how these locations became connected as part of a pilgrimage circuit. 

The original temple Kedarnath
Kedarnath Dham Uttrakhand

History and legends

The legends associated with each location are unique and interesting in their own right. But maybe they were chosen for a religious pilgrimage tour because of how majestic and mysterious each site is. This exclusive article will take you on a virtual tour of Kedarnath, showing you the temple’s history, mythology, and importance in the Hindu religion. These holy places not only give spiritual comfort but also give visitors a lasting impression of the beautiful Garhwal Himalayan Range in the state.

Chardham Yatra is a pilgrimage that begins at Yamunotri and continues on to Gangotri, Kedarnath, and finally Badrinath. Millions of believers from all over the world make this yatra every year. Many people, though, choose to just go to Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. There are numerous mosques, temples, and pilgrimages he established along the way. 

Frozen for Four Hundred Years Under a Foot of Snow

No one knows for sure when the beautiful Temple of Kedarnath was built, but researchers have always been eager to find out its secrets. A team of researchers from Dehradun set out to examine the temple’s stonework in search of information regarding its age. What we found out stunned us. In the past several years, it has come to light that the main temple at Kedarnath had been hidden for the better part of 400 years by a deep layer of snow. Several tests done on the outside walls of the temple led to this conclusion. 

The lines that these researchers found were caused by a small ice age when Rudraprayag and the area around it were covered in a thick sheet of ice. It’s incredible that there weren’t any visible signs of damage to the temple following the cold era. When they built this temple, whoever did it must have thought about the bad weather in the area because they took steps to make sure it could stand up to any storm.

Located 3,583 meters above sea level in the Garhwal Himalayas, it will make you wonder how our ancestors got to “This Holy Dham” without modern transportation or lodging. Kedarnath Dham has been a part of Hindu religious culture and tradition since ancient times. Travelers seeking moksha visit this dham on their trip.

Because of its amazing and vivid history and mythology, the whole valley of Kedar is filled with a sense of history and a deep, incomparable spirituality.

Sacred Mountain Kedarnath in Hindu Mythology

The Pandava brothers’ trip to Kedarnath Dham to find Shivji is a big part of one of the most interesting stories about how the site got started. The story begins after the Pandava brothers have committed a terrible transgression and won the Mahabharata battle by slaughtering their own family. Their most important saint and philosopher told the Pandava brothers and sisters to go to the Himalayas to find the Lord. 

They began their journey in Haridwar and continued on to Guptkashi, where they believed they would find the lord in the form of a bull. However, as Bheem identified the lord, the bull began to dissolve from the inside out. Bheem then grabbed the bull by the tail, resulting in a tug of war in which the bull’s head ended up in Nepal and its rear end in Kedar. A jyotirlinga was then created, and the Lord himself appeared to the Pandavas. 

The Pandavas followed suit, pleading for mercy and receiving it. Lord Shiva told them that he would be living in the triangle-shaped chambers of the lingam. The faithful have been flocking to the temple ever since, looking for spiritual solace.

Garhwal Himalayas, and the Kedarnath Temple

A Recounting of Past Events

During the eighth century, the renowned sage, saint, and philosopher Adi Shankaracharya wrote about Kedarnath. His journey from Kerala, where he was born, to Kedarnath, is famous, as are the many mutts, temples, and pilgrimages he started along the way. He started the Chota Char Dham Yatra in Devbhoomi, Uttarakhand, to help Hindu identity get back on track. 

People think that he lived in Kedarnath Dham for a long time and died there. Just behind the temple, a sacred shrine to Adi Shankara has been built to honor his great work in building some of the most well-known pilgrimage circuits, temples, and shrines, all of which are still loved today. 

Regular worship of the Adi Shankara statue has become a local tradition. This Samadhi was destroyed by the flash floods of 2013. It is now being rebuilt in a room underground to keep pilgrims safe in the future.

The Kedarnath Jyotirlinga

Kedarnath is in Uttarakhand and is 3,583 m (11,755 ft) above sea level. It is 223 km from Rishikesh and is where the Mandakini River starts. The town was established on an unproductive piece of ground near the Mandakini River. The beautiful Himalayan and pastoral landscape is a major draw for tourists and trekkers. The spectacular Kedarnath peak, at 6,940 m (22,769 ft), the Kedar Dome, at 6,831 m (22,411 ft), and other peaks of the range may be seen in the background of the town and the Kedarnath Temple. 

Over 3,500 meters above sea level in Uttarakhand, this temple stands as the pinnacle of India’s jyotirlingas. It stands near the source of the legendary Saraswati River and the Mandakini River in the Garhwal Himalayas. Bhaironathji, whose temple is located a short distance from Kedarnath, is honored with ritual worship at the shrine’s opening and closing. During the months that the Kedarnath temple is closed, locals put their faith in Bhairavnathji to ward off evil.

Features unique to Kedarnath’s ancient temple

To build the temple, huge stone slabs were put on top of a rectangular base. On the stairwell walls are Pali inscriptions. On the inside walls are carvings of Hindu gods and scenes from mythology. Protecting the entryway is a massive monument of the Nandi Bull, Shiva’s mount.

Kedarnath is home to one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, and this lingam, which stands out from the rest with its pyramidal shape, is revered by devotees. Jyotirlingam, also known as “the cosmic light,” is a form taken by Lord Shiva during his manifestation. Among the 12 Jyotirlingas, Kedarnath is the most prominent.

A jyotirlinga’s pyramidal shape makes it look like the spire of a temple, which is said to be Lord Shiva in his Sadashiva form according to Hindu scripture. lord shiva is one of the Trimurti as per the Vedic texts and Hindu religious scriptures and philosophy. However there is another belief as well For those who follow the Hindu faith, Mount Kailash is considered Shiva’s abode. As yogis, we don’t worship Shiva because he’s a deity. We consider him to be the original yogi or Adiyogi.

Kedarnath’s lingam is perched atop a pedestal that is 3.6 meters (12 feet) in circumference and the same height as the lingam itself. A tiny pillared hall with statues of Parvati and the five Pandava princes stands in front of the temple. Tungnath, Rudranath, Madhyamaheshwar, and Kalpeshwar are the other four temples that make up the Panch Kedar, along with Kedarnath.

There are statues of the five Pandava brothers, Krishna, Nandi (Shiva’s steed), and Virabhadra (one of Shiva’s soldiers) in the first half of Kedarnath Temple. The main hall also features statues of Draupadi and other deities. The temple’s triangular stone lingam features a man’s head, which is quite an offbeat decoration. 

The second Temple

Another temple right next to it was built on the spot where Shiva and Parvati got married, and it also has a head made out of stone. It is claimed that Adi Shankara attained Mahasamadhi at Kedarnath and that he was responsible for the revival of this temple as well as Badrinath and other Uttarakhand temples. The Samadhi Mandir of Adi Sankara can be found in the courtyard behind the main temple.

As opposed to Badrinath, however, Kedarnath does not have a resident Raval who leads the temple’s rituals. Raval’s servants perform the rituals as per his directions. During the colder months, the Raval follows the god to Ukhimath. Each of the temple’s five primary priests serves as high priests for a year at a time.

The current Raval of the Kedarnath temple is Shri Vageesha Lingacharya from the Davanagere district of Karnataka. He took up his position in 2013. Many Pandava emblems can be found in the area surrounding Kedarnath. 

At Pandukeshwar, Raja Pandu met his end. Indigenous people here are known for their “Pandav Lila” dance. The name “Swargarohini” is given to the peak of the mountain that is to the west of Badrinath, and it is from here that the Pandavas set out towards Swarga. The Pandava eldest, Yudhishtira, dropped a finger on Earth as he ascended to heaven. Yudhishtira put up a thumb-sized Shiva linga there.

Lord Shiva and Bheema fought it out with maces to obtain Mashisharupa. Bheema felt a pang of guilt. He then began using ghee to massage Shiva’s body. As a way to remember the tragedy, people still rub ghee on this Shiva lingam in the shape of a triangle. Rituals make use of bilva-patra leaves and water.

Jyotirlinga at Kedarnath

Curious information about the sacred site of Kedarnath Jyotirlinga

A severe winter renders the Kedarnath shrine inaccessible because of its high altitude. As a result, visitors can access it only from April to November. Every year, it begins in Vaisakh (April-May) and ends on the first day of Kartik (October-November). During the winter, the murtis (idols) from the Kedarnath temple are moved to Ukhimath so that they can be prayed to there.

Kedarnath Temple was spared from the 2013 floods that devastated the surrounding area.

The first of the Panch Kedars is Kedarnath.

Many people who worship Lord Shiva go to this mountaintop temple every year because it is thought to be one of the holiest places in the world. The Badri-Kedar festival takes place in June and lasts for a week, but the main Kedarnath temple is usually closed for Mahashivratri.


The author’s views are his or her own. The facts and opinions in the article have been taken from various articles and political commentaries available in the online media and Eastside Writers does not take any responsibility or obligation for them.

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