Kedarnath – Kedareshwar

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Kedareshwara Jyotirling

Kedarnath – Kedareshwar is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas dedicated to lord Shiva. 3-kedarnath-shivling-jyotirlinga

  • It is on the Garhwal Himalayan range near the Mandakini river, a tributary of Ganga in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand.
  • The temple is open only between the end of April (Akshaya Tritriya) to Kartik Purnima (November).
  • During the winters, the vigrahas (deities) from Kedarnath temple are brought to Ukhimath and worshiped there for six months. Lord Shiva is worshiped as Kedarnath, the ‘Lord of Kedar Khand’, the historical name of the region.
  • The temple can be reached by a 14 km uphill trek from Gaurikund. Pony and manchan service is available to reach the structure.
  • The temple was built by Pandavas and revived by Adi Sankaracharya
  • It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, expounded in Tevaram.
  • Pandavas were supposed to have pleased Shiva by doing penance in Kedarnath.
  • The temple is one of the four major sites in India’s Chota Char Dham pilgrimage of Northern Himalayas.
  • This temple is the highest among the 12 Jyotirlingas.
  • Kedarnath was the worst affected area during the 2013 flash floods in North India. Temple and past significance
  • The temple built in 8th c AD, at an height of 3,583 m, 21 km from Sonprayag, 223 km from Rishikesh,
  • A conical rock formation inside the temple is worshipped as Lord Shiva in his Sadashiva form.
  • The lingam at Kedarnath, unlike its usual form, is canonical rock formation, pyramid shaped worshiped as Sadashiva.2-kedarnath-jyotirlinga-nandi

2013 flash floods

The Kedarnath valley, along with other parts of the state of Uttarakhand, was hit with unprecedented flash floods on 16 and 17 June 2013 causing loss of lives and damage to the temple surroundings.

Location
Kedarnath is amongst the holiest pilgrimages for the devout Hindu. It is set amidst the stunning mountainscape of the Garhwal Himalayas at the head of the Mandakini River. Kedar is another name of lord Shiva, the protector and the destroyer. Shiva is considered the embodiment of all passions – love, hatred, fear, death and mysticism which are expressed through his various forms.

The shrine of Kedarnath is very scenically placed, and is surrounded by lofty, snow – covered mountains, and during summer grassy meadows covering the valleys. Immediately behind the temple, is the high Kedar dome peak, which can be sighted from great distances. The sight of the temple and the peak with its perpetual snows is simply enthralling.1-Kedarnath-kedareswar-jyotirlinga

Best Time to visit:
The ideal time or peak season to go for a Char Dham Yatra is from May to October, except monsoons. This is because; all the four sacred sites are perched in Garhwal Himalayas, which is prone to heavy snowfall. As a result, all the passage leading to the shrines are blocked. Moreover, during the monsoon season, there is undue threat of having landslides, which can further disrupt the journey.

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