The History of Kedarnath Temple
A holy place among the Hindus, Kedarnath temple has been around since several centuries and finds mention in multiple scriptures and epics. The history of Kedarnath temple goes all the way back to the Mahabharata period, where it was established by the Pandavas to pay tribute to their sins of killing their own relatives(killing of Brahmins) in the battle of Kurukshetra in the Hindu epic Mahabharata.
Kedarnath Temple History & Panch Kedar Story – The Panch Kedar temple in India, also known as the five abodes of Lord Shiva, is located in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand.
Over time, many notable figures have visited Kedarnath temple, including Adi Shankaracharya, who spent time there in meditation, and many pilgrims still follow his footsteps today.
What is the History of Kedarnath
The history of Kedarnath temple goes all the way back to the Mahabharata period, In the legendary Kurukshetra war, the Pandavas conquered and killed their relatives, the Kauravas. During the fight, they wanted to atone for the sins of fratricide (gotra hatya) and killing of Brahmins. As a result, they entrusted the reins of their kingdom to their relatives and set out in pursuit of Lord Shiva and his blessings.
They first headed to Varanasi (Kashi), Shiva’s favourite city. However, Shiva wished to avoid them since he was enraged by the deaths and dishonesty at the Kurukshetra battle and was thus unresponsive to Pandavas’ prayers. As a result, he transformed himself as a Nandi and went to the Garhwal region.
The Pandavas proceeded to the Garhwal Himalayas after failing to find Shiva in Varanasi. After that, the Pandava brothers moved to Guptakashi and began searching for Shiva while standing astride two mountains. He found to a bull grazing near Guptakashi (“hidden Kashi” – the term is derived from Shiva’s concealment deed). Bhima identified the bull as Shiva immediately.
Bhima caught hold of the bull by its tail and hind legs. But the bull-formed Shiva disappeared into the ground to later reappear in parts, The hump emerging in Kedarnath, the arms showing in Tungnath, the face showing at Rudranath, the nabhi (navel) and stomach appearing in Madhyamaheshwar, and the hair showing in Kalpeshwar. The Pandavas, who were happy with Shiva’s rebirth in five various forms, constructed temples in each of the five locations to honour and worship him.
Why Should You Visit Kedarnath
When you hear about one of India’s holiest and most visited pilgrimage sites, what is it that makes you want to go? Whether it’s a glimpse into history or peace and quiet, here are four reasons to visit Kedarnath.
- The Pandavas As explained in Skanda Purana, five Pandava brothers were allowed to escape their death sentence by spending 12 years in exile. To expiate for killing their cousins during war, they ventured forth for 12 years along with their priest Dhaumya who later became a sage…
- Tourist Spots in and around Each and every year, numerous devotees flock to Kedarnath to pay their respects to Lord Shiva. There are several nearby tourist spots including Gaurikund , Rambara Bridge, Jungle Chatti, Bheembali, Bhairav Mandir etc. that you can visit while at Kedarnath…
- Spiritual Learning Is there a better place for spiritual learning than religious places? Not many come to pilgrimage sites just for fun or sightseeing…they have a higher purpose: finding inner peace, peace that can only be attained by having faith in God and trying one’s best to live life according to his/her wishes..
- Pilgrimage According to Hindu mythology, pilgrims are supposed to visit at least once in their lifetime since it is believed that visiting holy places and going on pilgrimages purifies a person’s soul. Therefore, visiting Kedarnath isn’t just about sightseeing; it is also about doing what your ancestors would want you to do...
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Kedarnath is during May-August(post monsoon season) and it remains open for visitors during November as well.The opening dates vary every year, but it typically opens around May and closes in November. On an average, at least 4000 people visit every day. Even during peak months, pilgrims and tourists can easily be taken care of by transportation services.
In off-season months (January–April), everything shuts down in Kedarnath due to heavy snowfall on Himalayan Ranges and hence should not be visited at that time.
How Do I Go There?
If you’re in India, getting to Rishikesh is an easy affair. While there are airports in Delhi and Dehradun that can connect you to cities across North India
Haridwar and Rishikesh are the key sites from which you must begin your journey to the hilly area, regardless of whether you are travelling by train, air, or road.
The closest airport is Jolly Grant airport, Dehradun After landing at Jollygrant Airport you can hire a taxi to Gaurikund. Kedarnath is easily reachable from Gaurikund by foot via Kedarnath trek of 16 km.
There are numerous modes of transportation available. Gaurikund is accessible from major Uttarakhand destinations; however, the roads leading to Kedarnath Temple only go as far as Gauri Kund. After that, you must travel for 14/16 kilometres to the revered site of Kedarnath Mandir. Palkies and ponies can also be found in abundance here. If you have a enough budget, you can also hire a helicopter service during the Yatra’s season.
How To Reach Kedarnath From Delhi: Route Map & Distance (466 km)
Delhi → Haridwar or Rishikesh→ Rudraprayag → Guptkashi to Sonprayag → gorikund → kedarnath.
How To Reach Kedarnath From Dehradun: Route Map & Distance (270 km)
Dehradun → Haridwar or Rishikesh → Rudraprayag → Guptkashi → Sonprayag → gorikund → kedarnath.
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