5 Amazing facts about Kedarnath temple’s History!
In the beautiful Himalayan region of Garhwal along with the Mandakini river, Lord Shiva stays in the form of Shri Kedarnath and blesses all his devotees.
Today I will tell you about Kedarnath temple’s history and 5 amazing facts about it. Shri Kedarnath also called as Kedar Mahadev is a prominent Shaivite pilgrim site for Hindus.
It is a revered temple and it comes in Char Dham temples which are considered as the most sacred temples of Hinduism. It also comes in the list of 12 Jyotirlingas.
Kedarnath Dham is a sacred temple and finds it’s mentions in many Hindu scriptures. It’s importance is so big that it is believed if a person visits the holy temple and gets the Darshan of the Lord, He/She gets Moksha or freedom from the cycle of Birth and Death.
In Hinduism, Moksha is considered as the highest spiritual achievement one can achieve in his life. Kedarnath temple is considered to be the giver of Moksha.
It is also believed that if a person gets the Darshan of the God, his all sins are washed and he becomes pure.
If we look at Kedarnath temple’s history, this temple has been a great center for spirituality and pilgrimage in ancient times. Many saints and sages have recognized it’s importance.
Today’s Blog post, is based on Kedarnath temple’s history and some amazing facts about Kedarnath Bhagavan.
The Story of Kedarnath temple
According to the Puranas, when the Pandavas went to Lord Shiva for releasing them from their sins of killing blood relatives, Lord Shiva didn’t wanted to them to get rid of their sins.
So to escape them, he disguised as a bull and started roaming over the Garhwal mountain region. However the Pandavas, found him and tried to catch him, but Shiva dove under the ground.
Bhima being most powerful in them, was only able to hold his hump. The other body parts of Lord Shiva in his form of Bull appeared on different places. The Hump part was in Kedarnath. The face part in Rudranath. The two legs in Tungnath, stomach and waist in Madhya-Maheshwara, and the hairs in Kalpeshwar.
Together these five places are known as Panch-Kedar or five temples of Kedarnath. The pilgrims who visit Kedarnath, make a trip to all of the 5 temples.
The History of Kedarnath Temple
The present-day structure of the temple is almost more than 1200 years old. Although the present temple was built by Guru Adi Shankaracharya, the original temple was built by the Pandavas. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva.
The Jyotirlingas are the 12 most sacred temples of Lord Shiva, and it is believed that if a person who visits all the 12 temples becomes totally pure, all of his sins are exempted and he attains Moksha. The fact that Kedarnath comes in this series, proves the importance of this temple.
The temple is built on the banks of Mandakini and Saraswati river in the Garhwal region of Rudraprayag district. It is observed that the breeze which flows in this region creates an echo of the word Shiva.
The temple was built by rock-cut grey stone. Lord Shiva is worshiped in the form of Sadashiva. The temple comprises of the Sanctum sanctorum and a complex hall.
Like the Badrinath temple, this temple is also closed for 6 months during the winter solstice. A ritual is observed before the closing of the temple, in which a huge lamp is lit in the temple. After 6 months, when the temple reopens, it is seen that the Lamp still keeps burning!
The 2013 Floods of Kedarnath temple
In 2013, a heavy landslide took place in Kedarnath Dham. The Landslide occurred at the Chorabari lake near the Kedarnath temple. It destroyed many settlements, houses, complexes at the site.
However the Temple was totally safe and not much loss occurred there. It was an estimate that more than 5000 people lost their lives in the Landslides and Flash floods.
Many people believe it to be a miracle of Lord Shiva that the temple was left untouched by the Floods and Landslides.
5 Amazing facts about Kedarnath Temple’s history
Kedarnath temple is one of the major temples of India. However it is as much as interesting as much as popular it is. So, here I will tell you 5 interesting facts about this holy temple.
Story behind Kedarnath temple’s origin
According to some other legends, the two great sages Nara and Narayana had performed hard penances and worshiped a Shivalingam here. Pleased by their devotion, Lord Shiva appeared there and asked for a boon. The Sage asked him to reside here as Kedarnath and bless the devotees who visit here so that they can get rid of their miseries.
The origin of the name of Kedarnath temple
The Kedarnath gets it’s name from the Kedar trees which grow here. According to other scriptures, When Lord Shiva appeared here in the form of a Bull, he got the name of Kedar in the local language. Thus the place got it’s name as Kedarnath.
Guardian deity of the temple
The Guardian deity or the protector of this temple is Lord Bhairavnath. There is a temple dedicated to him near the main temple complex. It is said that he protects the temple from all the evils when the main temple is closed for 6 months.
The ritual of appointing priests in the temple
The main priest of the Temple is always selected from the Veershaiva community of Karnataka. Like the Badrinath Dham, this ritual was established by Guru Adi Shankaracharya. Main priest of the temple is called as Rawal. Though he does not performs any worship, but he instructs all the rituals and rites of the ceremonies and functions.
Significance of the Jyotirlingam
The Kedarnath Jyotirlingam is one of the 12 jyotirlingams of India. It’s importance is given in many Scriptures. Along with being a Jyotirlingam, it is one of the Char Dhams and the Chota Char Dhams of Hinduism.