Kedarnath Temple: The Story of Lord Shiva Temple
Kedarnath is a town located in the Himalayan mountains in Uttarakhand, India. It is situated at an elevation of 3,583 m (11,755 ft) above sea level. The town lies in the Indian state of Uttaranchal and is about 10 km (6 mi) from the border with Tibet.
The name “Kedarnath” comes from two words in the local language – “kedar” meaning lord Shiva, and “natha” meaning lord of. The temple is also one of the four major sites in India’s Chota Char Dham pilgrimage of Northern Himalayas. Kedarnath is thus named after Lord Shiva, who is said to have been residing here since ancient times.
The town of Kedarnath is located in a valley surrounded by snow-capped mountains. The main attraction here is the Kedarnath Temple, which is one of the most important shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva in India. The temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century CE and has since been a major pilgrimage site for Hindus all over the world.
Every year, thousands of devotees make their way to Kedarnath to seek blessings from Lord Shiva. The journey to Kedarnath can be quite challenging as it involves a steep trek through mountainous terrain. However, this does not deter pilgrims from making the arduous journey as they believe that it will wash away all their sins and grant them salvation.
Those who are unable to make the journey can also take part in special pujas or yatras that are organized by various temples and religious organizations across India. By taking part in these pujas or yatras, they hope to get closer to Lord Shiva and attain his blessings
Some of the most fascinating and intriguing facts about Kedarnath temple that are less well known will be shared with you today!
Interesting Fact About Kedarnath Temple
Fact 1: Atonement for murder
According to the Mahabharata, the Pandavas sought the blessings of Lord Shiva in Kedarnath in order to atone for the murder of their cousins. When Kashi was still known as Guptkashi, Lord Shiva went undercover as a horned buffalo and concealed in plain sight there. Lord Shiva was thrilled when the Pandavas finally found him lurking beneath the ground with his hump in the ground.
Goddess Parvati is said to have worshipped Kedareshwar in order to join with Shiva as Ardhanareshwar, according to another tale of the Kedar temple.
Fact 2: The Kedarnath Temple Survived Nature’s Fury
Kedarnath Temple is at least 1000 years old and has been benefiting the Himalayas and those who visit there every year for the past millennium. It is reported that the whole town of Kedarnath in Uttarakhand was destroyed by the 2013 floods, but the temple was spared because a gigantic boulder behind the sanctuary redirected the immense flood water.
Note: Also read How Kedarnath Temple Survived flood of 2013 Kedarnath Temple: The Epic Story of the Temple of Lord Shiva
Fact 3: A blessing to the Himalayas
One of Lord Shiva’s 12 Jyotilings, the Lingam in Kedarnath is one of those. A blessing to the Himalayas and a constant source of Lord Shiva’s holiness, it is said. In the beginning, when Lord Vishnu’s two incarnations, Nar and Narayana, did an ascetic deed, Lord Shiva was moved. As a result, they convinced Lord Shiva to live in Kedarnath as a Jyotilingam so that all who came to seek Shiva’s favour may find redemption here.
Fact 4: Magical Healing Powers in the Holy Water of Udak Kund
Kedarnath Mandir’s southern border is bordered by Udak Kund. Those who are devotees see it as a sacred place. Lord Shiva at Kedarnath Mandir receives the water of Udak Kund.
The holy water of Udak Kund is said to release a person from the karmic cycle of birth and death if they drink it before they die. It is one of the most fascinating facts about the Kedarnath Temple, as water is the most sacred element in the Himalayas. Mother Ganga was born in Kedarnath. Water has a powerful ability to free individuals from their negative karma. The Himalayan water purifies the soul.
Fact 5: Affected by Negative Energy
Scholars and scientists believe that the dead bodies buried beneath the debris have caused the temple to be overrun by evil spirits. In order to build the temple at Kedarnath, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, the land must be cleared of such bodies and then purified.
Fact 6: Lord Kedar was named after Lord Kedar
There’s even more interesting mythological fact regarding Kedarnath Temple.
Lord Vishnu’s avatar Nar and Narayan, the two brothers, did a 1000-year-long penance in Bhadrika, according to myths, by building the Shiv Ling. Lord Shiva urged them to make a wish since he was impressed with their dedication. In order to make this area sacred, Narayan and Nar requested his presence. Lord Shiva was renamed Lord Kedar as a result of this.
Fact 7: The word Kedarnath is an interesting tidbit
Charhe origin of the word Kedarnath is an interesting tidbit about the temple. The gods are said to have sought the protection of Lord Shiva in the past when they were threatened by demons. He came as a bull and stated to the ‘Kodarum,’ “I am Lord Shiva” (whom to rip and whom to tear apart). He smashed the demons with his horns and hoofs and tossed them into the Mandakini River, where they froze to death. It is from this origin that the name Kedarnath is derived.
Fact 8: Chota Char Dham pilgrimage
The temple of Kedarnath has a fascinating tidbit of trivia for you to learn. Panch Kedar includes the shrine of Kedarnath. There are four dhams on the Chota Char Dham pilgrimage that must be visited consecutively by those who have begun their journey: Tungnath, Rudranath (the Face of Lord Shiva Fell), Madhyamaheshwar (where the Stomach of Lord Shiva Fell), and Kalpeshwar (where the Locks of lord Shiva fell).
Fact 9: Lord Shiva is guarding Kedarnath
Some religious scholars believe that the shrine will be safe regardless of what occurs since Lord Shiva, the presiding deity of Kedarnath, is guarding the sanctuary. Thousands of people were killed in Kedarnath during the catastrophes in 2013, therefore we have no choice but to question this unscientific thought process. Even the temple grounds were littered with the remains of the deceased. The government was then forced to renovate the temple.
Fact 10: Forgiveness of the sin of killing relatives
It is claimed that the Pandavas wished to seek forgiveness from the sin of killing their relatives, to do so they embarked on a route to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva, who was ignorant towards the Pandavas and had moved to Kedar and disguised himself as a bull and hid with other animals in the Himalayas. Although Bheema was able to distinguish Lord Shiva via his hump when he with his magnanimous might pulled apart two mountains, where Lord Shiva who was submerged under the ground had his hump on the ground. Bheema caught hold of it and that is how Lord Shiva blessed them.
Fact 11: The head priest (Raval) of the Kedarnath temple belongs to the Veera Shaiva community from Karnataka
The Veerashaiva community in Karnataka, commonly known as Raval, is represented by the head priest of the Kedarnath temple. Although the Raval do not do the puja in the temple, they are welcome to visit. Other priests carry out the pujas on the Raval’s orders, according to the rules and regulations. During the winter season, the Raval travels with the god to the town of Ukimath.
Fact 12: Nara-Narayana avatar of the god Vishnu on Earth
Legend holds that when Nar and Narayana-the two avatars of Lord Vishnu did a hard act of abstinence in the Badrikashraya of Bharat Khand, they worshipped a Shivalingam which rose out of the Earth magnificently. This in turn delighted Lord Shiva who then came before Nar and Narayana and urged them to look for a gift. Nar and Narayana then prayed Lord Shiva to permanently stay as a Jyotirlingam at Kedarnath, so that the people who come to worship Lord Shiva here won’t be shackled to their sorrows in life anymore.
Fact 13: Kedarnath weather was highly unpredictable
The unpredictability of the terrible weather conditions makes it difficult for anyone to reach Kedarnath. In fact, a single cloudburst is enough to flood the grounds of the Kedarnath temple with water and rocks. A severe natural disaster struck Kedarnath in 2013. Unfortunately, the floods devastated a large portion of Kedarnath’s town, but the temple was spared. The tremendous streams of water rushing towards the shrine were diverted by a large boulder behind the temple, according to footage.
Fact 14: Bhairo Nath Temple is a protector of Kedarnath Temple
That the Bhairo Nath Temple is a protector of Kedarnathji is one of the lesser-known facts about Kedarnath that is worth noting. As long as the Kedarnath Temple is open, it is believed that Bhaironathji protects it from evil. As a result, the opening and closing ceremonies of Kedarnath include ceremonial visits to the Bhiaronath Temple.
Fact 15: Adi Guru Shankaracharya Samadhi just behind the Kedarnath temple
The burial of Adi Shankaracharya, the creator of India’s four holiest cities, may be discovered behind the Kedarnath Temple. His enlightenment came at age 32, while he was a monk. He is supposed to have become one with God and the region of Kedarnath. Math and hot springs to help alleviate the harsh weather conditions were also built by him. What a wonderful addition to your list of the most vital facts about Kedarnath Temple!
There are many interesting facts about Kedarnath to know. Kedarnath is also home to a number of wildlife species, including some that are endangered. The area is a haven for birdwatchers, as there are many different types of birds that can be found there. Kedarnath is also a great place for hiking and camping, as there are plenty of trails to explore.
So, if you’re looking for a place to visit that is full of history, culture, and natural beauty, then be sure to add Kedarnath to your list!