|Kedarnath temple. India GK|
|Kedaenath temple. presiding deity. Blogs - SiliconIndia|
Extreme weather conditions prevail in this region and located in the snow-covered area of the Himalayas, it can be visited only during six months in a year. Pilgrims normally go on a pilgrimage to this holy abode of lord Shiva from the month of Vaisakha to Ashwin (Ashwiyaja) - the end of April (Akshaya Tritriya) to Kartik Purnima. The temple remains closed for the rest of the year as this area become snow bound and access is absolutely impossible. In the month of karthika or Kathigai, temple priest lights the ghee lamp called Nand Deepa and the idol of Sri Kedareshwar is reverentially taken to Ukhi Math in the valley and will be here for worship till Chaitra. In the month of Vaishakham, the temple will be opened for the public view. An interesting feature is the Nand Deep still keeps burning after a lapse of six months. Whoever sees the ghee lamp,it is said, is blessed by the god.
Undertaking pilgrimage to Kedarnath is a tough one and the devotees must have robust health, patience and determination to complete the pilgrimage. Part of the route is motorable, for the rest, the devotees have to walk through tough and steep mountainous terrain. Elderly pilgrims may employ doliwallahs who use something like yoke to carry the pilgrims. Mules are also available for transporting the pilgrims and the baggage. The stretch from Gaurkund to the temple about 14 km stretch is a tough one, but the picturesque scenery will never fail to attract you.
|kedarnath,Yatra. long line of cars. tough terrain NDTV.com|
in this region.
Legend has it that in the great Kurushetra war, Kauravas and their cousins Pandavas, were pitted against one another and at the end Pandavas, (who were cheated) emerged victorious. But they were in grief because that had to kill there own cousins - Kauravas in the battle. They undertook a pilgrimage to Lord Shiva's abode to get their sins absolved. When they reached the Himalayas lord Shiva played a sort of hide and seek with them and playfully hid himself in some place. Upon this, the eldest brother of Pandava - Dharmaraj pleaded the lord, “Oh, Lord, You have hidden yourself from our sight because we have sinned." But, we will seek You out somehow. Only after your Darshan our sins be would washed away. This place, where the god had hidden is known as Guptkashi and has become a famous shrine.”
From Guptakashi (Rudraprayag), the Pandavas visited Gaurikund, looking for Shiva. There Nakula and Sahadeva, younger Pandava brothers, had encountered a he-buffalo in the Himalayas. Bhema with mace hit the Buffalo and the head went straight to Nepal, leaving the rest of the part here. The face of the buffalo is called Pashupatinath in Nepal.
small lingam in the shape of a thumb.Water and Bel leaves are
used for worship of the lord. Lord stayer here at Kedar and Mahesha himself stayed there as a Jyoti. Here, He is known as Kedareshwara.
|kedarnath temple, Nandi (bull). vedictantra|
It is believed that a visit to Kedareshwar would remove our sorrows. Pandavas got rid of their sorrows after their prayer to Kedareshwar . The belief has been that Shambara (Badri-Keshwar’s darshan) will get rid of one's ties with material attachments that are a source of sorrow. Unmindful of treacherous route, a visit to this temple is a blissful experience where your mind and soul are in unison.
Tamil saints of repute Sambandhar, and Sundharar have sung one padhikam (devotional hymn) each on the Lord of Kedharam.
01. During the June, 2013 floods caused by incessant heavy rain, Kedarnath and the surrounding areas took severe beatings and lots of buildings near the Madakini river were severely damaged. The rivers over flowed the banks at many places and the death toll was about 150 across the state as the pilgrims were caught unawares at many places. The state government needed 1000 crores (roughly $150 million) for the clean-up operations.
02. The temple was closed for about a year and was out of reach for the devotees.
|Flood ravaged Kedarnath. .indianexpress.com|
04. The famous temple is near the Chorabari glacier up hill.
05. Annually more than 75, 000 pilgrims go to different shrines during this season, unmindful of tough terrain and weather conditions.
06. About 50 people died and several were found missing in the Kedarnath area.