Kedarnath Temple : The Overview
Kedarnath Temple,located in the eastern India has a great religious and spiritual importance among Hindus from all over the World. Giriraj is situated on the top of the Himalayas called Kedar, the highest Kedareswara Jyotirlinga among the twelve Jyotirlingas of the country. Kedarnath Dham and temple are surrounded by mountains on three sides. On one side there is about 22 thousand feet high Kedarnath, on the other side is 21 thousand 600 feet high Bhartkund and on the third side is 22 thousand 700 feet high Bharatkund. Not only three mountains but also a confluence of five rivers is here – Mandakini, Madhuganga, Kshirganga, Saraswati and Swarnagouri. Some of these rivers no longer exist but Mandakini, a tributary of Alaknanda, is still present today.
Kedareshwar Dham is on the banks of the sea. There is heavy snow in winter and tremendous water in rain.It is the largest Shiva temple in Uttarakhand, built by connecting huge rock cut stones. These rocks are brown in color. The temple is built on a platform about 6 feet high. Its sanctum sanctorum is relatively ancient, believed to be around the 80th century. In the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, Ardha has four strong stone pillars at the four corners, through which the pradakshina passes through.
Kedarnath Temple: Structure
The Sabhamandapa is huge and magnificent. Its roof rests on four huge stone pillars. The huge roof is made of a single stone. There are eight male proof sculptures in the obsolescence, which are extremely artistic. Kedarnath Temple is 85 feet high, 187 feet long and 80 feet wide. Its walls are 12 feet thick and made of extremely strong stones. The temple stands on a 6-foot-high platform. It is surprising how the temple would have been carved by bringing such heavy stones at such a height. Especially how this giant roof was placed on the pillars. Interlocking techniques have been used to connect the stones to each other. It is this strength and technology that has managed to keep the temple standing in the middle of the river.
Construction history of Kedarnath Temple
According to the Puranic story, on the Kedar Shringa of the Himalayas, the great sage Mahatapasvi and incarnation of Lord Vishnu used to do penance. Pleased with his worship, Lord Shankar appeared and according to his request provided the bride to live forever as a Jyotirlinga. This place is located on the Kedarnath mountain Raja called Kedar in the Himalayas.
This temple was first built by the Pandavas behind the existing temple, but due to the hit of time, this temple disappeared. Later in the 8th century, Adishankaracharya built a new temple, which was buried in snow for 400 years.
According to Rahul Sankrityayan, this temple dates back to 12-13th century. Historian Dr. Shiva Prasad Dabral believes that Shaivites have been visiting Kedarnath before Adi Shankaracharya, even then this temple was present.
It is believed that the pilgrimage to Kedarnath has been going on for a thousand years. It is said that the ancient temple of Kedareshwar Jyotirlinga was built by the Pandavas. Later it was renovated by Janmejaya, grandson of Abhimanyu.
Time to open the doors of the temple:
The temple gates are closed during the winter season on the second day (Padwa) of Deepavali Mahaparva. The lamp keeps on burning for 6 months. The priests close the honors boards and take the Deity of God and the punishment to Ukhimath under the mountain for 6 months. After 6 months, the doors of Kedarnath open in May, then the journey to Uttarakhand begins.
No one lives in and around the temple for 6 months, but for the 6 months of wonder, the lamp also keeps on burning and there is constant worship. After the opening of the valve, it is also a matter of surprise that the same cleanliness is found as they left.
How To Reach Kedarnath
There is no airport in Kedarnath ,so if you want to reach there by air you have to fly to Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun,which is the nearest from Kedarnath.Jolly Grant Airport is 250km away from Kedarnath,which is connected to all major Cities in India. There are many flights operating to and fro from these cities and supply tons of options in terms of flight timing and fares. most the main airlines have flights to Jolly Grant Airport. Once you’re in Dehradun, you’ll either take a bus or hire a cab to succeed in Kedarnath.
These days even Helicopter will take you to Kedarnath.
By Road :
Bus Network connects Kedarnath and New Delhi very well. If you land in New Delhi , the simplest way is to require a bus to succeed in Dehradun which is about 260 km from the New Delhi . Kashmere Gate bus depot and Anand Vihar bus depot in Delhi are the 2 major interstate bus depots that run regular bus services to Dehradun. Once in Dehradun, you’ll take a bus to Kedarnath. There are many options to settle on from A/C sleeper, non A/C sleeper, Volvo A/C, Volvo A/C and semi-sleeper buses. you’ll also take a bus from Haridwar to succeed in Kedarnath.Haridwar and Kedarnath is 125km apart and it will take you around 5 hours by bus. Gaurikund is that the nearest motorable area from Kedarnath.
A cab can also be hired from Dheradhun if you are going to try it in more sophisticated manner . Taxis ply between Dehradun and Kedarnath and therefore the costing depends on the sophistical vehicle you choose.
By Train :
There is no railroad station at Kedarnath. Rishikesh railroad station is that the nearest railway head from Kedarnath. Located about 210 km from Gaurikund, Rishikesh railroad station is well connected to most the main cities of India and features a regular trains on a day to day . From Rishikesh, you can reach Gaurikund by bus.