Kedarnath Temple Quick Facts
|Rudraprayag District, Uttarakhand (India)
|12-13th century (according to Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan)
Kedarnath Temple Overview
Kedarnath Temple, also known as Kedarnath Dham, is located in the Rudraprayag district of the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The largest temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is situated in the Himalaya Mountains in Uttarakhand. The Temple is one of the 4 Dham and Panch Kedar along with being included in the 12 Jyotirlingas. Due to the unfavorable climate here, this temple opens for darshan only between April and November. Badrinath and Kedarnath temples have their own special importance among the pilgrimage places in Uttarakhand.
Kedarnath Temple History
There is no verifiable evidence of the construction of the Temple, but for about 1000 years temple has been one of the most important pilgrimage places in the state of Uttarakhand. According to historians, the ancient temple of Kedareshwar Jyotirlinga was first constructed by the Pandavas behind the existing temple, but this temple disappeared with time.
Later it was renovated (rebuilt) by Abhimanyu's grandson Janamejaya. Adi Shankaracharya built a new temple during the 8th century, which was buried in snow for 400 years. According to Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan, Temple was built between the 12-13th centuries.
Another Historian Dr. Shiv Prasad Dabral believes that Shaivites have been going to Kedarnath even before Adi Shankaracharya, even then this temple existed. According to the history of the year 1882, the temple was a very beautiful building with a clean facade, with which there are idols in worship posture.
Temple Darshan Timings:
- The temple opens for general visitors at 6:00 am.
- Special worship is done inside the temple from 3 to 5 pm and after that the temple is closed.
- After this, from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm, aarti is performed daily after duly adorning the five-faced Lord Shiva's statue.
- The temple of Kedareshwar Jyotirling is closed at 8:30 pm.
- In winter, Kedar Ghati is completely covered with snow. Although the Muhurta is taken for the opening and closing of Kedarnath-temple, it usually closes before 15th of November (two days before Scorpio Sankranti) and after 6 months i.e. Vaisakhi (April 13-14). After that the door opens.
- In such a situation, the Panchmukhi idol of Kedarnath is brought to 'Ukhimath'. Rawal ji worships this idol here also.
- In Kedarnath, the public receives the receipt by depositing the fee, and according to that, she performs the worship-aarti of the temple or receives the offerings.
Kedarnath Temple Interesting Facts
- This Temple is situated on the Kedar peak of the Himalayas.
- This Temple is the highest among the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva.
- The Idol of Lord Shiva inside the temple is in the form of a lingam and it is 3.6 meters high with a circumference of 3.6 mm.
- This Temple is 85 feet high, 187 feet long and 80 feet wide.
- This Temple is built on a 6 feet (1.8288 m) high square platform.
- This Shiva temple, the largest in the country, has been built by collecting large boulders of brown cut stone.
- Interlocking artifacts (Techniques) have been used to connect the huge boulders to each other.
- The First hall inside the temple houses the statues of Shiva's five Pandava brothers, the vehicle of Lord Krishna, Nandi, Shiva and Veerabhadra.
- In the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, there are 4 strong stone pillars at the four corners near the ardha, through which the circumambulation takes place.
- There is a small pillar in front of the temple, which has images of Parvati and the five Pandava princes.
- The hall of the temple is huge and grand, whose roof rests on 4 huge stone pillars. The huge roof is made of a single stone.
- There are 8 male proof sculptures in the Gavakshas (windows), which appear to be very beautiful (creative) in appearance.
- Behind the Temple is the Samadhi Temple of Adi Shankaracharya and according to local people, he attained Mahasamadhi in the Kedarnath temple.
- Kedarnath Dham and temple is surrounded by mountains on three sides. On one side of it is Kedarnath, which is about 22 thousand feet high, on the other side is Khatrkund, whose height is about 21 thousand 600 feet and on the third side, there is Bharatkund which is about 22 thousand 700 feet high.
- Apart from three mountains, there is also a confluence of five rivers (Mandakini, Madhuganga, Kshirganga, Saraswati and Swarnagauri) at this temple. Some of these 5 rivers have disappeared, but the Mandakini River, a tributary of the Alaknanda, still exists today.
- Kedarnath was the most affected area during the 2013 floods causing extensive damage to the areas around the temple complex, and the city of Kedarnath, but there was no major damage to the temple structure after which the temple was closed for pilgrims for a year.