Monday, April 15, 2024

Kedarnath Temple Yatra

Uttarakhand is known as the dev bhoomi, as most of the deities selected this place to spend some of the best times of their lives. Thousands of temples are present in this state. Out of these temples, Kedarnath is one of the most famous. Thousands of travellers visit this place to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva.

About Kedarnath Temple

Tucked in the middle of the Himalayas, Kedarnath Temple is located at an altitude of 3583 meters above sea level. It is surrounded by snow-covered mountains on three sides and a deep valley in the front.

The river Mandakni flowing by the temple adds to the beauty of the temple. Kedarnath temple is not only a pilgrimage spot, but it is also known for its beauty all around and is hence famous as a tourist destination.

The biggest challenge of Kedarnath yatra is that the temple is not directly connected by road. The last motorable road to this temple is at Gaurikund, which is 16 km from the temple. So you can reach here either by trekking or you can hiring Mules, Pony, or Palki to reach here.

A mythological story about the origin of the temple:

The exact origin of the temple is unknown, but as per the holy scriptures, it is said that Kedarnath temple was first built by Pandavas. It is said that after the war of Kurukshetra, Pandavas were guilty of killing their loved ones and gurus in the war. They met with Lord Krishna and discussed with him the problem they were facing.

Lord Krishna advises them to meet Lord Shiva, as he is the only one who can absolve them of their sin. So after handing over their kingdom of Hastinapur to their descendants, they went to Kashi in search of Lord Shiva. When Lord Shiva got the news of Pandava’s arrival at Kashi, he escaped from there and went to a place now in Uttarakhand known as Guptkashi.

Lord Shiva was in great anger due to the huge bloodshed during the war. The place is known as Guptkashi, as Lord Shiva opted for it to hide himself after coming from Kashi. Lord Shiva did penance at this place and married Maa Parvati at the Triyuginarayan temple. Till then, Pandavas reached Guptkashi in search of Lord Shiva.

But Lord Shiva still didn’t want to meet them, so he escaped from Guptkashi and went to a small village in the Himalayas known as Kedar. But Pandavas was determined to meet him, so they went to Kedar village, following Lord Shiva. But the deity took the form of bulls to disguise them and got mixed with other animals grazing nearby. But the Bhima (the strongest brother among the Pandavas) identified him and tried to hold him by his hump.

The bull started entering the earth, but Bhima kept a strong hold on him. Other Pandavas kept on worshipping him and requesting that he pardon them. Lord Shiva was pleased with them and came in his original form. Body parts of the bull appeared at five different places in Uttarakhand. All these five places are collectively known as Panch Kedar.

Hump is present at Kedarnath and is worshipped in the form of shivlinga. Pandavas built a temple around the temple and requested Lord Shiva to stay there in the form of Shiv Linga and help humans with guilt get rid of it.
Later on, it was reconstructed by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century and then renovated in the 10th and 11th centuries by Rajabhoj of Bhopal.

How to get near the temple?

The nearest airport to the temple is Jolly Grant Airport, also known as Dehradun Airport, which is 235 km away from the temple, and the nearest railway station to the temple is Rishikesh Railway Station, which is 204 km away from Kedarnath Temple.

The only way to get here is by road. So after reaching Rishikesh, Haridwar, or Dehradun, you can hire a personal cab for yourself. That cab will stay with you throughout the trip. This is going to be a very expensive option, but a very convenient and safe one. Another option is to take a shared cab, which is easily available from the Haridwar Railway station.

They will take you to the Sonprayag. This option is both safe and economical. The next option is to take a government bus from Haridwar; this option is economical but could be more convenient. This is not recommended for anyone travelling with kids or ladies. It is best suited for someone on a budget trip or travelling solo.

Last but not least, the next option is to hire a bike from Haridwar, Rishikesh, or Dehradun. It’s always exciting to drive in a hilly area on a bike. This is going to be very convenient and economical. But this is recommended only for those who have prior experience driving in hilly regions; otherwise, it could be fatal.

Places to visit near Kedarnath Temple

In addition to the Kedarnath temple, there are some other places you can visit near the Kedarnath temple. Here are the following:
Bhairav Nath temple: Known as the gatekeeper of Kedarnath temple, Bhariav Nath temple is a must-do place. As per the folklore, it is said that a trip to Kedarnath temple will be considered incomplete without visiting Kedarnath temple. This place is a perfect place to have a birds-eye view of the complete Kedarnath valley and provides a picture-perfect location.
Triyuginarayan Temple:- Do you know Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati got married in this region? Yes, you heard right, they got married in a temple known as the Triyuginarayan Temple, which is located at a distance of 19 km from Sonprayag. It is the only living example of the first love marriage on earth. This is known as the Triyuginarayan temple, as it has been standing at this place since the three yugas. It is also known as Akhand Dhuni Temple due to the perpetual fire burning in the compound since the marriage of both deities. This place is also gaining popularity as a perfect destination for weddings.


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