Kedarnath Temple is located on the Garhwal Himalayan range near Mandakini river Uttarakhand. Due to extreme weather conditions, the temple is only open to the general public between the months of April (Akshaya Tritiya) and November (Kartik Purnima). In winter the vigraha is carried down to Ukhimath and here all the poojas were performed to Kedarnath for the next six months.
The temple is at a height of 3,583 m (11,755 ft), 223 km (139 mi) from Rishikesh. Kedarnath Temple is the first of the Panch Kedar temples and is also one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. Kedarnath Temple is also the most powerful among the 275 temples of Paadal Petra Sthalams in the world.
Kedarnath Temple Open and Close Timings
- Kedarnath Temple opens at 7.00 AM for the public.
- Special prayer from 1.00 pm to 2.00 pm and then closed.
- Again opens at 5.00 pm for the public.
- Lord Shiva with five facesduly makeup and a regular Aarti is performed from 7.30 am till 8.30 am.
- Kedarnath Temple is closed at 8.30 pm.
- The Kedar Valley is covered with heavy snowfall in winter. Although the opening and closing time of the Kedarnath temple is indicated, it usually closes on the first day of Kartik (October-November) and reopens in Vaishakh (April-May) each year. When it is closed, the shrine is plunged in snow and worship takes place in Ukhimath.
Statues in Kedarnath Temple:
Lord Shiva worshipped as Sadashiva
Pandavas and Draupadi
Kedarnath Temple History:
The mythological background of the Kedarnath Temple is associated with the epic Mahabharata. Vyas Rishi told the Pandavas that they were guilty of killing their own brothers in the war and that their sins would only be forgiven if Lord Shiva forgave them. First, they went to Varanasi / Kashi, which is said to be Shiva’s favorite city and known for the Kashi Vishwanath temple. But, Lord Shiva wanted to avoid them as he was deeply outraged by the death and dishonesty of Kurukshetra’s war. Therefore, he took the form of a bull (Nandi) and hid in the Garhwal area.
Not finding Lord Shiva in Varanasi, the five brothers went to Garhwal Himalayas. Bhima, the second of the five Pandava brothers, standing astride two mountains, began to seek Shiva. He saw a bull graze near Guptakashi (“Hidden Kashi”). Bhima immediately recognized that the bull was Lord Shiva. Bhima grabbed the bull by the tail and hind legs. But the bull disappeared into the ground and then reappeared in 5 places, the arms appearing in Tungnath, the face showing up at Rudranath, the nabhi (navel) and stomach surfacing in Madhyamaheshwar and the hair appearing in Kalpeshwar. The Pandavas, pleased with this reappearance in five different ways, built temples in all five places to worship Lord Shiva. The Pandavas were thus freed from their sins. It is also believed that the front parts of Shiva appeared in the Doleshwor Mahadeva temple in the Bhaktapur district of Nepal.
Uttarakhand – 246445.