Kedarnath, Uttarakhand India
Kedarnath is the seat of Lord Shiva. It is one of the twelve "Jyotirlingas" of Lord Shiva. Lying at an altitude of 3584 m at the head of river Mandakini, the shrine of Kedarnath Temple is amongst the holiest pilgrimage for the Hindus.
It is no wonder that Adi Guru Shankaracharya - a great scholar & saint, chose to enshrine Lord Shiva in this land, where the unholy becomes oly and the holy becomes holier. Kedar meaning powerful is another name of Lord Shiva the protector and the destroyer.
Situated in the backdrop of the majestic Sri Kedarnath range, Kedarnath Temple is a 20 km trek from Sonprayag.
At Kedarnath there are several Kunds (pools, tanks) that are known for their religious significans - shivkund, Retkund, hanskund, Udakkund, Rudhirkund are the most important. A little away from Kedarnath is a temple dedicated to Bhaironathji who is ceremoniously worshipped at the opening & closing of Kedarnath. The belief is that Bhairavnathji protects this land from evil during the time when temple of Kedarnath is closed. There are more than 200 shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva in Chamoli district itself, the most important one is Sri Kedarnath.
During the winters, the shrine is submerged in snow & hence is closed. Fortunate are those who have good weather, but twice blessed are those who are at Kedarnath on a moonlit night- the snow peak gleams like hundred silver pinnacles atop the glittering mountains.
The holiest of Shiva's shrines is linked to Gold among base metals so that every pilgrims finds peace here, and it is said that devotees who die here become one with Shiva himself. Beyond the temple is the highway to heaven, called Mahapanth.
Kedarnath Temple Guide
The opening of date of Kedarnath Temple is fixed and depends on the Shiva Ratri and decided by priests in Ukhimath. Normally Kedarnath temple opens on Mid May. The closing date of Kedarnath is fixed on Yama Dwitiya (second day after Diwali, November).
Kedarnath Temple is open for devotees from 6 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 8 pm.
Shingar Darshan is from 5 pm onwards and Aarti is performed at 6:45 pm. Sharavani Annakoot Mela is celebrated on the day before Raksha Bandhan during August. Special Samadhi puja is help on the closing day of Kedarnath.
The Kedarnath Temple committee office organises booking for special pooja which is performed before the general darshan in the morning.
The Opening and Closing Date of Kedarnath Temple 2016
Note: Shri Kedarnath Temple will open on 9 May 2016.
Kedarnath of Winter
With the arrival of winters in the month of November, the holy statue of Lord Shiva, is shifted from Garhwal (Kedarkhand) to Ukhimath, and is reinstated at Kedarnath, in the first week of May. It is at this time, that the doors of the temple are thrown open to pilgrims, who gather from all parts of India, for a holy pilgrimage. The shrine closes on the first day of Kartik (October-November) and reopens in Vaishakh (April-May) every year. During its closure the shrine is submerged in snow and worship is performed at Ukhimath.
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