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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

Which are the popular religious sites in Kedarnath?

Manavi Kapur DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

If you've heard stories from a pious grandparent, you'd know the significance of the Char Dham Yatra in an average Hindu's life. Kedarnath is one of the four Chota Char Dham destinations, flocked by tourists and pilgrims throughout the season during which the shrine is open. Understand mythology, history and the sheer devotion of people here at the following religious sites in Kedarnath:

  • Kedarnath Temple

    The primary temple complex of this region, Kedarnath Temple has a host of myths and legends associated with it. Deeply interlinked with the Mahabharata epic, the shrine is home to one of the 12 sacred Jyotirlingas in India. As the myth goes, the present Jyotirlinga is a symbol of Lord Shiva appearing in front of the Pandavas, who were searching for him to complete their penance for killing their own kins. The temple is believed to have been built by Adi Shankaracharya, though the date of this construction is unknown. Due to the extreme weather conditions in the surrounding region, the temple functions only between Akshaya Tritiya (around April every year) till Kartik Purnima (around October or November). The idols from the temple are shifted to Ukhimath and worshipped there during the time when the Kedarnath Temple is closed.

    The shrine is
    closed between 3 and 5 pm everyday, as the deity is believed to be resting at that time. You can offer a traditional Hindu milk-and-water bath, called Abhishek, to the Lingam, provided you enter the shrine before 3pm. After every aarti, the blessings of the lord are distributed among devotees as bhog, which literally means a part of the lord's meal.

  • Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi

    The famous Indian saint and pilgrim, Adi Shankaracharya is believed to have established all the Char Dhams in India. He thought this to be the purpose of his life, and once accomplished, he chose Kedarnath as his resting place or Samadhi at the young age of 32. Pilgrims pay their respects at his Samadhi by offering prayers and Aartis.

  • Bhairavnath Temple

    This temple is closely linked with the Vaishnodevi legend and pilgrimage, pointing towards the overall pious culture of the entire region. It is believed that the VaishnodeviYatra is not complete unless the pilgrim visits this temple too. Another legend holds true that while the Kedarnath Temple is closed during extreme winter, the deity of the Bhairavnath Temple protects the Kedarnath shrine. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple sees the usual aartis during mornings and evenings, which is the time when the shrine sees the most amount of devotees.

Reunite with the divine and you're sure to come back feeling like you've experienced an epiphany!

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