Kedarnath temple is believed to be one of the most predominant Hindu pilgrimage sites ever. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this is a temple where holiness and sanctity are present in its air. This sacred Dham of Lord Shiva is situated on the Gharwal Himalayan ranges near the Mandakini river, in the state of Uttrakhand, India. The paramountcy of this holy shrine is so much that it is not just the Hindus who visit this place but also people from the worldwide visit. But have you ever wondered about its origin or what all are the interesting facts about this place? Today all your curiosities about this shrine will be fed. Here is a list of 10 Interesting facts that are associated with the holy Kedarnath temple.
1. Origin And History Of Kedarnath Temple
The term Kedarnath means ‘the lord of the field.’ The mythological tale associated with the origin and history of Kedarnath Temple is that it was the Pandavas who constructed it. With the guilt of killing their relatives in the humongous Mahabharata war, the Pandavas were seeking pardon. In this pursuit of forgiveness, they wanted to meet the lord, Shiva. So the Pandavas traveled to Kashi, but Bholenath continued to hide from them and went to Uttrakhand. Lord Shiva was hiding inside the ground like a bull, and only his lump could be seen. But Bhim, one of the Pandavas, saw his bull imagery, and soon after, Shiva had to bestow them with his blessings. This was the incident that took place in Guptkashi.
Many also say and believe that it was the Hindu seer Adi Shankaracharya who built the Kedarnath temple in the 8th century.
2. Statues Installed And The Unique-Looking Linga
Many images are installed inside the halls of the Kedarnath temple. Giving currency to the ‘association of Pandavas with the Kedarnath temple,’ we see how statues of all the five Pandava brothers are installed in the hallways. Apart from that, there are statues of Lord Krishna, bull Nandi, Draupadi, Parvati, and many other deities, but the unique-looking Shiva linga catches everyone’s attention the most. Placed in the garbha griha of the temple, the Shiva linga has a triangular shape that is very eye-catching and beautiful to look at.
3. Temporary Relocated Due To Extreme Weather Conditions
This Jyotirlinga is situated at an altitude of 11,750 ft above sea level. Located at such a height, extreme weather conditions are bound to hit and affect the veneration and pilgrimage. This is why the temple goes on a break for about six months and commences with the Diwali festival. For six months, until late April or early May, the idol at Kedarnath temple is taken to Ukhimath in Rudraprayag district, and it is there where the worshiping continues and follows. It is after the Akshaya Tritiya festival that the Kedarnath shrine reopens.
4. Temple Being Indestructible
Kedarnath temple is believed to be the most powerful of all Shiva temples. Back in 2013, a very devastating cloudburst took place that brought in a situation of catastrophe. Destructive floods n the number of landslides were all followed by the death of hundreds of people. With property loss worth rupees lakhs and more, what was remarkable to note was how nothing happened to the Kedarnath temple. The temple was saved regardless of all the huge boulderstone coming down from the mountains.
5. Chants And Prayers Are Being Done In Kannada
Another fascinating fact from this revered temple is how all the priests here conduct the prayers and do the chants in the Kannada language. Showing this incredible amalgamation of South and North Indian cultures, we see how since the 10th century, the pooja here has been conducted by members of the Rawal community who belong to the Veera Shaiva Sangam community of Karnataka and in a language that belongs to the South of India.
6. Significance Of Ghee
There is an immense significance of ghee in every temple, but when it comes to Kedarnath, it is quite different and interesting. Pouring of ghee on the Shiva linga and the walls has been a lifelong practice that has been happening in the Kedarnath temple. Devotees rub ghee on walls and linga with their bare hands as a sign of auspiciousness and sacredness; however, with all these rotten ghee on the walls, the ASI states that it is damaging the temple by turning the stone into powder.
7. Protector: Baba Bhairavnath
A lot often believe priests and many devotees that Baba Bhairavnath’s temple in great vicinity to the Kedarnath temple ensures the protection of the Kedarnath temple. Bhairavnath is the fiery avatara of Lord Shiva who, as per legends and their sayings, drives away evil spirits and keeps the temple free from any damage.
8. Wind Bath
It goes without saying that if you are to enter a holy place, you must take a bath, but the weather in Uttarakhand is mostly uncertain. Snow and hail being a part of every other day of Kedarnath temple gives the devotees the liberty to follow the local idea of the Garhwal region, that is of ‘Hawa snaan’ or wind bath. It is believed that purity lies just in the air at Kedarnath, making your soul all clean and pious to enter the shrine.
9. Jai Kedarnath, Jai Shree Kedarnath
One popular way of addressing and greeting people in Kedarnath is saying ‘Jai Kedarnath’ or ‘Jai Shree Kedarnath.’ The feeling one gets after going there are learning the colloquial terms and ways of greetings is beyond explainable. Kedarnath’s aura and the paramountcy are beyond just the shrine; it is present all over Uttrakhand.
10. Film Kedarnath Being Shot Around This Shrine
Most of you might not be aware of this, but the 2018 film Kedarnath, starring Sara Ali Khan and late actor Sushant Singh Rajput was shot around the actual Kedarnath shrine. Indeed lesser known and interesting fact to note.
The piousness of this holy shrine is unparalleled. Kedarnath temple is filled with devotees who seek eternal spiritual bliss and thus come to this place every year. These are some of the interesting facts about the Kedarnath temple. So do make your visit if you have not already!