Dehra Dun : The Kedarnath shrine located in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand will reopen for ‘darshan’ on May 14, after having been closed for about seven months for the winters. Considered to be one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shivait is located near the Mandakin river in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand.
The temple is not directly accessible by road and has to be reached by a 14 km uphill trek from Gaurikund . The temple is believed to have been built by Adi Sankaracharya and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest Hindu shrines of Shiva. The older temple existed from the times of Mahabharata, when the Pandavas are supposed to have pleased Shiva by doing penance in Kedarnath. The temple is also one of the four major sites in India’s Chota Char Dham pilgrimage of Northern Himalayas and is an impressive stone edifice of unknown date.
It is said that during the war between the Kauravas and Pandavas, the kith and kin of the Pandavas were killed; in order to absolve themselves of this sin, the Pandavas undertook a pilgrimage. From Guptakashi (Rudraprayag), the Pandavas went ahead till they reached Gaurikund in the Himalayan valleys. They wandered there in search of Lord Shankara. While doing so Nakul and Sahadev found a he-buffalo. It was unique to look at.
The buffalo was none other than Lord Shiva who had taken the disguise as he did not want to appear before the Pandava brothers. Beema, on say of Yudhistar is said to have gone after the buffalo with his mace. Bheema managed to hit the buffalo with his mace. The buffalo had its face hidden in a crevice-in the earth. Bheema started to pull it by its tail. In this tug-of war, the face of the buffalo went straight to Nepal, leaving its hind part in Kedar. The face of the buffalo is Doleshwa Mahadev located in Sipatol,Bhaktapur, Nepal.
On this hind part of Mahesha, a glorious JyotirLinga appeared. Lord Shankara appeared from this great light. He appeared before the pandavas. By getting a Darshan of Lord Shankar, the Pandavas were absolved of their sins. The Lord told the Pandavas, “From now on, I will remain here as a triangular shaped Jyotirlinga, which resembles the hind part of a he-buffalo”.
The decision for the date of the re-opening of the Kedarnath shrine was taken on Shivratri after consulting the ‘oanchang’. The doors of the temple will open on May 14 at 7-15 in the morning. On May 11 the palanquin of ‘Kedarnath Utsav’ will be taken from Ukhimath, which is its winter and proceed for Kedarnath.