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Kedarnath Dham Legends and Stories

The Legends and Stories Associated with Kedarnath Dham

Legend of Nar and Narayana

It is stated that this temple was built as a result of the rigorous penance that Nar and Narayana, two avatars of Lord Vishnu, performed in order to bring it into reality. As a reward for their self-denial at Badrikashram, Lord Shiva appeared before them and asked them to make a wish for a blessing. In response, they prayed that Lord Shiva would take up residence in Kedarnath as a Jyotirlinga, which would allow devotees who visited the site to be cleansed of their transgressions.

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Legends Connected to the Pandavas

The Pandavas desired to make a sacrifice to Lord Shiva in order to be absolved of the guilt they felt for killing their relatives. However, Lord Shiva did not wish to carry out this task, so he changed into a bull and began wandering the Garhwal Himalayas. However, the pandavas were able to discover him, and in order for the Lord to escape them, he retreated underground. During the chase, Bhim was able to get hold of the bull’s hump, but other portions of the animal’s body appeared in different places. Tungnath was the location where the forelegs manifested, followed by Kalpeshwar for the hair, Rudranath for the face, and Madhya-Maheshwar for the bavel. These five locations are together referred to as the five sacred sanctuaries of Lord Shiva, who is also known by the name Panch Kedar.

The Pandavas gained heaven or salvation after constructing the Panch Kedar Temples by first meditating for it at Kedarnath, then by performing yagna, which is a sacrifice involving the use of fire, and finally by following the celestial road known as the Mahapanth, which is also known as Swargarohini.

The idol of the deity that is considered to be the guardian of Kedarnath does not have a head on it. It is said in local folklore that the head is venerated in the Doleshwar Mahadev temple, which may be found in Bhaktapur, in the Nepali province of Bhaktapur.

It is said that Arjuna travelled to this location in order to pray to Shiva in order to obtain the coveted Pasupata Astra. It is stated that the other Pandavas came here in search of him, and while they were here, Draupadi discovered the heavenly lotus known as Kalyana Saugandikam. She then asked Bhima to bring more of the same to this location. Bhima first became acquainted with Hanumaan when the latter was assisting him in his search for the flowers.

Goddess Parvati and Ardhanarishvara Legend

It is also stated that the goddess Parvati prayed to Kedareshwar in order to join with Lord Shiva as Ardhanarishvara. Kedareshwar granted her prayer. In the Skanda Purana, Parvati makes a plea to Shiva, asking him to let her live with him as they embrace “limb-to-limb.” As a result of this request, Ardhanarishvara is created. It also relates how Vishnu saved Parvati and brought her to his home when the demon Andhaka attempted to kidnap her so that he could make her his wife. Vishnu did this to protect Parvati. As the demon pursued her to that location, Parvati eventually exposed her Ardhanarishvara form to him. When the demon saw that she had taken on a shape that was half male and half feminine, he lost interest in her and fled.

In yet another of the temple’s legends, it is said that in Kedarnath, gods worshipped Lord Shiva in order to defend themselves from evil. They were destroyed by him when he was disguised as a bull, and he tossed their bodies into the River Mandakini.

Connection to the Badrinath Dham

Another legend tells us the story that dates back to the Satyug when the gods used to walk on earth. This particular legend is associated with the Badrinath Dham. The moment when the child manifestation of Lord Vishnu took Badrinath away from Shiva and Parvati and took him for himself. After some time, the Lord and his holy consort made the decision to reside in Kedarnath, which elevates the spiritual significance of this location beyond that of any other location in India.

Adi Shankaracharya is credited with restoring the grandeur of the Kedarnath Temple in the eighth century A.D.: According to legend, the original Pandavas erected the temple of Kedarnath. The present temple was established by Adi Shankaracharya, who did the restoration work. Kedarnath is said to have been named after one of the Pandavas. The hagiographies that are based on Madhava’s Sankshepa-shankara-vijaya claim that the 8th-century philosopher Adi Shankara passed away in the highlands close to Kedarnath. On the other hand, the hagiographies that are based on Anandagiri’s Prachina-Shankara-Vijaya claim that he died in Kanchipuram. Kedarnath is the site of the supposed remnants of a structure that marked the spot where Shankara passed away.

By the 12th century, when it was referenced in Kritya-kalpataru, a document authored by the Gahadavala minister Bhatta Lakshmidhara, Kedarnath had already established itself as a significant site for religious tourism.

According to Hindu Mythology, Kedarnath is a Prominent Site

The temple is one of the four key locations in India’s Chota Char Dham pilgrimage of the Northern Himalayas, and it is the first of the Panch Kedar pilgrimage sites. Both of these distinctions make Kedarnath an important location. The significance of this temple is greater than any of the other 11 Jyotirlingas. The majestic and venerable temple dates back to the time when the Rudra Himalaya were still in existence. This ancient structure, which is more than a thousand years old, was constructed with big stone slabs that were laid atop a large rectangular platform.

It is mentioned as one of the 275 paadal petra sthalams in the Tevaram, which is a sacred Tamil Shaivite literature that was composed between the 6th and 7th century by 63 saints known as Nayanars. In their own Tevaram scriptures, Thirugnanasambandar, Appar, Sundarar, and Sekkizhar all sing praises of this shrine.

The Lingam of Kedarnath

It is stated that the lingam, which is a symbol of Lord Shiva and can be found in the Kedarnath temple, was produced spontaneously by the elements of earth, air, water, and fire. In contrast to its more typical shape, the lingam that can be found at Kedarnath is in the shape of a pyramid, and it is considered to be one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. Jyotirlinga, also known as the cosmic light, was the form that Lord Shiva took when he appeared on earth. The mountain peak of Kedarnath is the most elevated of the 12 Jyotirlingas.

400 Years Buried Under Snow

It was recently uncovered that the primary temple of Kedarnath had been hidden for the past 400 years behind a substantial layer of snow. This finding was suggested by running numerous tests on the exterior walls of the temple, which showed yellowish lines. Further investigation proved that these lines were the product of a mini ice age, during which the entire region of Rudraprayag was totally covered in a large coating of ice. This result was postulated by performing several tests on the exterior walls of the temple, which showed yellowish lines.

It is incredible that the temple remained in perfect condition after the ice age period that it had been through, with not even a single break being visible. It is abundantly obvious that whomever was responsible for creating the structure of this temple had taken into consideration the severe weather conditions that prevail in this region and had designed the temple in such a way that it can withstand even the most severe of climatic conditions

Legend That Surrounds The Priests That Serve at the Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath Teerth Purohits are the old Brahmins of this region; their forefathers (Rishi-Muni) have been worshipping the lingam ever since the time of Nara-Narayana and Daksh Prajapati. They have been practising their religion as pilgrims ever since King Janmejay, the grandson of the Pandavas, granted them the permission to worship at this temple and donated the entirety of the Kedar territory to them.

Bhairon Temple

Bhairon Temple is located a short distance away from Kedarnath and is devoted to Bhairavnath, the deity who is revered throughout the rituals that mark the beginning and end of each day at the Kedarnath Temple. When the Kedarnath temple is closed for maintenance or other reasons, it is believed that Bhairavnath Ji guards this region against evil on its behalf.

The Schedules of the Kedarnath Dham include the following: the temple at Kedarnath that houses the Jyotirlinga of Shiva is only open for six months out of the year (April through November), which is when the sun is in the zodiac sign of Aries. The temple is closed while the sun is in the sign of Scorpio. After that, the priests travel to Ukhimath, which is the location of the ongoing worship to Kedareshwara throughout the winter months.

Additional Traditions Connected to the Temple

According to tradition, before beginning the Kedarnath Yatra, pilgrims must first visit Yamunotri and Gangotri and bring with them the holy waters from the sources of the rivers Yamuna and Ganga to perform abhishekams to Kedareshwara. Kedareshwara is the god who presides over the temple. Haridwar, Rishikesh, Devprayag, Tehri, Dharasu, Yamunotri, Uttarkashi, Gangotri, Triyugnarayan, Gaurikund, and Kedarnath make up the traditional pilgrim route. Kedarnath is the final destination on this journey. Devprayag, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, and Ukhimath make up the alternative route that may be used to get to Kedar from Rishikesh.

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