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Kedarnath Jyotirlinga

             Kedarnath is one of the best known Shivasthalams in India and is considered to be one of the most sacred pilgrimage centers of the country, located in the lofty Himalayas. It is revered as one of the 12 Jyotirlingams - the Northern most one, while the Southernmost one is Rameswaram. The spiritual leader Adi Sankaracharya is closely associated with Kedarnath. Kedarnath is a shrine steeped in antiquity, rich in legend and religious significance.


Kedarnath

Kedarnath

About Temple:
             Shri Kedareshwar is situated on the Himalayas, on a mountain named Kedar. Before the mountains, on the banks of the Alakanada Badrinarayana is situated. And on the west, on the banks of Mandakini Kedarnath Jyotirlinga is situated. This place is approximately 150 miles away from Haridwar and 132 miles north of Hrishikesh. Nar Narayan the incarnation of Lord Vishnu has performed severe penance in Badrikashraya of Bharat Khand. He would regularly pray to the Shivirlinga and Lord Shiva used to be present there in the linga.


After some time Lord Ashutush appeared before Nar Narayan and said – I am very pleased with your undeterred faith and devotion, so you may ask a boon for yourself. Nar Narayan, said that if you are really pleased then O’ Devesha please assume form and reside here eternally so that all people who worship you shall be freed from their miseries. Granting the boon, Lord Shiva assumed form of a linga and was installed in Kedar Mountain. After that Nar Narayan worshipped him ardently and then after he was named Kedareshwar.

Legend :
             Legend has it that Parvati worshipped Kedareshwar to unite with Shiva as Ardhanareeswarar. Kedara Munivar is also said to have established this shrine visited by the Pancha Pandavas. Legend also has it that Nara and Narayana - two incarnations of Vishnu practised severe penances at Badrikashramam, in front of a Shivalingam fashioned out of earth. When Shiva appeared in front of them, they requested him to take up a permanent abode as a Jyotirlinga at Kedarnath. 

Legend also has it that the Pandava princes were advised to visit Kedarnath after the great Kurukshetra battle. Shiva upon seeing the Pandavas, assumed the form of a male buaffalo and entered the earth. It is believed that the rear of its body remained here, as Kedareshwar. The front part is believed to be in Nepal. This legend says that when Shiva entered the ground, he became five fold - his hind remained at Kedar, his arms Tunganatha, his face Rudranatha, his belly Madhyameswara and his Jata Kalpeswara. These five shrines together as known as the Pancha Kedara. The Pandavas are believed to have visited this area several times. Arjuna is believed to have come here to pray to Shiva to obtain the coveted Pasupataastra. The other Pandavas are believed to have come here in search of him, where Draupadi came across the heavenly lotus Kalyana Saugandikam, and requested Bhima to bring here some more of the same. It was during his venturing out to seek these flowers that Bhima met Hanumaan

How to reach :- 
By Road : Kedarnath is connected by road with Badrinath (242 KM), Dehradun (268 KM), Delhi (450 KM), Haridwar (250 KM), Kotdwar (256 KM), and Rishikesh (226 KM).

Route : Rishikesh to Kedarnath vai Rudraprayag :- Rishikesh -> Rudraprayaga -> Agastamuni -> Kund -> Gupta kashi -> Phata -> Soneprayag -> Gauri Kund.

Gauri Kund to Kedarnath is 14 KM. This distance has to be covered by foot, ponies, palkies. 

By Rail : The nearest convenient railway station are Dehradun and Haridwar. These are well connected with Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and rest of India through Rail network. 

By Air : The nearest convenient Air port is Jolly grant at Dehradun (121 Kms). 

JyotirLingams
Kedareswar jyotirling
 
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