Lord Shiva is the compassionate deity figure that has been emitting the aura of his powerful yet benevolent formal presence in the form of ‘Jyotirlingas’ or pillar of light in his holy shrines wherever he padded his feet on this aesthetic earth. The most pious Kedarnath Jyotirlinga was established to offer the sheer devotion to him by countless devotees every year. God is believed to be just one who is as shapeless and infinite as jyoti or pillar of light. Kedarnath Jyotirlinga justifies the aforementioned statements as it has been enticing the beauty of the region since the era of Mahabharata when historical Pandavas mesmerized lord Shiva by their severe penance to live there forever in the form of eternal figure. It comprises Chota Char Dhaam of northern India along with Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.
Location: The holy pilgrimage dedicated to Lord Shiva had been scattering the aroma of godly presence in the valley of Garhwal that is an integral part of the mighty Himalayas near Mandakini River in Uttarakhand state of India. This place is 14 Km away from Gaurikund at the lofty hills where pilgrims have to trek using their feet to reach there since there lacks the facility of smooth roadways.
- The most astonishing legend of Kedarnath Jyotirlinga has the astounding tale of Mahabharata epoch or era. After witnessing the massacre of their own kith and kins, Pandavas were merging into the ocean of self guilt. Thus, they wandered in the valleys of Himalayas just to seek lord Vishweshwara aka Lord Shiva. They saw mighty Shiva from distance that sensed his spotting by Pandavas. Hence, he lost into invisibility in Guptkashi at which Dharmaraj lamented over the sin of massacre committed by them during Mahabharata war. They pledged to find their mighty deity at every cost. So, they moved from Guptkashi (Rudraprayag) to Gaurikund where Nakul and Sahadev saw a peculiar he-buffalo. He-buffalo managed to fool Bheema who was chasing him. But Bheema was able to hit him with his mace. The hit via mace was too strong that the he-buffalo pierced half into the ground from his head. Powerful Bheema pulled him hard due to which his head was popped straight to currently established Doleshwar Mahadeva temple in Sipatol, Bhaktapur, Nepal while his hind body part remained in Kedar. His hind part transformed into bright and glorious Jyotirlinga from which Lord Shiva flashed and absolved Pandavas’ sin.
- When the encounter between Bheema and Lord Shiva was taking place using mace for possessing Mahisharupa, Bheema massaged Shiva’s body with Ghee in guilt and remorse. Since then, triangular shaped Jyotirlinga has been massaging with ghee.
- The Jyotirlinga of Kedareshwara is assumed to be the consequence of the severe penance paid by Nar-Narayana.
Description of the temple:
The idols of five Pandavas, lord Krishna, Shiva’s vehicle-Nandi and his gallant guard Virbhadra are installed in main hall while a unique face is carved on the triangular stone fascia nearby the place where Lord Shiva’s Marriage with Parvati took place in the holy shrine. Samadhi Mandir of Adi Shankara is located right at the back of this temple.