One of the holiest pilgrimages for the Hindus, Kedarnath Temple Jyotirlinga is located in the picturesque surroundings of Rudra Himalaya Range at a height of 12000 feet on a mountain named Kedar.
The temple at Kedarnath enshrining the Jyotirlingam of Shiva opens only 6 months a year (April-November). The priests then go to Ukhimath, where the worship of Kedareshwara is continued during the winter season. Tradition has it that pilgrims first visit Yamunotri and Gangotri and bring with them the holy waters from Yamuna and Ganga and offer abhishek to Shri Kedareshwara.
Legend goes that Nara and Narayana - two incarnations of Shri Vishnu performed severe penance in Badrikasharaya of Bharat Khand, in front of a Shivalingam fashioned out of earth. Pleased with their devotion, Lord Shiva appeared and said that they may ask for a boon. Nar and Narayan requested Shiva to take up a permanent abode as a Jyotirlingam at Kedarnath so that all people who worship Shiva shall be freed from their miseries.
As per another legend, Goddess Parvati worshipped Kedareshwar to unite with Shiva as Ardhanareeswarar. Besides, 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.
Acc to most popular legend, the place came into being during the period when the five Pandavas brothers were asked to seek Shiva’s blessings purging them of the sin of killing their cousins. Lord Shiva unwilling to give darshans to the Pandavas fled Kashi to live incognito in Guptkashi, where eventually he was detected by the Pandavas.
It is believed that by praying to Kedareshwar, one can get all his desires fulfilled. 🌀✨🕉🐚🙏🏻