Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Kedarnath is an enigma in itself. With many mythological and real-life stories attached to the place, it is always interesting to find more about it and have a Trip to Kedarnath. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting facts about Kedarnath.
● A huge amount of rain flooded the Kedarnath on June 2013. The Kedarnath flood was so severe that the bank of Chorabari Lake came down destroying everything that came its way. Around 5,000 people were missing or lost their lives, a huge chunk of which were pilgrims from around the world. Only the Kedarnath temple survived this day of disaster as a huge rock diverted the flow to the sides of the temple. Even years after this incident, search operations are held to find more and more skeletons in this holy place. The last such operation was held in 2020.
● The Kedarnath Temple remains closed for visitors for 6 months every year. Due to heavy rainfall, and harsh weather conditions, it is not safe for pilgrims to have a Kedarnath Trip. Even the locals living there move to a safer destination. Almost 360 families are dependent on the town of Kedarnath for their livelihood but they move to nearby villages in the winter season. It is closed on Bhaiduj, happening a day after Diwali and reopens on Akshaya Tritiya in the month of April or May. The statue of Lord Shiva is carried away to Omkareshwar Temple in Ukthimath near Guptrishi for safety purposes.
● The management of Kedarnath Temple comes under the Uttar Pradesh State Government Act No. 30/1948 as Act no. 16,1939. It is called Shri Badrinath or Shri Kedarnath Mandir Act. In 2002, this act was modified to include government officials. Now the Kedarnath Temple board has 17 members, 10 of which are selected by the government of Uttarakhand. The four districts of Kedarnath select one member each. Chief priest Rawal and 3 other priests are also a part of this board. A Chief Executive Officer has been appointed to carry out the orders given by the state government of Uttarakhand.
● Legend has it that the Pandavas built the Kedarnath Temple after the great epic Mahabharat. Since they felt guilty for shedding the blood of their own brothers, they wanted to atone for their sins. They were trying to find Lord Shiva to ask for forgiveness. But not wanting to forgive them Lord Shiva hid in Guptrashi. When Bheem found him anyway, hiding in the form of a bull, Lord Shiva disappeared scattering himself in 5 different places Kedarnath, Rudranath, Tungnath, Madhyamaheshwar, and Kalpeshwar. Those are now known as the Panch Kedar. Lord Shiva did forgive them in the end though!
● Did you know that the Bhairavnath Temple is situated quite near to the Kedarnath Temple in the Himalayan regions? Bhairon Baba also known as Kshetrapal (guardian of the region), is one of the many avatars of Lord Shiva. It is believed that he protects the Temple from human and natural calamities and evil spirits. It is also believed that it is him who protects the town during the winter months when the weather is at its worth in Kedarnath. Bhairavnath Temple is just 500 meters from Kedarnath Temple on foot and Kedarnath Tour Package offers a great view of the entire Kedarnath valley.
● The priests who perform the rituals in the Kedarnath Temple belong to the Rawal community of Karnataka. The same rituals and mantras are being repeated since the 10th Century AD. All these mantras are chanted in the Kannada language by the priest. The head priest of the temple does not perform these rituals instead giving this opportunity to his assistants. The Kedarnath Temple has five head priests and the title of head priest is offered to them by rotation. When the statue of Lord Shiva is moved to Omkareshwar Temple, the priests relocate with it. Both for devotion and for their own safety.
● Late actor Sushant Singh Rajput and Sara Ali Khan starrer Kedarnath was shot around the Kedarnath Temple. This movie was based on the Kedarnath floods that took thousands of lives in 2013. This was Khan’s debut film. The priests of Kedarnath wanted the censor board to ban the film as they believed it promoted love jihad and made fun of Hindu sentiments. From government officials to comman man, many other people also demanded a ban on it. Of course later the film was released anyway as the court dismissed that and many other cases filed against the film.
● Located at the south of Kedarnath Temple, Udak Kund is believed to have great spiritual significance. Devotees say that whoever drinks the holy water of Udak Kund will forever be freed from the repetitive cycle of birth and death. This water is believed to have purification abilities and it also poured on the statue of Lord Shiva situated in the Kedarnath Temple. According to Kedar Khand of Shiv Purana, the water of Udak Kund is a mixture of all five oceans. Not just Udak Khand the water of a lot of holy rivers in India is used for purification purposes.
● Some places have hi, some places say namaste; in Kedarnath people will always greet you with Jai kedar or Jai Shri Kedar. The devotion and belief in an eternal power is so strong in the people of Kedarnath that even their greetings are a reflection of that very belief. Even the celebrations in this town are mostly God related, with Janmashtami being celebrated with a huge fan fair. The influence of western culture is minimum in this holy land as most locals choose to devote their time and attention to their work and prayers. Only vegetarian food is served here.
● Ghee is considered holy in the Kedarnath Temple and is applied on the Lingam during prayers. But when the Archeological Survey of India visited the temple to inspect and restore it after the Kedarnath Floods they warned against. Since the stones are not cleaned of the ghee that is applied, the ghee is rotting and choking the stones of their natural breathing ability. Many engravings in the temple have already been damaged due to the ghee applied on them every day. Due to the acidic reaction from the ghee layer, the stone is turning to power at an alarming pace.
We hope these interesting facts makes you more excited and helps you plan your Kedarnath Tour Package with much more ease. Have a safe trip and don’t forget your mask for these hard times!
Visit our website