Kedarnath Temple: Where Faith Meets Nature

Kedarnath Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga and is considered one of the Char Dams. It is the Hindu Temple, of Lord Shiv where people believe to meet Lord Shiv—situated in Uttrakhand, on the Garhwal Himalaya range near the Mandakini River. Therefore, the temple is open only from April to November. And for the next months, the idol of the goddess is carried out to Ukhimath. 

It is not at all easy to reach Kedarnath temple, the only nearby station to rich Kedarnath is Rishikesh railway station and Dehradun airpot. The image of the Kedarnath is in the form of a lingam which is made of irregular shape. However, Temple includes so many other stories so, to know about this you must read the full article. 

History of Kedarnath

People tell many different stories about the history of the Kedarnath Temple. Everyone told the tale in their own way, but we will tell you all the stories related to the temple, which will tell you all details about the temple in detail:-

Story One

Kedarnath Temple is so old that this temple is also mentioned in treatises, such as Skandpuran, Vaiupuran, Kedarkalp, and Kedarkhand. About this temple is written in very detail. 

This Story all way starts from the Kurukshetra war when the Pandavas won the war. In the war, they killed their relatives, Kauravas, their gurus Duryodhana, and Dronacharya many other relatives. So, because of this, they were not happy that they defeated the war. Moreover, they were very guilty of killing them in the war. 

After the war, all five Pandavas went to Shri Krishna. Lord Krishna was pleased with their achievement, but when they saw Pandavas they were not cheerful, so Krishna asked them why. They said they were happy because they killed their own people. 

Why did Krishna ask Pandavas to meet Lord Shiv? 

Krishna asked him to go to Mahadev, the Lord Shiv. The Lord is the one who can free them from all the sins they did in the war. Krishna also told Pandanvas that Lord Shiv is very Upset and angry as you did fratricide i.e. Gotra Hatya and Brāhmana Hatya i.e. killing of priest class brahmins.

Assigning their duties to the people around them, all five Pandavas move to Kashi in search of Lord Shiva. But when they reach Kashi, they don’t find Lord Shiva in Kashi, all Pandavas get tensed that Lord Shiva is actually so angry with them.

Again they ask for help from Krishna, and that is what they should do next to meet Lord Shiva. Then Krishna told him that they could meet ( Darshan) lord Shiva in the Kedar. As they were the real devotees of the Shiva, they went to Kedar. Again they don’t find Lord Shiv there. 

But after watching around them they find a group of cows and bulls. When Bhima saw carefully one of the bulls was quite different from the other cows and bulls. So, Bhima took his real form and said that Lord Shiva is sure in the face of Bull. All cows and bulls other than Shiva, will go from between the two legs of Bhima. Exactly the same thing happened, and other Pandavas also made sure that the Lord Shiva was in the form of a Bull.

What happened when Bhima Saw Lord Shiva in the Himalayas?

Then Lord Shiv with their power started going underground the earth but Bhima held the bull from the tail and leg of the Bull. Finally, Lord Shiva came in his real face and was very happy with their devotion. Then Lord Shiva freed them from all the sins they committed in War. Moreover, when Lord Shiva was going underground, that part of Shiva is now, worshiped in the Kedarnath Temple

The other parts that went under the earth reappeared on Earth at different places such as Tungnath, Rudranath, Madhyamaheshwar, and Kalpeshwar. 

Furthermore, the Nabhi and the stomach part were in Rudranath, & the face and face were found in Madhyamaheshwar, hairs in Kalpeshwar, arms in Tungnath, and the major Hump in Kedarnath. Then Pandavas built a temple in all five places for worshipping Shiva.

After building all five temples, the Five Pandavas mediated at Kedarnath for salvation and conducted a fire sacrifice called Yagna. After that, via the celestial route known as the Mahapanth (also known as Swargarohini) and then they happily attained heaven. Therefore, Kedarnath, Tungnath, and Madhyamaheshwar look almost identical. Also, all these five temples together are known as Panch Kedar Temples.

Some People also said that after visiting all these 5 temples, the devotees also have to visit Badrinath Temple, if someone wants a blessing from Lord Shiva.

Story two 

There are many Hagiographics and two of them, one based on Sankshepa of Madhava-Vijaya Shankara tells that the philosopher in the 8th century named Adi Shankara died near the Kedarnath temple. Another based on Anandagiri’s Prachina Shankara Vijaya wrote that he died in Kanchipuram. 

Some people say that Adi Shankara made the temple in the 8th century. Some state that Adi Shankara did the renovation of the temple only after the Pandanvas built it. Till what the real story no one knows. Plus behind the temple of Kedarnath the Shankaracharya Samabdhi is built. 

Who are the Priest (Pandit) in the Kedar Temples?

Kedarnath Teerth are the oldest brahims of the Kedarnath Temples. However, the ancestors of Kedarnath Teerth have only worshipped at the temple for a long time, since Nara-Narayana and Daksh Prajapati times.

If you have heard about the name of Pandava’s grandson names King Janmejay, he has given all the rights of worshipping the temple to them. And they are the only ones who have worshipped the temple ever since. 

Flood of 2013

In the year 2013, on the 13th of May 2013, the doors were opened for the visit of Kedarnath Temple. After one month on 13th June, non-stop rain started till 17th June. No one had seen sun or rain, in Kedarnath at that time. However, no one knows the reason why such things are happening. All people around the temple staying near the temple were waiting to stop the rain. 

On the 16th of June morning, the hill of Behronath Temple started breaking. The marg which takes us to Bahronath Mandir from Kedarnath was closed. The powerhouse failed, and everyone was so tensed who were local and visitors. Most all the area around the Temple was filled with water and even glaciers started melting. The clouds also burst and the Chorabari Glacier distressed the Mandakini River. All the water from the Mandakini River went to Kedar Ghati, all the people were sleeping in the hotel, Dharamshala, or at home. And all of them got swept away in the flow of the river. 

How much was Kedarnath affected during the flood of 2013?

On the 17th of June morning, the condition was worse. Many more people died and suffered. Because of such Flood Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and western Nepal were so much impacted. All these Massive incidents destroyed so many lifes and property with Landslides and Flash Rain. 

But the Kedarnath Temple was safe because, at the back of this Temple, a big rock came and stopped, because of which the water passed away from the side. 

Moreover, there was nothing to eat for the people in Kedarnath. The time was so bad at Kedarnath. 

The Situation after the flood of Kedarnath

On 18th June 2013, the weather was clear and fine. But the scene around the temple was very scary, as so many dead bodies were lying here and there, under the building, rocks, and many other places. Therefore, even so, many people are still waiting for their family members to come back as they don’t even get the dead bodies of their relatives. 

The 16th and 17th night can never be forgotten. More than 5000 thousand lost their life and many other people are still lost. On  29 August 2019, the festival Nanda Devi Raj Jaat was planned to take place in Uttrakhand but was canceled because of the damage to the roads and bridges.

In October, finally, the doors were open to revisit the Kedarnath Temple, Moreover, a limited figure of people were allowed to pass through at one time. After all this, the faith among the pilgrims increased day by day till now. Even after so many incidents at Kedarnath, and is still in the same place.

4000 years under the Snow

According to scientists, the Kedarnath Temple was buried under the snow for more than 400 years. But then also this Temple was still. The scientists of Wadia Institute of Dehradun, Vijay Joshi, and another scientist from different places after the study stated that the temple was under the snow for more than 400 years, and it has marks of snow on the temple wall.

Scientist Joshi also stated that from the 13th to 17th century, there was an ice age, in which a big area of the Himalayas was buried under the snow. Before it was believed that Kedarnath Temple was under the glacier but from research, it became known that it was not under the glacier but was under the snow only. 

When something is under the snow, we know snow mover from here and there, so that marks of snow are on the Temple, not only on the outer wall of the Temple but also inside the Temple, say scientists. 

However, every scientist said that this temple is really made in a remarkable and unique place. And this Temple is designed by considering the quality of the area. As around the temple, glaciers are present which actually makes this place more beautiful and special.

Moreover, this place is really the misal of engineering. Therefore, faithfully Kedarnath Temple is considered as the work of God.  

Festivals and Rituals

In Kedarnath, there are a lot of festivals celebrated with celebration. Kedarnath is all about Lord Shiva’s worship, so it is apparent every festival will be celebrated related to Lord Shiva with enthusiasm and zeal.

Vinayak Chaturthi- This is the festival of Lord Ganesh, as Ganesha was the son of the Lord Shiva. The devotees of Lord Ganesh went to Kedarnath to celebrate the festival with full passion and devotion. This festival is celebrated in the months of September and October. 

Hariyali Devi Mela- If you don’t know Haryali Devi is worshipped as Bala Devi and Vaishno Devi. This Mela is held between September to October, in the temple of Haryali Devi, which is located on the route of Rudraprayag and Karnaprayag. 

Badri Kedar Festival- In the month of June, the Badri Kedar festival is celebrated for regular eight days. If you want to know about the culture and tradition of DevBhoomi in Uttrakhand then you must visit in June. A number of people came from different places to showcase their talents such as singers, dancers, or painters. 

Ram Navami- On this day, it was the birthday of the Lord Ram, which is celebrated with full enthusiasm and devotion. The whole environment is all about Bhajan and folk dance performances all around. 

Samadhi Pooja- Shankara Acharya Samadhi is located back of the Kedarnath temple, where a grand celebration is done on the closing day of the main temple. The festival is celebrated with full of lights, and music. Moreover, a grand pooja is done on the same day inside the Samadhi.

Some Special Festivals

Shravani Annakoot Mela- This festival is made a day before Rakhabandhan which is a celebration to spot the new harvest by the local people. There are so many rituals and series of Pooja performed on this day. However, the Shiv ling is decorated with newly harvested rice, wheat, corn, and many other pulses. 

Diwali- If you are a true worshipper of Lord Shiva, then you must once in your life should be part of Kedarnath Diwali. As Diwali is a big festival not only Kedarnath but all the adjoining regions are lighten up. Even 5000 diyaas are lightened over to light all the darker corners. So, you should definitely celebrate the Diwali festival at Kedarnath once.

Madmaheshwar Mela- When the Madmaheshwar Temple is shut in the winter season, the deity of the goddess is shifted to their other home, Omkaareshwar Temple. However, it is basically organized in the Ukhimath block headquarters.  

Pandava Dance- This is a kind of ritual in which there is the carry of stories re-enacting Mahabharat in the form of singing, dancing, and recuitting. It is a kind of Play of Pandavas. 

Early Morning, the Shivling is bathed with proper and pure milk then ghee is applied. Then Aarti is done in which devotees can also participate. In the evening, the Lord is ornamented. However, when the doors of the Kedarnath for six months, the Silver Murti (status) of Lord Shiv is taken to Omkar Ishwar Mandir where they are worshipped for 6 months. 


Kedarnath Temple attracts many National and International researchers because of its remote location and its rich history. It is the temple which is built at the highest height of Uttrakhand. Such a temple is nowhere in the whole world. The temple is built 3600 m above the sea, its construction looks like it was not made by humans but by superhumans. After Padvas had built the Temple, there was no harm to the temple for so long.

But till the 8th century, the temple was damaged in many places. However, it is believed that the Jagat Guru Shankara Charaya had done renovation of the temple. This Temple has been standing in its place for the last 1200 years. To connect their stones, the interlocking technique is used. 

The Yatra of the temple is actually an adventure. The area of the temple is spread over 3 sq Km. The Walls are 12 feet broader.  There is the Nandi cow which adds more beauty to the temple of Kedarnath. In front of the temple, we have pillared halls which consist of the Five Pandavas and Paravati. 

When we entered the Kedarnath Temple, in the first hall we found the statue of Five Pandava’s brothers, Krishna, and Nandi, and the vehicle of Shiv & Virabhadra who was the guard of Shiva. 

Unique Facts About the Temple

  • Kedarnath and other ShivTemples are located in a straight line geographically and it was built when there was no advanced technology. 
  • The Priest of the Kedarnath is from Karnataka and belongs to the Veerashaiva community called Raval. All the Pooja held in the temple is carried by the Raval’s assistant according to the Instruction of the Raval. There are 5 total Raval’s Priest, each having rotation duty at the temple for one year. 
  • It is believed that when the temple is closed for 6 months, one diya is lit up which last till the Temple is again opened.
  • When the flood of 2013 came, the rock came to the back of Kedarnath and saved it from all the mishappening to the temple. Therefore, that rock is now known as Bheem Shila, and is believed that is magic and that everything around the was a temple but not a Temple. 
Ending Words

Kedarnath is not a casual Temple, it has many stories with it. Not only stories, but the believers believe that Lord Shiv is always present there to listen to them devotees. All the things you must know about the Kedarnath Temple, we have covered all the things in this article from History to Present.

In addition a place of worship, it is a temple that represents the persevering faith and spirituality of the millions of followers in millions who make the hardest journey to this far-off and holy location.

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