Panch Kedar is five famous temples related to Lord Shiva. Various parts of Lord Shiva are worshipped in these temples. Kedarnath and the other four paths are known as 'Panch Kedar', which gives an eternal message of eternal Hindu culture and a symbol of unshakable faith, amidst the mountain ranges of the Himalayas hiding the natural beauty in Garhwal of Uttarakhand. Pilgrims prove their desire by visiting these holy places for centuries.
Panch Kedar ( Five Kedars)
The following Five Kedars are considered among the Hindus-
1. Kedarnath Dham
Kedarnath is situated on a holy peak called 'Kedar' in the lap of the Himalayas. Kedarnath Dham, the highest among the twelve Jyotirlingas of the country.
According to beliefs, it is believed that the ancient temple of Kedareshwar Jyotirlinga was built by the Pandavas at an altitude of 11746 feet above sea level. According to the Puranas, Kedar is the back part of Mahisha i.e. buffalo. The height of the temple is 80 feet, which stands on a huge platform. Brown coloured stones have been used in the construction of this temple.
The most surprising thing is that how this grand temple would have been established in ancient times by bringing those huge stones to such an inaccessible place in the absence of mechanical means? This magnificent temple is living proof of the devotion of the Pandavas to Shiva, their strong will and their muscle power. Exquisite workmanship has been done in the temple.
A wooden umbrella is built on the top of the temple with the support of pillars, on which copper is overlaid. The shikhara (kalash) of the temple is also of copper, but it has been polished with gold. In the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, there is a Swayammbhu Jyotirlinga of Kedarnath, which is made of rough stone.
Tungnath temple, famous as the third Kedar, is situated at an altitude of 3680 meters above sea level. Here Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of his arm. This temple, built of black stones under the Chandrashila peak, is the most unique among the beautiful places of the Himalayas. The temple itself contains many stories in itself. Based on the legends, it is believed that when a large number of massacres took place at the hands of the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra plain, Lord Shiva got angry with the Pandavas.
The Pandavas built this temple to celebrate and please Lord Shiva. This temple is believed to be more than 1000 years old. Here one of the 'Panchkedar' forms of Lord Shiva is worshipped. Thousands of pilgrims and tourists come here every year to see this magnificent temple built of granite stones.
This temple is situated in a cave at an altitude of 2286 meters above sea level, in which the face of Lord Shiva is worshipped. A road to Rudranath passes through Damuk village in the Urgam valley. But due to being extremely inaccessible, it takes two days for the devotees to reach here, so they prefer to go here only through Sagar village near Gopeshwar.
Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of Nabhi Lingam in the Madmaheshwar temple situated at a height of 3289 meters at the foothills of Chaukhamba peak. According to the legend, it is because of the natural beauty that Shiva and Parvati celebrated Madhuchandra Ratri here. According to the belief, the water here is so pure that only a few drops of it are considered sufficient for salvation.
It is a beautiful place filled with an abundance of nature. Madhyamaheshwar situated in Garhwal is also known as Madmaheshwar. Surrounded by mountains all around, this place attracts a lot of tourists. This place holds great religious and spiritual significance for the Hindu devotee.
The "Madhyamaheshwar Temple" present here is considered to be one of the famous temples like Kedarnath, Tungnath, Rudranath and Kalpeshwar, due to which many tourists come to visit this temple. Apart from spirituality, this place is also known for tourism, tourists come here to enjoy the amazing natural beauty and adventure activities here.
Here the hair of Lord Shiva is worshipped. It is said that at this place, Rishi Durvasa did severe penance under the Kalpa tree. Since then this place became famous as 'Kalpeshwar' or 'Kalpnath'. Apart from this, according to other legends, the gods, being afflicted by the atrocities of the demons, worshipped Narayan in Kalpasthala and had received the boon of Abhay after seeing Lord Shiva. Devotees walk 10 km to the Kalpeshwar temple situated at a height of 2134 m. After walking the distance, they reach the rock which looks like the hair of Lord Shiva in its sanctum sanctorum. The way to the sanctum is through a natural cave.
Kalpeshwar Temple is situated at a very high altitude. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this place is considered a holy place. Kalpeshwar is one of the important pilgrimage sites of Uttarakhand. It is situated in the middle of the mountain ranges of the Himalayas, encompassing the boundless natural beauty of Uttarakhand. Kalpeshwar is situated as a symbol of the eternal message of Sanatan Hindu culture. According to a legend, a popular sage Arghya used to meditate under the Kalpa tree in the temple. It is also believed that he created Apsara Urvashi at this place. The priests of the Kalpeshwar temple are Namboodiri Brahmins from South India. It is said that they are disciples of Adiguru Shankaracharya.
The Pool and the Holy Water
The main temple is famous as 'Anadinath Kalpeshwar Mahadev'. There is a 'Kalvarkund' near this temple. The water of this pool is always clean and travellers take water from here. By drinking this holy water, one gets freedom from many diseases. Here the sages use this holy water to offer Arghya to Lord Shiva and also do penance as per the earlier vow. Pilgrims offer prayers in this temple situated on the hill. The road to Kalpeshwar passes through a cave. To reach the temple, one has to walk about a kilometre inside the cave, where pilgrims worship the hair of Lord Shiva.
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