Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Panch Kedar.

As the legend has it, after the Mahabharta, the Pandavas went to seek blessings of Lord Shiva to atone for their sins. But Shiva, who didn't want to meet them, took the form of a bull to hide. The Pandavas were not ready to accept it. Bhima tried his best to pick up the bull but failed, and the bull scattered into pieces. 

Impressed by Pandavas' determination, Shiva finally blessed them and freed them from their sins. The lord then asked them to worship his hump at Kedarnath. This conical protrusion is worshiped as the idol in the shrine. This ancient and magnificent temple is located in the Rudra Himalaya range in the Garhwal region of Uttaranchal. In Kedarnath lord Shiva is worshiped as one of the twelve jyotirlingas (linga of light).

Tungnath, the 2nd Panch Kedar is set on the crest of a hill. It is the highest shrine on the inner Himalayan range. About 3 km uphill from Chopta, Tungath is reached through a path winding through meadows and rhododendron thickets. Tungnath is built of stone. There are two smaller temples dedicated to Parvati and Vyas in a small courtyard.
Rudranath the 3rd Pancha Kedar is situated amid thick forest at a height of 2286 m. This shrine is 23 kms from Gopeshwer. In this natural rock temple the face of Lord Shiva is worshipped as Neelkantha Mahadeva. This is the only temple in India where the image of Shiva is worshiped as a symbol of his face, a sublime, tender aspect of Shiva. The holy Kunds (Tanks) near Rudranath temple are Surya kund, Chandra kund, Tara kund, Manas Kund. 

Madhyamaheshwar, the 4th Pancha Kedar, is located at the base of Chaukhamba peak, 3289 m above the sea level, and 30 km northeast of Guptakashi. Shiva is worshiped at Madhyamaheshwar in the form of navel - shaped lingum. From here Kedarnath and Neelkanth peaks, associated with the life and times of shiva, are visible.  

Kalpeshwar, the 5th Pancha Kedar, is a small rock temple and located in Urgam Valley at an altitude of 2,134 m. Here the locks (hair) and head of Lord Shiva are worshiped as JATADHAR. 

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