India is a land of Gods and Lord Shiva is the most revered Gods by Hindus all across the world. Jyotirlinga means ‘The Radiant Sign of The Almighty Shiva’, a devotional object representing the supreme god Shiva. Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva are considered very pious and are highly revered amongst the Hindu community.
The twelve Jyotirlingas also called the ‘Dwadash Jyotirlingas’ are considered to be the holiest of all shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. The twelve jyothirlingas are Somnath in Gujarat, Mallikarjuna at Srisailam in Andra Pradesh,Mahakaleswar at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh,Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh, Kedarnath in Himalayas, Bhimashankar in Maharashtra,Viswanath at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh,Triambakeshwar in Maharashtra, Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga at Deogarh in Jharkhand, Nageswar at Dwarka in Gujarat, Rameshwar at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu and Ghushmeshwar at Shiwar in Sawai Madhopur district Rajasthan, 12th joytrilinga is Grishneshwar at ellora in aurangabad district Maharashtra.
Situated in the Himalayan Range in Uttarakhand, the ‘Kedarnath Temple’ is the highest amongst the twelve Jyotirlingas. Nestled in the snow-clad Himalayas, this ancient shrine is rich in legend and tradition, and is accessible only for six months a year.The Temple is one of the four major sites in India’s known as Chota Char Dham. Shri Kedarnath temple is open only between the end of April to Kartik Purnima. During the winters, the murtis that is idols from Kedarnath temple are brought to Ukhimath and worshiped there for six months.
The Kedarnath jyotirlinga temple is situated at the head end of the River Mandakini in the Garhwal Himalayas. The lingam at Kedarnath is pyramidal. It is a scenic spot set against a backdrop of the Kedarnath range of mountains. The temple is more than 1000 years old. The Kedarnath temple faces south, which is an unique feature, as most temples face east..The entrance of the temple has a Conical lingam- the main idol, a statue of Nandi – the celestial bull of Shiva, a ‘Garbha Griha’ for worship and a mandap for assemblies of pilgrims and visitors. A conical rock formation inside the temple is worshipped as lord Shiva in his sadashiva form. Inside the temple, there is an irregular three-faced linga, representing the hump of Lord Siva when he took the form of a bull. It is about 9 ft long, 3 feet wide, and 4 feet high. It is believed that the temple was constructed when Pandavas could successfully satisfy Shiva by doing penance in Kedarnath. One can reach Kedarnath either by railroad or air. Festivals like Vinayak Chathurthi an,d Deepawali are celebrated here during September and October.Special Samadhi Pooja is held on the closing day of Kedarnath temple. One should visit Kedarnath between months of may and october.Kedarnath temple is a major tourist attraction. Places to visit in Kedarnath are Kedarnath Temple, Vasuki Tal,Bhairav Nath Temple,etc.