In the cold bleak regions of the Garhwal Himalayas lies one of India's holiest spots. The Jyotir Linga of Kedarnath rings a bell in anyone's mind towards the deep secrets of Indian spiritualism.
Kedarnath, is a magical name, a name that denotes spiritualism of a higher kind, that beckons one to make that journey against all odds to meet the Lord, in his holy abode in the Himalayas.
Its a world apart, where the Lord lives, within snow capped ranges and chilling weather. And in the backdrop of white snow and blue sky is a flash of color, an imposing facade decked in marigold. The dynamic facade of Kedarnath is an eyeful to anyone. One can experience the chill in the air, the fresh unpolluted breeze in the space around, the reverberating sound of the bells that hang down at the entrance constantly ringing and more than anything else a simple small temple housing a potent form of the Lord.
Brilliant colors light up the facade, with curtains of flowers raining down the entrance, almost waking us up to something quite similar to a Buddhist monastery lost in the mountains. Kedarnath lies at the head of the Mandakini River in the Chamoli district, dotted with a possible Ganesha in orange at its entrance. Bells ring through out the day reliving the very essence of sound - OM, that spreads over to the mountains beyond.
They say that Kedarnath is one of five shrines called the Pancha Kedar. After the Mahabharata war the five pandavas wanted to seek the help of Lord Shiva, for their redemption from the sin of killing their kith and kin and their guru. Lord Shiva avoided them repeatedly and took refuge in Kedarnath in the form of a bull. The second pandava, Bhima, tried to pick Him up, but the bull dived into the ground leaving behind His hump on the surface. Lord Shiva was pleased with their persistence and requested the Pandavas to worship His hump at Kedarnath. This hump is worshipped at Kedarnath in the form of a conical Shiva pinda form. The other parts of Shiva's body, his arms, face, navel and hair locks appeared at Tungnath, Rudranath, Madmaheshwar and Kalpeshwar. These four shrines along with Kedarnath are worshipped as "Panch Kedar".
When one stands in the middle of these towering mountains the mind just fills with peace and tranquility, with the very Lord Himself who descends down to earth to save us from our misery. Kedarnath, is one such abode, where the Lord resides forever.
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