Giriraj is situated on the top of the Himalayas called Kedar, the highest Kedareswara Jyotirlinga among the twelve Jyotirlingas of the country. Kedarnath Dham and temple are surrounded by mountains on three sides. On one side there is about 22 thousand feet high Kedarnath, on the other side there is 21 thousand 600 feet high Khetkund and on the third side is 22 thousand 700 feet high Bharatkund.
Not only three mountains but also a confluence of five rivers is here – Mandakini, Madhuganga, Kshirganga, Saraswati and Swarnagouri. Some of these rivers no longer exist, but Mandakini, a tributary of Alaknanda, is still present today. Kedareshwar Dham is on its banks. There is heavy snow in winter and tremendous water in rain.
It is the largest Shiva temple in Uttarakhand, built by connecting huge rock cut stones. These rocks are brown in color. The temple is built on a platform about 6 feet high. Its sanctum sanctorum is relatively ancient, believed to be around the 80th century.
In the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, Ardha has four strong stone pillars at the four corners, through which the pradakshina passes through. Ardha, which is square, is polished from the inside and is relatively new. The sabhamandapa is huge and magnificent. Its roof rests on four huge stone pillars. The huge roof is made of a single stone. There are eight male proof sculptures in the obsolescence, which are extremely artistic.
Kedarnath Temple is 85 feet high, 187 feet long and 80 feet wide. Its walls are 12 feet thick and made of extremely strong stones. The temple stands on a 6-foot-high platform. It is a wonder how the temple would have been carved by bringing such heavy stones at such a height. Especially how this giant roof was placed on the pillars. Interlocking techniques have been used to connect stones to each other. It is this strength and technology that has managed to keep the temple standing in the middle of the river.
Construction history of the temple
: According to the Puranic story, on the Kedar Shringa of the Himalayas, the great sage Mahatapasvi Nara and Narayana Rishi used to do penance. Pleased with his worship, Lord Shankar appeared and according to his request provided the bride to live forever as a Jyotirlinga. This place is located on the Kedarnath mountain Raja called Kedar in the Himalayas.
This temple was first built by the Pandavas behind the existing temple, but due to the beating of time, this temple disappeared. Later in the 8th century, Adishankaracharya built a new temple, which was buried in snow for 400 years.
According to Rahul Sankrityayan, this temple dates back to 12-13th century. Historian Dr. Shiva Prasad Dabral believes that Shaivites have been visiting Kedarnath before Adi Shankaracharya, even then this temple was present. It is believed that pilgrimage to Kedarnath has been going on for a thousand years. It is said that the ancient temple of Kedareshwar Jyotirlinga was built by the Pandavas. Later, it was renovated by Janmejaya, grandson of Abhimanyu.
Time to open the doors of the temple
: The temple gates are closed during the winter season on the second day (Padwa) of Deepavali Mahaparva. The lamp keeps on burning for 6 months. The priests close the honors boards and take the Deity of God and the punishment to Ukhimath under the mountain for 6 months. After 6 months, the doors of Kedarnath open in May, then the journey to http://Uttarakhand begins.
No one stays in and around the temple for 6 months, but for the 6 months of wonder, the lamp also keeps on burning and there is constant worship. After the opening of the valve, it is also a matter of surprise that the same cleanliness is found as they left.