The Panch Kedars


The Panch Kedars

30 June / 4:56 PM

According to the legend, after the battle of Kurukshetra, the Pandavas went to sought the blessings of Lord Shiva to atone their sins. But Lord Shiva, who din't want to meet them finally eluded. When the Pandavas came to know where Lord Shiva is, the Lord took the form of a bull to hide himself.

The Pandavas were not ready to accept it. One of the Pandava, Bhima tried his best to pick up the bull (Lord Shiva) but failed and the bull sacattered into pieces. The pieces sank into the earth but however Bhima managed to retain the hump of the bull (Lord Shiva)

Impressed by the determination of Pandavas, Lord 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 worshipped as the idol in the shrine.

The other parts of bull's (Lord Shiva's) body went as Arms (Bahu) at Tungnath, Face (mukh) at Rudranath, Navel (nabhi) at Madmaheshwar and Hair (jata) at Kalpeshwar.

These four shrines along with Kedarnath are worshipped as Panch Kedar. They are as follows:



Panch Kedars

Kedarnath

Kedarnath is situated in the Rudra Himalaya range in Rudraprayag District of the northern state of Uttarakhand at an elevation of 3581 mts above the sea level. In Kedarnath lord Shiva is worshipped as one of the twelve Jyotirling (linga of light).

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Tungnath

Tungnath, the 2nd Panch Kedar is set on the crest of a hill. It is the highest shrine on the inner Himalayan range. 3 kms. uphill from Chopta, Tungnath is reached through a path that wends through alpine meadows and rhododendron thickets.

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Rudranath

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 Mukh or face of Lord Shiva is worshipped as Neelkantha Mahadeva.

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Madmaheshwar

Madmaheshwar, the 4th Pancha Kedar. It is located at the base of Chaukhamba peak at an altitude of 3289 mts. above the sea level , 30 kms northeast of Guptakashi.

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Kalpeshwar

Kalpeshwar, the 5th Pancha Kedar is a small rock temple and a favorite location of meditating sages. This shrine is located in Urgam Valley at an altitude of 2,134 m. above sea level. Here the locks (hair) and head, of Lord Shiva are worshipped as Jatadhar.

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