There are various versions of the origin of the Kedarnath temple. Some say it was built by Hindu seer Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th Century. Other versions claim it was built by Raja Bhoj of Malwa in the 2nd Century. But what inspired them? Again, there are multiple stories.
One of them leads on from the Mahabharat. Legend has it that following the Kurukshetra carnage, the Pandavas sought to meet Shiva to seek his forgiveness for the sins of the war. Shiva, unhappy with them, refused a meeting and left Kashi, his abode. He appeared as Nandi the bull in Guptakashi. But the Pandavas found out and tried to catch hold of Nandi. Shiva escaped and this time, reappeared in five different parts in different places—the face at Rudranath, arms at Tungnath, navel, and stomach at Madhyamaheshwar, the locks at Kalpeshwar and the hump at Kedarnath.
The second tale is Nara-Narayan, a Hindu deity, who went to worship Parvati, and Shiva appeared. Nara-Narayan asked him to stay there in his original form for the welfare of humanity. Lord Shiva granted his wish and Kedarnath became his home.
Under snow for 400 years!
Geologists claim that the temple of Kedarnath was under snow for nearly 400 years, sometime around 1300-1900 AD, a period known as the Little Ice Age. Scientists from the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun, say the several yellow lines on the temple walls point to glacial activity in the region. The temple not only survived being under the snow for 400 years but also escaped any serious damage from glacial movement, as per this report.
Scientists say that even the inside of the temple shows signs of glacial movement and the stones are more polished. The report further adds that scientists studied architecture and concluded that those who designed the temple not only kept in mind the terrain but also the formation of snow and glaciers, and ensured that the structure was strong enough not only to withstand natural disasters and the passage of time.
Badrinath is a sacred town located in the Chamoli district of the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is situated in the Garhwal Himalayas, nestled between the Nar and Narayana mountain ranges. Badrinath is famous for its Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Badrinath, which is one of the Char Dham pilgrimage sites in Hinduism, along with Gangotri, Yamunotri, and Kedarnath.
The Badrinath temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is considered one of the holiest temples in Hinduism. It is believed to have been established by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century. The temple architecture is distinctively North Indian and attracts thousands of devotees and tourists each year, especially during the pilgrimage season, which typically runs from May to November.
The town of Badrinath also offers stunning natural beauty, surrounded by snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and pristine rivers. It serves as a base for several trekking routes and pilgrimage trails in the region, making it a significant destination for both religious and adventure tourism.