Pristine Glory of Kedarnath

by Ashok Dilwali

Nestled in the midst of mighty Himalayas is Garhwal, the abode of gods and eternal snows. Land of sages, sacred rivers, alpine lakes and countless springs. Geographically, it has wide variety of land features to offer, each bewitching in its own right.

Garhwal was also known as Kedarkhand, for it was here that Lord Shiva has been worshipped since times immemorial. Five main temples of Lord Shiva in this region are collectively called the Panch Kedar.

At the approach of winters in the month of November, the holy statue of Lord Shiva is carried down to Ukhimath and is reinstated at Kedarnath in the first week of May. It is at this time that the doors of the temple are thrown open to the pilgrims who come from all parts of India for a holy pilgrimage.

Although the pristine beauty of this shrine attracts pilgrims all through the year, but its outstanding features are best seen immediately when it reopens in the first week of May. This year the snowfall was unusually heavy and continued right up to April, with the result that the temple and its surrounding places were literally buried in snow.

Immediately behind the temple is the Keadardome peak which due to its great height can be seen from long distances. The sight of the temple and the peak with its perpetual snows beckons one and all.

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