All of us might have heard a word “Panch Kedar” but only a few people are aware of the Story of Panch Kedar temples of Lord Shiva. There is an interesting incident that happened during the time of Mahabharata, a Hindu epic.
Story of Panch Kedar
In the battle of Kurukshetra, Pandavas killed their cousins. They were guilty of the sins of killing Brahmins during the war. So, Pandavas went to Varanasi in search of Lord Shiva for taking blessings. Lord Shiva was not happy with the killing of Brahmins. So, Lord Shiva took the form of Nandi(bull) to avoid Pandavas and went to the Garhwal region of Himalayas. Pandavas reached Garhwal regions and they saw a bull grazing near Guptakashi. They recognize the bull and tried to catch the bull by its tail and legs. Bull disappeared into the ground and reappeared into five parts at different locations as:
Hump at Kedarnath
The old trek route to Kedarnath was destroyed during the flood in the year 2013. Hence, a new trek route is built via Linchauli. Trek Route Map To Kedarnath From Gaurikund
Gaurikund -Rambara Bridge -Linchauli -Kedarnath
Arms at Tungnath
Tungnath is an easy trek of 3.5 kilometers from Chopta, Uttarakhand. There is a highest Shiva temple at Tungnath from which famous Himalayan rangers like Nandadevi peak, Neelkanth, Panchchuli peaks are easily visible. There is an another trek of 1.5 km above Tungnath which leads to Chandrashila. It is said that Lord Rama meditated at Chandrashila after defeating the king of Lanka, Ravana.
Stomach at Madhmaheshwar
Manhmaheshwar Temple can be reached through a trek of 16 kilometers from Ransi Village of Uttarakhand. There is a daily evening aarti being performed at the temple.
Face at Rudranath
It is the most difficult yet rewarding trek of Panch Kedar. The way and beauty of Himalayas are breathtaking during the trek. Trek route is given below as:
Sagar Village – Liti Bugyal- Panar Bugyal- Pitradhar- Rudranath
Hair and Head at Kalpeshwar
This trek is the only trek that remains open throughout the year. It is the easiest trek among all Panch Kedar and trek starts from Urgam Village of Uttarakhand.
Pandavas made temples at these locations. They worshiped Lord Shiva and hence were freed from their sins of killing Brahmins.
The best season to visit Panch Kedar is from May to October. During winters, these temples are covered with heavy snowfall. During monsoon, there are chances of landslides on the way to these shrines of Lord Shiva.
Many pilgrimages from all around the world visit this holy places of Lord Shiva. It is strongly believed that people atone for their sins after visiting Panch Kedar.