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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Helicopter Yatra To Shri Kedarnath Dham & Shri Hemkund Sahib

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History and Facts

Shri Kedarnath Dham

One of the first references of Shri Kedarnath Dham is in the Skanda Purana that was written around the 7th and 8th century AD. The present structure is believed to have been constructed by Adi Shankaracharya about 1,200 years ago. It stands next to the site of a temple that is said to have been built by the Pandavas. It has been renovated many times over the centuries. The temple is built with huge stone slabs over a rectangular platform. There are inscriptions in Pali on the steps. There are figures of various deities and scenes from Hindu mythology on the inner walls. A large statue of the Nandi Bull, Shiva’s mount, stands as guard at the entrance. The Jyotirlinga is in the shape of a conical rock formation inside the temple – Lord Shiva in his Sadashiva form. Since Shri Kedarnath Dham is located at such an altitude, winters are severe, making the temple inaccessible. So, it is open to the Pilgrims only between April (Akshaya Tritiya) and November (Kartik Purnima – the autumn full moon) every year. During the winters, the Murtis(idols) from Shri Kedarnath Dham temple are brought to Ukhimath and worshiped there for six months. One of the most significant calamities occurred at Shri Kedarnath Dham in 2013 when it was affected by flash floods, which was one of the worst disasters that occurred in 100 years of its existence. Bhim Shila stands for “God’s rock”, which saved the holy temple of Shri Kedarnath Dham from being washed away by the turbulent flood water.

Shri Hemkund Sahib

The history of Shri Hemkund Sahib is intertwined with the life and teachings of Guru Gobind Singh, who is believed to have meditated at this site in a previous life. Although the shrine is a relatively recent addition, its significance is rooted in ancient scriptures and oral traditions. Hemkund Sahib was rediscovered in the early 20th century by Bhai Vir Singh, a Sikh scholar, who identified the location based on the descriptions in the Guru’s autobiographical work, “Bachitra Natak.” The Gurudwara was constructed in the 1960s, and since then, it has become a major pilgrimage destination. The journey to Hemkund Sahib is considered challenging due to its high altitude and rugged terrain, symbolizing the devotees’ perseverance and faith.


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