We had booked our helicopter ride from Gupt Kashi to Kedarnath temple.
We had to wait in Gupt Kashi Helipad for at least 2 hours, it was as per the booking and the time taken by the helicopters to drop and come back.
We spent our time having a nice breakfast at a nearby restaurant.
Finally, our time had come and we boarded the helicopter.
It was my first Helicopter ride!!! It was breath-taking!!!
It was a 15-minute Helicopter ride. When we reached Kedarnath, everything around me was beautiful and also cold.
The snow-capped mountains, fluffy clouds and the serene Kedarnath temple. Once, you reach Kedarnath temple, you feel as if you are on a different plane.
Facts and Stories of Kedarnath Temple
One of the earliest references to Kedarnath is in the Skanda Purana, which narrates the story of the origin of the Ganges river.
Kedarnath is mentioned as the place where Lord Shiva released the holy Ganga water from his matted hair.
Kedarnath Temple is the ‘temple of the God of the field’ devoted to Lord Shiva.
In the Garhwal Himalayan range, near the Mandakini river in Uttarakhand, is the beautiful Kedarnath temple.
Kedarnath temple is open to the general public only between April (Akshaya Tritiya) and November (Kartik Purnima, the full autumn moon). This is due to the extreme weather conditions in Uttarakhand.
During the other 6 months of extreme winters, the vigraha (Lord Shiva) of the temple is carried down to Ukhimath to be worshipped.
Kedarnath means the ‘Lord of Kedarkhand’. It got its name from the region’s historical name, Kedarkhand.
Around 8th century, there lived a renowned Vedic scholar, saint and Hindu philosopher, Adi Shankara.
Adi Shankara is the founder of Kedarnath Temple, Badrinath Temple, Gangotri Temple and Yamunotri Temple, which are the 4 pilgrimages of Uttarakhand, called the Char Dham Yatra.
When Adi Shankara was 32 of age, he attained enlightenment or nirvana, near the Kedarnath temple. It is believed that he immersed himself and became part of with the pious land of Kedarnath.
When he was in Kedarnath, he built a hot water spring to protect his followers from the extreme weather conditions of the Himalayas.
Unfortunately, the statue of Sri Adi Shankara had washed away in 2013’s drastic floods in Uttarakhand, hence it was rebuilt.
The new statue is a beautiful pilgrimage spot right behind the Kedarnath temple.
There were landslides and mudslides in and around Kedarnath. Waters were gushing from Chorabari Tal down the Mandakini River washing everything away.
The beautiful Kedarnath temple was in danger. But a miracle rock, now known as the Bhim Shila, protected the Kedarnath Temple. This miraculous rock had come down along with the flood waters and stood a few meters behind the Kedarnath Temple.
The floods had huge amounts of rocks, silt and boulders. But none of it could harm the Kedarnath temple because of the Bhim Shila. It diverted the flow of water to the sides.
This miraculous Bhim Shila rock has now become a part of the Kedarnath temple’s sacredness and is known as the divine rock of Bhima of Mahabharata.
The Bhim Shila is thirty feet away, right behind the main Kedarnath temple. It is 20 feet wide and 12 feet tall huge rock. It has become a spot of worship.
Evening aarti at Kedarnath Temple
After seeing these spiritual spots of the Kedarnath temple, it was almost evening time.
We were blessed to attend the beautiful Kedarnath temple aarti. With a lot of diyas lit to worship the holy divine.
It was a bit dark, the fluffy clouds seemed as if they have collected near the temple, the calmness and serene beauty of the Himalayas and the lights of the temple had lit and the beautiful diyas made the temple look like the heavens.
And the evening aarti began !!!
Back to Gupt Kashi
After the evening aarti at Kedarnath temple, we stayed at one of the ashrams nearby.
It was extremely cold at night. It felt as if my foot is frozen.
We were also very tired and covered our whole body with huge thick blankets provided by the ashram.
The next morning, we had the 15-minute Helicopter ride back to Gupt Kashi.
It was a sunny morning in Kedarnath. But the climates switched quickly.
There was fog and fluffy clouds all around the Helipad. All the helicopter rides were stopped for an hour, as it was too foggy.
After an hour when the rides started, we waited for almost 2 hours for our turn.
In the Kedarnath Helipad area, you only get tea, coffee, biscuits and maggi. We had hot tea and maggi to pass time and to beat the cold.
It was our turn to board the Helicopter. And we reached Gupt Kashi in the afternoon.
The Kedarnath temple is an experience which cannot be explained through words.
At Kedarnath, you will be reassured
that you are a part of this beautiful nature.
!!! Om Namah Shivay!!!