The doors of one of the most celebrated and visited shrines in North India, the Kedarnath Temple, will reopen for devotees on May 17, 2021. The news was shared by the spokesperson of the Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board on Thursday.
Before the opening of the Kedarnath temple, the idol of Lord Shiva will be moved out of its winter abode at Ukhimath’s Omkareshwar temple on May 14. The famous temple will reopen for devotees at 5 am on May 17.
It is over 1.5 years after which devotees will be able to visit Kedarnath as the entry to Uttarakhand was barred in 2020 owing to coronavirus. The temple, last year, was closed on November 16. Meanwhile, the Badrinath Temple, which was closed on November 19, will reopen to devotees on May 18, 2021.
The other two temples, Gangotri and Yamunotri, that together make the Chaar Dhaams of Uttarakhand will reopen on May 14. The portals of the four famous Himalayan shrines — Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri — are opened every year between April and May and shut with the incoming winter.
Kedarnath, for the unaware, is also one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. The temple sits at a height of 12,000 feet. Its existence, as per Shiv Purana, is associated with Mahabharat. As per the Purana, the Pandav brothers came to Kedarnath to seek forgiveness from Shiva for killing their kin during the war. But Shiva didn’t want to forgive them. So he tried to hide in the ground head-first.
However, Bhima by then got hold of his tail. But Lord Shiva somehow managed to rescue the rest of his body. The other portions of Shiva, after a while, appeared at four different places with all these places now collectively called five Kedaras (Panch Kedar).