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Kedarnath Mandir (Hindi: केदारनाथ मंदिर, Kēdārnāth Maṃdir) is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located atop the Garhwal Himalayan range near the Mandakini river in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand in India. Due to extreme weather conditions, the temple is open only between the end of April to Kartik Purnima (the autumn full moon). During the winters, the murtis (idols) from Kedarnath temple are brought to Ukhimath and worshipped there for six months.
In this region Lord Shiva is worshipped as Kedarnath, the ‘Lord of Kedar Khand’, the historical name of the region. This temple is a Paadal Petra Sthalam (the 275 Holy Abodes of Shiva on the continent), praised by the Tamil Nayanars saints in the 6th-9th century CE.
The temple is not directly accessible by road and has to be reached by a 14 km uphill trek from Gaurikund . The temple is believed to have been built by Adi Sankaracharya and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest Hindu shrines of Shiva. The older temple existed from the times of Mahabharata, when the Pandavas are supposed to have pleased Shiva by doing penance in Kedarnath. The temple is also one of the four major sites in India’s Chota Char Dham pilgrimage of Northern Himalayas.
Temple and significanceStatue of Adi Shankara at his Samādhi Mandir in Kedarnath
The actual temple is an impressive stone edifice of unknown date. During the war between the Kauravas and Pandavas, the kith and kin of the Pandavas were killed; in order to absolve themselves of this sin, the Pandavas undertook a pilgrimage. But Lord Vishweshwara was away in Kailasa in the Himalayas. On learning this, the Pandavas left Kashi. They reached the Himalayas via Hardwar. They saw Lord Shankar from a distance. But Lord Shankara hid from them. Then Dharmaraj said: “Oh, Lord, You have hidden yourself from our sight because we have sinned. But, we will seek You out somehow. Only after we take your Darshan would our sins be washed away. This place, where You have hidden Yourself will be known as Guptkashi and become a famous shrine.”
From Guptakashi (Rudraprayag), the Pandavas went ahead till they reached Gaurikund in the Himalayas valleys. They wandered there in search of Lord Shankara. While doing so Nakul and Sahadev found a he-buffalo. It was unique to look at.
Then! Bheema went after the buffalo with his mace. The buffalo was clever and Bheema could not catch it. But Bheema managed to hit the buffalo with his mace. The buffalo had its face hidden in a crevice-in the earth. Bheema started to pull it by its tail. In this tug-of war, the face of the buffalo went straight to Nepal, leaving its hind part in Kedar. The face of the buffalo is known as Pashupatinath in Nepal.
On this hind part of Mahesha, a glorious JyotirLinga appeared. Lord Shankara appeared from this great light. He appeared before the pandavas. By getting a Darshan of Lord Shankar, the pandavas were absolved of their sins. The Lord told the Pandavas, “From now on, I will remain here as a triangular shaped JyotirLinga. By taking a Darshan of Kedarnath, devotees would attain piety”. Near Kedarnath, there are many symbols of the Pandavas Raja Pandu died here, when he tried to make love to Madri. This place is famous as Pandukeshwar. The tribals here perform a dance called “Pandav Nritya”. The mountain top where the Pandavas went to Swarga, is known as “Swargarohini”. When Darmaraja was leaving for Swarga, one of his fingers fell on the earth. At that place, Dharmaraj installed a Shiva Linga, which is the size of the thumb.
To gain Mashisharupa, Shankara and Bheema fought with maces. Bheema was struck with remorse. He started to massage Lord Shankara’s body with ghee. In memory of this event, even today, this triangular Shiva JyotirLinga is massaged with ghee. Shankara is worshipped here in this manner. Water and Bel leaves are used for worship.
When Nar-nrayan went to Badrika village and started the worship of Parthiva, Shiva appeared before them. A few days later, a pleased Shiva granted them some boons. Nar-narayan wished that for the welfare of the humanity, Shiva should remain there in his original form. Granting their wish, in the snow-clad Himalayas, in a place called Kedar, Mahesha himself stayed there as a Jyoti. Here, He is known as Kedareshwara.
By visiting Kedareshwar, sorrows do not come even in dreams. By worshipping Shambara (Kedareshwar) Pandavas were rid of all their sorrows. Badri-Keshwar’s darshan rids one of the material ties. Whoever gives Dan (alms) at Kedareshwar, just gets assimilated into Shivaroopa.
Srimat Shankaracharya praised Lord Shiva thus:
Oh Lord, who resides in the great heights of Himalayas, oh Lord, thou, who art worshipped forever by saints, Hermits, Demons, Gods, Yakshas and Maha Nag (giant snakes), I bow and offer millions of Pranams. As a matter of fact, as one enters the main temple, the first hall contains statues of the five Pandava brothers, Lord Krishna, Nandi, the vehicle of Shiva and Virabhadra, one of the greatest guards of Shiva. An unusual feature of the temple is the head of a man carved in the triangular stone fascia of the temple. Such a head is seen carved in another temple nearby constructed on the site where the marriage of Shiva and Parvati was held. No specific family of pujaris supervise rituals at Kedarnath, where the focus is on veneration of the stone lingam that rests in the inner sanctum of the temple.
Behind the temple is the samādhi mandir of Adi Sankara.
Tamil saints Nayanars of 1st century like Sundarar and Sambanthar praised the deity in their hymns famous by the name of Tevaram.
(source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kedarnath_Temple)Kedarnath Mandir (Hindi: केदारनाथ मंदिर, Kēdārnāth Maṃdir) is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located atop the Garhwal Himalayan range near the Mandakini river in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand in India. Due to extreme weather conditions, the temple is open only between the end of April to Kartik Purnima (the autumn ...
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The Republic Day of India commemorates the date on which the Constitution of India came into force replacing the Government of India Act 1935 as the governing document of India on 26 January 1950.
The 26th January was chosen to honor the memory of the declaration of independence of 1930. It is one of the three national holidays in India.
Although India obtained its independence on 15 August 1947, it did not yet have a permanent constitution; instead, its laws were based on the modified colonial Government of India Act 1935, and the country was a Dominion, with George VI as head of state and Earl Mountbatten as Governor General. On 28 August 1947, the Drafting Committee was appointed to draft a permanent constitution, with B R Ambedkar as chairman. While India’s Independence Day celebrates its freedom from British Rule, the Republic Day celebrates the coming into force of its constitution.
This was the day when our rights and duties were brought to a concrete form. It holds a lot of value in every Indian’s heart and mind. The patriotic fervor of the people on this day brings the whole country together even in her essential diversity. Every part of the country is represented in occasion, which makes the Republic Day the most popular of all the national holidays of India.
To mark the importance of the occasion, every year a grand parade is held in the capital, New Delhi, from the Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s Palace), along the Rajpath, past India Gate . Prior to its commencement, the Prime Minister lays a floral wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, a solemn reminder of the sacrifice of the martyrs who died for the country in the freedom movement and the succeeding wars for the defence of sovereignty of their country . Thereafter he reaches the main dais at Rajpath to join other dignitaries, subsequently the President arrives along with the chief guest of the occasion. First he unfurls the National flag, as the National Anthem is played, and a 21-gun salute is given. Next, important awards like the Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra are given away by the President, before the regiments of Armed Forces start their march past.
The parade is followed by a pageant of spectacular displays from the different states of the country. These moving exhibits depict scenes of activities of people in those states and the music and songs of that particular state accompany each display. Each display brings out the diversity and richness of the culture of India and the whole show lends a festive air to the occasion. The parade and the ensuing pageantry is telecast by the National Television and is watched by millions of viewers in every corner of the country.
Celebrations are also held in state capitals, where the Governor of the state unfurls the national flag. If the Governor of the state is unwell, or is unavailable for some reason, the Chief Minister of the state assumes the honor of unfurling the National Flag of India.
In this day India became a totally republican unit. The country finally realized the dream of Mahatma Gandhi and the numerous freedom fighters who, fought for and sacrificed their lives for the Independence of their country. So, the 26th of January was decreed a national holiday and has been recognized and celebrated as the Republic Day of India, ever since.
Republic day parade in New Delhi begins from the Raisina Hills near Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s Palace) through Rajpath, past India Gate and concludes in Red Fort. It includes vibrant parades, floats and ends with fly past from the Airforce Jets. The official conclusion of the festivities occur on Jan 29 following the beating the retreat
India became independent from the British Rule on August 15 1947. However, the constitution of India came into effect on January 26 1950, when the President became the head of the country. During 1947-1950 King George the VI was the head of the country. C. Rajagopalachari served as the Governor General during this time. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the first elected president of India.
26 January is celebrated as the Republic Day in India. The highlight of the day is the Republic day parade in New Delhi. It begins from the Raisina Hills near Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s Palace) through Rajpath, past India Gate and concludes in Red Fort. It includes vibrant parades, floats and ends with fly past from the Airforce Jets. The official conclusion of the festivities occur on Jan 29 following the beating the retreat. This beautiful ceremony takes place in New Delhi on Raisina Hills flanked by the North and the South block of the Indian Parliament. It begins in the late afternoon and ends with the flags being brought down. The concluding song the band marches to is “Sare Jahan Se Accha” and ends with a spectacular illumination display of the North and the South Block.