Kedarnath Temple: Rituals, Timings, and Puja Rates

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Kedarnath Temple Rituals

Kedarnath Temple, nestled amidst the majestic Himalayas, stands as a symbol of divine transcendence and spiritual awakening. This sacred abode of Lord Shiva, situated in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, not only draws devotees from far and wide but also captivates them with its rich rituals, meticulously observed timings, and the spiritual resonance that permeates its sacred precincts.

  • Entry Fee: No entry fee for general darshan.

Kedarnath Temple Rituals

The Sacred Pujas of Kedarnath

At the heart of Kedarnath’s spiritual aura is the head priest, known as Rawal, who hails from the Veerashaiva community in Karnataka. The Rawal, a revered figure, directs and guides the myriad rituals and pujas performed by the dedicated Pujaris under his command. Devotees, seeking a deeper connection with the divine, can partake in special pujas at the temple, with some even available for online participation. The spectrum of these pujas ranges from those demanding the physical presence of devotees to others that can be seamlessly booked online, transcending the barriers of distance.

Beyond its primary association with Lord Shiva, Kedarnath is enveloped in a spiritual legacy, believed to be the sacred site of Shankaracharya’s samadhi – a state of beatified afterlife, elevating the sanctity of this hallowed ground.

Aarti Timings

  • 4:00 AM to 9:00 PM

The rhythmic pulsation of daily pooja rituals at Kedarnath Temple unfolds like a divine symphony, commencing at the break of dawn and echoing until the dusk of twilight. At around 4:00 am, the Maha Abhishek marks the initiation of the day’s spiritual proceedings, culminating around 7:00 pm with the Shyan aarti. The temple, a haven for seekers of spiritual solace, opens its doors for public darshan at 6 am. A brief interlude takes place between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm, offering a moment for introspection and reflection. The window for public darshan concludes at 7:00 pm, leaving a lingering sense of divine connection for those fortunate enough to have been present.

Temple Opening and Closing Timings

The sacred dance of temple opening and closing timings is orchestrated by Rawal and the esteemed committee members. The temple observes a closure from 3 pm to 5 pm, urging devotees to plan their visits accordingly. Before 3 pm, devotees can reverently touch the idol and engage in Abhishek with ghee, fostering a personal connection with the divine. Post 5 pm, physical contact with the idol is restricted, yet the sacred darshan continues, with the deity adorned in an emperor’s costume, enhancing the mystical ambiance.

The Kedarnath Temple, enshrining the powerful Jyotirlingam of Shiva, opens its gates for six months annually – a period coinciding with the sun’s entry into the zodiac sign of Aries. The celestial dance concludes as the temple closes its doors when the sun enters Scorpio, marking the cyclical rhythm of divine presence.

Rituals

Several rituals are performed at the Kedarnath Temple, and here are some of them:

Rudrabhishek: This is a sacred ritual where the idol of Lord Kedarnath is bathed with water, milk, yogurt, honey, and ghee. It is believed to invoke the blessings of Lord Shiva and seek his divine protection.

Aarti: Daily Aarti is performed at the temple in the morning and evening. The Aarti involves waving lamps in front of the deity accompanied by devotional songs and prayers. It is a beautiful and spiritually uplifting ceremony.

Bhog Aarti: Special food offerings, known as Bhog, are presented to the deity as a part of the rituals. Devotees believe that offering food to the deity symbolizes devotion and gratitude.

Abhishek: Abhishek is a ritualistic bathing of the Shiva Lingam with holy water from the Ganges. This is done with great devotion and is believed to purify the soul of the devotee.

Rudra Homa: Fire rituals, known as homa or yagna, are performed to invoke the blessings of Lord Shiva. The chanting of Vedic mantras accompanies these rituals, creating a sacred and spiritual atmosphere.

Panchamrit Puja: The deity is bathed with a mixture of five holy liquids, known as Panchamrit, which includes milk, curd, honey, ghee, and sugar. This ritual is performed to please the deity and seek his divine blessings.

Maha Aarti: Special Aarti ceremonies are organized on important occasions and festivals. The Maha Aarti involves elaborate rituals and is attended by a large number of devotees.

Utsav (Festivals): During festivals like Maha Shivaratri, Rudraabhishek, and Diwali, special rituals and ceremonies are organized, attracting a significant number of pilgrims and devotees.

Management of Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath’s journey through time has witnessed administrative transformations. Initially governed under the Uttar Pradesh Act No. 30/1948, it found a place within the Badrinath Temple Act No. 16, 1939. Subsequent amendments in 2002, following the formation of Uttarakhand, ushered in the Uttarakahand Char Dham Devasthanam Board on January 15, 2020. This board, a custodian of spiritual heritage, oversees not only Kedarnath but also Badrinath and all affiliated temples.

Kedarnath Puja Rates

For the devout seeking to engage in sacred rituals, Kedarnath Temple presents a tapestry of pujas and their corresponding rates, measured in the precious currency of devotion.

Morning Puja (4 AM to 7 AM):

  • Maha Abhishek (1 Person): INR 1700
  • Rudra Abhishek Puja (1 Person): INR 1300
  • Laghu Rudra Abhishek Puja (1 Person): INR 1100
  • Sodasopachar (1 Person): INR 1000
  • Entire Pujas of a day: INR 5200
  • Morning Puja: INR 170
  • Balbhog: INR 900

Evening Puja & Path (6 PM to 7:30 PM):

  • Shiv Sahasranamam Paath (1 Person): INR 360
  • Shiv Mahimastrotra Paath (1 Person): INR 360
  • Shiv Thandavastrotra Paath (1 Person): INR 340
  • Sampurna Aarti (1 Person): INR 1500

Daily Bhog & Other Services

  • Dainik Yagya Havan: INR 1800
  • Akhand Jyothi Daily: INR 3500

Long Term (for 10 years) Puja & Bhog of Shri Kedarnathji:

  • Shri Bhagwan Mahabhog: INR 12600
  • Shri Bhagwan Maha Abhishek Puja: INR 21000
  • Shri Bhagwan Abhishek Puja: INR 11000
  • Shiv Sahasranam Stotra: INR 1700

Puja on Special Occasions:

  • Shrawani Purnima Annakut: INR 7550
  • Akhand Jyoti Yearly: INR 26000

Other Offerings:

  • Donation for Renovation Work: INR 1001.00 or above

Note: During May & June, Mahabhishek, Rudrabhishek & Laghu Rudrabhishek pujas are not performed at the Kedarnath temple.

In the embrace of the Himalayan peaks, Kedarnath Temple not only stands as a beacon of spirituality but also beckons the faithful to immerse themselves in the sacred rhythms of ancient rituals, ensuring that each devotee leaves with a heart touched by the divine.

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