» Kedarnath Jyotirling
 
Kedarnath Jyotirlinghttp://www.bestastroguru.com/articles/1372419061kedarnath.jpg

Kedarnath Jyotirling  is one of the best known Shivasthalams in India and is considered to be one of the most sacred pilgrimage centers of the country, located in the lofty Himalayas. It is revered as one of the 12 Jyotirlingams the Northern most one, Haridwar District, Himalayas, Uttarakhand. One of the holiest pilgrimages for the Hindus, Kedarnath Temple Jyotirlinga is located in the picturesque surroundings of Rudra Himalaya Range at a height of 12000 feet on a mountain named Kedar. Near Kedarnath is the source of the river Mandakini that joins Alakananda at Rudraprayag. This place is approximately 150 miles away from Haridwar and 132 miles north of Hrishikesh and is accessible by foot.  According to Hindu mythology, during the Mahabharatha war, the Pandavas killed their relatives; 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 Shankara 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. Guptakashi 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 which 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 Doleshwar Mahadev located in Sipatol, Bhaktapur, Nepal.