Kedarnath is a sacred town in the Rudraprayag district of the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is situated in the Himalayas at an elevation of approximately 3,583 meters (11,755 feet) above sea level. Kedarnath is renowned for its ancient Kedarnath Temple, one of India’s twelve Jyotirlingas (shrines of Lord Shiva).
Kedarnath Temple is an important pilgrimage site for Hindus and attracts thousands of devotees inspired each year. It is believed to have been built by the Pandavas, characters from the Indian epic Mahabharata, and later reconstructed by Adi Shankaracharya, a revered Hindu philosopher, in the 8th century. The temple is located near the source of the Mandakini River, which adds to its picturesque setting.
The journey to Kedarnath involves trekking through scenic landscapes, and it is often considered a challenging pilgrimage due to its high altitude and rugged terrain.
Apart from its religious significance, Kedarnath offers breathtaking natural beauty. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks and lush green valleys, it is an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. The nearby areas provide opportunities for activities like trekking, hiking, and exploring the serene Himalayan landscapes.
In 2013, Kedarnath faced a devastating natural disaster when heavy rainfall caused flash floods and landslides in the region. The calamity resulted in significant damage to infrastructure and loss of lives. However, subsequent efforts have been made to rebuild and restore the town, allowing pilgrims to once again visit this sacred place.
Remember, there was a time when the Char Dham Yatra used to be an uphill task? People would have to undertake long and arduous journeys, and this is what made the pilgrimage amazing. Fast forward to 2022 and we realize that the Char Dham Yatra including the journey to the Kedarnath shrine has become one of the many ‘trips’ on an average tourist’s bucket list. However, let’s not forget that Kedarnath is not a picnic spot but a pilgrimage site.
Some cases of cruelty to animals were reported during the Kedarnath Dham Yatra
The pilgrimage to Kedarnath Dham is known for its challenge, requiring travelers to first reach Gaurikund by vehicle and then continue their journey on foot, by dandi-Kandi, or by horse/mules to cover a steep 16-kilometer uphill climb.
However, amidst the ardor for the Kedarnath Yatra, a painful incident came to highlight when a video went viral on social media, revealing the shocking misuse of animals involved in the pilgrimage.
The video portrays a donkey being forced to smoke, sparking outrage among viewers. Two videos are viral, both showing the owners of horse mules subjecting innocent animals to inhale cigarette smoke through their noses.
The police quickly responded to the disturbing footage and initiated an investigation. After careful inspection, they identified one of the videos as originating from Tharu Camp in Choti Lancholi, a stopping place for the Kedarnath Yatra in the Rudraprayag district.
The Rudraprayag police had recorded around 14 cases related to the abuse of horses during this year’s pilgrimage time.
YouTuber Proposes To Her Partner In Front Of Kedarnath Temple, viral video
One YouTuber has gone viral on social media platforms after sharing a video of her proposing to her boyfriend outside the Kedarnath temple. in a yellow saree, the YouTuber can be seen going down on one knee while holding a ring for her boyfriend. However, the video viral on social media.
The video shot in front of the Kedarnath temple shows the man praying and moments later the woman gets on her knees and proposes to him with a ring. Stunned by her action, the man says ‘Yes’ and the couple shares a tight hug.
The video has divided the internet. While some users didn’t find anything wrong in the gesture, a large section of the internet found it disrespectful.
A user wrote, “One of the reasons why Smartphones should be Banned from All Leading Temples & Shrines. Just a Basic Phone within 20 KMs from the Main Temple, Eliminates Unnecessary Crowds. PS – I’m writing this from Kedarnath.”
Another user wrote, “I do not find anything wrong in this video. Rather it’s beautiful. Marriages do take place in temples across India. Absolutely fine if a couple takes marriage vows in the witness of Lord Shri Kedar himself. The couple in the video seems to be appropriately dressed as should be in temple premises. It is beautiful these days to see youth’s trust in the Hindu Devi Devtas.”