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Kedarnath Temple

Situated on the banks of the Mandakini River, Kedarnath is one of the four main Hindu pilgrim centres in Uttarakhand (Himalayan Uttara Pradesh). Though mainly famous as a religious centre, this place, surrounded by mountain ranges, also attracts tourists because of its beautiful landscape.

Main Attractioins

The most famous monument of Kedarnath is the Kedarnath Temple. It is dedicated to Shiva(Destroyer in the Hindu Holy Trinity of Creator-Preserver-Destroyer) who is worshipped mainly in the form of a linga(symbolic phallus of Shiva). The jyotirlinga(the phallus of light) in this temple is one of the twelve jyotirlingasthroughout India, which makes Kedarnath one of the most sacred Hindu cities. The difference between a jyotirlingaand an ordinary lingais that while the former derives power from within itself, the latter is invested with mantra-shakti(power of a verse or phrase that has magical efficiency) by priests. Legend has it that the Temple was built by the Pandavas(the heroes of the epic, Mahabharata) to redeem themselves for the sins they had committed during the Bharata War (for more detail about the Bharata War see Ancient Scriptures). Going by this reckoning, the temple must be very ancient, probably dating back to the pre-Christian era. But evidence shows that it was built in the 8th century a.d. As a matter of fact, in the 8th centurya.d., the temple was reconstructed and renovated by Shankaracharaya who also established a matha(Hindu monastic establishment) at Badrinath.

Nine Unknown Men

Nine Unknown Men are a two millennia-old secret society founded by the Indian Emperor Asoka.