Veteran actor Shobana has charmed the Malayali audiences with her incredible on-screen performances and spectacular dance programs. She is often touted as one of the most loved actresses in Malayalam cinema. Even though she isn’t seen in many movies lately, her fans and admirers have been keen to known about the actress’ life.
Now, Shobana has shared a video from her recent trip to Kedarnath on her social media page. The selfie video that she shot in Kedarnath has become viral. The mesmerizing views of the Himalayas covered in a thick blanket of mist and the iconic Kedarnath temple have impressed the viewers. She shared the video asking her fans to spot the Kedarnath temple that is seen as a tiny gold spot behind her.
The famous Kedarnath temple is located in the Garhwal Himalayas mountain ranges in Utharakhand. It is believed that sage Sankaracharya had installed the idol in the temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva, on the banks of the Mandakini River. The sanctum sanctorum of the temple is opened for the devotees from the end of April until the sacred day of Karthika Purnima. During the winter, from November to May, the idol would be moved to the picturesque town of Ukhimath. Millions of devotees from across the country reach Kedarnath during this season to offer prayers and also to enjoy the spectacular beauty of the hilly town.
Shiva and Bheema
The legends say that the Kedarnath temple is as old as the Mahabharata era. The Pandava brothers had reached mount Kailasa in search of Lord Shiva, to request him to relieve them from the curse. However, seeing them, Shiva got away to the Himalayas and turned himself into an ox and stood among the oxen that were grazing in the meadows there. Soon, the Pandavas reached the Himalaya too. They understood that Lord Shiva was among the grazing animals. Learning this, Shiva tried to escape into the underground world in the form of the ox. Bheema, the strongest among the five brothers, caught hold of the ox’s back and tried to restrain it. But, the part where Bheema touched turned into rock. The Pandavas then built a temple on the spot where the rock was found. Eons later, sage Sankaracharya who reached this place restored the temple. Interestingly, the rules and regulations established by the sage, centuries ago, are still followed in the Kedarnath temple. This temple is revered as one of the twelve Jyotir lingas of Lord Shiva.
Kedarnath was completely submerged under water in the mega floods that engulfed North parts of India in 2013. Severe destructions were reported at the temple complex and nearby town. However, apart from minor damages to the boundary walls, the sanctum sanctorum was intact. A giant rock had saved the main temple from destruction. This is still considered a miracle.
How to reach
People visit Kedarnath as part of the Chota Chaar Dham pilgrimage. You cannot reach the temple via road. Devotees and visitors have to hike 22 kilometres from Gourikund to reach the peak where the temple is located. Helicopter services too are arranged here. Daily services are available from the Agastya helipads at Phata Village near Sonprayag. Besides, horses and dinkey carriages too are available.
The temple that opens at 5 am would be closed from 3 – 5 pm. The devotees have to do the biometric registration that lasts for one and half hours at Sonprayag before entering the temple. It is extremely difficult to return on the same day of offering prayers at the temple. The nearest airport is at Dehradun. Meanwhile, the nearest railway station is at Rishikesh.