Legend has it that Pandavas reached the Kedarnath region to seek forgiveness from Lord Shiva for the loss of lives during the 18-day Mahabharata war. But Lord Shiva was not ready to forgive them and he took the form of a bull. The Pandavas soon realized that the Bull was Lord Shiva and tried to stop it by pulling the tail. Suddenly the head got separated from the body of the bull and the Pandavas could not locate it.
The body of the bull is presently worshipped in the
"For 4,000 years, people have been searching for the head of (Hindu deity) Kedarnath who assumed the shape of a bull to avoid the five Pandava brothers, the heroes of the Mahabharata," says Bhim Shankarling Shivacharya, the 54-year-old head of Kedarpeeth in
India's Uttarakhand state who is currently in . Nepal
"While the body of the bull lies in Kedarnath, one of the holiest pilgrim destinations in
India, now the head has been discovered in 's Bhaktapur city." Kathmandu Valley
As proof, the holy man points out the amazing similarity in the traditions of the monasteries in two different countries.
The priests in both shrines are selected from
's southern states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Both priests affix the word 'ling' after their names to convey their proximity to the god as his worshipper and both temples have a cluster of five Shiva shrines. India
The Kedarpeeth seer, who has arrived in
for a month's rituals during monsoon, says the main deity of both priests is Birbhadra, a companion of Shiva, according to Hindu scriptures. Nepal
On Aug 22, 2009, the seer will formally install a two-foot image of Shiva, also called Doleshwar, at the Bhaktapur shrine. It would be regarded as Kedar math's official recognition of the Mahabharata relic in
Kedarnath Temple along with Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, forms part of the annual Chardham Yatra undertaken by Hindus to the Himalayas.