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Doleshwor Mahadeva is Lord Shiva's Hindu Temple located in Suryabinayak Municipality, south-east of Bhaktapur District, Nepal. It is believed to be Kedarnath's head part situated in Uttarakhand, India. It was officially declared the head of the Kedarnath temple on August 22 2009.
There is a belief among Hindu practitioners that the trip to Kedarnath is incomplete for all Shiva devotees, without visiting Doleshwar Mahadev and Pashupatinath. A visit to all these three holy shrines grants favours from Lord Shiva and a place in heaven.
The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva lies in Suryabinayak in the Bhaktapur district within the Kathmandu Valley. The Doleshwor Mahadev Temple lies about 20 km away from the heart of the capital city and takes approximately 30 minutes to reach.
Leaving the Araniko Highway, to reach the temple one has to drive or hike towards the dense hill. The lush green forest, the path up hills and down slopes and the glorious view of the ancient city of Bhaktapur render the trip up to the temple a fun one.
Around a few kilometres away from the ancient Bhaktapur Durbar Square, the temple lies in the foothills of green hills. The river on the south of the temple creates a nice splashy echo, which renders the surroundings more peaceful and captivating.
When you enter the temple town, you feel like heading to the holy temple of Kedarnath itself.
It was assumed that Doleshwar's Shiva Linga (phallus signifying Lord Shiva or reproduction) appeared at the end of the Dwapar Yug and the beginning of Kali Yug.
All the prayers and rituals in Doleshwar Mahadev, from the morning routine to the evening aarti (prayers by lights) are performed according to the Kedarnath temple laws and rituals.
The temple at Doleshwar is built in pagoda style. The temple is also known under local tongue and culture as Bimaleshwor and Sipare Mahadev, and other names. There are water taps, a giant bull statue, a huge Trishul and other objects around with others still under renovation.
Historians have been looking for the head of (Hindu deity) Kedarnath for 4,000 years who disguised as a bull to escape the five Pandava brothers, the Mahabharat's heroes.
The legend goes back to Kurukshetra's glorious battle fought between the five Pandava brothers and their cousins, the Mahabharata's 100 Kaurava brothers.
The Pandavas prevailed, but devastated by the loss of survival, renounced the empire they had won back and left for the gods' celestial palace, thought to be on top of the mighty Himalayan mountains.
The Pandavas entered the Kedarnath area to request forgiveness from Lord Shiva for the loss of life during the Kurukshetra War of 18 days.
But Lord Shiva was not able to forgive them and to prevent them, took the shape of a lion. Soon the Pandavas discovered that the bull was Lord Shiva and attempted to protect it by dragging his hair. Immediately the head detached from the bull's body and the Pandavas were unable to find it.
The hump-backed structure in the Kedarnath temple of Uttarakhand is adorned as the torso of the holy bull, the arms appearing in Tungnath, the nabhi (navel) and stomach surfacing in Madhyamaheshwar, the face appearing in Rudranath and the hair and head appearing in Kalpeshwar.
The Hindu activist Bharat Jangam had been investigating and alleging that Doleshwar Mahadev is Kedarnath's head portion based on the shocking Kedarnath-Doleshwor relations. Shiva's statues located at both shrines are 4,000 years vintage.
In Sanskrit, an ancient Nepalese language has also been published about a stone scripture discovered in Doleshwor. The priests in both shrines are selected from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, the southern Indian states.
Both priests affix the word 'ling' after their names to convey their closeness to the god as their worshipper and both temples have a cluster of five Shiva shrines.
According to Hindu scriptures, the principal deity of both priests is Birbhadra, a companion of Shiva.
On August 22, 2009, Kedarnath peeth head priest Shree 1008 Jagat Guru Bheemashankarling Shivacharya unveiled a plaque saying that Shri Kedarnath's head portion is Doleswore Mahadev, situated in Jangam math Bhaktapur.
He conducted the Rudra Abhishek, a peculiar adoration at Doleshwor temple located in Bhaktapur district village of Sipadol.
The inscription (Sheela Lekh) at Doleshwar Mahadev also addresses this. After the recognition of the temple thousand of pilgrims starting visiting the holy site.
In the year 2013, after a devastating flood hit Kedarnath Temple, located in Uttarkhand, regular interrupted prayers were performed at Doleshwar Temple.
The Kedarnath Temple chief priest called for daily prayers that used to be offered in the Kedarnath Temple to be conducted in the Mahadev Temple in Doleshwar.
Visiting this Shiva temple and offering Lord Shiva milk and bael leaves is a significant practice for devotees of the Hindus or Lord Shiva. The place that has been unknown for thousands of years can now be termed a hidden gem. With Lord Shiva's blessing, it is a beautiful privilege for devotees to visit this holy place, and to be honoured for eternity.
Doleshwar Mahadev Temple is a site of glory to all Hindu worshippers around the world. It is must visit a sacred place for Hindus to gain the ultimate religious experience. Some claim that a visit to the temple is an excellent opportunity to worship both Lord Shiva's body and head part is obtained only by the virtue gained from multiple births.
Shrawan is a holy month in the Hindu calendar that falls in the monsoon season (July-August), where the shrines of the supreme god Lord Shiva have particular importance for devotees.