Thousands of devotees visit Shri Kedarnath ji to worship the Lord Shiva. The temple faces east and every day the devotees throng the Sabha Mandap for their desire to take a glimpse of Lord Shiva. There are two timings for Puja, one in the morning and one in the evening. In the morning, the Shiva pinda is worshipped without any extra decoration, ornamentation or floral etc. The main offerings are Ghee and water. This morning puja (worship) is called Nirwan darshan. In the evening the Shiva pinda is adorned with flowers and ornaments, which is called Sringar darshan. The pinda has a golden umbrella on top which is suspended from the above.
Some people think that the Sringar darshan is quite contrary to the image of Lord Shiva, who is believed to be in deerskin and the body is besmeared with ashes. But, the Lord has no shape, form or colour and these worships are symbolic and contain the messages to the divine Lord. The Sringar darshan symbolizes a complete surrender. The Nirwan and the Sringar darshans are the earthly ways to show your dedication and the devotion to the Lord Shiva.
The puja in Kedarnath has its origin with the Mahabharata. After the battle, all five Pandavas came to Kedar valley in the search of Lord Shiva to repent and be absolved from the sin of killing their own kinsmen – the Kauravas. Shiva disguised as a cattle was identified by Bhim. Shiva was pleased and exonerated them from their sin. The hump which came in Bhim’s hand was worshipped by Pandavas and the same has become the symbol as stone in Garbh griha.
The important pujas which are normally performed in the morning are as follows : Shubh Prabhat, Mahabhisek, Balbhog, Ashtotar, Rudrabhisek, Shiv Puja etc.
The important evening pujas are as follows:
Shiva Ashtotar, Shiva Namavali, Shiva Sahasranam, Ekanta Seva, Shiva Mahima Stotra etc.