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Old Kedarnath Temple Pictures – Kedarnath Temple in 1882

Here are few pictures of Kedarnath Temple in 1882. Compare these old pictures of Kedarnath Temple with the latest pictures to see what human greed has done to this holy place. Images are from the Geological Survey of India website. The photos are credited to Carl Griesbach.

In the beginning there were only small huts around the temple called chhan or chhappar. They were used by priests, saints and devotees. People used to trek all the way to Kedarnath from Haridwar and nearby places. First permanent structure was built around 1960. Then Pandas (or Priests) started building their own tin sheet structures. Large scale construction started in late 70s and 80s. Soon Human Greed looted the place economically and environmentally. Moral values to be followed in the holy place were not followed.

About Kedarnath Temple

At an altitude of 3581 meters, the Kedarnath temple is located at the head of the Mandakini River and is around 14 km trek from Gaurikund.

Origin of Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath Temple, part of the Chardham Yatra in Uttarakhand, is one among the 12 Jyotirlinga temples dedicated to Shiva in India. The temple is more than thousand years old and was consecrated by Adi Shankaracharya. Legend has it Pandavas wanted to seek redemption for sins committed during the Kurukshetra battle in Mahabharata. But Shiva was not ready to give darshan to Pandavas. He hid from them and the Pandavas kept following Shiva. It is said that at Kedarnath Shiva took the form of a bull and disappeared underground leaving only the hump on the top.

Shiva is worshipped in the form of Shivling in Kedarnath Temple. The hump of the bull is that is worshipped in the temple. It is in the form of a canonical rock. Kedar is one among the numerous names of Shiva.

Holy Places in Kedarnath Temple

A large murti of Nandi bull stands as guard outside the temple door.

Water used to worship the murti at Kedarnath temple gets collected at the Udak Kund and this water is considered as charnamrit and devotees collect it.

The temple also has Goddess Parvati, Ganesha, and Ishaneshwar as subsidiary deities in the parikarama area of the temple.

People wishing to perform panda daan for ancestors can do it at the Hansa Kund near the shrine.

Retas Kund is a unique water body in the vicinity of the temple. When devotees shout Har Har Mahadev they can see bubbles appearing in the kund.

Shankaracharya Samadhi or the final resting place of Adi Shankaracharya is located behind the temple.

At walk-able distance is a shrine dedicated to Bhairavnath – the main Gana of Shiva.

Kedarnath is also part of the Panch Kedar Temples – Temples where the Pandavas attempted to have darshan of Shiva.