Rare Old Photos Of Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand, India

Kedarnath Temple is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to the god Shiva and is located on the Garhwal Himalayan range near the Mandakini river in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand in India. Due to extreme weather conditions, the temple is open only between the end of April (Akshay trutya) to Kartik Purnima (the autumn full moon, usually November) every year. During the winters, the vigrahas (deities) from Kedarnath temple are brought to Ukhimath and worshipped there for six months. Lord Shiva is worshipped as Kedarnath, the 'Lord of Kedar Khand', the historical name of the region.


Rare Old Pics Of Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand, India  in year 1882

Rare Old Pics Of Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand, India  in year 1882

Rare Old Pics Of Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand, India  in year 1882

The temple is not directly accessible by road and has to be reached by a 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) uphill trek from Gaurikund. Pony and manchan service is also available. The temple is believed to have been built by Pandavas and revived by Adi Sankaracharya and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest Hindu shrines of Shiva. Pandavas were supposed to have pleased Shiva by doing penance in Kedarnath. The temple is also one of the four major sites in India's Chota Char Dham pilgrimage of Northern Himalayas.

Kedarnath was the worst affected area during the 2013 flash floods in North India. The temple complex, surrounding areas and Kedarnath town suffered extensive damage, but the temple remained unharmed to a large extent.

The temple, located at an height of 3,583 m (11,755 ft), 223 km from Rishikesh, on the shores of Mandakini river, a tributary of Ganges, is an impressive stone edifice of unknown date. The structure is believed to have been constructed in 8th Century AD, when Adi Shankara visited this place and the present structure is on a site adjacent to the site where Pandavas built the temple. The temple has on Garbhagruha and a Mantapa and stands on a plateau surrounded by snow clad mountain and glaciers. In front of the temple, directly opposite to inner shrine, is a Nandi statue carved out of rock.

The first hall inside the temple contains statues of the five Pandava brothers, Lord Krishna, Nandi, the vehicle of Shiva and Virabhadra, one of the guards of Shiva. Statue of Draupadi and other deities are also installed in the main hall. A medium sized conical rough stone formation is worhispped in the Garbagruha of Kedarnath temple and considered as Sadashiva form of Lord Shiva. An unusual feature of the temple is the head of a man carved in the triangular stone fascia of the temple. Such a head is seen carved in another temple nearby constructed on the site where the marriage of Shiva and Parvati was held. Adi Shankara was believed to have revived this temple, along with Badrinath and other temples of Uttarakhand and he is believed to have attained mahasamadhi at Kedaranath. Behind the temple is the samadhi mandir of Adi Sankara.

The Kedarnath valley, along with other parts of the state of Uttarakhand, was hit with unprecedented flash floods on 16 and 17 June 2013. Although the temple withstood the severity of the floods, the temple complex and surrounding area were destroyed, resulting in the death of hundreds of pilgrims and locals. Shops and hotels in Kedarnath were destroyed and all roads were broken. A number of people took shelter inside the temple for several hours, until Indian army airlifted them to safer places. The Uttarakhand Chief Minister announced that the Kedarnath shrine would remain closed for a year for clearing the debris around the shrine.

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