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The Ultimate Delhi - Kedarnath Travel Guide

9 mins. read

Kaleidoscopic Kedarnath

Kedarnath is a special town and more prominent, owning to its reverence to Lord Shiva, one of the most revered deities in the Hindu religion. The place is nestled by the Himalayan hills in the Rudraprayag district in the state of Uttarakhand. This beautiful town was destroyed in a tragic incident in 2013 when a mid-day cloud burst resulted in torrential rains, and flash floods took away everything! Gradually, the place has emerged again like an unflinching faith and looks more beautiful than ever.

Set up near the shores of the Mandakini river, the town is 3583 m (11,755 ft.) above sea levels and covered by the towering, snow-laden majestic peaks of the Kedarnath range. Kedarnath also means ‘The Lord of the fields’ as it is believed that ‘the crops of liberation’ grow here.

Kedarnath Mandir

Kedarnath 1

One of the main attractions of this town, Kedarnath Mandir, stood the test of time. It attracts millions of pilgrims and travellers alike every year. Kedarnath Mandir is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva spread across India. These 12 conical-shaped natural formations (not man-made) are the places where people pay obeisance to Lord Shiva. The mandir is said to be 1000 years old with no information of its creators to date.

On June 16 and 17 in 2013, in the middle of a peak season, a massive glacier burst took away the lives of thousands of pilgrims, homes were washed away, rivers overflew, the thunderous sound of water overpowered the incessant screams of people for help, but what remained intact was the undisturbed Kedarnath temple, as if witnessing the catastrophe in front, like a God!

Usually, Kedarnath Mandir is closed for six straight months (From November to mid-April) due to the extreme cold and snow. The temple witnesses a hoard of pilgrims over the next six months.

Delhi To Kedarnath Route

Kedarnath distance from Delhi is around 450 kilometres, and it will take almost 11 hours (without a halt) by road to reach there. The preferred route is:

Delhi > 206 Km > Haridwar > 24 Km > Rishikesh > 74 Km > Devprayag > 34 Km > Srinagar > 33 Km > Rudraprayag > 44 Km > Guptkashi > 15 Km > Phata > Sonmarg > 18 Km Trek > Gaurikund.

The motorable roads end at Gaurikund, and you need to take an 18KM trek that will complete your journey to Kedarnath. The roads are wide and in good conditions throughout, with proper signboards along the way. Since Haridwar and Rishikesh are the major towns between Delhi to Kedarnath route, you can easily find good shops/hotels to pit-stop or eat round the clock. As you move up the hills, amenities may become limited but with no end to basic facilities.

Modes of Travel

There are many options to choose your travel modes while planning a trip from Delhi to Kedarnath.

Haridwar and Rishikesh are the most useful stopovers to start a further steep road journey to Kedarnath. Let us look at our options:

By Bus: Both private and public transport offer bus services from Delhi to Haridwar and Rishikesh. It is around a 7-hour journey from Delhi to Rishikesh, and taking a halt here also allows you to enjoy these sacred towns, take a dip into the holy Ganges and witness the most-liveliest Ganga aartis. The bus ticket price from Delhi to Kedarnath is as below:

Bus Route Frequency Fare
Delhi to Sonprayag Limited INR 750 - 900*
Delhi to Rishikesh Good INR 550 - 800*
Rishikesh to Sonprayag Good INR 350 - 500*

By Train: You can book and board a train from Delhi to Haridwar, preferably a night train for a good resting sleep that will prepare you for a long road trip the next day. The train fares from Delhi to Haridwar start at INR 400* for a sleeper berth and up to INR 2500* for AC tier seating.

By Plane: You can take a quick 1-hour flight from Delhi to Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun. The price for a flight from Delhi to Dehradun will cost you around INR 2400* for one person. Upon reaching, you can take a taxi, hire a cab, or board a bus from Dehradun to Rishikesh, to start a rugged road ride to Kedarnath.

Alternatively, there are Heli charter services available by the Uttarakhand government. You have to book it in advance and board the charter from either Guptkashi (at INR 3100*) or Phata (INR 2350*) that will drop you directly to Kedarnath.

By Bike/Car: For a Delhi to Kedarnath by bike, the distance remains the same as there are no alternate routes for two-wheelers. No matter if you’re self-driving a car, hired a driver, rented a bike or a car from Delhi or Dehradun, or in your vehicle, you can directly reach Sonprayag as this place is the last stop to park the vehicles. The remaining 8 KM to Gaurikund, where a further hike of 18KM to Kedarnath awaits, can be taken in a hired cab, shared jeep, or a bus from Sonprayag.

How to Proceed the Journey From Haridwar/Rishikesh to Kedarnath

Haridwar and Rishikesh are well-developed cities and the most preferred stopovers in the trip from Delhi to Kedarnath. Among many others, these cities are also the best places to visit near Kedarnath. However, you can choose your preferred resting points in the route towards the hectic journey to Kedarnath. Distance from Rishikesh to Kedarnath is 227 Km approx.

You can easily find a bus towards any preferred stopover along the route to Kedarnath, from the bus stands of Haridwar and Rishikesh. Another option is to hire a cab operating locally from Haridwar or Rishikesh. You may find it more costly, but it will ensure better convenience than non-Volvo buses from the bus stand.

Stay Options on the Way

A non-stop journey from Delhi to Kedarnath can be tedious. Making enough time and breaking your journey to stay overnight can be helpful to acclimatize to the weather and stay refreshed.

  • You can plan to stay at Rishikesh overnight and get on with a hilly journey of another 227 KM early next day. There are lots of stay options available in Haridwar and Rishikesh.
  • It is worth noting that there are better options to stay in Sonprayag than at Gaurikund. Leave for Gaurikund early morning from Sonprayag to start your 18 KM trek to Kedarnath.

Kedarnath Trek

An 18KM Kedarnath trek is a blissful walk amidst nature. However, it is steep and needs caution, especially if you have any respiratory or high blood pressure. It is advisable to get yourself checked through a doctor before you embark on a spellbinding Kedarnath Trek.

Heli charters, ponies, and Palki services are available for travellers with difficulties trekking on foot. You can book it from the booking counters at Gaurikund/Sonprayag.

While on the trek, there are lots of shops, tea stalls, resting points throughout the way for a halt. There is tented accommodation available if you feel like resting for the remaining day to embark on the journey the next day.

Kedarnath Trek

Tips for a Trek to Kedarnath

  • Documentation is mandatory. Get yourself registered to take a trek to Kedarnath at Sonprayag and collect your Yatra E-pass in hard copy. You may be asked for it at different checkpoints.
  • Carry a hard copy of your complete vaccine certificate or a 24-hours Covid-19 negative report. A 72-hour negative report is not accepted.
  • The trek is open only from 4:00 AM – 01:30 PM. Make sure to plan your hike between the time window.
  • The mornings and evenings are cooler, and the afternoon can be too sunny. Carrying a cap and sunglasses will be helpful if you are taking a trek in the noon.
  • A good pair of shoes is a necessity while hiking as it allows a good grip on the ground while you walk.
  • As food, water and consumables are available on the way, carry your bag as light as you can for a comfortable trek.
  • Carry a raincoat as the weather in the valley can change dramatically.

Best time to visit Kedarnath

Spiritually, as the place is, Kedarnath must be visited whenever you get a chance to see this beautiful town to bask in its charm and worship. However, weather-wise, the months of May till starting mid-September should be preferable as the climate is more pleasant. Check out a detailed study of the best time to visit Kedarnath.

To have a spiritually-enlightening trip of a lifetime and experience this mystical place in depth, it is best to book a Kedarnath tour package.

December 10, 2021


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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