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Kedarnath Travel Guide: Explore the Majestic Temple at the Heart of the Himalayas

10 mins. read

Situated atop the Himalayas, at a height of 3,583 m, Kedarnath is the most revered and sightly Shiva temple in India. The traditional and exquisite architecture of the temple, encapsulated in the Himalayas, makes it a truly divine and breathtaking sight for pilgrims and tourists alike. Located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, it is one of the four pilgrim sites of Hindus that form the Char Dham Yatra. Despite its difficult terrain and high altitude, Kedarnath sees thousands of visitors every year. Its alluring beauty and spiritual significance draw devotees and adventure seekers alike from all over the world. If you are planning to visit this holy shrine, it is best to be completely prepared before embarking on the journey. In this comprehensive Kedarnath travel guide, we will delve into the best time to visit Kedarnath, how to go there, and what things you should keep in mind before undertaking the pilgrimage.

When to Visit Kedarnath

Kedarnath is not accessible all year round, as the area receives heavy snowfall from mid-November to April when the temple is closed for six months. The best time to visit Kedarnath is from May to June when the weather is cool and balmy and the maximum temperature is around 18°C. Another good month to visit is October, right before the onset of winter. The weather is not bone-chilling yet, and the landscape is lush with vibrant fall colours.

Though the temples remain open during the monsoon from July to September, it is best to avoid visiting this month due to heavy rainfall. They can cause landslides and roadblocks.

Before embarking on your divine journey, you should consult with a local Kedarnath yatra guide.

How to Reach Kedarnath

Kedarnath is quite accessible from all the major cities in Uttarakhand. The nearest road is around 18 km later in Gaurikund, the last village before the trek. Some of the best ways to go to Kedarnath include:

By Air

The nearest airport from Kedarnath is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, approximately 238 km away. Dehradun Airport is well-connected with daily flights from Delhi. After that, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Gaurikund, which acts as a base camp for the Kedarnath trek.

By Train

The nearest railway stations are in Rishikesh and Haridwar, at a distance of 216 and 241 km, respectively, from Kedarnath. From both railway stations, you can easily take taxis and buses to Gaurikund.

By Road

Gaurikund is well connected by road to major cities in Uttarakhand. Taxis and buses are easily available from Rishikesh, Haridwar, and Dehradun. Depending on the number of people you are travelling with, you can book either a four-wheeler or a tempo traveller.

You can find detailed information about the rates, availability, and timing of the transportation from any Kedarnath travel guide.

Accommodation Options for the Kedarnath Yatra

Finding suitable accommodation is an essential part of the Kedarnath temple trip. Whether you prefer basic rooms or more comfortable options, there are several choices for different budgets.

Gaurikund

This place is the base camp for the trek to Kedarnath and offers various accommodation options, ranging from budget hotels to guesthouses. Staying at Gaurikund the night before the trek is a great Kedarnath trekking tip. It can be beneficial for acclimatising to the altitude and starting the trek early in the morning.

Kedarnath town

Once you have completed your Kedarnath temple trip, several lodging options are available near the temple. Some of the options available include:

  • GVMN guesthouse, managed by the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam
  • Dharmsahalas, operated by various religious trusts
  • Tented camps

Nearby villages

If you prefer to stay away from the bustling crowd, nearby villages like Sonprayag and Sitapur have several lodging options. Both villages offer a variety of guesthouses and small hotels that provide comfortable stays at reasonable prices.

But it is advisable to book your Kedarnath tour packages in advance, as a large number of people will flock to visit the holy shrine as soon as the temple doors are open.

Trekking to Kedarnath

Trekking to Kedarnath is a journey of both spiritual fulfilment and physical endurance. With the stunning backdrop of the Himalayas, the trail offers stunning views of the mountains, waterfalls, and lush green valleys. This Kedarnath travel guide is everything you need to know about the trek.

The Route

The trek begins at Gaurikund, and the trek is approximately 16 km, where you will find a man-made trail all the way to the top at Kedarnath. Along the trek, you will come across some key stops.

  • Gaurikund, the starting point of the trek
  • Jungle Chatti, located 4 km from Gaurikund
  • Bheembali, 3 km hike from Jungle Chatti
  • Linchauli, another 4 km ahead, is where the Mandakini River originates.
  • Kedarnath temple, around 5 km from Linchauli

Support Services

For those who find the trek too demanding, there are many services that can help you complete the trek. You can avail of porter, palki, or pony services at Gaurikund from many Kedarnath tour guides.

If you find walking 16 kilometres uphill difficult, then a helicopter is the best option for you. They operate from Phata, Guptkashi, or Sersi. You can book a helicopter online a month in advance; it is often difficult to secure a reservation if you try to do it on an ad hoc basis. The best way is to find a local Kedarnath tour guide who will book on your behalf for a fee.

 Tips for Trekking

Given the high altitude and challenging terrain, it’s crucial to prepare physically and mentally. Here are some Kedarnath trekking tips to make your travel easier.

  • Before starting the trek, it is advisable to get acclimatised to the altitude. You should spend a day at Gaurikund, which can reduce the risk of altitude sickness.
  • No matter when you travel, layered clothing is essential due to fluctuating temperatures. Pack thermal wear, waterproof pants, a quality jacket, and comfortable, waterproof trekking shoes.
  • Carry a backpack that contains a first-aid kit, water bottles, energy bars, a flashlight, and, if you want, trekking poles.
  • The trek can be tiring, so it’s important to maintain a steady, manageable pace.
  • It’s important to take regular breaks, stay hydrated, and keep an energy bar or dry fruits with you to keep your energy levels up.
  • If you get headaches, nausea, or dizziness, you should descend and seek medical help.

Places to Visit in and Around Kedarnath

While the Kedarnath temple is the main reason thousands of people undertake this journey, there are several places of interest you can explore.

Kedarnath Temple

This highly revered temple is the centrepiece of the pilgrimage, dedicated to Lord Shiva. This ancient stone temple, believed to have been constructed by the Pandavas, is a testament to spiritual devotion and architectural grandeur.

Bhairavnath Temple

Located just a short hike away from the Kedarnath temple, this temple is dedicated to Bhairav, who is believed to be the protector of the Kedarnath temple during the winter months.

Gandhi Sarovar

This picturesque lake is situated about 3 kilometres from Kedarnath. It offers stunning views and is a serene spot for reflection and relaxation.

Vasuki Tal

Vasuki Tal, a high-altitude lake located around 8 km from Kedarnath, is surrounded by snow-covered peaks and offers a challenging trek for adventure enthusiasts.

Shankaracharya Samadhi

The final resting place of Adi Shankaracharya, who is credited with establishing the Char Dham pilgrimage circuit, is located near the Kedarnath temple.

Triyuginarayan Temple

Located about 25 km from Kedarnath, this temple is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were married. It features an eternal flame that is said to have been burning since their wedding.

Exploring these places will be memorable highlights of your spiritual journey. To experience the cultural heritage and learn about local customs, hire a local Kedarnath sightseeing guide.

Things to Keep in Mind

Before travelling to Kedarnath, keep these points in mind: -

  • As directed by the Uttarakhand government, it is mandatory for every traveller to register online beforehand and get a Yatra e-pass.
  • Be prepared for unpredictable and cold weather.
  • Make sure you are physically fit for the trek by doing your full medical checkup.
  • Book accommodations in advance, as facilities are limited.
  • Carry sufficient cash, as ATMs are scarce.
  • For a better and hassle-free experience, you can hire a local Kedarnath pilgrimage travel guide.

Embarking on the Kedarnath pilgrimage is a journey of spiritual fulfilment with breathtaking natural beauty. By following the tips and insights in this Kedarnath travel guide, you can ensure a memorable and well-prepared trip to this sacred site. For a seamless journey, consider opting for char dham yatra tour packages which provide comprehensive services and allow you to bask in the spiritual essence during your visit.

June 05, 2024

Author

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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