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Kedarnath Trek – What, Where, and How, Everything You Needed to Know

Kedarnath is a Hindu sacred site nestled in the magnificent snow-capped Himalayas in the state of Uttarakhand. The Dham temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, attracts millions of tourists and pilgrims annually.

The Kedarnath tour provides visitors with stunning vistas, surrounded by the most pristine and unadulterated natural beauty. Kedarnath is well-known for being one of India’s Chota Char Dhams and the most notable of the 12 Jyotirlingas.

If you’re looking for spiritual locations to visit in Uttarakhand, our Kedarnath travelogue can help you make the most of your trip.

History & Mythology of Kedarnath Dham

History & Mythology of Kedarnath Dham
  • Construction of the revered shrine of Kedarnath as mentioned in the ancient scriptures took place during the 8th century AD by Adi Shankaracharya on the site where the Pandavas of the Mahabharata legend are the ones believed to have built a temple.
  • The most renowned narrative of Kedarnath takes us back to the period of the Pandavas, who pleaded forgiveness from Lord Shiva after slaying their half-brothers, the Kauravas, in the notorious conflict on the instruction of Lord Krishna. 
  • At Guptkashi, they discovered Lord Shiva, who was hiding from them dressed as Nandi, the bull.
  • But one of the Pandavas, Bheema, spotted Lord Shiva and pursued him, only to grasp him by the tail while the rest of the body escaped via a secret passage beneath the ground.
  • Lord Shiva emerged in five distinct forms after disappearing from Guptkashi: the humpback at Kedarnath, the face at Rudranath, the arms at Tungnath, the navel, and stomach at Madhyamaheshwar, and the locks at Kalpeshwar.

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  • This is the most distant of the Chota Char Dham locations, located in the Rudraprayag area.
  • Snow-capped peaks encircle Kedarnath, most notably the Kedarnath mountain (6,940 mts) and the Kedar Dome, situates near to the Chorabari Glacier, the source of the Mandakini river (6,831 mts). 
  • The town is 223 kilometers from Rishikesh and on a desolate stretch of land on the river’s bank.

When to Visit Kedarnath Dham?

When to Visit Kedarnath Dham?
  • The Temple opens on Akshaya Tritiya Day, which is in April or May and continues to spread until Bhai Dooj, which is in October or November.
  • On Mahashivratri, the official start date gets announced.
  • The Temple is only open for 6 or 7 months out of the year. The temple’s Kapats remain closed for the remainder of the year, and there aren’t many tourists.

Temple Timings

The Temple is accessible every day from 4 a.m. until 9 p.m.

The Best Way to Get There – How to Reach Temple:

  • Via Road: The best way to go to Kedarnath is by car. You may easily get a bus from Haridwar and Rishikesh to Sonprayag/Guptkashi. Once you arrive here, You may take any local transit to Gaurikund and then trek 18 kilometers to Kedarnath.
  • By Train: The nearest railway station to Kedarnath is Rishikesh, which is approximately 215 kilometers away.
  • By Plane: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant, around 240 kilometers away.
  • Gaurikund is the final halt for every tractor trailer. To go to Kedarnath from Gaurikund, you must trek about 16 kilometers. If you don’t want to hike, you may hire a pony or take a helicopter trip from Guptkashi/Phata/ Gaurikund, for example (Chardham Yatra by Helicopter).

What to Do in Kedarnath

1. Kedarnath Temple
Kedarnath Temple
  • The Temple, surrounded by the majestic Garhwal Himalayas, is one of Lord Shiva’s twelve Jyotirlingas. Kedarnath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is among the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams (the most potent Shiva temples in the world) and the most significant of the Panch Kedars.
  • You will lose all sense of time here, with fresh air synonymous with the highlands and breathtaking vistas you must earn!
  •  Worshipped for thousands of years, the region’s vibe is one of optimism, hope, and faith in the future.
  • Inside, you’ll find a tiny hall featuring images of Parvati and the Pandavas. 
  • The entrance is adorned with statues of Krishna, Pandavas, Draupadi, Virbhadra, and a plethora of other deities! Inside the temple, is a conical rock that people worship as Sadashiva (forever Shiv).
2. Gandhi Sarovar
Gandhi Sarovar
  •  Gandhi Sarovar is a beautiful lake located 3 kilometers from Kedarnath, next to the Chorabari Bamak glacier. 
  • The lake, which was formed by the Chorabari Bamak glacier, offers some of the greatest Himalayan vistas in the vicinity. 
  • This lake is the ideal spot to unwind after your journey. Because the weather here is somewhat variable, try to arrange your visit early in the morning.
3. Kalimath
  • Kalimath is one of India’s 108 Shakti Peeths. Kalimath sits in the lap of nature, giving a healthy and holy atmosphere.
  •  Kalimath is home to the Goddess Kali Temple.
  •  Legend has it that after murdering Raktbeej, Kali Goddess retreated underground at this location!
4. Bhairav Temple
Bhairav Temple
  • The Bhairav Temple dedicates to Lord Shiva’s violent incarnation, Bhairava, who ancient scriptures mention as the defender of Kedarnath. 
  • It is roughly one kilometer upwards from the Kedarnath Temple and offers beautiful views of the Himalayas and Kedar Valley. 
  • While you’re here, be sure to pay your respects to the god and take in the panoramic vistas.
5. Sonprayag
  • Sonprayag, near the confluence of the Vasuki and Mandakini rivers, is an important stop on the Kedarnath pilgrimage. 
  • obligatory biometric scan in Sonprayag will provide you with additional road access.
  • Celebrate the breathtaking views by taking a soak at the nearby falls, if the weather permits. People believe that it purifies you of your sins.
6. Gaurikund Temple
Gaurikund Temple
  • The Gaurikund temple devotes itself to Goddess Parvati.
  • According to myths and traditions, here is where Goddess Parvati performed penance combining ascetic and yoga practices to win Shiva’s affection. 
  • People believe that Lord Shiva confessed his love for the Goddess here, and they later wedded in the Triyuginarayan temple.

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7. Vasuki Tal 
Vasuki Tal Kedarnath Dham
  • Vasuki Tal is on practically everyone’s Kedarnath itinerary. The breathtaking lake, located around 4135 meters above sea level, provides a beautiful walking experience. 
  • The journey to the lake may not be simple, but it will undoubtedly be worthwhile. 
  • On your walk up to visit the lake, you may admire the Vasuki and Chaturanga glaciers and the Chaukhamba peaks.

The Finest Spots to Stay in Kedarnath Dham

  • There is a large government-run tented colony, cottages, and GMVN-run rooms. These are enough to house over a thousand pilgrims and tourists. There are also hotels, guest homes, and Dharamshala.
  • Sonprayag and Gaurikund have a variety of accommodations, including lodges and guest house homes. You can reserve a hotel at one of these two locations.
  • Many people have begun to travel by helicopter, so stay sites may include Phata, Rampur, Gaurikund, Sitapur, and others.

Things to Keep in Mind- Things to Recollect

  • Get a checkup before embarking on the Kedarnath trek. People with cardiac, respiratory, and blood pressure problems should not go on the trip without first speaking with a doctor. 
  • If you want to go through Palki, Kandi, and Ponies, make a reservation at the Gaurikund/Sonprayag ticket desk.
  • Take notice of the trip time since pilgrims are only permitted to travel to Kedarnath between 4 AM and 1.30 PM.

Tips for Exploring Kedarnath Dham

  • Kedarnath is the most prolonged and strenuous trek of the four Dhams, so get prepared for it.
  • Despite the fact that you are trekking in the summer, the temperature in Kedarnath may be frigid. So bring plenty of winter gear.
  • Kedarnath is a high-altitude location, thus you may get altitude sickness. Carry proper medications, such as Diamox.

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