Kedarnath Temple

Making Travel Plans to Kedarnath? One of India’s four most well-known pilgrimages, Kedarnath, is a unique location that offers its guests spiritual, religious, and adventure values. Due to the surrounding mountain ranges, rock climbing and trekking are two of the most popular sports in Kedarnath.

Visitors can hike up to Chandrashila Peak or the Kedarnath Temple. Besides, Gandhi Sarovar, located 4 miles from the main town, is another stop you could make. Kedarnath doesn’t have many businesses, but the ones that do usually specialize in souvenirs with a spiritual theme. Discover our best suggestions for things to do in Kedarnath by reading on.

About the temple

Kedarnath temple|source/credit:timesofindia.com

In the Rudraprayag area of Uttarakhand, Kedarnath Dham is one of the most important shrines for Shiva believers. Lord Shiva’s name seems to echo throughout the majestic snow-capped peaks, lovely meadows, and dense forests of the lower Himalayan mountain range. Kedarnath Dham honors the majesty of Lord Shiva and is located in a gorgeous area close to the Mandakini River’s source at the height of 3,584 meters. Further, One of the 12 Jyotir Lingams, Kedarnath Temple, is also the most significant of the Panch Kedars (group of 5 Shiva temples in Garhwal Himalayas). Additionally, it is one of the revered Chota Char Dham Yatra’s important temples, adding to the region’s prestige.

Moreover, The motorable route leading to the Kedarnath temple is reachable from significant locations in Uttarakhand and continues to Gauri Kund. The next step is a 14-kilometer hike to the Kedarnath temple. In addition, Ponies and palanquins are readily accessible, and during the busiest time of the yatra, one can also hire a helicopter. 

The spiritual environment well makes up for the difficult travel to the enormous Shiva shrine that the area’s unruffled, serene, and magnificent beauty creates. Further, The majestic Kedarnath peak (6,940 meters) towers behind the temple together with other mountains, creating the ideal backdrop for the supreme deity’s holy territory. In addition, the Kedarnath temple’s conical-shaped Shiva lingam distinguishes it from other Shiva shrines.

The history of Kedarnath temple

When the Pandavas realized they had killed their blood relations, they turned to Lord Shiva for forgiveness. Shiva disguised himself as a bull to roam the Garhwal Himalayas since he didn’t want to forgive people for their sins so easily. Also, Shiva buried himself when the Pandavas discovered him. Bhim attempted to catch him but was only able to grab his hump. Shiva’s (in the guise of a bull) other body parts appeared in various locations. The bull’s hump was discovered in Kedarnath, its navel was discovered in Madhya-Maheshwar, its two forelegs were discovered in Tunganath, its face in Rudranath, and its hair appeared in Kalpeshwar.

Further, Panch Kedar is the collective name for these five holy locations. It is thought that the Pandavas initially constructed the Kedarnath temple; the current temple was created by Adi Shankaracharya, who repaired and renewed the splendor of the shrine.

What to see in Kedarnath temple

Kedarnath temple

Greystone makes up the imposing construction of Lord Shiva’s shrine. Fourteen miles of steep ascent from Gauri Kund are filled with immense natural beauty. The pilgrims enjoy spectacular views of snow-capped peaks, alpine meadows, and beautiful rhododendron forests thanks to the paved and steep trail. Standing just across from the shrine is a colossal stone statue of the Nandi Bull guards who gazes at it. 

Furthermore, there is only one Garbha Griha, which is home to Lord Shiva’s main idol, a pyramid-shaped rock. In the Mandapa part of the shrine, there is room for the idols of Lord Krishna, the Pandavas, Draupadi, and Kunti. Also, The temple still stands strong and elegantly after more than a thousand years of enduring natural disasters, including landslides, earthquakes, and floods.

Moreover, On the first day of Karthik (October/November), amid elaborate rites, the temple’s doors are shuttered in preparation for winter, and a mobile Shiva idol is transferred to the Omkareshwar temple in Ukhimath (Rudraprayag district). Also, After a six-month break, the Shiva idol is warmly welcomed back, and the temple is reopened for the Hindu festival of Vaisakh (April/May).

Gaurikund

It serves as the beginning point for the trip to the Kedarnath temple. Further, According to mythology, Goddess Parvati (also called Gauri) meditated here before she wed Lord Shiva. It is made up of natural hot springs and provides pilgrims with a cooling bath before they leave for the revered Kedareshwar darshan (the Lord of Kedar, Shiva). 

Furthermore, There is also a historic Gauri Devi temple nearby that is dedicated to the goddess. The Sirkata (headless) Ganesha temple is situated half a kilometer from Gauri Kund. Besides, According to the Skanda Purana, Shiva decapitated Ganesha before affixing the elephant’s head to his headless body.

BHAIRAV TEMPLE

An additional significant and historic temple is located on the south side of the temple complex. Besides, It is devoted to Bhairav Nath, who is thought to be the person in charge of watching over the temple complex during the winter months when it is closed.

Best time to visit Kedarnath

Kedarnath temple|source/credit:en.wikipedia.org

Kedarnath has a relaxed environment for most of the year and is best visited in the summer. However, visitors can explore this area in good weather from May to June and from September to October. Further, The weather in Kedarnath is still delightful and relaxed around this time. Here, the winters are severe, with below-freezing temperatures and lots of rain. Besides, When traveling to this pilgrimage site during the monsoons, one must pack a few necessities due to the tremendous downpour that the monsoon season is known for.

Summers

The pleasant Kedarnath summers, which continue from May to June, are marked by temperatures that average around 17°C. The conditions are perfect for visiting the Kedarnath temple and enjoying other nearby famous tourist destinations. Also, This season is the best time to visit this location because the weather is still temperate throughout this time. 

Journey Essentials- Don’t forget to bring a daypack, suitable walking shoes, trekking shoes, trekking pants, a windproof jacket, lightweight wool clothes, a sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm, a torch or flashlight with additional batteries, a walking stick, and personal toiletries. Further, A water bottle must always be with you. You should also keep some energy drinks, energy bars, and dried fruits in your pocket.

Monsoon

MONSOON Temperatures in Kedarnath fell to 12°C during the monsoon season, which began in July and lasted until August. In addition, Visitors are encouraged to be ready to handle the challenges because Kedarnath frequently experiences significant rain showers and landslides during this season. To protect oneself from the torrential rains, one must take a few necessities. 

TRIP ESSENTIALS- Bring a day pack with a rain cover, a pair of waterproof hiking or trekking shoes, trekking pants, a windproof/water-resistant jacket, thick fleece, woolen clothing, waterproof gloves, thick woolen socks, a walking stick, a raincoat or poncho, a torch or flashlight with extra batteries, and personal toiletries. Also, Don’t forget to include a water bottle, some snack-size dry fruits, and energy drinks to prevent dehydration.

Winters

The winter season in Kedarnath starts in November and lasts till April. This time of year is not ideal for visiting because of the obstructed routes to Kedarnath caused by the excessive snowfall. As a result, the Kedarnath Temple is closed during the winter. Here, the winters are chilly with often-subzero temperatures. Kedarnath is currently covered with snow and is therefore unreachable for a while.

Activities to do in Kedarnath

Relax at Vasuki Tal

Near Kedarnath, in the Himalayas, is Vasuki Tal, a sizable lake. To get to this stunning location, embark on an exhilarating trip while overcoming the difficulties presented by the high elevations. Also, You will be mesmerized by the breathtaking splendor of this pristine lake and its verdant surroundings. Admire the crystal-clear, emerald-green waters and find peace in this setting, far from noise, pollution, and traffic. Besides, At these altitudes, the crisp air, brilliant sun, and crystal blue sky are exhilarating. Feel the majesty of the surroundings, let their size overwhelm you, and let it wash away all your trivial worries. As a result, many pilgrims and trekkers come here regularly.

Visit Deoriya Tal

The Deoriya Taal nature hike is perfect for beginners trekking. Deoriya Taal, a tranquil Himalayan lake, is reached after this moderately challenging journey. Like a mirror, the serene depths reflect the towering conifers, distant mountains with snow-capped peaks, and the blue skies. Here, you have the option to camp out and enjoy the great outdoors, which is an exciting experience. Also, Photographers will enjoy the picturesque backdrop. Binoculars are a must-have for getting a closer look. Watch as the sun sets and a blaze of vibrant colors ignites the far snow. Besides, The day transforms into a magical, star-studded night. The clear skies make these celestial bodies seem more numerous here.

Pray At Anusuya Devi Temple

Near Rudranath, there is a temple devoted to the goddess Anusuya. This trip is thought to assist devotees in desperate need of something. Take the arduous journey to this temple, where the natural splendor of the road will mesmerize you. Numerous shades of green cover the rolling hills that extend before, above, and beneath you. The tops of peaks are shrouded in white mist, giving them a dreamlike appearance. For this trip, keep yourself warmly wrapped up because the lowering temperature makes you shiver. The shrine, frequented by many devoted worshipers, marks the journey’s end.

Chorabari Tal Trek 

Trek to Chorabari Tal, where the vivid blue color of the lake will fascinate you. Watch the clear sky that it reflects in its calm waters. This challenging location, which is pristine and unspoiled, is a visual delight; it is so breathtakingly gorgeous that it imprints itself on your memory. According to legend, Lord Shiva, the original yogi, taught the Sapta Rishis the principles of yoga upon the side of this lake. Feel the beauty and aridity of the surroundings meld with legend and reality. The chilly temperature, the neighboring mountains, and the ancient temple will make this one of your most unforgettable trips, full of the stunning landscape.

Kedarnath Peak Trek 

If you love the mountains, consider making the walk up Kedarnath Peak, which is covered with snow. You can join one of the expeditions when experienced climbers are present to partake in an exciting adventure. You develop dependable friends thanks to the camaraderie on these hikes and your incredible bravery. Try to push yourself on this challenging climb. Enjoy the snow’s bare, clean beauty as it reflects the sun in nearly dazzling brightness. Goggles are necessary for this situation! You will experience the satisfaction of a significant accomplishment once you arrive at your goal. After attempting to scale these rugged heights, you will emerge more powerful mentally and physically.

Check out Sunset Point 

Visit Sunset Point for unrivaled views of the Chopta Valley. This location is ideal for an extended camping vacation. As this is the starting point for many treks, including Tungnath and Chandrashila, you will likely find a large crowd joining you. Watch as the sun sets over the white mountains, which turn orange and pink as the day ends. Observe the silvery moonlight showering the area shortly after sunset, as well as the glittering stars emerging in the lavender heavens. Take shots of the peaceful surroundings, where lush valleys can be seen for miles. You will feel refreshed after this exceptional encounter with nature’s riches.

Visit Shankaracharya Samadhi

One of the most respected figures in Hinduism, Shankaracharya, is shown in a gorgeous idol in the Shankaracharya Samadhi, which sits directly behind the Kedarnath Temple. Take a stroll through this neighborhood, which pilgrims always populate. It’s intriguing to look at the little stores that sell worship supplies like garlands, agarbattis, and idols. One of Hinduism’s most influential thinkers, Shankaracharya’s treatises, is still studied today. At this location, he allegedly reached moksha. Admire this building and learn about the extraordinary life of this monk, who is supposed to have toured the entirety of India. When you visit this country, you can learn more about its extensive cultural past.

How to reach Kedarnath Temple?

Kedarnath yatra 2022|source/credit:timesnownews.com

The other four most revered Char Dhams for Hindus are Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. Kedarnath is one of these places. According to Hindu religious texts, the Pandavas from the Mahabharata undertook the Char Dham yatra to atone for the crimes they had committed during the legendary Battle of Kurukshetra. Kedarnath hence has great religious significance to Hindus in India. 

Although getting to Kedarnath Shrine is not difficult, the trek to the main temple can be challenging and a little exhausting. But if you’re a sucker for adventure, you’ll undoubtedly adore it. Kedarnath, a spotless town in Uttarakhand is between the towering peaks of the magnificent Himalayas and is located at the height of 3584 meters above sea level. Visitors to Lord Shiva’s ancient shrine in Kedarnath, stream there to pay their respects. Kedarnath in the Garhwal region has unparalleled natural beauty and significant religious importance. The alpine forests and snow-covered mountains create a whole other environment.

Here are some simple tips on how to get to Uttarakhand’s Kedarnath Temple. 

By Air 

Since Kedarnath does not have an airport, Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the closest commercial airport. Jolly Grant Airport, which is around 250 kilometers from Kedarnath, connects to New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai, among other important Indian cities. Many flights are going to and from these places, offering a wide variety of flight times and prices. To get to Kedarnath from Dehradun, you can take a bus or a cab.

By Road

Kedarnath has excellent bus service to New Delhi and Dehradun. The best method to get to Dehradun, which is around 260 kilometers from the Indian capital, is via bus if you arrive in New Delhi. The two main interstate bus terminals in Delhi that offer consistent bus connections to Dehradun are Kashmere Gate Bus Terminal and Anand Vihar Bus Terminal. In addition, you can take a bus to Kedarnath from Dehradun. A/C sleeper, non-A/C sleeper, Volvo A/C, Volvo A/C, and semi-sleeper buses are all available options. To get to Kedarnath from Haridwar, you can alternatively take a bus. Around 125 kilometers separate Haridwar and Kedarnath, and it takes a bus roughly 5 hours to travel that distance.

If you want to take your time and appreciate that excellent stretch, you can also book a cab from Dehradun. Taxis run between Dehradun and Kedarnath, and the cost varies according to the size and number of seats in the car.

By Train

At Kedarnath, there is no railroad station. The closest rail hub to Kedarnath is Rishikesh Railway Station. Nearly all of India’s major cities connects well to the Rishikesh Railway Station, which is around 210 kilometers from Gaurikund. It runs a large number of trains each day. In addition, one can take a bus to Gaurikund from Rishikesh.

Things to Remember 

  1. Every passenger must register their biometric information as per a government order from Uttarakhand. Additionally, the facility is accessible online. You can also carry out the same action at Sonprayag. 
  2. It is simple to find mules and porters to help you on your journey. However, keep in mind to verify the advertised pricing to avoid paying more. 
  3. Additionally, remember to verify the legitimacy of any hired porters or mules’ owners. 
  4. Avoiding mountainous terrain during the monsoon season is always a good idea. Particularly in light of the catastrophe in 2013 and how severely Kedarnath was damaged. Consult with officials and local authorities if you want to travel there during the monsoon season.
  5. On the grounds of the temple, photography is not permitted. Be aware of this and follow the guidelines the temple’s administrators set.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the story of Kedarnath?

According to legend, the Pandavas went in search of Lord Shiva to absolve themselves of the remorse they felt after slaughtering their blood relations. Shiva disguised himself as a bull to roam the Garhwal Himalayas since he didn’t want to absolve them of their sins.

Why is the Kedarnath temple so famous?

One of the four locations of the Chota Char Dham pilgrimage is Kedarnath. The most significant of the Panch Kedars and one of the 275 temples that make up Paadal Petra Sthalams, the most potent Shiva temple in the world, is Kedarnath Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

What happens inside the Kedarnath temple?

Outside the temple, the entryway is a giant statue of Nandi that welcomes you. Inside the Kedarnath temple, a conical rock formation known as the Sadashiva form of Shiva is worshipped. Inside the temple are a “Garba Griha” for worship and a Mandap for visitors.

Who can visit the Kedarnath temple?

The state administration has increased the number of pilgrims who can visit Kedarnath Temple each day. Only 13000 pilgrims each day will now be permitted to enter the temple. To visit Kedarnath or other char Dham temples, you must first register on the state government’s website.

Why Kedarnath is closed for six months?

The Chota Char Dham Yatra welcomes visitors every year from April to May, after which the temples close for six months because of the region’s frequent heavy snowfall. Without seeing the temples in Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri, a Chota Char Dham Yatra is not complete.

How much is a trip to Kedarnath?

6000 per person approx.

Conclusion

Visit Kedarnath if you want to rejuvenate, connect with nature and the Gods, and experience some adventure on your upcoming vacation. You’ll be transported to a period of simplicity and sincerity by this location. You’ll fall in love with the charming way of life in the hills and the majesty of pure faith. If you have any inquiries concerning this magnificent wonderland, do leave a comment below, and I would be happy to answer.

Travel safely!

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