Lord Shiva calls his worshippers to the divine and mystical land of KEDARNATH. This remotest sacred site in the Chota Char Dham Yatra is a Shaivite temple that finds mention in the Skanda Puran. It has been a major pilgrimage site for Hindus since ancient times. It is said that Adi Shankaracharya breathed his last right here. The place reverberates with the holy vibes and heals all those who set a foot here.
This land has been blessed by sages and saints from time immemorial.This is the land where Lord Shiva rules and blesses all amidst snow clad mountains. Surrounded by enchanting meadows, mystical forests in the lower range of Himalayas, and pure air, it is one of the 12 Jyotirlingams.
This temple is also amongst the five most important Shiva temples in the Garhwal region which are called Panch Kedars.
Where is it located?
Situated at an elevation of 3,584 meters in the most breathtaking environs, this place is accessible from all major places in Uttarakhand.
With a motor able road extending till the sacred Gauri Kund, this is a journey every devout Hindu and nature lover must take. From Gauri Kund, enjoy the trek of 16 kms to reach KEDARNATH temple.
Else one can avail services of Palanquins and Ponies. During peak season, safe and efficient Helicopter services are available at a reasonable cost.
Why you should go on Kedarnath Yatra?
Pilgrimage is an important aspect of Hindu life. The journey may sound tough but the beautiful views and the mystical environment will keep you going and you will end up with the most amazing experience.
For those who cannot manage to do the longer Char Dham Yatra, Chhota Char Dham formed by Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri, and Gangotri is a shorter route to the holy bliss.
Confined to the state of Uttarakhand with its beautiful and friendly people, breath taking views, spiritually charged atmosphere, treks to entice adventure lovers, this circuit is a must do for everyone. The pristine nature remains untouched and untainted. Splendid peaks, sacred forests, meadows, and streams take travellers to a spiritual high making this journey completely worth.
Take in the soothing view of the Kedarnath peak behind the temple. It is like the soul of seers watching over everyone. The presiding deity form of Shiva is conical shaped in this temple.
KEDARNATH TEMPLE: HISTORY
Some scriptures associate the construction of temple with the Pandavas. Grieving Pandavas were looking for Lord Shiva to rid them of the burden of killing their kith and kin.
But Lord was not in a mood to let them go so easily. To evade being found with ease, Lord roamed in the hills of Garhwal disguised as a bull. Pandavas discovered him at which moment he plunged downward into the ground.
But Bhim was able to get hold of his hump. Other parts of Lord Shiva in the form of bull emerged at multiple places. These places together form the Panchayat Kedar. With hump at Kedarnath, navel at Madhya-Maheshwar, two forelegs at Tunganath, face in Rudranath, and hair at Kalpeshwar, these five Shiva temples are unique and deserve a visit.
Although scriptures associate the construction of Kedarnath Temple to Pandavas, the present building is credited to Adi Shankaracharya during the period he revived Hinduism. There are things to see and do for all kind of travellers in this circuit.
Places to see in Kedarnath Yatra
The main attraction and the holy temple is the culminating point of the journey to Kedarnath. This temple is built from grey stone and houses conic shaped deity. The contrast against snow clad peaks is breathtakingly beautiful.
Journey to this shrine is a goal in itself with the 16 km trek enchanting people with the most amazing scenery. Rhododendron forests light up the whole view while meadows and snowy peaks call out to travellers. The sacredness of temple is guarded by the majestic statue of Nandi.
For those planning to visit the temple, it is important to note that gates close on the first day of Karthik (Oct/Nov) and reopen after six months in the Vaisakh (Apr/May) month. During the time when temple is closed, Lord Shiva’s moveable idol is taken to Omkareshwar temple in Ukhimath. This becomes the seat of Lord during the tough winter months when travellers can’t go to the Kedarnath temple.
Kedarnath has withstood all challenges ranging from floods, earthquakes to avalanches since ancient times. Pyramid shaped idol of Lord Shiva is placed in the Garbha Griha.
This is where all the action begins. From here the trek to Kedarnath yatra starts. One may start by taking a dip in the natural thermal springs. Legends say that Goddess Parvati chose this place to meditate to appease Shiva in order to marry him.
One can pay obeisance at the temple of Sirkata Ganesha. This is considered to be the spot where Ganesha was beheaded by Shiva and later head of an elephant replaced his original head.
This beautifully serene lake is also the place where some of the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi have been immersed. This is what gives it the alternate name of Gandhi Sarovar.
It can be reached by trekking for around four kms from Kedarnath temple. This lake is fed by the Chorabari glacier and looks pristine. Travellers cross a waterfall on way to this lake which is an experience to have but with care.
Bhairav Nath is considered the guardian of the shrine when its gates are closed during winters. There is an ancient temple dedicated to this guardian which is located in the southern side of the temple complex.
Those looking for adventures perpetually and for those who wish to see untouched mighty Himalayas, trekking 8kms from Kedarnath to this place is a surreal experience. Keep in mind the difficulty level considering one has to cross many glaciers to set foot on this pristine land.
How to Reach Kedarnath
Route- Beginning from Delhi-Haridwar-Rishikesh-Devprayag-Srinagar-Rudraprayag-Tilwara-Agastamuni-Kund-Guptkashi-Phata-Rampur-Sonprayag-Gaurikund-finally trek to Kedarnath.
Nearest airport to Kedarnath is Jolly Grant which is on Dehradun-Rishikesh road. Almost 20kms from Dehradun, one can easily get taxis to Gaurikund or Haridwar/Rishikesh
You can easily find trains for Haridwar or Dehradun from Delhi which run all round the year. Taxis and buses are available from the railways station.
Buses as well as taxis run from places including Rishikesh, Dehradun, Uttarkashi, Tehri, Pauri, and Chamoli till Gauri Kund. Uttarakhand is a beautiful and easy place to navigate with its simple and unassuming populace.
Best time to visit Kedarnath
Winters are harsh and make this place almost impossible to reach. The best time to plan a visit will be in Summers. From May to June, and September to October, the weather is perfect to visit this shrine and fully enjoy this place.
Monsoons are usually very heavy and one must be prepared with all essentials if visiting during that period. Temperature is cold even in Summer months.
Frequently asked Questions
How is the mobile internet connectivity in Kedarnath?
If you want good internet connectivity in Kedarnath, you can depend on Airtel and BSNL mobile service.
When does it snow in Kedarnath Dham?
The weather gets really cold after the monsoon season. However, snowfall starts around the month of October. You can experience snow anytime in October before the Temple gates close around Deepawali.
What are the minimum days required to visit Kedarnath Temple?
If you want to visit Kedarnath Temple in the shortest time, you will need five days.
How are the road conditions from Haridwar to Kedarnath Dham?
The road from Haridwar to Kedarnath is in good condition and you can reach Kedarnath without any problems due to the roads. Earlier, in the monsoon season, roads would be blocked for a few hours due to landslides. Fortunately with the new all-weather road that connects all char dham sites, you will have no problems with the road.
Can I visit Kedarnath temple in the monsoons? Is the temple open in monsoons?
The Char Dham Yatra remains open from May to October/November. You can definitely visit all the shrines including Kedarnath throughout the monsoon season. However, it is advised to carry all essentials required for rains.
Can I book accommodation in Kedarnath in advance? How to book?
Yes, you can easily book accommodation in Kedarnath with the help of our tour experts. You can contact us and we will ensure that you get the best accommodation in Kedarnath.
Do you need any medical certificate to go to Kedarnath?
Yes, you need to get a basic fitness certificate before going to Kedarnath. This is required since Kedarnath Temple is situated at a high altitude. High altitude environments have low concentration of oxygen which can prove to be a health risk.
What are the places we can visit around the Kedarnath temple? How much time will it take?
There are not many places to visit in the immediate vicinity of the temple. However, you can go for the Kedartal trek if you wish. You can come back on the same day but you will have to walk in difficult terrain. Other places you can visit in proximity to Kedarnath are Triyugi Narayan Temple, Chopta and Chandrashila.
Why is Kedarnath Temple so famous among the travellers community?
Kedarnath Pilgrimage is famous among travellers and trekkers alike because it is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. It is also a marvelous journey to make since the temple is located among one of the most breathtaking mountain landscapes accessible in the Himalayan mountains.
Kedarnath Temple is associated with the Kedarnath temple?
At Kedarnath temple, you can get the blessings from Lord Shiva, who is one of the chief deities from the Holy trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.
Can I book online pooja reservation for Kedarnath?
No you cannot book an online pooja at Kedarnath.
What kind of attire or clothing is required to visit Kedarnath temple?
Since Kedarnath Temple lies at an elevation of more than 11,000 Feet above sea level, the weather is generally cold. It can get very cold after the monsoons begin so make sure to carry heavy woolen clothing.
Can I visit and complete darshan of Shri Kedarnath Ji in one day?
Yes, you can complete Kedarnath Darshan in one day by using the helicopter service.
What is the distance between Gaurikund and Kedarnath temple?
The approximate distance is about 16-17 kilometers.
What are the options for those who cannot walk up all the way?
There is doli or horse service available for anyone who is unable to walk due to any reason. Elderly are most commonly carried by hired doli or horse to make the journey convenient for them.
What are the charges for a Doli/Horse at Kedarnath?
The charges may depend on the season and the number of pilgrims approaching Kedarnath. The charges vary each year but usually you might have to pay 2500 INR from Sonprayag to Kedarnath and 1500 INR from Kedarnath to Sonprayag.
Can I get a personal Puja done at Kedarnath by a hired priest?
Yes you can hire an individual priest/pandit and get personal puja done.
Can one come back from Kedarnath to Gaurikund at night?
No, it is not possible to trek down at night because the path it uneven and bumpy which can be dangerous. Also, it gets too cold at Kedarnath at night so it is not advised.
Can you place flowers on Kedarnath Ji and touch him?
Yes, while doing darshan you can place flowers and touch Kedarnath Ji to get his blessings.
How much time is required for darshan of Shri Kedarnath Ji?
The time taken for darshan totally depends upon the length of the queue. There can be huge crowds at the temple during peak season so it can take longer than when compared to going in the monsoon months when there are fewer pilgrims.