Travel to Kedarnath



About Kedarnath

Kedarnath, a town in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, is named after one of the ancient rulers, King Kedar. Famous due to ancient Kedarnath temple, it is one of the famous Char Dham sites and also one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva in India. The temple is known to have been built by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century. In a recent tragic event in 2013, the town of Kedarnath was severely affected due to the sudden flash floods in the region. The temple along with the town is known to have suffered the worst damage ever.

Kedarnath Tourism



Kedarnath is considered as one of the most sought-after holy destinations. The Kedarnath Temple is devoted to Lord Shiva, and has a large number of pilgrims visiting the shrine every year.

There are also the majestic peaks of Kedarnath at 6,940 m and the Kedar Dome at 6,831 m, amongst other peaks of the Himalayan range.

Kedarnath has something to offer to all types of tourists from nature lovers, to adventure seekers, to pilgrims.

Some of the must-see places in the town of Kedarnath include:
  • Kedarnath Temple
  • Udar Kund
  • Hans Kund
  • Bharo Nath
  • Navdurga Mandir
  • Shankaracharya Samadhi
  • Ishaneswar Mahadev Temple
  • Ret Kund
  • Panch Ganga Sangam
  • Chorabari Taal (Gandhi Sarowar)
  • Bashuki Taal
  • Bhairava Temple
  • Sonprayag

Location

Located in the Himalayan range, Kedarnath is about 3,583 m above sea level. It is situated at the head of the river Mandakini near the Chorabari Glacier.

How to Reach?

By Air

The nearest airport, the Jolly Grant Airport is at a distance of 239 km from Kedarnath, located near Dehradun, which has regular flights from New Delhi.

The Helicopter service is also available from various places in Uttarakhand to reach Kedarnath. A helicopter can be hired from Dehradun, Gauchar, Agustmuni, Phata or Sitapur.

By Rail

The town of Kedarnath is connected to the nation through the Indian railways at its nearby stations of Rishikesh (215 km from Kedarnath), Dehradun (257 km), Haridwar (241 km), and Kotdwar (246 km). The Haridwar railway station is the most well-connected to some of the major cities of the country including, Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Howrah and Amritsar.

By Road

Kedarnath can be reached via road from some of the major cities of India, such as Delhi (458 km), Chandigarh (387 km) and Rishikesh (189 km).

The Kedarnath temple cannot be directly reached by road, and requires an uphill trek from Gaurikund which is around 14 km. Local services such as ponies, horses and dandies are available to reach the shrine.

Though, after the 2013 tragedy the route has been modified. The 14 km trek is now of 21 km. The current route begins from Sonprayag, from where the government-run vehicles take up the responsibility of the tourists. A general health check-up is done to ensure the safety of the tourists before allowing them to go further after registration. From here a trek of 7 km takes place up to Bhim Bali, while the next halt is at Linchauli at another 7 km. The last halt is the Kedarnath temple after a trek of another 6 km. Food and accommodation is provided by the government throughout the trek.

Best Time to Visit

Kedarnath experiences extremely harsh winters, which last for six months from the month of November to April. Due to heavy snowfall, the temple is closed for six months, as living in Kedarnath becomes impossible, so the locals also shift their base to nearby villages. The region experiences monsoons from July to August, and landslides are known to affect tourism, making it unfavourable as a holiday spot. Hence, the best time to visit Kedarnath is during summers, especially between May till October.

Travel tips
  • Make sure not to hurt any religious sentiments of the locals, as the town is a holy place.
  • Avoid intake of alcohol or non-vegetarian food, as they are prohibited in the town.
  • Plan your trip well, especially after checking the weather conditions as the region is prone to heavy landslides during the rainy season.
  • Remember to carry proper woollens and stay protected from the cold.
  • Take care of what you eat and drink, as eating options are quiet limited in the town.
  • You must carry a medical kit, with some important medicines for emergency.
  • Do get a health check-up before you plan to visit Kedarnath, as it is located at a high altitude.
  • You must carry your identification cards, for checking at any point can take place.

Travel Cost

Being one of the most famous pilgrim destinations in India, various tour packages are offered by the government as well as private operators. A trip can be planned beforehand, using an appropriate package. A package may vary from Rs 14,000 for a couple to Rs 17,000 for a single person, including travelling and stay charges, with Delhi as the starting point.

The cost of accommodation in Kedarnath may range from Rs 5,000 per person with stay at a luxury hotel, up to Rs 15,000 package for 11-night Char Dham yatra. The accommodation may be a bit on the higher side during peak season. A large number of budget hotels are also available in abundance in Kedarnath, along with a multitude of ashrams and dharamshalas.

Shopping

Being a famous tourist spot, the town is flooded with shops, especially around the Kedarnath Temple.
You can buy photographs and portraits of the Kedarnath Temple, or Lord Shiva and Parvati. Other than religious things, you will find a lot more in those small shops, such as:
  • Rudraksh accessories
  • Crystals
  • Saligrams
  • Herbs
  • Precious stone
  • Tulsi beads
  • Shilajit
  • Local woollen handicrafts
  • Ornamental Brass items

Eating out

Eating options can be very limited in Kedarnath. Though there can't be found any big restaurants, but the small eateries or dhabas serve decent vegetarian food. The restaurants in Kedarnath serve only vegetarian food, and alcoholic beverages are prohibited in the region.



Last Updated on : July 21, 2014



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