About Kedarnath

Country: India | State: Uttarakhand

Ideal Trip Duration: 3 Full Days

Nearest City to Kedarnath: Dehradun (264 Kms)

Best Time to Visit Kedarnath: May to October

Peak Season: May to June & September to October

At a distance of 224 km from Rishikesh, 264 km from Dehradun and 439 km from Delhi, Kedarnath is a town and a famous center of pilgrimage in Uttarakhand situated in Rudraprayag district.

Kedarnath is a popular pilgrimage destination for Hindus and is one of the four major Places to visit in Uttarakhand known as Chota Char Dham pilgrimage that also includes Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. It lies at an altitude of 3584 m near Chorabari Glacier, the head of river Mandakini. It is the most remote of the four Char Dham sites and is flanked by breathtaking snow-clad peaks.

Kedarnath is named after King Kedar. According to a mythology, King Kedar ruled Kedarnath during the Satya Yuga. It is believed that the temple existed even during the time of Mahabharata. It is the place where Lord Shiva absolved Pandavas from the sin of killing their own cousins Kauravas in the battle of Kurukshetra. The famous Kedarnath temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas and is thronged by thousands of tourists each year. Other than Kedarnath temple, Bhairavnath temple, Chorabari Tal, Shankaracharya Samadhi and Hans Kund are the some other religious places near Kedarnath.

Kedarnath temple is a major tourist attraction and pilgrims book their hotels way in advance. Rooms in budget hotels and dharamshalas are available under Rs 500 and provide comfortable accommodation with basic amenities. The state-run guest houses are also available.

The nearest airport to Kedarnath is the Jolly Grant airport of Dehradun, which is just 239 km away. It is well connected by flight with Delhi. Rishikesh railway station is the nearest railhead to Kedarnath, which is situated at a distance of 224 km. It is well connected by train with Delhi, Haridwar, Bandikudi and Mata Vaishni Devi Katra. Gaurikund is the nearest road point, which is 14 km from Kedarnath and is well connected by motorable roads with Rishikesh, Srinagar, Haridwar and Dehradun. The Helicopter service is also available from various places in Uttarakhand to reach Kedarnath. A helicopter can be hired from Dehradun, Gauchar, Agastyamuni, Phata or Sitapur.

Kedarnath can be reached by 14 km steep climb from Gaurikund to the temple of Kedarnath and can be done on foot or on ponies. Ponies or horses are available on rent from Gaurikund. After the flash floods of 2013 which greatly affected the Kedarnath region, the route has been modified. The 14 km trek is now of 21 km which starts from Sonprayag. 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 7 km. The original route from Gaurikund runs through Rambara (7 km) - Linchauli (4 km) - Kedarnath (3 km).

The extreme weather condition of Kedarnath prompts the temple to be open only for 6 months from the end of April to the beginning of November. The town receives heavy snowfall during the winter months which makes it uninhabitable. The residents of Kedarnath shift to villages lying at lower altitudes during the winter months while Lord Kedarnath's Palki is transferred to Ukhimath.

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Other Info
Internet Availability: Internet Not Available
STD Code: No Phones
Languages Spoken: Hindi and English
Major Festivals: Badri - Kedar Festival (June)
Kedarnath is open only for six month every year between May and October. It is closed from November to April due to harsh winter weather conditions.

How to Reach Kedarnath

By Air

Nearest Airport: Dehradun - Jolly Grant Airport (239 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Rishikesh Railway Station (224 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Gaurikund Bus Stand (14 Kms)

Top 10 Places to Visit in Kedarnath


#1 of 18 Places to Visit in Kedarnath

Kedarnath Temple is one of the holiest Hindu shrines located in Kedarnath Town of Rudraprayag district in Uttarakhand. This holy site is perched at an altitude of 3,584 m in the Garhwal region of Himalayas. Lord Shiva is the presiding deity of the temple. The temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva along with one of the Panch Kedars.

The original temple of Kedarnath is said to have been built by the Pandavas. The current shrine is said to have been built near the old temple by the Hindu spiritual leader, Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century AD. The temple is still intact after the floods of 2013 as the town surrounding the temple has been washed away.

According to mythology, Pandavas were seeking remorse from Lord Shiva for killing their relatives in the battle of Kurukshetra. Shiva didn't want to give darshan so Lord Shiva converted himself into a big bull and tried to escape. In search of Lord Shiva, Pandavas then reached Gaurikund where they spotted an unusual .....

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Adventure | Backwaters | Pilgrimage

#2 of 18 Places to Visit in Kedarnath

At a distance of 3 km from Kedarnath, Chorabari Tal, also known as Gandhi Tal, is a beautiful lake produced from the Chorabari Bamak glacier.

Chorabari Tal is a small lake that holds crystal clear water. Perched at an altitude of 3,900 m above sea level, Gandhi Sarovar lies on the foot of Kedarnath and Kirthi Stambh peak. It offers magnificent views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks.

The original name of the lake is Kanti Sarovar. In the year 1948, some of Mahatma Gandhi's ashes were immersed here, after which it was renamed Gandhi Sarovar. According to mythology, this lake was the place where Lord Shiva imparted the knowledge of Yoga to the Saptrishis. There is a Bhairava Temple close to the glacier adjacent to a cliff known as Bhairava Jhamp. The cliff was a place where devotees jumped off, believing that it would bring them mukti. The practice was banned by the British administration in the 19th century.

The lake demands a trek of 3 km and is visited in summer. .....

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#3 of 18 Places to Visit in Kedarnath

At a distance of 500 m from Kedarnath Temple, Bhairavnath Temple is situated on a hillock towards northern side of the Kedarnath Temple.

Bhairavnath Temple is one of the most popular temples in Kedarnath after Kedarnath temple. This temple is dedicated to God Bhairav, who is supposed to be the main gana of Shiva. The weapon of the Lord is Trishula and his vahan is a dog. The deity of the temple is also known as Kshetrapal or the guardian of the region. According to legend, when Kedarnath Temple closes during winter months due to heavy snow fall, the deity in Bhairavnath temple protects the main temple area as well as the whole Kedarnath valley.

The trek distance from Kedarnath temple to Bhairavnath Temple is 500 meters. The place offers the magnificent views of Kedarnath Temple and entire Kedarnath Valley.

Timings: 6 AM to 8 PM

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Adventure | Pilgrimage

#4 of 18 Places to Visit in Kedarnath

At a distance of 3 km from Chopta, 32 km from Ukhimath, 88 km from Kedarnath, 73 km from Rudraprayag, Tungnath is one of the Panch Kedar temples and at an altitude of 3,680, it is the highest Shiva temple in the world. It is located on the Chandranath parvat in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. It is a well know pilgrimage center and also a frequented place of trekking in Uttarakhand.

Tungnath temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is believed to be 1000 years old and is the third in the order of the Panch Kedars. This sacred temple was discovered by Adi Shankaracharya. According to mythology, Vyas Rishi told the Pandavas that since they were culpable of slaying their own cousins during the Mahabharata war; their act could be pardoned only by Lord Shiva. Pandavas began to search Lord Shiva in the Himalayas and Lord Shiva kept avoiding them because they were guilty. In order to escape from the Pandavas, Lord Shiva disguised himself as a bull and took refuge underground. .....

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Adventure | Pilgrimage

#5 of 18 Places to Visit in Kedarnath

At a distance of 25 km from Gopeshwar, 83 km from Ukhimath and 140 km from Kedarnath, Rudranath is a pilgrimage site dedicated to Lord Shiva, situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It lies at an altitude of 2286 m in the Garhwal Himalayan Mountains. Rudranath is the third temple to be visited in the Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit. It is a popular pilgrimage site and also a famous place for trekking in Uttarakhand.

The Rudranath temple is believed to be established by the Pandavas, the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Legend has it that the Pandavas came to the Himalayan mountains in search of god Shiva, to redeem them of the sins of killing Kauravas in the epic Kurukshetra war. God Shiva did not wanted to meet them and escaped in form of a bull in the ground and reentered in parts in the Panch Kedar places: the hump raising in Kedarnath, the arms appearing in Tungnath, the navel and stomach surfacing in Madhyamaheshwar, the face showing up at Rudranath and the hair .....

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Adventure | Pilgrimage

#6 of 18 Places to Visit in Kedarnath

At a distance of 20 km from Ransi village, 36 km from Ukhimath, 89 km from Kedarnath, Madhyamaheshwar is an ancient Hindu temple located at the base of Chaukhamba peak in the Garhwal region of Rudraprag district in Uttarakhand. Madhyamaheshwar is a beautiful place among the Panch Kedars and is situated at an altitude of 3,497 m.

Madhyamaheshwar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple architecture is a classic Nagara style. This is the fourth temple to be visited in the Panch Kedar Pilgrimage circuit; the other temples being Kedarnath, Tungnath, Rudranath and Kalpeshwar. The middle (madhya) or navel of the bull, considered a divine form of Shiva, is worshipped at this temple. There are two other smaller shrines, one for Shiva's consort Parvati and the other dedicated to the Ardhanarishwara. Bhima, the second Pandava brother is believed to have built this temple and worshipped Shiva here. To the right of the main temple there is a small temple where the marble image of Saraswati .....

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Adventure | Pilgrimage

#7 of 18 Places to Visit in Kedarnath

At a distance of 12 km from Helang, 27 km from Joshimath and 56 km from Gopeshwar & 215 km from Kedarnath, Kalpeshwar is a pilgrimage site dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the picturesque Urgam valley in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It lies at an altitude of 2200 m in the Garhwal Himalayas. It is a part of the famous Panch Kedars and also a good trekking route near Joshimath.

Kalpeshwar temple is the fifth temple to be visited in the Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit, comprising five Shiva temples in the Garhwal region. Kalpeshwar is the only Panch Kedar temple accessible throughout the year. This temple is a small stone temple and has a stone idol of Lord Shiva. Nearby the temple is a cave upon which is the image of hair locks are carved naturally. These are considered to be the hair locks of Lord Shiva that appeared in Kalpeshwar. Hence, Lord Shiva is also called as Jatadhar or Jateshwar. Kalpeshwar houses the famous Kalpavriksha. This tree is believed to fulfill all the wishes .....

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#8 of 18 Places to Visit in Kedarnath

At a distance of 61 km from Ghuttu village and 15 km from Kedarnath, Mayali Pass is situated at an elevation of 5300 m in Bhilangana Valley and it offers great views of Masar Tal and Vasuki Tal. Also the pass is famed for the spectacular view of Thalay Sagar, Kedar dome and other peaks of Gangotri region.

Mayali Pass is a famous place for trekking in Uttarakhand and is followed by many trekkers every year. In ancient time this trek was used by pilgrims to travel between Gangotri and Kedarnath. The Mayali Pass trek route starts from Ghuttu and the goes along Bhilangana valley. The Mayali Pass trek from Ghuttu to Gaurikund is of moderate difficulty. The trek offers an extraordinary experience of Himalayan peaks. The remote Indian villages of Gangi, Bhilangna River Catchment, Thalay Sagar peak, and Khatling glacier are the highlights of Mayali Pass trek.

Mayali Pass is approachable by two routes. One is from Ghuttu and the other is from Mala, a village right above Uttarkashi. .....

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#9 of 18 Places to Visit in Kedarnath

At a distance of 14 km from Kedarnath and 4 km from Sonprayag, Gaurikund is an important Hindu pilgrimage site on the way to Kedarnath in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. It is situated at an altitude of more than 6000 feet (1982 m) in the Garhwal Himalayas.

Gaurikund has a temple named as Gauri Devi Temple, which is dedicated to Goddess Parvati. According to a legend, it is believed that Parvati meditated at Gaurikund for a long time to win Lord Shiva as her husband. Finally Lord Shiva admitted his love for her and married her at Trijuginarayan, which is located nearby.

This place is also associated with the legend of how Ganesha acquired his elephant head. Goddess Parvati had formed an image of Ganesha from the soap lather on her body and breathed life into it. She placed Ganesha at the entrance of her home as her doorkeeper to prevent anyone from entering while she was bathing. Now Lord Shiva happened to return at this point of time and was stopped by Ganesha. The offended .....

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Adventure | Backwaters | Pilgrimage

#10 of 18 Places to Visit in Kedarnath

At a distance of 8 km from Kedarnath, Vasuki Tal or Vasuki Lake is an enchanting lake situated at an altitude of 4135 m in the beautiful hills of Kedarnath in Uttarakhand. It is also a famous place among Uttarakhand Treks.

Vasuki Tal is surrounding with very high mountains and provides beautiful view of several peaks of Himalayas. This is the lake where Lord Vishnu is believed to have bathed in ancient times. Crystal clear water flowing through the lake revealing the rock stacks inside is an amazing view in Vasuki Tal. This beautiful lake provides a charming view of the neighboring Chaukhamba peaks. There are several beautiful, colorful flowers around the Vasuki Tal and one of the famous flowers is Brahma Kamal. During winter the lake it is completely frozen.

Vasuki Tal is quite large in size and also the trekking is difficult. The total distance of Vasuki Tal trek is about 8 km from Kedarnath. The trek from Kedarnath to Vasuki Tal is a continuous ascent along a narrow track. .....

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