Gaurikund is the commencement point of the 14km trek to the holiest shrine of Lord Shiva, Kedarnath Dham. Gaurikund is the place which is connected with motorable roads and good hotel facilities are available here. Gaurikund is situated at an elevation of 1982mts on the hill touching Vasuki Ganga. Gaurikund is located amidst lush green forest offering serene and panoramic views. According to myths and legends this is the place where Goddess Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva did penance involving ascetic and yoga practices to win over Shiva’s heart. Lord Shiva admitted his love for Goddess Parvati at this place and they married at Triyuginarayan which is very close to this place. Gaurikund holds great importance with the devotees of Lord Shiva and the people of Uttarakhand. There are natural thermal springs here where you can enjoy a hot bath in cold temperature. There is a special section of tank of hot water where ladies can take a holy dip. A temple dedicated to Goddess Parvati is also situated in Gaurikund. This natural thermal spring was the place where Goddess Parvati was taking bath and Lord Ganesha was sitting at the gate to stop anyone from entering it. Lord Ganesha was given the head of the elephant after Lord Shiva pierced his head off in fury. You can hire buggies, ponies and porters from Gaurikund. Gaurikund has many must watch excursions with great history.
Location of Gaurikund
Gaurikund is situated at an elevation of 1982mts above sea level in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand state. Gaurikund is located 14kms before Kedarnath Dham and 5kms ahead of the scenic Sonprayag. Gaurikund comes under the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand state. Gauri is another name of Goddess Parvati and Gaurikund is dedicated to her as she did penance here to win the heart of Lord Shiva.
Places to see in Gaurikund
Kedarnath Temple: Kedarnath temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is named after him. The temple was established more than 1000 years ago by Adi Shankaracharya. The temple is situated in a small town named after the temple Kedarnath which is situated 14kms from Gaurikund. To reach Kedarnath Temple you have to trek 14km commencing from Gaurikund. Kedarnath holds great importance with Shaivas and all hindus. Kedarnath temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas and the most important temple amongst panch kedar. Mythology says that Pandavas wanted to wash their sins they committed during the war by killing their own brothers, so they wished to meet Lord Shiva. Shiva was angry with and he didn’t want to bless them with his presence so Lord Shiva converted himself into a big bull and dug himself under the ground. The places where the body parts were founded were named as kedars. The hump of the bull was found here.
Chorabari Tal: Chorabari Tal is a lake 3kms ahead of Kedarnath. Chorabari tal is a pristine lake showing the reflections of the massive Himalayan peaks. The other name of Chorabari tal is Gandhi sarovar. The trek is easy but be careful while crossing the waterfall in between.
Vasuki Tal: Vasuki tal can be reached after a 7km moderate trek from Kedarnath. The lake is situated at an elevation of 4,150mts above sea level surrounded with Himalayan peaks casting their shadows on it.
Trijugi Narayan: It is the place where Lord Shiva and Parvati got tied in the unbreakable knot of marriage. Trijugi Narayan is a famous excursion of Kedarnath situated 11kms from Gaurikund.
Ukhimath: Ukhimath is the home of the Kedarnath and Madhyamaheshwar deity during winters. Ukhimath village has a beautiful temple and some good places to stay. Ukhimath is one of the major spot in the Rudraprayag district. Ukhimath is located 29kms from Gaurikund.
Deoria Tal: The stagnant water of Deoria tal shows the reflections of the snow clad Chaukhamba Peaks. Deoria tal is set at an elevation of 2,440mts above sea level. Deoria tal is located 3kms of easy trek from Sari, situated on Ukhimath-Chopta road.
Panch Kedar: Kedarnath, Madhyamaheshwar, Tungnath, Rudranath and Kalpeshwar are five kedars and to reach upto them you should have to trek for at least 4kms. Tungnath is the highest Panch Kedar set at an elevation of 3680mts above sea level, but it is also easily accessible. Tungath is situated 4kms from road, Kedarnath is situate 14kms from road, trek to Madhyamaheshwer and Rudranath is of 22kms and kalpeshwar is 12kms away from motorable roads. Only kalpeshwar remains opened throughout the year amongst the five kedars.
What to do in Gaurikund
Visit the holy Kedarnath Temple of Lord Shiva and revitalize your soul. Trek to Chorabari Tal is easy to do but if you have had trekking experience then opt for a trek to Vasuki Tal. You can cover the trekking distance of 14km by booking pony or buggy from Gaurikund. Take sacred dip in the pristine water of the thermal springs of Gaurikund, but remember don’t stay in the natural hot water tanks for more than 10minutes. Carry raincoats with yourself as the weather is unpredictable there. Do bring back all the polythene bags if you took some of them while trekking as throwing them anywhere would harm the beauty of such a heavenly place.
Accomodations Hotels in Gaurikund
GMVN Rest House is the best option to stay at Gaurikund as the place is well maintained and has affordable tariffs. Hot water is also available on request at GMVN but it may cost you a few bucks. Do make prior booking during peak season as the place is visited by thousands of devotees. You can also stay at the temple committee guest house. There are many private hotels in Gaurikund providing basic accommodation. Devlok, Panjab Sindh Awa, Sunil Lodge and Dhariwal Guest House are a few more options where you can make a comfortable visit.
Best time to visit Gaurikund
The best time to visit Gaurikund is from March to November. The area is prone to heavy snowfall during winters. Although the greenery during monsoons is tempting people usually try to avoid the monsoon months if possible. But if you are a real nature lover then you don’t want to miss this place during monsoons. Do carry woolens with you as the place is freezing during night.
How to reach Gaurikund
By Road: Gaurikund is well connected with motorable roads from cities like Delhi, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Haridwar and other hill stations of Garhwal making it easy to explore other places as well. There are regular buses and taxis operating upto Gaurikund from Rishikesh, Rudraprayag etc. Gaurikund is situated 392kms from Delhi.
By Rail: The Nearest Railway stations to Gaurikund are Rishikesh and Dehradun situated 206kms and 208kms away respectively.
By Air: The nearest Airport to Gaurikund is Jolly Grant near Dehradun situated 178kms away.