Kedarnath is situated in the valley massif snow clad Himalayan peaks like Kirti Stambh and Kedarnath Mountain. Kedarnath is one of the 12 jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. Kedarnath temple is more than 1000 years old dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is the most important temple of Lord Shiva in Uttarakhand. Kedar is also a name of Lord Shiva meaning powerful. Kedarnath remains closed during winters as the area receives heavy snowfall. Kedarnath is one of the four dham and is the most important amongst Panch Kedar or Five Kedars. Kedarnath can be reached after a trek of 14kms from Gaurikund or it can be reached via Helicopter from Agastyamuni and Phata. Kedarnath offers enchanting views of natural beauteousness and it is tough to leave such a beautiful and divine place. Kedarnath is the remotest temple amongst the four dhams of Uttarakhand. You can visit Kedarnath by travelling in helicopter. Kedarnath is one of the four dhams of Uttarakhand; other three are Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.
Location of Kedarnath
Kedarnath is set at an elevation of 3,584mts above sea level in the Rudraparayag district of Garhwal region of Uttarakhand state. Kedarnath is 14kms from Gaurikund on the banks of Mandakini River. Kedarnath is situated in the valley of gigantic peaks of Himalayan peaks offering splendor views. Kedarnath is located 234kms from Rishikesh and 250kms from Dehradun.
Places to see in Kedarnath
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. 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.
Gaurikund: Gaurikund is the commencement point of the trek to Kedarnath. Gaurikund has the natural hot water springs and a temple dedicated to Gauri devi of Gauri Goddess.
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.
Shankaracharya Samadhi: There is a Samadhi mandir of Adi Shakaracharya in Kedarnath. Adi Shankaracharya was a great scholar and a saint who established four sacred dhams in India and after doing that he went to his Samadhi at an early age of 32years.
What to do in Kedarnath
Visit Kedarnath the divine temple of Lord Shiva and wash your sins or to revitalize your soul. Trek to Chorabari Tal or Vasuki Tal. You can cover the trekking distance with ease by booking coolies and ponies. 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.
Excursions from Kedarnath
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 25kms from the temple.
Chopta: Chopta is the commencement point of the trek to Tungnath – 3rd kedar. Chopta is often said as the Indian Switzerland and mini Switzerland. Chopta offers splendid picturesque views and it is set at an elevation of 2600mts above sea level.
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.
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.
Accomodations Hotels in Kedarnath
GMVN Tourist Bungalow Kedarnath is a well known government accommodation provider. Country Inn suites, Punjab Sindh and other hotels provide good facilities in this remote area.
Best time to visit Kedarnath
Kedarnath can be visited from May to November and the place remains closed during winters and the people living in Kedarnath comes down to lower areas. The area receives heavy snowfall during winters. Try to avoid the monsoon months if possible. Do carry woolens with you as the place is freezing during night.
How to reach Kedarnath
By Road: Kedarnath is 14kms away from Gaurikund which is well connected with 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.
By Rail: Nearest Railway stations is Rishikesh situated 220kms away.
By Air: The nearest Airport is Jolly Grant near Dehradun situated 192kms away.