Visiting Kedarnath temple in Uttarakhand, India is the moment of great joy for pilgrims. Every year, after the opening of the Kedarnath temple’s gate many devotees visit here to see ‘Kedar’ form of Lord Shiva.
Kedarnath Dham, located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, India. This famous Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva
11th of famous 12 Jyotirlingas in the country.
How to Reach To Kedarnath Temple
For Kedarnath Temple, there is a 18 kilometers track from Gaurikund. Gaurikund is 250 kilometers form Dehradun by road.
Nearest railway station is Rishikesh is about 209 Kms
and nearest airport is Jolly Grant airport Dehradun.
If you come here from the Kumaon region in Uttarakhand
Haldwani in 317 kms form Garikund. Nearest railway station is Kathgodam, 312 Kms from Gaurikund. Nearest airport is Pantnagar.
Halicopter Rates For Kedarnath Temple
The helicopter seat charge from Guptkashi to Kedarnath was about INR 7300 for both sides. (as on June 2019)
The helicopter seat charge from Guptkashi to Kedarnath was about INR 6700 for both sides. (June 2018)
Currently 6- 7 heli service providers running flights in the route and fair may be vary.
The Trek Starts From For Kedarnath Temple
The trek starts from Gaurikund only a few vehicles can be parked in Gaurikund.
So vehicles can be parked 5 kilometer before Sonpryag car parking charges are INR 120 for first 24 hours and INR 100 for every next 24 hours.
There are a few hotels, restaurants and shops in Sonprayag
and at Sonprayag, there is a bio metric registration counters for the passengers trekking to Kedarnath.
There is a bridge few meters away from Sonprayag market
from where travelers can get shuttle service to Gaurikund
Taxi fare is INR 20 per seat from Sonprayag to Guaurikund (5 Kms).
Sonprayag is in the bank of river Mandakini the origin of the Mandakini river is Chorabari Glacier near Kedarnath, Mandakini river joins Alaknanda river at Rudraprayag.
After Reaching Gaurikund by Taxi or Trek
There are many guest houses, hotels, shops, cafes near Gaurkund. There are horses stand few meters after shops, from where pilgrims, can hire horses, doli, palanquin can be hired from there.
Prices can be seen in the screen in the way you can see people of every age. Keep a stick with you, while climbing uphill, which helps in climbing the hill.
Bamboo sticks can be bought for INR 10 to 20 rupees from Gaurikund.
After Gaurikund there is a helipad in Chiabasa there are a few helipads in the route are in Bhimbali and Lincholi helipad in Kedarnath.
Few cheap raincoats made by poly sheets can be found for INR 20-50 in Gaurikund. Cannot be used more than a couple of times because of poor quality.
Trekking Route And Weather
In the beginning, there are little climbing trekking routes
flat stones on the route. Many pilgrims start trekking from the Gaurikund in the morning, reach Kedarnath in the day,
perform darshan of Lord Shiva, return back to Gaurikund in the evening.
Due to being in high altitude location of Kedarnath region, it is very cold in the morning and evening. And sometimes the cold increases after the rains.
So, sometimes after the rain the trekking route is slightly slippery. At the same time, we saw many hard working people in many places, clearing the trekking routes.
Keep warm clothes with you and also bring raincoat with you.
As you proceed from Gaurikund, beautiful natural scenes begin to appear. On the route you can find huts & tents to stay, and there are tea stalls, small restaurants for refreshment.
In the places like Jungle Chatti, Bhimbali there is same way for pilgrims and horses,
Work was being done to prepare the way in many places. The best part we found in the route are running drinking water is available at many places on the trekking route.
Health relief centers with paramedical staff in many places washrooms in regular distance,shelters in many places to avoid rain, reservoir for animals in regular distance, waterfalls and natural beauty of hills allure you.
Enchanting scenes, voices of birds, explains the significance of walking away from worldly bondage. The road leads to the path of spiritual peace.
After Reaching at Rambada
After arrived at Rambada at half past four in the evening about half of the distance walked yet.
It was difficult to reach the temple before evening worship, so decide to take help of horses from here.
Horse operators assured us, that we will reach the base camp in 2 hours from Rambada.
Kedarnath Temple is about a kilometer away from base camp
If you want to travel with the help of a horse, and never sat before, then pay attention.
Let the horse handlers know that the horses run very slowly
and ask the right way to ride in the horse and right sitting posture. To avoid backache, due to jerk on the rugged routes
As it has been seen, many people have to face a lot of trouble from the horse’s journey.
After Reaching At Base Camp
Amazing view of valley and temple can be seen from Base Camp From where the road is almost flat.
Here comes a feeling like you have reached a different world all tiredness of the journey disappears here. Looking at the natural beauty, it seems that nature has opened its treasures here.
At Sri Kedarnath Dham there are 2 tourist rest houses of Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam, one is near Base Camp and other is near temple. You can stay at anyone which you like.
Apart from that there are many private lodges/ tents near the temple.
Evening view of temple, temple bells sound,darshan of Lord Kedarnath is a moment of great joy for every pilgrim
It’s not possible to express a fraction of this unbelievable, marvelous, unforgettable feeling in words, pictures or sounds.
It’s just can be realized such expressions came while visiting Kedarnath ji.
Long before coming into politics, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, stayed here for several days for meditation and worship
History and Story Behind The Ancient Kedarnath Temple
There are many legendary stories about Lord Shiva in Kedarnath. According to Skand Purana, once maa Parvati asked Lord Shiva why this region.
Then Lord Shiva replied that – Kedar region is very dear to him.
He always resides here with his followers. He has been residing in this region since he incarnated as a form of Brahma, to form the cosmos.
According to another tale in Skand Puran this is a very sacred place. In this place, when the death occurs, not only the humans but animals, birds also attain salvation.
According to a story in Shiv Purana legend goes that Nara and Narayana – two incarnations of Vishnu Shivalingam
performed severe penance here, in front of a Shivalinga fashioned out of earth.
Pleased with their devotion, Lord Shiva appeared in front of them and said that they may ask for a boon Nar and Narayan requested Shiva to take up a permanent abode as a Jyotirling at Kedarnath.
So that all people who worship Shiva shall be freed from their miseries. Lord Shiva appeared as Jyotirlinga on their prayer According to another legend after the Kurukshetra War,
the Pandava brothers, came here to meet Shiva on the advice of the sage Vyasa, because they wanted to seek forgiveness for killing their kin during the war.
However, Shiva did not want to forgive them: so, he turned into a bull and hid among the cattle on the hill. When the Pandavas managed to track him, he tried to disappear by sinking himself head-first into the ground.
One of the brothers grabbed his tail, forcing him to appear before them and forgive them. The Pandava brothers then built the first temple at Kedarnath. The portions of Shiva’s body later appeared at four other locations; and collectively,
these five places came to be known as the five Kedaras (“Panch Kedar“);These five places came to be known as the five Kedaras (“Panch Kedar”);
- Hump appeared in Kedarnath.
- Head of the bull appeared at the location of the Pashupati Nath Temple in Nepal.
- Arms in Tungnath.
- Face in Rudranath, navel appeared at Madhya-Maheshwar.
- Hair at Kapeshwar