The ethereal and surreal divine destination Kedarnath in Uttarakhand is a sight to behold not only because it’s a spiritual place but it is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations to visit in Uttarakhand. The entire land of Kedar Valley dances in the melodious music of sacred rivers, harmony of nature as it is decked with gorgeous Himalayan Peaks, verdant jungles, scenic orchards, stunning glaciers and waterfalls. It is a place for seeking spiritual wisdom as well as solace from the breathtaking views of nature.
Let’s know some of the best places to visit in and around the pious land of Kedarnath.
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Best Places to See in Kedarnath Dham
- Kedarnath Temple
- Shankaracharya Samadhi
- Rudra Cave Kedarnath
- Bhairav Temple
- Gandhi Sarovar
- Vasuki Tal Lake
Heart of the Kedar Valley, Kedarnath Temple is an extremely gorgeous and the most sacred pilgrimage destination for Hindu Devotees. It is one of the four divine Char Dhams of India. Devotees from all over the world come to seek divine blessings from Lord Shiva. Kedarnath Dham is the last point of Char Dham Yatra, a last point of spiritual quest for eternal peace. The architecture of Kedarnath temple is stunning, it is a 1000-year-old temple made out of giant stone slabs. The sculptures of various gods and goddesses in the inner walls of the temple is a sight to behold. It was established by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century. During winters, the shrine of Lord Shiva is transferred to Ukhimath from Kedarnath Temple as the entire temple gets covered in snow. In the month of May the idol of Shiva is reinstalled in Kedarnath.
Lying behind the sacred Kedarnath Temple is the Samadhi of Adi Guru Shankaracharya. It is said that he established the four sacred Dhams in India which have become the most sacred pilgrimage spots for the Hindu devotees. Thousands of devotees visit his grave to take holy blessings. He attained Nirvana at the age of 32 and merged with the pious land of Kedarnath. Guru Shankaracharya established the sacred Kedarnath Dham in the 8th century. There is a hot water spring near Kedarnath which is said to have been created by Adi Shankaracharya, it gives relief from the extreme weather of Kedarnath.
Rudra Cave Kedarnath
One and a half kilometers from the temple of Kedarnath is the most popular and sacred tourist attraction – Rudra Cave. It is an underground meditation cave built by the Nehru Mountaineering Institute. It is a peaceful spiritual retreat for meditation. The cave is constructed in Garhwali Style architecture. It offers all the basic facilities like bed, electricity, CCTV camera and attached toilet. The tea and food services and an attendant for 24 hours make the stay delightful. You won’t have any problem in doing meditation, this cave is extremely peaceful. From the cave you will also get to witness the sacred temples of Kedarnath and Bhairavnath. It is an ideal place for yoga and meditation. This cave became a popular point of tourist interest as our PM Narendra Modi visited and meditated in the cave.
Located at the south of Kedarnath is the stunning and most important pilgrimage site- Bhairav Temple. It is one of the most popular religious destinations in Kedarnath. The temple is dedicated to Baba Bhairavnath who is an incarnation of Lord Shiva. He is considered as the fiercest form of Lord Shiva associated with devastation. It is said that Lord Bhairavnath is the protector of Kedarnath Temple and the entire KedarValley. It is important to visit Lord Bhairav Temple if you are visiting Kedarnath temple as per the ritual. Apart from the religious importance, here you will be surrounded by the breathtaking views of Kedar valley and lofty Himalayan Peaks.
Located on the foot of Kedarnath Peak and Kirthi Stambh, Gandhi Sarovar is a small scenic lake which is a mesmerizing sight to behold in Kedarnath. It is also known as Chorabari Tal. It is renamed as Gandhi Sarovar as some of Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes were immersed here. Located close to it is a cliff called Bhairava Jhamp, where people used to jump to get salvation but this practice was banned by the British government in the 19th century. You have to trek 3km to reach this fascinating lake. From the iron Bridge of the Kedarnath the trek goes through stunning Deodar and Oak forests and picturesque waterfalls like Madhu Ganga Waterfall. The trek is a journey of a series of delightful vistas of lofty Himalayan Peaks. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions to visit in Kedarnath.
Vasuki Tal Lake
Situated at an elevation of 14,200 m above the sea level, Vasuki Tal Lake offers impressive views of lofty Himalayan Peaks. It is one of the most visited Tourist destinations in Kedarnath. The lake is one of a kind. Just by viewing you will get serene vibes. Flowers like Brahma Kamal around the lake makes Vasuki Tal more gorgeous to look at. Apart from the soothing beauty, this lake has religious importance. According to a legend, in this lake Lord Vishnu took a bath which made the lake auspicious and divine. The lake is surrounded by beautiful terrains which also makes it an awesome place for trekking.
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Places to See in-route to Kedarnath
- Gaurikund Temple
- Triyuginarayan Temple
Gaurikund Temple is one of the most popular pilgrimage places for the Hindu devotees. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvati. It is said that Goddess Parvati meditated here for many years to attain Lord Shiva as her husband. Pleased with her devotion and love Lord Shiva accepted her love and married her. Devotees from all over the world come here to take divine grace and spiritual wisdom. You have to indulge in a 14km trek from Kedarnath Temple to reach here.
Gaurikund is one of the holiest pilgrimage spots for Hindus near Kedarnath. Devotees who take a holy dip into Gaurikund are said to be free from any karmic backlog and become pure. It lies at an elevation of 6000 m above the sea level in Garhwal Himalayas. The ambiance, scenic lofty peaks and the divine aura is a perfect place to seek solace from the chaos of the world. It is a starting point for the holy abode of Kedarnath. Devotees from all across the world take shelter here for a night to trek to Kedarnath Temple.
On the way to Kedarnath, you must visit Phata village which is one of the most commercially important and popular tourist spots to visit around Kedarnath. Pilgrims take Helipad services to visit the most sacred and popular pilgrimage site – Kedarnath Temple. Devotees stay here to get refreshments and for a night stay in Kedarnath. It will take only 8 minutes to reach Shri Kedarnath Dham from Phata in a chopper. It is a delightful stopover for tourists. In terms of tourism there is nothing to see but the simplicity and the peaceful ambiance will melt your heart.
In-route to Kedarnath Dham, Sonprayag is one of the most popular religious tourist destinations to visit for soul seeking. It lies at the meeting point of two holy rivers, Basuki and Mandakini. It is said that taking a holy dip in the rivers will give the devotees salvation. Apart from the religious importance, Sonprayag offers gorgeous views of snow-capped Himalayan mountains and lush green valleys. The peaceful and divine vibes will take to the world of trance.
Situated at Rudraprayag, Triyuginarayan Temple is one of the major pilgrimage tourist attractions in Uttarakhand. Beautiful landscapes of Garhwal region and stunning Himalayan Peaks all around will blow your heart away. Triyuginarayan Temple is the center of attraction here which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Here the divine wedding of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati took place in front of Lord Vishnu, hence the temple of Triyuginarayan was built in his honor. The Brahma Shila in front of the temple is a testimony for the wedding. There are three holy Kunds near the temple – Rudra Kund, Vishnu Kund and Brahma Kund. Taking a holy dip in these kunds before entering the temple is considered auspicious. The pious kunds are also said to have medicinal properties.
Rudraprayag is one of the most popular religious tourist destinations near Kedarnath. It is 88km from the divine Dham of Kedarnath. It is named after the Rudra avatar of Lord Shiva. The word Prayag means confluence and Rudraprayag is located at the confluence of two holy rivers -Alaknanda and Mandakini. It is one of the five holy confluences of Alaknanda river. It is very popular for Jagadamba Temple and Koteshwar Mahadev Temple. Thousands of devotees come here to seek divine blessings. The aura of Rudraprayag is divine and stunning as it houses many beautiful lakes and glaciers which will delight your soul.
Located in the scenic Rudraprayag district, Augustmuni is a small town famous for the temple of a great sage Augusta. The village of Augustmuni got its name from the sage. The place where the temple is located is used to be the place of worship of Sage Augusta. It is also known as Agasteshwar Mahadev Temple. The temple looks magnificent in Baisakhi Mela. It is 95kms from the holy Kedarnath Temple.
Legend of Sage Augusta
As per the legends the two monsters Aatapi and Vatapi used to trouble local people. One monster used the art of disguise and lure people to come to their place for food. When people visit them, the monster used to turn into dwarf and hide in the food being offered to them. By doing this he entered an innocent people’s body and cut it from inside when called by the other monster. The two monsters then ate the person completely. Local people were very troubled by these monsters. They called sage Augusta for help. The monsters used the same trick and invited sage Augusta for food. Sage Augusta accepted the offer given by the monsters and ate the food. By doing spells, sage Augusta was able to defeat one monster and the other monster was defeated by the sage in a fierce battle. In this way Sage helped the locals. The temple of Sage Augusta was built in his honor.
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Places at a Distance of More Than 20km from Kedarnath
- Tungnath – Chandrashila
Guptkashi is 47kms from the sacred Shrine of Lord Kedarnath. Situated at an elevation of 1319 m above the sea level, its aura is divine and the ambiance is stunning with picturesque Himalayan Peaks. It houses the sacred Vishwanath Temple and Ardhnarishwar Temple which are the most important and popular sacred tourist spots for Hindu Devotees. Lord Vishwanath Temple is the center of attraction of Guptkashi. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. To the left of Vishwanath Temple the small temple of Ardhnarishwar is situated. It is a place where two sacred rivers Ganga and Yamuna meet in the Manikarnika Kund.
Ukhimath is situated in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand at an elevation of 1317m above the sea level. It is a beautiful home to Lord Kedarnath and Lord Madmaheshwar during winters. The temple of Kedarnath remains closed in winters as the entire area is covered in snow. The worship takes place in the sacred Omkareshwar Temple in Ukhimath. The priests of Kedarnath are Rawals and Ukhimath is mainly inhabited by them. Here along with tranquility and spiritual bliss, magnificent views of Himalayan Peaks like Neelkanth, Chaukhamba and Kedarnath will be seen. Numerous temples dedicated to Usha, Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva and Mandhata etc. makes the place delightful and ethereal.
Situated at an elevation of 4000 m, Chandrashila is one of the most alluring divine destinations in Uttarakhand. It is 90 kms from the divine Kedarnath Dham. It is a summit of Chandrashila Parvat on which one of the most sacred pilgrimage destinations, Tungnath Temple, resides. It is one of the holy Panch Kedars and the most important pilgrimage site for Hindu Devotees. The stunning Chandrashila summit offers fascinating vistas of the Great Himalayas. Tourists and devotees indulge in adventurous and alluring Chandrashila Trek to get the divine blessings from Lord Shiva in the holy Tungnath Shrine. It is a paradise of Peace and soul soothing tranquility. Lush meadows, verdant Deodar trees and the magnificent Tungnath Shrine makes the place completely ethereal.
Covered with Snow-capped Himalayan mountains on the right side and stunning alpine meadows on the left, the beauty of Madmaheshwar Temple is irresistible. This little holy town of Madmaheshwar is named after Lord Shiva and the temple of Madmaheshwar dedicated to him is the center of attraction and one of the most popular pilgrimage spots in Uttarakhand. It is the fourth temple of the holy Panch Kedars. Here the navel (Madhya) of a bull which is a form of Lord Shiva is worshipped in the temple. The Temple is said to have been built by Bhima, One of the five Pandavas to worship Lord Shiva. The evening Aarti performed in this temple is a sight to behold. It is 95 kms from the sacred Kedarnath Dham.
The last and the fifth temple in the Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit is the temple of Kalpeshwar. It is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites located around Kedarnath. It is the only temple which remains open throughout the year. The Jata or the matted hairs of Lord Shiva are worshipped in this temple. The temple is a gorgeous sight to behold as it is surrounded by verdant forests and green terrace fields. It also houses Kalpvriksha which is a tree of wish fulfillment. It is said that It grants all the wishes of the devotees. On your way to Kalpeshwar from Helang village you will witness stunning vistas of snowcapped mountains like Panchachuli, Bandarpoonch, Nanda Devi and Kedarnath, blissful Kalpganga river, apple orchards and beautiful potato farms.
Syalsaur is located at the blissful banks of River Mandakini. If you love bird watching then you must visit Syalsaur. Gorgeous vistas of lush greenery all around, majestic snow-capped mountains in the background, sunrise of Chaukhamba Peak, gushing of the river and soothing chirping of migratory birds makes this place an ideal stopover for a weekend in Uttarakhand. From here you can visit some of the most popular sacred spots like Badrinath Dham and Haridwar. It is one of the best places to spend a peaceful day in the lap of nature.
Located amidst the Garhwal mountains is the most popular religious tourist spot – Rudranath Temple. It is located 165 kms from the divine Kedarnath Temple. Surrounded by stunning Rhododendron forests and beautiful alpine meadows, the peaceful ambiance of this gorgeous temple will surely delight your spirit. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and people worship him in the form of Lord Rudra. The trek to Rudranath temple is a challenging one but you will witness alluring Himalayan Peaks like Nanda Devi, Nanda Ghunti and Trishul. Don’t forget to visit the ‘Water of Salvation’ – Vaitarani River and blend with the blissful vibes of nature.
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Kedarnath, the divine abode of Lord Shiva has ethereal vibes. The entire Kedar valley along with its surrounding places resounds with myths, legends and folk tales of divine gods and goddesses and the testimony to these stories lies in its divine destinations which are the epitome of spiritual bliss. Not only the divinity of the place will take you one step ahead to eternal peace but also the mesmerizing views of stunning mountains, rivers, glaciers, jungles will capture your soul to seduce it with its mesmerizing views forever. We hope that this blog will help you in Planning a trip to Kedarnath. If you have any query, you can definitely ask in the comment section of the blog.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q.What are the covid -19 travel guidelines to travel to Kedarnath in Uttarakhand?
Following are the essential travel guidelines to travel to Uttarakhand –
- You have to register yourself in the smart city portal of Dehradun.
- Covid vaccination certificate (15 days older) and a negative RT-PCR report of not more than 72 hours are required.
- Pilgrims visiting for Kedarnath Dham Yatra will not be able to take bath in the holy kunds.
- Only three people will be allowed in the Sanctum sanctorum of the Kedarnath Dham.
Q.Are we allowed to do trekking in Uttarakhand?
Yes, all the treks in Uttarakhand are now open. You need to follow all the covid-19 guidelines.
Q.What are the best places to stay in Kedarnath?
For hotel bookings in Kedarnath, you can check the Tour My India website and contact Tour My India for the Kedarnath Yatra Tour Package. Some of the best places to stay in Kedarnath are –
- Jamloki Tourist Lodge
- Behl Ashram Hotel
- Shivalik Valley Resorts
- GMVN Kedar Dome Cottages
Q.What are the best treks to do near Kedar?
Best Treks to do near Kedar are –
- Vasuki Tal Trek
- Paniya Tal
- Gandhi Sarovar
- Chopta- Tungnath- Chandrashila Trek
- Deoria Tal
- Kedarkantha Trek
- Rudranath Temple Trek
- Madmaheshwar Trek
- Trek to Kalpeshwar Temple
Q.What is the best time to experience snowfall in and around Kedarnath?
Winters in Kedarnath are really harsh as it experiences a sub-zero temperature and heavy rainfall. During This time Kedarnath is covered completely in snow which makes Kedarnath Temple inaccessible to the devotees. However, you can experience snowfall in the month of September and October. It is the best time to visit Kedarnath as you will experience heavy snowfall but there is a chance of landslides due to rainfall.
Q.What is the distance of Rudranath, Tungnath and Madhyamaheshwar Temples from Kedarnath?
- Rudranath Temple from Kedarnath – 33.9km
- Madhyamaheshwar Temple from Kedarnath- 95 kms
- Tungnath Temple from Kedarnath – 30.9 km
Q.Can we see Brahma Kamal flower in and around Kedarnath and what is the best time to see them?
Brahma Kamal flower is an extremely rare and sacred flower in and around the pious Kedar Valley. You can see this rare flower around Vasuki Tal Lake in Kedarnath valley. It blooms in the month of August and September Kedarnath Valley.