Kedarnath Dham

Kedarnath YatraKedarnath Dham, located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, is one of the most paramount locations for worshipers of Shiva. The air appears to be reverberating with the name of Lord Shiva amid the mighty snow-clad peaks, enchanting meadows and forests of the lower mountain range of Himalayas. Situated in a breathtaking location, near the source of Mandakini River and at the height of 3,584 meters, Kedarnath Dham celebrates the greatness of Lord Shiva. Kedarnath temple is one of the 12 Jyotir Lingams and is also the most important temple among the Panch Kedars (group of 5 Shiva temples in Garhwal Himalayas). It is also one of the significant temples of the sacred Chota Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand, raising the glory of the place to further heights.

Accessible from major destinations of Uttarakhand, the motorable road towards Kedarnath temple stretches till Gauri Kund. After that one needs to take a 14 km trek towards Kedarnath temple. Ponies and palanquins (doli) are easily available; one can also avail helicopter services during peak season of yatra.

The hard journey till the great shrine of Shiva is well compensated with the spiritual atmosphere which is created by the unruffled, tranquil and splendid beauty of the region. The majestic Kedarnath peak (6,940 meters) stands behind the temple along with other peaks, forming a perfect setting for the holy land of the supreme deity. The conical-shaped Shiva lingam in the Kedarnath temple is a unique feature of the temple among all Shiva shrines.

Legend behind the Kedarnath Temple

Burdened with the guilt of killing their blood relatives, Pandavas sought Lord Shiva to absolve themselves of their sins. Shiva didn't want to release them from their wrongdoings so easily and disguised himself as a bull to roam in Garhwal Himalayas. On being discovered by Pandavas, Shiva dived into the ground. Bhim tried to catch him and could only get hold of the hump. Other body parts of Shiva (in the form of bull), came up at different places. Hump of the bull was found in Kedarnath, navel emerged at Madhya-Maheshwar, two forelegs appeared at Tunganath, face in Rudranath, and hair came up at Kalpeshwar. Together these five sacred places are called Panch Kedar. It is believed that originally Pandavas built the temple of Kedarnath; the present temple was established by Adi Shankaracharya who restored and revived the glory of the shrine.

Chardham Yatra Uttarakhand

What to See in Kedarnath Dham?

  • Kedarnath Temple

    Kedarnath Temple

    The grand and impressive structure of Lord Shiva's shrine is made of grey stone. Steep climb stretching to 14 km from Gauri Kund brims with abundant beauty of nature. The paved and steep path gifts the pilgrims the fantastic views of snowy-peaks, alpine meadows and delightful forests of rhododendrons. A large stone statue of Nandi Bull stares at the shrine, guarding it, sitting right opposite it.

    There is one Garbha Griha which houses the primary idol (pyramid shaped rock) of Lord Shiva. The idols of Lord Krishna, Pandavas, Draupadi and Kunti find a space in the Mandapa section of the shrine. The temple has withstood natural calamities like avalanches, earthquakes and floods for over thousand years and still stands as strong and elegant as it must have originally been.

    With the onset of winters, the portals of the temple are closed on the 1st day of Karthik (Oct/Nov) amid elaborate rituals, and a moveable idol of Shiva is shifted to Omkareshwar temple in Ukhimath (Rudraprayag district). The Shiva idol is welcomed back and the temple is opened again after 6 months in the Vaisakh (Apr/May) period of Hindu calendar.

  • Gaurikund Yatra

    Gaurikund

    It is the starting point of the trek towards the temple of Kedarnath. As per a legend, Goddess Parvati (also known as Gauri) meditated over here in order to marry Lord Shiva. It consists of natural thermal springs and offer refreshing bath to pilgrims before they embark for the holy darshan of Kedareshwar (the Lord of Kedar, Shiva).

    There is also an ancient Gauri Devi temple over here, honouring the goddess. Half Kilometre from Gauri Kund is the temple of Sirkata (headless) Ganesha. According to Skanda Purana, this was the place where Shiva beheaded Ganesha and then attached the head of an elephant on his headless body.

  • Chorabari Tal

    Chorabari Tal

    Fed by Chorabari glacier, the serene and pristine Chorabari Lake can be reached after undertaking a trek of less than 4 km from the Kedarnath town. It is also known as Gandhi Sarovar as some of the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were immersed in its waters. On the way, there is a waterfall which one needs to cross. It looks amusing but care should be taken while going across it.

  • Bhairav Temple

    Bhairav Temple

    In the temple complex, to the south side, there is another ancient and important temple. It is dedicated to Bhairav Nath, who is believed to be the one who guards the temple compound when the shrine is closed in the winter season.

  • Vasuki Tal

    Vasuki Tal

    Located at 3,135 meters, the crystal clear blue-water lake of Vasuki is about 8 km from Kedarnath. It is quite a difficult trek and involves going across glaciers, but the walk among the untouched Himalayas is worth every bit of effort.

How to Reach Kedarnath Dham?

Kedarnath Yatra Uttarakhand
Route

Delhi - Haridwar - Rishikesh-Devprayag - Srinagar - Rudraprayag - Tilwara - Agastamuni - Kund - Guptkashi - Phata - Rampur - Sonprayag - Gaurikund - Trek to Kedarnath

  • Travel Kedarnath by Air

    By Air:

    Jolly Grant airport on Rishikesh-Dehradun road is the nearest airport to Kedarnath. Hire a taxi to Gaurikund or till Haridwar/Rishikesh.

  • Travel Kedarnath by Rail

    By Train:

    Regular trains from Delhi to Haridwar and Dehradun are available at all times of the year. Hire a cab or get a bus from here.

  • Travel Kedarnath by Roadways

    By Bus:

    Gaurikund is connected with motorable roads, and buses and taxis from important destinations like Rishikesh, Dehradun, Uttarkashi and Tehri, Pauri and Chamoli are easily available.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Kedarnath temple is from April/May to June and September to October/November.

(Monsoon brings the threat of landslides and floods while winters bring heavy snowfall and below zero temperatures.)

Kedarnath Tourist Map

FAQ'S for Kedarnath Temple 

Q. How is the Mobile Internet Connectivity in Kedarnath Dham? 

With BSNL and Airtel telecom services there is good Mobile Internet Connectivity in Kedarnath Temple. 

Q. When does snowfall occur in Kedarnath Dham?

From the first week of October, snowfall in Kedarnath Temple starts to occur. 

Q. How many minimum days are required to visit Kedarnath temple?

From Delhi, a minimum of 5 days is required to visit Kedarnath Temple.

Q. How is the road condition from Haridwar to Kedarnath temple?

The road condition from Haridwar to Kedarnath Temple is good and one can reach without any hassle.

Q. Does Kedarnath Temple remain open during the monsoon season?

Kedarnath Yatra begins from May to October/November. So, one can plan a trip to Kedarnath Dham during the monsoon season.

Q. How to book accommodation for Kedarnath Dham?

Our Tour experts can assist in booking accommodation for Kedarnath Dham as per our client’s requirement.

Q. Is any medical certificate required for Kedarnath Yatra? 

Yes, the medical certificate is required for Kedarnath Yatra. 

Q. Apart from the main temple, what places would you suggest us to visit in and around Kedarnath, and how much time will it take?

The only place to visit in and around Kedarnath would be Kedartal. One needs to indulge in trekking which can be done on the very same day and then return. Other tourist places which lie in close proximity to Kedarnath and which one can visit are Trijuginarayan temple, Chopta Valley & Tungnath temple.

Q. What is the history of Kedarnath Temple & who built it? 

The history of Kedarnath Temple dates back to the 8th-12th century. Some versions claim it was built by the 8th-century philosopher Adi Shankaracharya while other leads on from the time of Mahabharata that inspired for the construction of the temple.

After the Kurukshetra war, Pandava brothers sought to meet Lord Shiva to seek his forgiveness for killing their kin during the war. However, Lord Shiva did not want to forgive them. Later Lord Shiva appeared as Nandi-the bull in Guptkashi but the Pandavas found him and tried to catch hold of Nandi. Lord Shiva again escaped and this time, he reappeared in five different parts in different places, the face at Rudranath, the locks at Kalpeshwar stomach at Madhyamaheshwar, arms at Tungnath, navel and the hump at Kedarnath. Collectively, these five places came to be known as the five Kedars (Panch Kedar).

Yet another tale associated with the Kedarnath temple construction is Nara-Narayan, a Hindu deity, went to worship Parvati and Shiva appeared. Nara-Narayan requested Lord Shiva to stay there for the welfare of humanity. This wish was granted by Lord Shiva and since then Kedarnath became his abode. 

Q. When did the massive flood occur in Kedarnath and how many casualties were reported?

The massive flood of Kedarnath Yatra occurred in the year 2013 and a total number of 5748 casualties were reported.

Q. Why is Kedarnath so famous in the traveller communities? 

The ancient shrine of Kedarnath is also considered as one of the 12 jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva making it so famous in traveller communities. 

Q. Which God/Goddess is worshipped in Kedarnath?

Pilgrims can attain the blessings of Lord Shiva in Kedarnath Shrine. 

Q. Can we book an online puja for Kedarnath?

No, you can’t book an online puja for Kedarnath.

Q. What kind of clothes should we take along with us for the Kedarnath Yatra?

For Kedarnath Yatra, one should carry woollen clothes and cap; good hiking shoes; handy torch; first-aid box; raincoat; 2-3 extra pair of socks; sunscreen lotion and good moisturising cream. 

Q. How much time does it take for darshan of Shri Kedarnath Ji? 

The time taken for darshan of Shri Kedarnath Ji depends on the length of the queue. 

Q. Can I complete Kedarnath Darshan by Helicopter in one day?

Yes, you can complete Kedarnath Darshan by Helicopter in one day.

Q. Can I offer flowers in Kedarnath Temple?

Yes, you can offer flowers in Kedarnath Temple. 

Q. Usually, how much time is required for Kedarnath Darshan Ji?

The time required for Kedarnath Darshan Ji depends on the length of the queue.

Q. How much time does it take for the darshan of Kedarnath Ji for an elderly person?

The time taken for an elderly person for the darshan of Kedarnath Ji depends on the length of the queue.

Q. How much time does it take to reach Kedarnath from Gaurikund?

From Gaurikund it takes around 7-8 hours to reach Kedarnath. 

Q. What is the distance between Gaurikund & Kedarnath Temple?

The distance from Gaurikund to Kedarnath temple is approx 16 km. 

Q. Is Doli or Horse-Riding Facility available in Kedarnath?

Yes, pilgrims can enjoy the facility of a Doli or Horse riding facility in Kedarnath. 

Q. Can I complete Kedarnath Darshan by Doli in one day & come back to Gaurikund on the same day by night?

Yes, if you start early in the morning at around 6:00-7:00 AM, you can complete Kedarnath Darshan by Doli in one day & come back to Gaurikund on the same day by night. 

Q. What are the charges for Doli/Horse riding at Kedarnath?

Charges for the Doli/Horse riding for Kedarnath might vary every year. Usually, it is around INR 2500 from Sonprayag to Kedarnath and INR 1500 from Kedarnath to Sonprayag.

Q. Can I hire a personal priest/pundit at Kedarnath Dham to perform my special puja? 

Yes, you can hire a personal priest/pundit at Kedarnath Dham for a special puja.

Q. Are Doli/Horse riding services available in Kedarnath both during the day and night? 

Yes, you can avail the doli/horse riding services available in Kedarnath both during the day and night. 

Q. Can I return to Gaurikund from Kedarnath at night?

No, you can’t return to Gaurikund from Kedarnath at night as the roads are pitted and bumpy which makes it difficult to travel during the night time. 

Q. Can we place flowers on Kedarnath Ji and touch him? 

Yes, you can offer flowers on Kedarnath Ji and touch him.