Kedarnath • Sacred pilgrimage destination
Kedarnath is holy town located in the state of Uttaranchal in India and is a part of the famous Char Dham Yatra of Hindus. This place was named after King Kedar and is situated among the majestic mountain peaks, near the banks of River Mandakini. Kedarnath is extremely famous because of the ancient Temple of Kedarnath. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and was constructed in the 8th century by Adi Shankaracharya. It also comes under the 12 Jyotilingas of Lord Shiva. Thousand of devotees flock to this sacred pilgrimage destination of Kedarnath every year.
Location : State/District
Kedarnath is located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand under the district of Rudraprayag. The latitude of Kedarnath is 30.7300⁰ N and longitude is 79.0700⁰ E.strict
Kedarnath is an important religious destination for followers of Hinduism.
Pilgrim Centre, Adventure Tourist Destination
Kedarnath is a pilgrimage site for Hindus and devotees visit the place every year to worship their deity. Located at a high altitude amongst the snow capped mountain peaks, this place is also a sought after destination for nature lovers. Besides being a religious destination, it is also a superb adventure destination that attracts outdoor enthusiasts to this place.
In Kedarnath winter prevails for almost six months from November till April. The temperature during this time falls way below freezing point and the place remains closed for public due to heavy snowfall. Due to the harsh winters, living in Kedarnath turns out to be impossible and even the local shift to the nearby villages. Kedarnath is opened to public from the months of April to November; however even then the place remains cold. The monsoon season from July to August is characterized with heavy rainfall, thereby lowering the temperature even further. Landslides are very common during this time and therefore the place becomes unfavourable as a holiday destination. The ideal time to visit Kedarnath is April and May and from October to November. Always carry heavy woollen clothes to keep you warm.
People of India can visit Kedarnath at any time when the temple is opened for ‘darshan’. Foreign tourists willing to travel to Kedarnath should acquire visa permission from the government of India. When travelling to Kedarnath both domestic and foreign tourists must carry their identification card at all times.
Places to Visit
Kedarnath Temple is the most prominent destination for tourists visiting the place. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is nestled at the foothills of snow capped Himalayan peaks. There is a mythological story linked to the place. The Pandavas desired to meet Lord Shiva to ask for forgiveness after the great war of Mahabharata. Lord Shiva was angry with them for killing their own brothers and took the form of a bull and hid himself under the ground. Different parts of the body were found in different locations and the place was named as kedars. At Kedarnath the Pandavas founded the hump of the bull and the temple was built here by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century. The Kedarnath temple is one among the 12 Jyotilingas of Lord Shiva in India.
Gaurikund marks the starting point of the journey to the shrine of Kedarnath. The place is named in honour of Goddess Parvati, who is the wife of Lord Shiva. There is also a small Gauri Temple built here that is considered sacred by the devotees. Gaurikund is surrounded by lush greenery and also has plenty of natural thermal springs.
Chorabari Tal is a stunning lake located at the mouth of the famous Chorabari Bamak Glacier, just 3 kms from Kedarnath. It is a very pristine lake and the reflection of the majestic Himalayan peaks in the lake is simply awe-inspiring. Chrabari Tal is also called as Gandhi Sarovar and is also a favourite trekking point for adventure lovers.
Vasuki Tal is another popular lake that is located at a distance of 7 kms from Kedarnath. The route to Vasuki Tal is an easy trekking trail ideal for amateurs. The lake is surrounded by majestic Himalayan peaks that cast their shadows on the clear waters of Vasuki Tal.
Shankaracharya Samadhi is the burial site of the great saint and scholar Adi Shankaracharya. He was the saint who founded the sacred Char Dham in India.
Augustmuni is an important religious destination that can be travelled from Kedarnath. The place has a popular temple of Rishi Augustya and it is the site of Helipad for the sacred Char Dham Yatra.
Chandrashila is the high point of the Chandranath Parbat that is the seat of Tungnath temple of Panch Kedar. This place is also a part of the popular Chopta-Chandrashila-Tungnath trekking route that attracts adventure enthusiasts.
Deoria Tal is a beautiful lake that is surrounded by lush dense trees. Located at the foothills of Chaukhamba peaks, the view of the reflection of the mountains on the crystal clear waters is simply breathtaking.
Kalimath is another religious tourist spot located on the banks of River Saraswati. This place comes under the 108 Shakti Peeths in India. There is also a famous Goddess Kali Temple situated in this place. The divine and salubrious environment of Kalimath lures tourists to this place.
Food & Accommodation
There are very limited eating out options in Kedarnath. The place does not have any big restaurants but there are several dhabas and small eateries spread around the temple premises. These eating joints offer decent vegetarian food at reasonable rates. In Kedarnath only pure vegetarian food is served in all the eateries and non-veg food and alcohol is strictly prohibited in the place.
Kedarnath is a sacred religious destination and a prime tourist destination. The place has hotels in all range to suit the pocket capacity of every traveller. Some range accommodations of this place are GMVN Rambara Tourist Rest House, GMVN Kedarnath Tourist Rest House, Priyadarshani Syalsaur and Bhopal Bhawan. These hotels and guest houses have room tariffs below INR 1500 per night. Mid-range hotels in Kedarnath are Guptkashi Char Dham Camp and New Himachal House. There is only one deluxe hotel in Kedarnath, the Shivalik Valley Resort for luxurious travellers.
Safety and Security
Kedarnath is located at a very high altitude so breathlessness is a very common outcome. Therefore it is advisable to get a health check-up from your doctor and seek a medical clearance for visiting the place. You must also carry a medical kit with all important medicines, in case of emergency. The weather in Kedarnath especially during monsoons is unpredictable hence it is advisable to check the weather conditions before planning your trip. There are several checkpoints located on the route to Kedarnath, so you must keep your identification card handy to avoid any inconvenience.