The town of Kedarnath is located at a height of 3,583 meters in the Garhwal Himalayan region. Due to the religious significance, the region receives lakhs of devotees. Kedarnath is a holy town the famous temple of which is a part of Chota Chardham Yatra in Uttarakhand. This is the highest jyotirlinga among the 12 dedicated to Lord Shiva. Kedar is a name of Lord Shiva and it is believed that visiting this sacred place will open up your path to salvation. The town can only be reached through a trek starting from Gaurikund. It is set amidst the snow-clad mountains near Chorabari Glacier and Mandakini River flowing in front of it, the region also remains closed because of heavy snow-fall for 6 months of the year. We bring the list of some of the places to visit in Kedarnath.
How to Reach Kedarnath
By Air- One option is to avail the facility of helicopters that are made available from Dehradun. There are options of one-way flight or same-day return in this service which can be availed based on your requirement. The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun at a distance of about 110km from Kedarnath.
By Train- Haridwar has the nearest railhead at a distance of 216km from Kedarnath which is well connected from major destinations in India. You can easily find taxis and buses to commute to Gaurikund from here.
By Road-Gaurikund is well connected to nearby cities such as Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Pauri, Chamoli, Uttarkashi, Tehri, etc, through NH 109.
Best Time to Visit Kedarnath
May to June, September to October are the best months to visit Kedarnath. The rest of the year, Kedarnath is either covered in snow or receiving heavy rainfall.
Summers (May- June), are the most pleasant months for sightseeing and other activities. The temperature is 17 degrees on average making it a cool and good time to visit the place.
Monsoon (July- august) faces heavy rainfall and occasional landslides thus it is less ideal to visit the town during then. Also considered a flood-prone area leading to the closing of the temple during this part of the year too.
Winters (November- April) is quite harsh in Kedarnath which practically becomes inaccessible because of heavy snow-fall. The temperature also goes sub-zero and the town piled up in sheets of snow, almost making it a ghost town as most of the population moves out.
Places to visit in Kedarnath
This is a primary attraction of the region located at a height of 3,583 meters is also believed to among the most sacred temples for Hindus. This is the highest one among the 12 jyotirlingas found across India. It is also a part of Chota Chardham and attracts lakhs of tourists every year because of its religious significance. Mandakini river flows in front of this temple set up amidst snow mountains and believed to have been originally built by the Pandavas thousands of years ago. Whereas the current structure is believed to have been rebuilt by sage Adi Shankaracharya. Kedar means Lord Shiva and a visit to this holy shrine is believed to bring you salvation. This temple apart from being a holy site is also a trekking spot for those who love adventure as it can only be reached by a trek through Gaurikund. The pleasant weather, mesmerizing views of the Himalayas and a serene environment is sure to leave you spiritually enlightened. Fascinating architecture, interesting history, and a beautiful ambience are worth a visit to this delightful place.
This is a temple commemorating a year-long of Tapas or meditation dedicated to Saint Agastya. The walls of the temple adorned with art and grand architecture of interiors are something that sets this ancient temple apart.
This is a lake located at a height of 4135 meters that offers a view of the neighbouring Chaukhamba peaks. You will also come across the Chaturanga and Vasuki glaciers en route to this trek. Most Beautiful Places to visit in Kedarnath. Trekkers find it an ideal range to trek up to.
It offers excellent trails for trekking as well as skiing throughout the years except in core winter months December and January. Its location is atop 3679 meters and is one of the easier treks also recommended for the first-timers. The trail is of evergreen forests of pine, deodar, and rhododendron. You will also get to visit the temple of Tungnath dedicated to Lord Shiva and beautifully nestled in the mountains. A great add on of the trek is the views of Panchchuli, Nanda Devi, Nilkanth and Kedarnath.
Samadhi of Shankaracharya
Sri Sankaracharya who propounded the Adwaita Philosophy established this holy shrine in the 8th century. He attained Nirvana here at the matha one of the four others at the age of 32 years. One of the famous places to visit in Kedarnath.
This is a hamlet at the confluence of Mandakini and Basuki rivers at an elevation of 1829 meters. It has gained the attention because of the belief that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati married at this holy site. This is considered a sacred town flanked by nature’s bounty and magnificent snow-capped peaks.
This is another temple town located at a distance of 47 km from Kedarnath. The town perched at a height of 1319 meters is located with a serene backdrop of enchanting snow-covered peaks of Chaukhamba mountains. The famous temples it houses are namely Vishwanath Temple and Ardhnareshwar Temple which are dedicated to Lord Shiva. The town of Guptkashi serves as a stopover on the way to Kedarnath offering lush green forests and captivating views along with rich heritage and history. another popular attraction of the region also includes ManikarnikaKund.
Dedicated to the revered god of Lord Bhairav this is situated at a distance of 500m from Kedarnath temple. The hilltop this temple is perched on offers magnificent views of the Kedarnath valley below, and the Himalayas surrounding it. The presiding deity of the temple is also believed to guard the region with a Trishul as a weapon and a dog as his vehicle and also known as Kshetrapal.
Located in the Rudraprayag District at a height of 1,980 meters above the sea level, this region is famous for its temple. Triyuginarayan Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu breaking the name of which gives us Tri means three; Yugi denotes Yuga and Narayan refers to Vishnu. It is also believed that this holy site is where Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were married in the presence of Lord Vishnu. The distinct feature of the place is the constant fire that burns in front of this temple apart from the mythologies associated with the town itself. It is believed that this fire has been burning since the divine marriage because of which the temple is also known as the Akhand Dhuni Temple. Since Lord Brahma also is said to have witnessed the marriage, the temple is believed to complete the holy trinity of the Hindu Gods. There are also four sacred ponds or Kunds found in the temple filled with fresh water. The tranquil surroundings, rich mythological associations, scenic views make it a must-visit place around the region.
This lake also goes by the name of Gandhi Tal located at a distance of 3km from Kedarnath. The quaint Chorabari Lake with crystal clear waters draws other tourists from far and wide apart from the regular devotees. Perched at an altitude of 3900 meters above the sea level, this lake is tucked in the backdrop of the mighty Himalayas. ChorabariBamak Glacier is where this lake originates from and can be reached by a short trek from the Kedarnath temple. History also states that Mahatma Gandi’s ashes were immersed in this in 1948 giving it an alternative name of Gandhi Tal. The lake also serves as a popular picnic spot offering scenic panoramic views of magnificent landscapes around. One of the Best places to visit In Kedarnath. It also has religious significance attached to it which states that Lord Shiva imparted sermons of yoga to the Saptarishis at the spot.