Kedarnath Travel Guide

A trip to Uttarakhand remains incomplete for almost every Hindu devotee without completing the “Char Dham Yatra”. This is a religious circuit to significant pilgrimage sites namely Yamunotri, Gangotri, Badrinath, and Kedarnath. The gorgeous Kedarnath temple is considered as an important part of the circuit and devotees stay here to experience the peace it emanates. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has gained popularity because of its pleasing views. 

Kedarnath is a lot more than the temple and even if you aren't a devotee, you will find something for yourself amidst the majestic mountain where the temple sits. Here is a complete Kedarnath travel guide where we have added basically every information you can need for your trip planning, take it as Lord Shiva guiding you, if you may. 

History And Culture Of Kedarnath

It is believed that there are only 12 jyotirlingas (devotional idols) in the world that hold a very important religious significance in Hindu mythology and the Kedarnath temple is a shrine to one of them. This makes Kedarnath among the most important places of worship for Hindus.

Like many marvelous temples in India, Kedarnath features unique architecture. But what’s also interesting about temples in India is the origin stories and the history. You will find many stories about the origin of the Kedarnath temple. Though the most popular story is that it was built by the Pandavas (the five brothers from the epic Mahabharata). The present temple is believed to be established by the saint Adi Shankaracharya around the 8th century A.D and is believed to be at least 1200 years old. Other than its religious importance, it is also a dream place to visit because of its location. The town of Kedarnath is located in the Rudraprayag district of the state of Uttarakhand and like the entire state, it is known for its diverse population, culture, and traditions. 

Kedarnath Travel Guide

During your immersive experience of the temple and place, you will have no trouble communicating with the locals as they are an extremely kind and warm bunch. The majority of the locals speak Hindi so if you know the language you won’t face a barrier in interaction. Some of the locals also speak Garhwali. The foodie inside you will be treated well in Kedarnath with many local cuisines like chainsoo, ras, kafuli, jholi, and chapattis. Other than these specific revision cuisines, the food is pretty similar to north Indian food with many vegetarian options. 

How To Get To Kedarnath

Getting To Kedarnath By Air

Kedarnath doesn't have an airport of its own but the Dehradun airport is located closest to the town. The Jolly Grant International Airport of Dehradun is a prime point where travelers coming to visit Kedarnath land from all across the country and beyond. Kedarnath is located further 239 km away from the Dehradun airport but getting a conveyance will not be that difficult. You can easily get a taxi or shared cab that will take you to Kedarnath. 

Getting To Kedarnath By Rail

Train journeys can be amazing and fun if you have the right company and hey! that includes your own company too. If you enjoy train journeys, you can have that for Kedarnath because it has pretty strong train connectivity from major cities. Though there is no direct train to the town, the closest railway station is Rishikesh from where reaching Kedarnath will be a short bumpy ride. Many visitors also prefer to take a train from Delhi to Haridwar after which they take the road to reach the Lord of the Field. 

Kedarnath Travel Guide

Getting To Kedarnath By Road

Road journeys are the most preferred way for pilgrims or travelers trying to reach Kedarnath. People who are taking the trip to Char Dham often visit Kedarnath in large groups and rent a private bus. Kedarnath enjoys good road connectivity, especially from Delhi.

So if you’re traveling by bus, Delhi will be a great starting point for you. There are plenty of buses running daily from Delhi to Haridwar almost every half hour which you can avail.  Post reaching Haridwar, you will easily find plenty of buses, cabs, and shared cabs to reach Gaurikund (base camp for the trek to Kedarnath Temple). 

Just know that it will not be a straightforward journey but rather a twisted one with multiple turns. Once you reach the base camp, be prepared to trek. You must also know that Kedarnath temple is situated at 11,750 feet above sea level. Do take into consideration the altitude and should you opt to trek then ensure you have the right kind of shoes and other essentials.

You can also cover the trek distance by getting on horses or palanquins. These services are offered by the localities and have been helping multiple people reach Kedarnath, especially kids and the elderly. 

Best Time To Travel To Kedarnath 

It is always wise to visit a hill station during summers and the case is pretty similar with Kedarnath. Due to its geographical location amidst the hills, Kedarnath faces plenty of landslides and heavy rains during monsoons. The temperature drops severely during the peak winters and heavy snowfall is also common in the area, so we will advise you to avoid visiting Kedarnath during peak winters and monsoon. You should ideally consider the trip from May to June or September to October when the weather conditions are pleasant.

Also read: Top 7 Things To Do In Uttarakhand

Getting Around Kedarnath 

As you must be pretty familiar that Kedarnath is unlike any hill station and its uniqueness exist in the way you will be getting around the town too. There is no public transportation in the town. The public buses stop at Gaurikund (the base camp) which is 18 km away from the main town of Kedarnath. You will notice that the majority prefer to walk in Kedarnath or you can get a horse or palanquins for a ride that will take you to your destination. There are no taxis or cabs here so you will basically be walking a lot. 

There is also another out-of-the-ordinary way to go around Kedarnath which is by getting on a helicopter. It is a pretty popular and easy way to reach and go around Kedarnath if you can afford it. Helicopters are mostly operated from various parts of Uttarakhand such as Dehradun, Guptkashi, Sirsi, and Phata. It is one of a kind experience and you can surely try it out if you like. But do note that you will need to do an advanced booking for the same. 

Go Check Out

Sonprayag

The beauty of Kedarnath is not just limited to the main Kedarnath temple. Sonprayag is another stunning viewpoint that also holds significant religious importance. It is located en route to Kedarnath so you will reach here before you enter the main temple town. The word Sonprayag originated from the Sanskrit word “Prayag” which means confluence. Sonprayag is a meeting point of the Basuki and Mandakini river both of which hold a great spiritual significance. 

The Hindu devotees also believe that a bath at the prayags can lead you to salvation and if that's not your jam, the snow-clad stunning mountain view can certainly win your heart. You will also find a few really great resort and hotel options if you want to stay and absorb the beauty of Sonpryag before moving forward with your journey. 

Kedarnath Travel Guide

Kedarnath Temple 

Kedarnath temple is the main attraction behind the crowds visiting Kedarnath. It is an old shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva and holds a lot of religious significance. The temple is located near the Mandakini river and is made of gorgeous architecture. The Kedarnath temple is located on the Garhwal Himalayan range and if the calming Shiva jyotirlinga doesn't move you, the jawdropping beauty of Uttrakhand mountains will. 

Keep in mind that the Kedarnath temple is not an easy place to reach. We are sure you must be familiar with the extreme weather conditions of Uttarkhand and Kedarnath is no stranger to floods and landslides. You can only visit the Kedarnath temple between the months of April and November so plan your trip accordingly. It is located at an astonishing height so getting there will involve lots of trekking. 

Chorabari Lake 

A lake amidst the mountains is the literal definition of heaven and Chorabari lake offers you exactly that. Chorabari lake is also known as Gandhi Sarovar. It is a glacial lake at an altitude of 3,900 meters with the most stunning view of the mountains. The interesting fact is that the lake is believed to be constructed by the stunning amalgamation of rain, melting snow, and avalanche material so certainly a sight you will never forget. The lake is located about 2 km (1.2 miles) from the town of Kedarnath in the state of Uttarakhand and is an important part of the Mandakini River system. You can easily reach here by trekking after you pay a visit to the Kedarnath temple. The crystal clear water of the lake and the trek leading back to it will be a journey of a lifetime for you so while there, do sit by the lake and soak in the beauty of nature at its finest. 

Also read: 5 Best Treks To Experience In August

FAQs

Which Network Is Best In Kedarnath?

Network issues are the most common problems faced by devotees during their journey and it gets worst in huge altitude places like Kedarnath. Luckily for you, the network situation has improved in Kedarnath after the installation of 4G towers. You might still have internet issues but for the most part, you will get decent connectivity with Airtel, Vodafone, Jio, and BSNL.

How Much Should I Budget For Kedarnath Trip?

The cost will vary largely depending upon the nature of your trip but for a rough idea, a 5-day package for Kedarnath starts from 12 thousand rupees. On the assumption that you are going with a big group, costs will be cut down even further.

How Many Days Are Enough For Kedarnath?

You would need to keep aside at least 7 days for your pilgrimage trip to Kedarnath. The trek to the temple is not the easiest so if you want to visit all temples at a slow pace, a week is required. If you can afford a helipad ride, you can see plenty more temples in lesser time. 

How Long Does It Take To Climb Kedarnath?

Climbing Kedarnathh will be a joyous experience that you will cherish forever but just a fair warning to you that it is not an easy one. It is an 18 km trek which can easily take you around 6 to 7 hours. Keep yourself hydrated, and wear comfortable clothes and shoes. If it becomes too difficult, you can get a horse or pony to reach there. 

Is There Any Breathing Problem In Kedarnath?

Kedarnath is nestled amidst the hills of Uttarakhand and sits at a height of 3,583 meters (11,755 feet) above sea level. It is at a pretty high altitude and hence people visiting the place take a while to get acclimated. The elderly and people with breathing issues should take extra precautions before attempting a trek to Kedarnath temple.

Which Month Is Best For Kedarnath?

During the winter months of November to March, Kedarnath receives extreme snowfall and so, entry of visitors is restricted. So the most favorable time to visit Kedarnath is between September and October. You could also consider planning your trip from May to June when the snow has melted, but the month of May is when the place witnesses the highest footfall. And it's best to avoid the monsoon months of July to August, as there are chances of landslides.

What Is The Fare Of A Helicopter To Kedarnath?

To make the journey to the top of Kedarnath a little convenient, especially for senior citizens, they have helipad services. You can make advance bookings online, which will cost you about INR 7,347 per person for a round trip and INR 3,200 for a one-way ticket.

Can We Go Kedarnath Without Registration?

No. A trip to Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, Yamunotri, or Hem Kund Sahib, requires a mandatory Char Dham registration. You can get yourself registered either through the online portal or app of Uttaranchal tourism or offline through the kiosks set up in certain locations.