Kedarnath

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Kedarnath Dham Yatra 2019

Kedarnath is a holy Hindu town located in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand in India. It is one of the Char Dhams located in the Himalayas. Kedarnath is situated at an astonishing height of 3584 meters above sea level near the head of Mandakini River. 

The Kedarnath temple lies amidst the majestic snow-capped Garhwal Himalayan ranges and is thronged by thousands of tourists each year.

Get Kedarnath Dham Travel Guide, Trekking Details, Kedarnath 2019 Tips

Kedarnath Tour Packages

Panch Kedar Yatra with Badrinath Dham
14 Days / 13 Nights
Rs. 45,000.00
Auden's Col Trekking Expedition
13 Days / 12 Nights
Rs. 78,000.00
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The extreme weather condition of Kedarnath prompts the temple to remain open from the end of April to the beginning of November. It is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Kedar or Lord Shiva. In Kedarnath alone there are about more than 200 shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Opening and Closing Dates of Kedarnath Temple 2019

On the occasion of Mahashivratri, the 'Badrinath - Kedarnath Samiti' has announced the opening dates of Kedarnath Dham along with BadrinathGangotri & Yamunotri dham. Below are the details for Kedarnath temple opening and closing dates.

Kedarnath Kapat Opening Date for 2019

The kapat of Kedarnath dham  has been opened at 5:35 am on 9th of May. The Panchmukhi Doli of Shri Kedarnath has started its journey from its winter seat Ukhimath to Phata on 6th of May, on 7th of May it reached at Gaurikund and at Kedarnath temple on 8th of May respectively. To book travel packages of Char Dham, please visit Sacred Yatra.

Kedarnath Temple Gate Opening Ceremony. 

Kedarnath Temple Closing date for 2019:  Kedarnath Temple will be closed for winters on the day of Bhai Dooj on 29 October 2019. Shri Kedarnath Temple will remain closed for winters for almost six months and will reopen in the last week of April 2020 or early May 2020.

Activities in Kedarnath

Pilgrimage – Perched at an altitude of 3,500 meters, Kedarnath is one of the most revered Hindu shrines and thousands of pilgrims partake in arduous pilgrimage every year. The shrine sleeps under a thick blanket of snow during winters. 

Trekking – Kedarnath temple is located 19  km from Gaurikund, the nearest town with road connectivity. Thus, one has to trek 16 kms to the Kedarnath shrine making it a wonderful trekking experience. You can also extend your treks to Chorabari Tal, Vasuki Tal and Bhairon mandi in Kedarnath

Camping in Kedarnath – Since there is only little accommodation at Kedarnath, tourists and pilgrims can also set up tents near the town and enjoy the natural beauty that envelops the town as well as the towering Kedarnath peak in the background.

Kedarnath Tour Packages

Panch Kedar Yatra with Badrinath Dham
14 Days / 13 Nights
Rs. 45,000.00
Auden's Col Trekking Expedition
13 Days / 12 Nights
Rs. 78,000.00

Kedarnath Travel Tips

  • One can also find mules and porters for hire; Check the official price chart before hiring. 
  • For safety, reason do check the ID Cards issued to Porters and Mule Owners.
  • When traveling in monsoons, check with local authorities, tour guides or tour operators about the weather and road conditions before you actually start your journey.
  • Photography is generally not allowed inside the temple due to religious reasons. It would be wise to abide by the rules set up by temple authorities.

You will find a big Govt tented colony consisted of Tents, Cottage and rooms just before Kedarnath is operated by GMVN, which are sufficient to accommodate more than a thousand pilgrims and tourists. You will also find some hotels, guest houses and dharamshalas in Kedarnath as well for night stay.

Nowadays, many tourists take Helicopters to Kedarnath for day's visit and come back from Kedarnath the same day. They generally stay in these locations: Phata, Rampur,  Gaurikund, Sitapur, Sonprayag, Guptkasthi, etc.

Apart from few roadside dhabas and tea stalls there are not many good eating options at Kedarnath. The local restaurants serve north Indian vegetarian food. Due to being a revered religious place, alcohol and non-vegetarian food is strictly prohibited at Kedarnath.

According to Mahabharata, the Pandavas had built the Kedarnath Temple where they pleased Lord Shiva with their penance. The temple was revived by the great Hindu philosopher, Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century CE, when he visited the place with his four disciples. Sadly, the temple was hit by the catastrophic floods of 2013, which engulfed hundreds innocent lives.

There is a famous Hindu mythology related to the origin of Kedarnath temple, which states that after the Mahabharata war, the Pandavas went on an anonymous journey to beg mercy from Lord Shiva. After failing multiple times, Bhima was able to find Lord Shiva, who had incarnated as a bull to hide from the Pandavas. 

Bhima tried to catch it and hit its hind part with his mace. The injured bull then immersed in the earth and its body parts appeared indifferent places. It is believed that the hind part of the bull appeared at Kedarnath, from which a 'Jyotirlinga' or light flickered and Lord Shiva appeared in his divine avatar. 

It is said that after taking the blessings of the cosmic light, the Pandavas were exempted of their sins and Lord Shiva toldt hem, “From now onwards, I will be present here as a triangular shaped Jyotir Linga and by paying obeisance at Kedarnath, the devotees would attain piety". From then onwards, a triangular shaped rock is worshiped in the 'Garbhagriha' or the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.

The other four parts of Lord Shiva fell at Tungnath, Rudranath, Madhmaheshwar and Kapleshwar. Kedarnath along with these four are also described as Panch Kedar.

Day To Day Travel Guide for your Journey To Kedarnath Dham

If you are a traveler/pilgrim who wants to visit Kedarnath and don't know much about how to do Kedarnath Dham then this travel guide is going to help you a lot. 

Day 0: Reach to Rishikesh

Rishikesh is one of the famous cities of north India and Uttarakhand. The city is well connected with rail routes, inter-state & national bus routes. In case if you are coming via flight then Jollygrant airport is just 20km or 35 minutes route. Try to complete this Journey in the night only so you can reach to Rishikesh in the sharp morning to start your road route to Kedarnath.

Day 1: Rishikesh To Sonprayag or Gaurikund (211 kms / 8 hours by road).

From Rishikesh Bus terminal, you can catch public transport like buses or Tata Sumos to Sonprayag. Direct buses to Sonprayag are hard to get but try for Guptkashi which is well settled in the last town before Kedarnath and daily bus service is also available from major cities of Uttarakhand to Guptkashi. However, you can also get a bus to Rudraprayag and then Rudraprayag to Guptkashi. From Guptkashi you can complete your further journey to Sonprayag via sharable Jeeps or Tata sumons . Below is the road  route from Rishikesh to Sonprayag: 

Rishikesh - Devprayag - Srinagar - Rudraprayag - Augustmuni - Guptkashi - Sonprayag

Rudraprayag is the meeting point of two sacred rivers of Hindus i.e Mandakin from Kedarnath & Alaknanda from Badrinath.

Bio-metric registration at Sonprayag

As instructed by the Uttarakhand government, it is necessary for every traveler to do bio-metric registration. This registration facility is also available online on the Uttarakhand tourism site or visit How to do Char dham bio-metric registration online. However, if you missed that you can complete this process by reaching Sonprayag. You have to carry your ADHAR CARD with yourself for this registration. 

Below are the facilities you can found at Sonprayag :

  • Bio-metric registrations of pilgrimage or travelers for Kedarnath Dham yatra or for char Dham yatra.
  • Accommodation facility is from budget to deluxe hotels are available in Sonprayag.
  • Parking facility is also available in Sonprayag in case if you are coming from your personal vehicle.
  • Shuttle service to Gauri Kund, which are actually sharable jeeps.

Sonprayag to Gaurikund shutlle service & night stay at Gaurikund :

Please keep this in mind that Sonprayag is the last point for all kinds of vehicle. You can't travel by using your personal vehicle or by public transport. A huge parking facility is available at Sonprayag for all kinds of Vehicle on the bank of Mandakini river. You have to complete the further 5km journey by using shuttle service or through jeeps between Sonprayag and Gaurikund. The charge of shuttle service is 20 rupees per person. 

After reaching Gaurikund you can ask any hotel owner for a room. The charge of the room varies on the hotel to hotel or on season respectively. Least amount you can pay for a hotel room in the month of May and June is 500.

Baba kedar doli at Gaurikund towards kedarnath temple.

Day 2 :  Gaurikund to Kedarnath (16kms trek / 5 - 6 hours).

You can reach Kedarnath only after a trek of 16 km through a paved road from Gaurikund. You can take a horse or ponies to climb up the steep path. 

Below are few trekking tips for  your journey to Kedarnath temple :

  • Try to start your trek early in the morning to avoid harsh sunlight of noon. 
  • Don't try to walk empty stomach it can make your journey even harder.
  • Carry umbrella/raincoat because the weather in the valley can be change dramatically.
  • Walk with good grip shoes and try to carry only necessary things in your bag cause heavy bag can slower your speed in the trek and etc load can hurt your back.
  • Carry water bottles but don't through it anywhere, respect nature.
  • Keep your eyes on trekking route most of the time cause sometimes ponies coming back from the temple can hit you or can cause serious injury.
New trek route to Kedarnath Temple

You will probably reach to Kedarnath valley post noon or around 3 pm if you have started your journey at 8 am int he morning. Search for a hotel room for your night stay. Maybe you have to share your room with others if you are traveling alone or if you have enough money then you can book the whole room for yourself or for your family. In the evening you can do photography in the valley and can enjoy the temple atmosphere. You can talk with other travelers from where they have come and about their journey to give some relief to your mind from the tiredness of trek. Walking around the temple and savoring the view of snow-capped Himalayas will surely gonna help to make this day the best day of your life. Eat your dinner & go to bed on time to give rest your body or to get prepare for next day journey. 

 Camps for tourists on the way to Kedarnath. Post 2013 flood route.

After the flash flood of 2013 which greatly affected the Kedarnath region, it has been restored and work is being done by the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) to revive Kedarnath to its former glory. the new trekking path to Kedarnath is now from the right side of the valley which can be reached by crossing a bridge at Rambada, though Rambada is now completely destroyed. The NIM has set up sheds after every kilometer so that pilgrims can rest during the trek.

Day 3 :  Kedarnath Temple to Sonprayag via Gaurikund (16kms trek / 5 - 6 hours).

Try to wake up early in the morning. Take a bath and pay your obeisance at Kedarnath temple. From standing in the temple row to darshan, it will hardly take your 3 hours to complete this process. Prashad shops are available around the Kedarnath temple. After this, you can also visit the Baba Bhairav temple, which is situated on a hilltop near Kedarnath. It is around 600 meters far from the temple.

Mules stop - You have to buy a token if you want to cover the trekking route in Kedarnath valley in Mules.

eUttaranchal Tip 1: If you want to visit Bhairavnath temple in Kedarnath then do this after checking out from your hotel room cause there is a small shortcut route from Bhairav temple to another side which will surely be going to save your time while coming back to Sonprayag/Gaurikund.

You can hire ponies/horse or Palki or can complete the further distance by simply trekking. It takes 5 to 6 hours to reach Gaurikund from where you have to take shuttle service to Sonprayag.

eUttaranchal Tip 2 : If you have reached at Sonprayag around 2 to 3 pm then do travel to Guptkashi (30 km by road / 1.5 hours). It will save your 2 hours for the next day trip and is going to save you from morning traffic too.

Day 4 :  Guptkashi to Rishikesh ( 184 kms /  7 hours).

Say goodbye to this beautiful town of Uttarakhand. The journey will take 7 to 8 hours of your time. It is recommended to start your journey in the sharp morning so you can reach Rishikesh on time to catch night buses or trains.

Guptkashi Main market on Kedarnath Highway

Easy way to visit Kedarnath Temple

If you are unable to do a hard trekking of more than 16 kms to reach Kedarnath temple then you have to take the help of a pony to reach there. They charge around 2500 to 3000 rs for one side but there is an easy way to reach kedarnath temple here it is.

  • Book your hotel to Phata which is close to Kedarnath
  • Book a Helicopter service to Kedarnath from Phata which charge around 7000 Rs. of both side almost like the rate of pony but it will save your time and efforts to reach Kedarnath.
  • Do the darshan and reach at Kedarnath Helipad to come back to Phata.
  • In-case if you have low budget then book Helicopter from Sersi, it will cost you around 2500 for one side & come back through trekking route because walking to down is easier than climbing.

Latest News & Updates from Kedarnath

8 March 2019: Anant Ambani, son of Mukesh has been appointed as the member of Badrinath – Kedarnath Temple Committee – Report by NDTV
4 April 2019: Complete plastic ban implementation on Kedarnath valley, special 9 member committee formed. Pilgrims are advised to carry paper bags.- TOI
29 April 2019: Now enjoy local pahadi cusines on your Trip to Kedarnath at Gaurikund.- TOI
9 May 2019: Kedarnath temple gates are now open for all pilgrims for 2019 - 2020 char dham yatra season & High court clears the tender process for Kedarnath helicopter service.
16 May 2019: Now Helicopter Services to Kedarnath are avialable from Sirsi, Phata & Guptkashi helipads. DGCA gave permission to seven heli companies to operate the heli services to Kedarnath. - Dainik Jagran
18 May 2019: Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Kedarnath. Review the re-construction work in the valley.
20 May 2019: Now you can book Rudra Cave, where prime minister Modi has meditated at just rs 900 from GMVN
27 May 2019: Now book Helicopter to Kedarnath from GMVN's website online.
7 June 2019: Record visitors in Kedarnath, more than 36,000 devotess pay their obeisance at Kedarnath temple.
12 June 2019: New trek route's construction for mules has been started on Kedarnath route. This five kilometers route covers the distance of Bheembali & Garudchatii

Kedarnath Photo Gallery

Prasad distribution after MahaShiv Ratri Pooja in Kedarnath
Big Rock which saved Kedarnath Temple is also being worshipped
NIM Team in front of Kedarnath Temple
NIM Team celebrating Republic Day in Kedarnath
Kedarnath temple after snowfall
Snow capped peaks in Kedarnath.
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Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board eUttaranchal is accredited by Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board, Govt. of Uttarakhand.
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