Kedarnath is famed as one of the holiest pilgrimages in North India. As one of the busiest pilgrim centres in the Garhwal Himalayas, Kedarnath is one of the four major sites in India’s Chota Char Dham pilgrimage that also includes Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. Edged with beautiful snow-clad peaks, the region is known for its ancient Shiva Temple. Kedarnath remains closed for the six months of winters due to unbearable temperatures and heavy snowfall. Housing the highest of all the 12 Jyotirlingas, a trip to Kedarnath is an exhilarating experience.

According to a legend, the Kedarnath Temple came into existence as a result of the Pandavas’ (mythological characters from the epic Mahabharata) search for Lord Shiva to atone for their sins for killing their brethren during the Kurukshetra war. When found by the Pandavas, Lord Shiva further went into the earth leaving the hump on the surface. The determination of the Pandavas impressed Lord Shiva and he forgave their sins, blessed them and allowed them to worship him at Kedarnath. It is said that the stone-like structure that is worshiped here is the hump of the bull.

Places to visit

Kedarnath Temple
Located on the Garhwal Himalayan Range in the Rudraprayag District of Uttarakhand, the Kedarnath Temple is one of the prestigious possessions here. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is one of the most sacred Hindu temples. Nestled amid the snow-clad mountains, the Kedarnath Temple is visited by lakhs of devotees every year for its sanctity. The pleasant weather and the mesmerizing views of Himalayas around will take you on a euphoric ride.

Bhairavnath Temple
Bhairavnath Temple is situated at a distance of 500m from Kedarnath Temple. Dedicated to God Bhairav, it is one of the most popular temples here after the Kedarnath Temple. The deity of the temple is also known as Kshetrapal or the guardian of the region. According to legend, when Kedarnath Temple closes during winter months due to heavy snow fall, the deity in Bhairavnath temple protects the main temple area as well as the whole Kedarnath valley.

Vasuki Tal
Vasuki Tal is a picturesque lake situated at an altitude of 4135 meters. The view of the neighbouring Chaukhamba Peaks adds more appeal to this already breathtaking attraction. The Chaturangi and Vasuki glaciers can be found en-route to the lake.

Tungnath and Chandrashila Trek
Tungnath is a quaint little village in Uttarakhand. It is renowned as the starting point of the popular Chopta Chndrashila Trek. Surrounded by evergreen forests of pine, deodar and rhododendron, the village is a picture perfect destination to explore.  As one of the easiest treks in the Himalayan region, it is recommended for the first timers. The trek covers a large region, starting from Haridwar and ending at Chandrashila.  A fascinating part about the trek is that the peaks of Panchchuli, Nanda Devi, Nilkanth and Kedarnath are all covered during the trek.

Mayali Pass Trek
This is also a famous place for trekking in Uttarakhand. Followed by many trekkers every year, the Mayali Pass trek offers an extraordinary experience of Himalayan Peaks. The remote Indian villages of Gangi, Bhilangna River Catchment, Thalay Sagar peak, and Khatling glacier are the highlights of Mayali Pass trek.

Kalpeshwar Temple
Kalpeshwar temple is the fifth temple to be visited in the Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit. This small stone temple houses a stone idol of Lord Shiva. There is a cave nearby the temple, wherein the image of hair locks is carved naturally. These are considered to be the hair locks of Lord Shiva that appeared in Kalpeshwar. Earler, a trekking expedition was required to reach the temple, But now, a motorable route has also been built.

Another place of religious significance here is Sonprayag, located enroute to Kedarnath Dham. Lying at the confluence of two holy rivers Basuki and Mandakini, it is believed that bathing in the river can wash off all the sins. Surrounded by the snowcapped peaks, Sonprayag attracts visitors in large numbers.

Best time to visit
Kedarnath is cold for the most part of the year, however, May to June and September to October are the best time to visit Kedarnath.

How to reach
By Air - Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport from Kedarnath situated at a distance of 238 km. The airport is connected to Delhi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Bangalore and Thiruvananthapuram.
By Train - Rishikesh Railway station is the nearest railway station from Kedarnath, at a distance of 216 km. This railway station is well connected to major cities and towns of the country.
By Road - Gaurikund is the nearest motorable area from Kedarnath. There are inter and intra state bus services that runs around it.


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