Keeping Mandakini river in left side and in the region of Kedardome & Sumeru Hills , Kedarnath is situated above 3584 mtr from sea level in the district of Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand. Every person wants to visit Kedarnath once in lifetime. Kedarnath Temple is a Hindu Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is the highest of 12 Jyotirlingas and one of the Chardham in India.
Kedarnath is accessible through a new road after the 2013 devastation by a trek of almost 17 Km from Gourikund to Veembali through Lincholi . From Gourikund, 6km trek through Jangalchoti to reach Veembali. From Veembali short trek to Mandakini edge in right direction to reach the iron bridge from where the new road is constructed through other hill side. Take the upward trekking to reach Lincholi. Distance from Veembali to Lincholi is 6Km. You can stay overnight at Lincholi and do 5 km upward trekking in morning to reach KEDARNATH.
Those who will take pony (khacchar) or horse can easily reach Kedarnath from Gourikund same day and no need to stay overnight at Lincholi.
Story of Kedarnath : According to mythology, Pandavas initially built this great temple to absolve themselves from the sin of the killing they committed in Kuruskhetra War. Later on Adi SankaraCharya re-built the temple.
Kedarnath situated in the Garhwal area of Himalaya with majestic snow captured views. Thousands of pilgrims visit this holy place each year around the globe.
Due to the extreme weather condition, the temple generally opens from end of April to mid of November each year.
Opening and Closing Date of 2019:
In 2019, Kedarnath Temple’s gate has been opened on 9th May at 5.35 am. Sri Kedarnath has started journey from Ukhimath (winter seat) to Phata to Gourikund to Kedarnath Temple every year.
Closing date has been announced for this year is 29th October ( Bhai Dooj / Bhai Phota). Sri Kedarnath will again go to Ukhimath for winter seat as Kedarnath Temple are will be snow covered for approx 6 months and it will be again opened tentatively end of April or beginning of May’2020.
What To Do
Normally pilgrims spend 1 or 2 days at Kedarnath Temple area. The main attraction is the temple itself for the Puja and Arati. Apart from the temple few beautiful places and kunds which can be explored for religious significance.
List of Important Places and Kunds near Kedarnath Temple:
Bheem Shila – The great Shila which protected the temple from the flood in 2013, just beside the main temple.
Gandhi Sarovor – Small Lake, from where Yudhisthir (Eldest Pandavas) started journey for Heaven. It is also known as Chorabari Tal.
Kunds: There are many kunds nearby the place out of them Shivkund, Retkund, Hanskund, Udakkund, Rudhirkund are most important kunds.
Vasuki Tal: Distance from Kedarnath is 6km and it is 4135 mtr high above sea level is an excellent place to see the Chowkhamba Peaks.
Bhairabnath Mandir – 1 km from Kedarnath temple. It gives the excellent view of entire Kedarnath valley.
Apart from the places to be explored, you can spend time with the monks(sadhus) and daily kirton / Arati at Mandir Place.
– Shravani Annakoot Mela celebrated every year in the day before Raksha Bandhan.
– Samadhi Puja in the day of closing the temple.
– Vinayak Chaturthi in the month of September.
– Deepabali in the month of September-October.
Kedarnath Temple, Kedarnath, Uttarakhand, India
Where to stay
Due to remote location, not many options are available. The best place to stay at Kedarnath is GMVN Cottage and Dormitories. Government operated guests houses are there to accommodate guests in different categories of rooms and dormitories. These guest houses are able to accommodate more than thousands of tourists every day. Apart from GMVN, there are few other hotels, dharmashalas available for night stay too.
Due to the helicopter services, many pilgrims are returning from Kedarnath on the same day and they stay at Guptaklashi, Phata, Sitapur, Gourikund and many other places.