Things to do in Kedarnath Temple – A Complete Travel Guide

Nestled amidst the towering peaks of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand, Kedarnath Temple stands as a pivotal spiritual destination for Hindu devotees. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this ancient and sacred site attracts pilgrims from all corners of the globe. For those embarking on this holy pilgrimage, considering the services of a reliable taxi or tempo traveler like dehradun airport cab service can significantly enhance your travel experience. Known for their dependable and comfortable service, DCS ensures a smooth journey through the scenic routes, making your spiritual quest to Kedarnath Temple both tranquil and memorable. Join the multitude of devotees in this profound spiritual journey and bask in the divine presence of Lord Shiva at the serene Kedarnath Temple, surrounded by the mystical beauty of the Himalayas.

Discovering Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath Temple, one of the holiest Hindu shrines, is a cornerstone of the Char Dham pilgrimage in India. Located in the rugged terrains of Uttarakhand’s Rudraprayag district, this revered temple has origins that trace back centuries. Believed to have been established by the sage Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century, it stands near the site where the Pandavas are said to have sought the blessings of Lord Shiva. Kedarnath Temple is dedicated to the Lord in his form as the 'Lord of the Field,' reflecting its deep-rooted spiritual significance. As a key spiritual destination, it attracts thousands of devotees annually, who come to immerse themselves in its sacred atmosphere and majestic mountain surroundings.

The Divine Guardian of Kedarnath Temple

Lord Shiva, worshipped as the principal deity at Kedarnath Temple, is enshrined in a form known as the 'Lord of Kedar Khand'. This revered idol, made from a naturally formed rock that resembles the hump of a bull, symbolizes his divine presence as a protector of the region. This form connects with the legend of Lord Shiva disguising himself as a bull to elude the Pandavas. The statue’s age and origin weave into the fabric of the temple’s storied past, highlighting its spiritual and historical significance. Surrounding the main shrine are smaller temples dedicated to various deities such as Parvati, Ganesh, and the Pandavas, each adding to the sacred ensemble that makes Kedarnath a pivotal spiritual site.


Location of Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath Temple is situated in the picturesque Garhwal Himalayas, deeply entrenched in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, India. Nestled at an altitude of about 11,755 feet above sea level, this sacred shrine is perched near the Mandakini River, enveloped by snow-clad peaks that ascend towards the heavens. The temple's remote and rugged location enhances its mystical and spiritual allure, attracting devotees who undertake the challenging pilgrimage through steep and winding paths to seek blessings at one of the highest among the twelve Jyotirlingas.

Historical Overview of Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath Temple boasts a profound historical lineage that dates back over a millennium. Revered as one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, its origin story is intertwined with myths and legends from ancient Hindu scriptures. According to tradition, the temple was initially built by the Pandavas from the epic Mahabharata as a place of penance and to seek forgiveness from Lord Shiva. The present structure is attributed to the great Hindu philosopher Adi Shankaracharya, who re-established it in the 8th century to revitalize the practice of Sanatan Dharma. Over the centuries, the temple has withstood numerous natural disasters, including severe floods and landslides, reflecting its resilience and enduring spiritual importance. This history not only underscores the temple's religious significance but also its role in the cultural and spiritual continuity of Hinduism.


Ideal Time to Visit Kedarnath Temple

Visiting Kedarnath Temple offers a deeply spiritual experience, enhanced by choosing the right time of year. Here are the key points to consider for planning your visit:

  • Pre-Monsoon Season (May to June): This is the ideal time to visit just after the temple opens, typically on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya in May. The weather during these months is relatively stable and cool, providing comfortable conditions for trekking.
  • Post-Monsoon Season (September to October): After the rains subside, the landscape is lush and the paths are safer for travel. This period offers a serene environment and is perfect for visiting just before the temple closes around November, just after Diwali.
  • Avoid Monsoon (July to August): The monsoon season brings heavy rainfall, making the trek routes slippery and hazardous with potential roadblocks and landslides. It is advisable to avoid planning a trip during these months.

Interesting facts about Kedarnath

Kedarnath Temple, nestled in the Himalayas, is a treasure trove of history and spirituality. Here are key highlights:

  • Ancient Origins: Built by the Pandavas and revitalized by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century, who also took his Samadhi here.
  • Architectural Resilience: Located at 3,583 meters, its robust architecture has survived severe weather and the 2013 floods, a testament to its construction by the ancient Katyuri kings.
  • Panch Kedar Site: Part of the five sacred Shiva temples built by the Pandavas, Kedarnath marks where Shiva appeared as a bull's hump.
  • Jyotirlinga Site: One of the twelve significant sites where Shiva manifested as a column of light.
  • Unique Priesthood: The temple's head priest is a Nambudiri Brahmin from Kerala, a practice started by Adi Shankaracharya.
  • Sacred Confluence: Near the meeting point of the Mandakini and Saraswati rivers, adding to its spiritual ambiance.
  • Challenging Pilgrimage: One of the most remote Char Dham sites, it requires a demanding trek that reflects the pilgrims' dedication.

Check: Char Dham Yatra 2024

Darshan Timings at Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath Temple, enshrining one of the revered Jyotirlingams of Lord Shiva, operates on specific darshan timings set by the temple committee, including the Rawal (chief priest). Here’s what you need to know about planning your visit:
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  • Morning to Afternoon Darshan: Devotees can enter the temple from the morning until 3:00 PM. During this time, visitors have the unique opportunity to touch the idol and perform Abhishek, a ritual anointing of the idol, using ghee.
  • Temple Closure: The temple closes daily from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM for specific rituals and maintenance, which are performed without public attendance.
  • Evening Darshan: After reopening at 5:00 PM, the approach to darshan changes; visitors cannot touch the idol but can still have darshan from a distance. During this session, the idol is adorned in an Emperor costume, enhancing the spiritual ambiance and visual experience.
  • Seasonal Operation: Reflecting its high-altitude location and traditional rituals, Kedarnath Temple is open for darshan only for six months each year, typically from April to November. The temple opens when the sun enters the zodiac sign of Aries and closes as it enters Scorpio.

Dress Guidelines for Kedarnath Temple

While there isn't a strict dress code for visiting Kedarnath Temple, it's advisable to dress modestly, covering the upper arms and legs, as a mark of reverence for the temple's traditions. Additionally, considering the fluctuating weather, with hot days and chilly nights, it's essential to dress appropriately for comfort.

Entrance and Ritual Fees at Kedarnath Temple

The temple operates from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, conducting ritual ceremonies twice a day, in the morning and evening. There's a break in activities from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Entry to the temple is free for all pilgrims, but there are charges for participating in the pujas and rituals performed by the priests. Pilgrims have the option to pre-book slots for these rituals. Additionally, there's a special package available for attending all the evening aarti rituals for ₹2,500.


Kedarnath Temple Festivals Overview

Here's a compilation of festivals celebrated at Kedarnath Temple, infusing the town with vibrant colors and cultural fervor:

Maha ShivaratriCelebrated in honor of Lord Shiva, featuring special prayers and rituals day and night.
Shravan MonthPilgrimage season, particularly the Kanwar Yatra, where devotees offer sacred water from the Ganges.
Char Dham YatraPeak pilgrimage season from April to November, encompassing Kedarnath along with other sacred sites.
Rudra AbhishekSpecial ritual involving ceremonial bathing of the Shiva Lingam with various sacred substances.
Annakoot UtsavCelebrated during Diwali, involves offering a variety of food items to the deity.
Temple AnniversaryCommemorates the consecration of the temple, marked with prayers, rituals, and cultural programs.

Check: Do Dham Yatra 2024 Details, Historical Background, Registration Procedures, and Route

Explore the Best Attractions Near Kedarnath Temple

Exploring the attractions near Kedarnath Temple offers not just spiritual fulfillment but also a chance to witness the breathtaking natural beauty of the Himalayas. Here are some of the best attractions to visit:

  • Bhairavnath Temple: Located around 500 meters from Kedarnath Temple, this ancient temple is dedicated to Bhairava, a fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva. It's believed that a visit to Kedarnath pilgrimage is incomplete without paying homage to Bhairavnath.
  • Vasuki Tal: This high-altitude lake, situated at an altitude of 4,150 meters, is a picturesque trekking destination near Kedarnath. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, Vasuki Tal offers stunning views and a serene ambiance.
  • Chorabari Tal (Gandhi Sarovar): Also known as Gandhi Sarovar, this glacial lake is located at the base of the Chorabari Bamak Glacier. It's named after Mahatma Gandhi, who visited Kedarnath in 1929. The lake is fed by melting snow from the surrounding mountains.
  • Triyuginarayan Temple: This ancient temple, located around 20 kilometers from Kedarnath, is believed to be the exact spot where Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married. The temple is renowned for its architectural beauty and spiritual significance.
  • Gaurikund: Situated around 15 kilometers from Kedarnath, Gaurikund is a sacred site where Goddess Parvati is said to have performed penance to win Lord Shiva's affection. It's also the starting point of the trek to Kedarnath Temple.
  • Sonprayag: This picturesque town, located at the confluence of the Mandakini and Basuki rivers, is a popular stopover for pilgrims visiting Kedarnath. The natural beauty of Sonprayag, with its lush greenery and gushing rivers, is truly captivating.
  • Triyuginarayan Tree: This ancient tree, situated near the Triyuginarayan Temple, is believed to be witness to the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Devotees offer prayers and seek blessings under its sacred branches.


How to plan a trip to Kedarnath Temple 2024

Plan Your Kedarnath Temple Pilgrimage:

  • Season: Choose between summer for mild weather, monsoon for risks of landslides, or winter for extreme cold.
  • Itinerary: Decide on additional sites like Bhairavnath Temple or Vasuki Tal and plan travel accordingly.
  • Accommodation: Book in advance, considering peak seasons. Options range from lodges to camping facilities.
  • Transportation: Arrange road travel to Gaurikund or helicopter services. Prepare permits for trekking.
  • Rituals: Pre-book slots for temple rituals to avoid disappointment.
  • Weather: Pack appropriate clothing and gear for changing conditions.
  • Stay Informed: Keep updated on weather, road closures, and travel advisories.
  • Health & Safety: Carry medications, stay hydrated, and adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.

Travel Guide to Kedarnath Temple - How to Reach Kedarnath Temple

Badrinath Temple is one of the most revered pilgrimage sites in India, situated in the scenic Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand. Here’s how you can reach this sacred place:

By Air

The nearest airport to Kedarnath is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, approximately 238 kilometers away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Kedarnath.

View Flights Schedule

By Train

The nearest railway station to Kedarnath is Rishikesh Railway Station, situated about 216 kilometers away. After reaching Rishikesh, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to Sonprayag, which is the nearest point accessible by road to Kedarnath. From Sonprayag, you can trek or hire a local jeep to reach the temple.

View Train Schedule

By Road

  • From Delhi: Kedarnath is approximately 450 kilometers away from Delhi. You can drive or take a bus from Delhi to Rishikesh, and then proceed to Sonprayag by road.
  • From Haridwar: Kedarnath is about 242 kilometers away from Haridwar. You can drive or take a bus from Haridwar to Sonprayag.
  • From Dehradun: Kedarnath is approximately 238 kilometers away from Dehradun. You can drive or take a bus from Dehradun to Rishikesh, and then proceed to Sonprayag.

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Trekking Route:

Once you reach Sonprayag, the main pilgrimage trek to Kedarnath begins. The trek from Sonprayag to Kedarnath is around 16 kilometers long and usually takes about 6-8 hours to complete. Along the route, you'll witness breathtaking views of the Himalayan peaks, lush greenery, and cascading streams. Ponies and palanquins are also available for those who may find the trek challenging.

Helicopter Services

For those seeking a quicker and more convenient way to reach Kedarnath, helicopter services are available from Phata, Guptkashi, and Sitapur. These services provide an aerial view of the stunning landscape and significantly reduce travel time.

Travel Tips:

  • Weather Conditions: Check weather forecasts before planning your trip, as the region experiences extreme weather conditions, especially during the winter months.
  • Accommodation: Book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak pilgrimage seasons, to ensure a comfortable stay.
  • Physical Preparation: If you plan to trek, ensure you're physically fit and acclimatize yourself to the high altitude to avoid altitude sickness.

Best Hotels and Resorts in Kedarnath Temple 2024

Hotel NameDetails
GMVN Tourist Rest House (Kedarnath)Managed by Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN), this rest house offers basic accommodation options with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Shivalik Valley ResortsLocated near Kedarnath, this resort offers comfortable accommodation with modern amenities amidst the picturesque Himalayan landscape.
Kedar Camp ResortsKnown for its tented accommodations, Kedar Camp Resorts provide a unique experience of staying close to nature while enjoying essential facilities.
New Himachal HouseSituated near the Kedarnath Temple, New Himachal House offers simple yet cozy rooms for pilgrims and travelers.
Kedarnath Tourist Rest House (GMVN)Another option managed by GMVN, this rest house provides affordable accommodation options for pilgrims visiting the Kedarnath Temple.

Reasons to Include Kedarnath Temple on Your Travel Itinerary 2024

Including Kedarnath Temple on your travel itinerary in 2024 offers a blend of spiritual enrichment, natural beauty, and cultural immersion. As one of the holiest Hindu pilgrimage sites dedicated to Lord Shiva, Kedarnath holds immense spiritual significance, drawing pilgrims from far and wide to seek blessings in its sacred environs. Nestled amidst the majestic Himalayan ranges, the temple not only captivates with its historical and architectural marvel but also enchants with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks and lush green valleys, providing a haven for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike. The challenging trekking routes leading to Kedarnath offer adventure seekers an exhilarating journey through rugged terrain, while also presenting opportunities for cultural exploration and interaction with the warm-hearted locals of the Garhwal region. Whether you seek spiritual solace, adrenaline-pumping adventures, or simply a retreat into nature's embrace, Kedarnath Temple promises a transformative experience that resonates long after your visit.

Plan Your Kedarnath Trip with Dehradun Airport Cab Service:

Make the most of your Kedarnath trip by partnering with Dehradun Airport Cab Service. We offer reliable taxi services for Kedarnath, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable travel experience for our guests. Our experienced drivers and comfortable vehicles are ready to transport you to temple.

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Priyanka Panwar

Frequent traveler and Nature explorer.

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Things to Do in Kedarnath Temple FAQs 2024

Q1: What are the main activities to do in Kedarnath Temple?

Ans: The main activity at Kedarnath Temple is offering prayers and seeking blessings. Additionally, visitors can explore the temple complex, witness the rituals, and enjoy the serene surroundings.

Q2: Are there any trekking or hiking options near Kedarnath Temple?

Ans: Yes, there are several trekking options near Kedarnath, including the trek to Vasuki Tal, Chorabari Tal, and Gandhi Sarovar. These treks offer stunning views of the Himalayas and the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the region.

Q3: Can I attend the evening aarti ceremony at Kedarnath Temple?

Ans: Yes, the evening aarti ceremony at Kedarnath Temple is a mesmerizing experience. Visitors can witness the rituals, including the lighting of lamps, ringing of bells, and chanting of hymns, creating a spiritually uplifting atmosphere.

Q4: Is photography allowed inside the temple complex?

Ans: Photography is generally not allowed inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. However, visitors can take photos of the exterior and surrounding areas.

Q5: Are there any nearby attractions or places of interest to visit?

Ans: Yes, apart from the temple, visitors can explore nearby attractions like Bhairavnath Temple, Vasuki Tal, Chorabari Tal, and Gandhi Sarovar. These places offer breathtaking views and enriching experiences.

Q6: What are the best times to visit Kedarnath Temple?

Ans: The best time to visit Kedarnath Temple is during the summer months (May to June) when the weather is pleasant and the temple is accessible. It's advisable to avoid the monsoon season (July to September) due to the risk of landslides and heavy rainfall.

Q7: Are there accommodation options available near Kedarnath Temple?

Ans: Yes, there are various accommodation options available near Kedarnath Temple, including guesthouses, lodges, and tented accommodations. It's recommended to book in advance, especially during the peak pilgrimage season.

Q8: What should I wear when visiting Kedarnath Temple?

Ans: Visitors are advised to dress modestly and respectfully when visiting Kedarnath Temple. Comfortable clothing and sturdy footwear are recommended, especially if planning to trek or hike in the area. Additionally, carry warm clothing as temperatures can drop, especially in the evenings and early mornings.

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