The Kedarnath Yatra is a pilgrimage trek located in the Himalayas, in the state of Uttarakhand, India. The trek takes you to the Kedarnath temple, one of the four sacred shrines in Hinduism, known as the Chardham Yatra, The traditional trekking route starts from Gaurikund and is about 16 km long, passing through beautiful Himalayan landscapes and villages. The new trekking route is 7.5 km long and starts from Sonprayag, passing through Gaurikund before reaching the temple. You need to obtain a permit from the Uttarakhand Forest Department to trek to the temple. Accommodation is available in guesthouses, lodges, campsites, and basic accommodation facilities in the temple premises. The best time to visit is from May to June and September to October. Ensure to carry essential items, follow guidelines, and respect local culture and traditions to have a safe and enjoyable trekking experience.
How to Reach Kedarnath by Road
Kedarnath is a remote pilgrimage site located in the state of Uttarakhand in India. It is not directly connected by road, and the last motorable point is at Gaurikund, which is about 16 km away from the temple. Here’s how you can reach Kedarnath by road:
You can take a bus from major cities in Uttarakhand like Haridwar, Rishikesh, and Dehradun to Gaurikund. There are also private bus operators that run buses from Delhi to Gaurikund. From Gaurikund, you need to trek for about 16 km to reach the temple.
You can hire a taxi from major cities in Uttarakhand like Haridwar, Rishikesh, and Dehradun to Gaurikund. It’s a long drive, and the road conditions can be challenging, especially during the monsoon season. From Gaurikund, you need to trek for about 16 km to reach the temple.
If you want to avoid the long and arduous trek, you can take a helicopter from Phata or Guptkashi to Kedarnath. helicopter service are available from May to October, and you need to book your tickets in advance.
You can also drive to Gaurikund from major cities in Uttarakhand like Haridwar, Rishikesh, and Dehradun. The road conditions can be challenging, and you need to be an experienced driver to navigate the steep and narrow roads.
Kedarnath Route from Delhi
Here’s how you can reach Kedarnath from Delhi:
The nearest airport to Kedarnath is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is about 238 km away from the temple. You can take a flight from Delhi to Dehradun and then hire a taxi to reach Gaurikund. From Gaurikund, you need to trek for about 16 km to reach the temple.
The nearest railway station to Kedarnath is in Rishikesh, which is about 216 km away from the temple. You can take a train from Delhi to Rishikesh and then hire a taxi to reach Gaurikund. From Gaurikund, you need to trek for about 16 km to reach the temple.
You can take a bus from Delhi to Rishikesh, Haridwar, or Dehradun and then take another bus to Gaurikund. From Gaurikund, you need to trek for about 16 km to reach the temple.
You can also drive to Gaurikund from Delhi. The distance is about 443 km, and the route goes through Haridwar, Rishikesh, and Rudraprayag. The road conditions can be challenging, especially during the monsoon season, so make sure to check the weather conditions and plan your journey accordingly.
Kedarnath Trekking Distance
The trekking distance to Kedarnath temple depends on the route you choose. Traditionally, the trekking route starts from Gaurikund and is about 16 km long. The route goes through beautiful Himalayan landscapes, including forests, waterfalls, and rivers. The trek takes about 6-8 hours to complete, and the difficulty level is moderate.
However, a new trekking route has been developed, which is about 7.5 km long and starts from Sonprayag. This route passes through Gaurikund before reaching the temple. It takes about 3-4 hours to complete the trek, and the difficulty level is also moderate.
Both routes are well-marked and have rest points and shops selling refreshments along the way. It’s important to note that the altitude of Kedarnath temple is over 3500 meters, so you need to be physically fit and acclimatize properly to avoid altitude sickness.
Overall, trekking to Kedarnath temple is a beautiful and rewarding experience. Make sure to carry essential items, follow guidelines, and respect local culture and traditions to have a safe and enjoyable trekking experience.
Facilities at Kedarnath Trek
The trek to Kedarnath is about 16 km long and takes about 6-8 hours to complete. Along the trekking route, there are several facilities available for the convenience of pilgrims. Here are some of the facilities available at Kedarnath trek:
There are several guesthouses and lodges available in Gaurikund and along the trekking route to Kedarnath. These accommodations are basic but provide a comfortable stay for pilgrims.
food and water
There are several shops and restaurants available along the trekking route that serve local food and refreshments. These shops also sell bottled water, which is essential for staying hydrated during the trek.
There are medical facilities available in Gaurikund and Kedarnath for pilgrims who need medical attention. There are also several medical aid posts along the trekking route.
Mule and Pony Services
For those who are unable to trek, mule and pony services are available to reach Kedarnath. These services can be hired from Gaurikund and are a convenient option for elderly pilgrims or those with physical disabilities.
Mobile Network Coverage
Mobile network coverage is available in Gaurikund and along the trekking route to Kedarnath. However, the network signal may be weak or non-existent in some areas.
Kedarnath Distance Chart from Major Cities
Here are the distances from major cities in India to Kedarnath:
- Delhi to Kedarnath: The distance between Delhi and Kedarnath is about 445 km by road.
- Mumbai to Kedarnath: The distance between Mumbai and Kedarnath is about 1725 km by road.
- Kolkata to Kedarnath: The distance between Kolkata and Kedarnath is about 1500 km by road.
- Bengaluru to Kedarnath: The distance between Bengaluru and Kedarnath is about 2150 km by road.
- Chennai to Kedarnath: The distance between Chennai and Kedarnath is about 2300 km by road.
Kedarnath Trek Itinerary
Here is a sample itinerary for the Gaurikund to Kedarnath trek:
Day 1: Gaurikund to Kedarnath (16 km trek)
- Start early in the morning from Gaurikund (elevation 1,982 m) to Kedarnath (elevation 3,583 m).
- The trek passes through beautiful Himalayan landscapes, including forests, waterfalls, and rivers.
- There are several rest points and shops selling refreshments along the way.
- Reach Kedarnath in the evening and check into a guesthouse or lodge
- Visit the Kedarnath temple for darshan and participate in the evening aarti
Day 2: Explore Kedarnath
- Spend the day exploring Kedarnath and its surroundings.
- Visit the Kedarnath temple for darshan and participate in the morning aarti.
- You can also visit the Bhairavnath temple, which is a short trek away from Kedarnath.
- Enjoy the scenic views and take part in some relaxation activities such as meditation or yoga
- Overnight stay at the guesthouse or lodge in Kedarnath
Day 3: Kedarnath to Gaurikund (16 km trek)
- Start early in the morning from Kedarnath to Gaurikund
- The trek downhill can take 4-6 hours, depending on your pace.
- Reach Gaurikund and take a dip in the hot water springs to relax your tired muscles.
- Take a taxi or bus from Gaurikund to your onward destination
notes: This itinerary can be customized based on your preferences and fitness level. It’s important to carry essential items, follow guidelines, and respect local culture and traditions to have a safe and enjoyable trekking experience. It’s also important to acclimatize properly to avoid altitude sickness.
New Trekking Route for Kedarnath Dham
Recently, a new trekking route has been opened for Kedarnath Dham, which is known as the “Kedarnath Musk Deer Conservation Trek.” This trekking route is a part of the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary and offers a unique opportunity to trek through the dense forests of the sanctuary while enjoying the scenic beauty of the Himalayan range.
The trek starts from the Sonprayag base camp, and the total trekking distance is around 30 km. The trail passes through the forests of oak, rhododendron, and deodar trees, and also offers an opportunity to spot some rare Himalayan wildlife like musk deer, snow leopard, and black bear.
The highlight of this trek is the Kedarnath Wildlife Interpretation Centre, which is located at a distance of around 13 km from Sonprayag. This center offers visitors an opportunity to learn about the wildlife and biodiversity of the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary through various interactive exhibits and displays.
The trek takes around 3-4 days to complete, and it’s important to carry proper gear and clothing, including trekking shoes, warm clothes, rain gear, and a first aid kit. It’s also important to obtain the necessary permits and bookings in advance.
The Kedarnath Musk Deer Conservation Trek is a great opportunity for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts to explore the pristine beauty of the Himalayas while also learning about the importance of wildlife conservation.
Trekking Tips & Things to Carry
Before going for the Kedarnath trek, here are some things to remember:
- physical fitnessKedarnath trek involves long hours of trekking and climbing steep slopes. It is important to prepare yourself physically and mentally for the trek. Regular exercise, yoga, and stretching can help improve your fitness levels.
- Acclimatization: Kedarnath is located at a high altitude of 3,583 meters above sea level, and altitude sickness is a common problem. It’s important to take a day or two for acclimatization before starting the trek.
- Weather: Kedarnath is located in the Himalayan region and experiences unpredictable weather. It’s important to carry warm clothes, rain gear, and protective gear like hats and gloves.
- Essentials: Carry essential items like a first aid kit, sunscreen, insect repellent, water bottle, and snacks. It’s also advisable to carry a trekking pole to provide support and balance during the trek.
- Respect local culture: Kedarnath is a holy place, and it is important to respect local culture and traditions. Avoid carrying non-vegetarian food and alcohol.
- Permits and bookings: Make sure to obtain the necessary permits and bookings in advance to avoid any last-minute hassle.
- Environment: It’s important to keep the trekking trail clean and avoid littering. Avoid using plastic and dispose of waste properly.
Remembering these things will help ensure a safe and enjoyable trekking experience in Kedarnath.
Best Time for Kedarnath Yatra Trek
The best time for the Kedarnath trek is from May to June and September to November.
During May and June, the weather is pleasant, and the snow starts to melt, making the trekking trail more accessible. The temperature during this period ranges from 10°C to 20°C, and the days are sunny, making it a good time to trek.
September to November is also a good time to trek as the monsoon season ends, and the weather starts to cool down. The temperature during this period ranges from 5°C to 15°C, and the skies are clear, making it a good time to enjoy the views.
The monsoon season from July to August should be avoided as heavy rainfall can make the trekking trail muddy and slippery. During winter, the trekking trail is covered with snow, and the temperature drops to sub-zero levels, making it inaccessible for trekking.
It’s important to note that the weather in the Himalayas can be unpredictable, and it’s advisable to check the weather forecast before planning the trek. Also, it’s important to carry proper gear and clothing as the temperature can drop significantly at night, even during the best trekking season.
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