Kedarnath Dham Travel Guide

Fast Facts

Area 3 sq. km
Language Hindi, Garhwali, English
Best time to visit May to October

Kedarnath is one of the sacred pilgrim spots of North India and is flocked by people from all corners of the globe. Besides its religious significance, it is also visited by those who love to conquer the rough terrain of Garhwal. Lapped in the green hills of the Himalayas, the serene atmosphere here, with its cool and gentle breeze, offers an ideal tourist retreat.


Kedarnath is situated in the Uttarkashi district of Uttar Pradesh, a state in North India. Nestled amidst the Garhwal Himalayas at 3580 meters, Kedarnath is close to the Indo-China border. Not just this, it is the source of the Mandakini River. If you visit by bus or car, Kedarnath is near Rishikesh (234 km) and Dehradun (250 km).

History of Kedarnath

According to legend, Lord Shiva wished to elude the Pandavas, who had come to seek penitence for having killed their kin in the battle of Kurukshetra. So he took refuge in Kedarnath in the form of a bull. Bhima, one of the Pandava brothers, found Shiva amongst a herd of cattle. Having identified the meanest and most arrogant of the herd as Shiva, Bhima is said to have grabbed him by the hindquarters. What remains at the shrine in Kedarnath is the rear end of the bull, with the rest of its body scattered throughout the Garhwal. Shiva dived into the ground leaving behind him a hump on the surface. This conical protrusion is worshipped as the idol. It is the main site of the Panch Kedar temples.

Best Time to Visit Kedarnath

May to October is the best time to visit Kedarnath. It experiences cold winters with snowfall from October to March. As summer approaches (April to June), the weather turns cool and comfortable with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 30°C. Monsoon in Kedarnath is heavy with chances of landslides and road blockage. Thus, we advise you to avoid it. To know more, Click here!


Tourists Attractions in Kedarnath

Being a religious town, you will find most places in Kedarnath with mythological connotations. Despite this, Kedarnath attracts both pilgrims and tourists alike. Here is a list of tourist attractions in Kedarnath you can explore -

  • Kedarnath Temple - People say the Pandavas or the five brothers from the epic Mahabharata, built this temple almost 800 years ago. Later in the 8th century AD, Adi Shankaracharya revamped it. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and thus, attracts ardent devotees from across the country.
  • Samadhi of Adiguru Shankaracharya - This tourist place in Kedarnath is located behind Kedarnath Temple and is the saint's final resting place.
  • Bhairavnath Temple - To the south of Kedarnath Temple stands Bhairavnath Temple, dedicated to Lord Bhairav. He’s the deity who guards the main temple in winter when it is closed.
  • Chorabari Tal Lake - Some of Mahatma Gandhi's ashes were scattered at Chorabari Tal Lake, now known as Gandhi Sarovar. It is also said that Yudhishthira, the eldest Pandava, departed to heaven from this lake.
  • Vasuki Tal - Perched at the height of 4135 meters, Vasuki Tal offers views of the Chaukhambha peaks.

Places to Visit Around Kedarnath Temple

Once you have explored the places in Kedarnath and still got time, here are some places around Kedarnath Temple you can check out -
  • Gaurikund - The trekking base to Kedarnath is at a distance of 16 km is Gaurikund. Here, you’ll find a temple dedicated to Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva. One can also find thermal springs of medicinal value here.
  • Sonaprayag - At the confluence of the Son Ganga and Mandakini rivers is Son Prayag, a village located 18 km from Kedarnath.
  • Triyuginarayan - Around 27 km from Kedarnath, this mythological site is where the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvati was solemnized. It is a short trek of 5 km from Sonprayag. An eternal flame, a witness to the marriage, burns in front of the temple.
  • Guptkashi - Located 33 km from Kedarnath, this town is known for the ancient temples of Ardhnarishwar and Vishwanath.
  • Ukhimath - At a distance of 37 km, Ukhimath is the winter home of the deity of Kedarnath and the Rawal (head priest) of the temple.
  • Chopta - One of the picturesque places in the Garhwal region, Chopta is located 80 km from Kedarnath.
  • Chandrashila - About 89 km from Kedarnath, this place offers stunning views of snow-covered peaks. You can also plan a trek from Tunganath to Chandrashila and witness a rare sight of the rhododendron forests and the alpine meadows.

Trekking in Kedarnath

Kedarnath offers opportunities for thrill-seekers. The trek starts from Gaurikund, easily approachable by car or bus, and takes you to Rambara, following the Mandakini River. From Rambara, the trek to Kedarnath is much easier. Kedarnath to Vasuki Tal is a continuous ascent along a goat track. The view of the Chaukhambha peaks and the Mandakini valley is delightful from here. The final trek to the Vasuki Tal is downhill for a kilometer.

Accommodation Near Kedarnath Temple

Hotels, govt. camps, resorts, and homestays, all can be found at and around Kedarnath as per your price range and needs. If you wish to reach Kedarnath Temple by helicopter, you can also stay at the hotels near Phata helipad. Other places where accommodation is available are Sersi and Guptkashi.

How To Reach Kedarnath

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