Traveling is what gives you exposure to live confidently. We must know why traveling is necessary for us. Kedarnath is such a place where once u go you will wish to stay there for the rest of your life. Kedarnath Mandir (temple) is one of the most prominent pilgrimages in Uttarakhand. Every year pilgrims or spiritual seekers from all around the world visit Kedarnath Mandir to seek the blessings from Lord Shiva. Alpine forests, snow-hills, rhododendrons, and weather of this place is the perfect example that heaven resides here.
BEAUTY OF KEDARNATH MANDIR
Kedarnath is a town and holiest pilgrim site in Uttarakhand state, India. It is one of the four Chota Char Dham sites. It is located at an altitude of 3583 M above the sea level near Chorabari glacier which is the source of the Mandakini river. The name Kedarnath is derived from Sanskrit words ‘Kedara’ (field) and ‘Nath’ (Lord) which means the ‘ Lord of the fields’. It is so-called because ‘the crop of liberation’ grows here.
Behind the town and the temples, there stands the majestic peaks of Kedarnath valley ranges up to 6940m. Because of that much altitude no one stays in Kedarnath for six months (November to April). People shift their settlements from Kedarnath to the nearby villages. The whole town is surrounded by snow-covered mountains, colorful rhododendron woods, and splendid views of nature. Lakhs of tourists come every year to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva.
- 1 Kedarnath Mandir – History and legends
- 2 Best time to visit Kedarnath Mandir and places nearby
- 3 How to reach Kedarnath
- 4 Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Kedarnath Mandir – History and legends
This town has a legend that after the battle of Kurukshetra, Pandavas of Mahabharata went to Varanasi to seek the blessings as they were guilty of killing their own relatives. But Lord Shiva avoided meeting them by taking the form of buffalo so they couldn’t recognize him. But when they come closer, Lord Shiva decided to become invisible by going underground. But one of the five Pandavas, Bhima tried to stop him from the tail of the buffalo. Unfortunately, Lord Shiva evaporated at that place leaving behind his hump which is now worshipped at Kedarnath Mandir.
Best time to visit Kedarnath Mandir and places nearby
As it is mentioned earlier that due to high altitude temperature drops down to zero degrees celsius even in the month of May. So this town is closed from November to April. It is strongly recommended to visit in the months of May to June and September to October. During Summertime i.e. May-June brings pleasant weather ideal for visiting Kedarnath Mandir and other nearby sites. Avoid months of monsoon i.e. July and August which brings heavy rainfall causes landslides.
Let us talk about major tourist attractions in Kedarnath Mandir and places nearby
Kedarnath Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Actually Kedarnath town is so much famous because of this temple. This historic temple is over a thousand years old. The stone slabs over a large rectangular stage make this structure unique. It is believed that this temple was initially built by Pandavas and later by Adi Shankaracharya.
The Mandakini flows peacefully alongside this temple. The fresh air, mesmerizing views and pleasant atmosphere makes you lose a sense of time. The entrance of Kedarnath Mandir is decorated with statues of Lord Krishna, Pandavas, Draupadi, Nandi, Virbhadra and other deities of Hindu mythology. A ‘Garba Griha’ for worship and Mandap for pilgrims is placed inside the temple. It is a strong belief that if you pray here with pure heart, you are forgiven for all the sins.
Famous for: Spiritual Travelers, Serenity lovers, religious importance
Opening hours: All day open and closes for 3 PM-5 PM only
Vasuki Tal is a lake that lies at an altitude of 4135m. The water from the melting-ice of snow-clad mountains drains into this lake. The water is fed by Chor Bamak and Vasuki glaciers. Brahma Kamal and other Himalayan flowers blooming around the lake can be seen. Icebergs float on its clear water make the aura divine.
According to mythology, it is believed that Lord Vishnu bathed in this lake at the Raksha Bandhan festival. Hence, it was named Vasuki Tal. The lake freezes in winter. Trekking is also a very famous activity here. The Chaukhamba peak can be seen from this lake. All these things make this place special for tourists.
Famous for: Nature, photography and trekking
Visiting hours: Full day
Gaurikund is an important Hindu pilgrimage site on the way to Kedarnath Mandir. It is situated at a height of 1982m. Gaurikund has a temple which is dedicated to Goddess Parvati. It is believed that Parvati meditated at Gaurikund for a long time to win Lord Shiva as her husband. There is also a hot water spring. The water is boiling at 50 degrees celsius and can only be used by mixing with cold Mandakini river water. People take a dip in this pond to make themselves pure. After the dip, a holy darshan in the shrine fulfill all their desires. It is also a base camp for Kedarnath trek.
Famous for: Spiritual travelers, hot spring and trekking
Visiting hours: Before sunset
Sonprayag is a small village and lies at an altitude of 1829m. The word Prayag means confluence and Sonprayag lies at the confluence of two rivers Basuki and Mandakini. It is believed that the bath at the Prayag is holy and helps to attain ‘Moksha’. This valley offers views of snow-covered mountains and lush greenery.
The snow peaks and the streams of the river add a majestic charm to this place. Triyuginarayan is located near Sonprayag, which is believed to be the marriage place of Lord Shiva and Parvati. This is also very famous among tourists.
Famous for: Himalayan view points, religious importance
Visiting hours: 7 Am to 7 Pm
Chorabari Tal is a lake situated at the mouth of Chorabari glacier. It is also known as Gandhi Sarovar. Its altitude from sea level is above 3900m. The crystal clear lake draws a lot of tourists from far and wide the country. This lake can be reached through a trek of 3km from Kedarnath Temple. The trek route goes through deodar and oak forests and picturesque waterfalls.
It is advised to visit the lake early in the morning because the weather in this region changes rapidly. There are no stalls and tea-shops, so do carry your own. Chorabari lake is one of the most popular picnic spots in this region. There is a Bhairava temple near the lake. The panoramic views of this lake attract nature lovers.
Famous for: Trekking, nature love
Visiting hours: 7 Am to 7 Pm
Guptkashi is a small town situated on the way to Kedarnath on the bank of Mandakini river. It lies at a height of 1319m above the sea level. It is a popular religious town as it houses Vishwanath Temple and Ardhnarishwar Temple. These temples reflect ancient architectural design and style. Another attraction here is Manikarnika Kund where two streams of Ganga and Yamuna meet. Guptkashi is an important market town. Many pilgrims during their Kedarnath Yatra take a halt at Guptkashi and purchase many items from this market.
Famous for: Pilgrimage, temple
Visiting hours: Vishwanath Temple (6 Am to 6 Pm), Ardhnarishwar Temple (6 Am to 6 Pm)
Bhairavnath Temple is situated on a hillock towards the northern side of the Kedarnath Mandir 500m far from it. This temple is one of the most popular temples in Kedarnath. This temple is dedicated to God Bhairav is known as the guardian of this region. The weapon of Bhairav is Trishul and his vaahan is a dog. According to the belief when Kedarnath Mandir closes during winter months due to heavy snowfall. Bhairavnath protects the main temple and the Kedarnath valley. The temple offers mesmerizing views of Himalayas and Kedar valleys. Pilgrims from Kedarnath Mandir ought to have interaction in a moderate trek to reach the temple.
Famous for: Religious place
Opening hours: 6 Am to 8 Pm
Mayali pass is situated at an altitude of 5300m in Bhilangana valley. It offers great views of Masar Tal and Vasuki Tal. Mayali Pass is a famous trekking location followed by many trekkers every year. This trek route starts from Ghuttu and goes along Bhilangana valley. Mayali Pass is approachable by two routes. One is from Ghuttu and others from Mala village right above Uttarkashi. The trek route from Ghuttu is the shorter one.
Famous for: Trekking
Visiting hours: During day time ( 6-7 hours every day)
Shankaracharya Samadhi is the grave of Adi Shankaracharya. It is one of the most popular tourist locations in Kedarnath. Mythological belief says that Shanakaracharaya merged under the land to attain Moksha. Hence this place is called Shankaracharya Samadhi. Here is a spring of hot water said to be created by him. This spring was created to remove the sufferings of his disciple caused due to extremes of climate. Visitors take a dip in this hot spring to remove climatic sufferings and then seek darshan of Samadhi.
Famous for: Holy place
Visiting hours: 6 Am to 8 Pm
How to reach Kedarnath
Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest airport to Kedarnath. It is 238km from Kedarnath. The airport is connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Bangalore, and Thiruvananthpuram.
From airport taxis and buses are available to Gaurikund. From Gaurikund, it is a 14km trek to Kedarnath.
Rishikesh railway station is nearest to Kedarnath. It is at a distance of 216km from Kedarnath. The railway station is well connected to the major cities and towns of the country. Taxis and buses to Gaurikund are available for further journey.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Q1. What is the best time to visit Kedarnath Mandir?
Ans. May to June and September to October is the best time to visit Kedarnath Mandir And to visit places nearby. Winter seasons are simply avoidable due to heavy snowfall and monsoon months (July- August) are avoidable due to heavy rainfall.
Q2. How is the food and accommodation facilities in Kedarnath?
Ans. There are only a few hotels and restaurants in Kedarnath. But now the day’s government is providing free of cost accommodation and food facilities. Free of cost accommodation is subject to government decision which can be changed without any prior notice.
Q3. Is there any ATM facility in Kedarnath?
Ans. No there are no ATM machines. We recommend you to withdraw the cash from nearby locations like Rudraprayag, Guptkashi and Agasthyamuni.
Q4. When does snowfall occur in Kedarnath Mandir?
Ans. Snowfall in Kedarnath Mandir, starts to occur from the first week of October.
We hope that we succeed to take you for trip2divine ( an adventure of heaven). We cannot express the real beauty of Kedarnath Mandir and places nearby in words. The best experience can only felt by visiting it. But we tried a lot to give you ideas about those serene places and the best places to visit in Kedarnath. So guys do comment and share to support us. We promise to provide this type of information in the future.
Kindly tell us if we left with something. We will cover that topic in our upcoming blog.