Kedarnath is a town that holds great importance for Hindus everywhere. It is located in the state of Uttarakhand, India, at an altitude of 3583 m. in close proximity to the Chorabari Glacier, the source of the Mandakini River, which also flows close by. The name Kedarnath can be traced back to King Kedar, believed to have ruled the land in the Satya Yuga. The place itself however, and the famed Kedarnath Temple found here, can be traced back to the Mahabharata, according to which, this was the site where the penance of the Pandavas supposedly pleased Lord Shiva. Kedarnath is one of the four Char Dham sites, and the most remote of all. Surrounded by the magnificent Himalayas, though Kedarnath is situated in a barren setting per se, it makes for a rather scenic spot for the casual tourist and boundless serenity for the pious devout.
The nearest airport, Jolly Grant in Dehradun – 240 km. Taxis are available for Kedarnath.
Nearest railhead is Rishikesh, 221 km away. Prepaid taxis available.
Buses are available from Rishikesh & Kotdwar. Private taxis are also available. Note 1 All transport modes leave you on the outskirts of the Kedarnath point, from where you need to trek 14 kilometers to reach the shrine. Ponies are available for the needy. Note 2 Whether you take the pony ride or trek on foot, altitude sickness is a reality. You rapidly lose your appetite and food appears nauseating. Dehydration is another threat as we skip drinking fluids in cooler climates. Also headache, vomiting can add to your troubles. The best option is to carry medicines, drink fluids and return as soon as possible.
You can visit from May to October when the Kedarnath Temple is open. Come November and the doors are closed as the shrine is snowbound.
At 4,100 meters Kedarnath has a cold climate for most part of the year and the best months for travel are May, June, September and October. Rainy Seasons should be avoided as landslides are frequent in various areas nearby.
Month wise Recommendations
May Weather here is moderately cold and a bit warm as well and suitable for all kinds of tourist activities. The Kedarnath Shrine opens in May and this is the month when most of the roads get cleared and all tourist start arriving in big numbers and pilgrim activities become a priority. Snow can be found on high altitudes.
June June is ideal for... read more...
Festivals like Vinayak Chathurthi and Deepawali are celebrated here during September and October. Shravani Annakoot Mela is celebrated on the day before Raksha Bandhan during August.
There are not many items that one can buy in Kedarnath. There are many small shops located here that one can visit for souvenirs. These have photographs of the Kedarnath and Badrinath temples or of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Apart from the photographs of Gods and Goddesses and framed pictures of temples, one can also get a Rudraksh Mala made from Rudraksh, which is very important to the Hindus. One can also find various crystals, saligrams, herbs, Shilajit, natural vitalizers, precious stones, tulsi beads, etc. here as well.
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