Embark on a spiritual journey to the holy abode of Lord Shiva in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand. Our guide offers in-depth details on journey planning and trekking routes, ensuring you can navigate the winding pathways and stunning vistas with ease.
Different Ways to Reach Kedarnath Temple
Reaching Kedarnath By Road
Reaching Kedarnath by road is an adventure journey itself. For the yatra route, Kedarnath is well-connected to many major cities in Uttarakhand, including Haridwar and Rishikesh, by road, ensuring a hassle-free journey. One can either take an interstate bus run by Uttarakhand Transport Corporation, hire a private car, or share a taxi from cities like Haridwar, Rishikesh, and Dehradun. Bus and car services also run from major cities like Delhi and for the last stretch, you can option to use a car to Gaurikund, which is significantly closer to Kedarnath.
From Gaurikund to the temple, where Kedarnath is located, there are no motorable roads leading up to the temple, but a 16 km trek or services of ponies, palanquins, or a helicopter if trekking doesn’t suit your strength.
Table listing the distance and approximate time to reach Kedarnath from 16 major cities by a car from Rishikesh, a car from Haridwar, or a jeep:
|Distance to Kedarnath
- Note: Travel times are approximate and can vary based on road conditions, traffic, and mode of transport. Don’t forget to check availability of shared taxis and parking space at Gaurikund.
How To Reach Kedarnath By Train
Reaching Kedarnath by train route is convenient, although you cannot reach it directly. The nearest train stations to Kedarnath are Rishikesh and Haridwar (241 km away), both well-connected with major Indian cities such as New Delhi. Haridwar railway station is a better choice since it has a better connectivity to places like New Delhi, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad. If you are travelling from the vast expanse of South India, say Chennai or Bangalore, to Kedarnath then you can book your flight tickets to Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun and then hire a taxi or a bus to reach Kedarnath.
How to Reach Kedarnath By Air
Although there is no direct air connection to Kedarnath, utilizing air travel can still greatly reduce your travel duration. Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, approximately 238 km from Kedarnath, is the nearest airport. If you land in Dehradun, it is also feasible to reach Uttarkashi, a destination worth exploring which is connected via the Tehri Garhwal Motor Owners Union Ltd.’s bus service. The airport offers frequent flight connectivity with several major cities in India including Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. Upon landing in Dehradun, you can hire local transport or take a bus to Kedarnath or Uttarkashi.
|Distance (in km)
|Delhi remains the same.
|Dehradun remains the same.
|The distance is 202 kilometers by air.
|103 km (aerial)
- Note:The journey involves an airplane ride from Delhi to Dehradun, then a taxi/cab journey to Sahastradhara Road. From there, a helicopter covers the aerial distance to Gaurikund, and finally, another helicopter ride from Gaurikund to Kedarnath.
The Sky Route: Helicopter Services To Go Kedarnath Dham
Opting for a helicopter service to Kedarnath is one of the quickest and most convenient alternatives you can consider if you wish to skip the strenuous journey. Helicopter services to Kedarnath leave from several places such as Dehradun, Guptkashi, Phata, Sitapur, and Sonprayag in Uttarakhand. The flight duration from Dehradun to Kedarnath is approximately 40 minutes.
Moreover, helicopter services from Phata, Guptkashi, and Sirsi to Kedarnath are also available and the ride merely takes around 10-15 minutes. Remember, the helicopter ride is more expensive compared to other modes of transport, but the convenience and the stunning ariel view it offers are unmatched.
Further Travels From Key Locations
Delhi to Kedarnath: Road and Train Options
The journey from Delhi to Kedarnath can be accomplished via two popular routes. The first is via NH334 and NH7, passing through important pilgrimage sites such as Haridwar, Rishikesh, Devprayag, and Rudraprayag. The second route includes the Meerut-Pauri National Highway, taking you through NH34, NH534, and NH7.
If you prefer to travel by road, the distance from Delhi to Kedarnath is approximately 450 km. Starting from Delhi, the journey encompasses Delhi – Haridwar (213 km), Haridwar – Rishikesh (28 km), Rishikesh – Rudraprayag (138 km), Rudraprayag – Sonprayag (72 km), Sonprayag – Gaurikund (6 km), and finally, the trek from Gaurikund to Kedarnath (16 km).
For train travel, the nearest railway stations to Kedarnath are Rishikesh(213 km from Delhi) and Haridwar(243 km from Delhi), both of which are efficiently connected to Delhi by regular trains. From these stations, you can witness several beautiful sites by road.
The Method of Reaching Kedarnath from Haridwar
Haridwar, also known as the Gateway to God, is the commencement point for the journey to the hallowed shrines of Kedarnath and the starting point for the Char Dham Yatra. For those interested in a comprehensive spiritual journey, the Char Dham Yatra package helps devotees in visiting all four sacred destinations, including Kedarnath, in one organized trip.
Strategically positioned in the foothills of the Shivalik range, Haridwar offers an optimal route to Kedarnath. The distance from Haridwar to Kedarnath Temple is about 240 km, a journey that can take around 8-9 hours by road. Given the distance and various stops, considering the char dham yatra package might prove beneficial.
The route from Haridwar encompasses Haridwar – Rishikesh – Devprayag – Srinagar – Rudraprayag – Ukhimath – Guptakashi – Phata – Rampur – SonPrayag – Gaurikund. For those unable to undertake the journey on foot, the last 16 km trek can be covered by horse, pony or palanquin (palki).
Reaching Haridwar is convenient as several trains and buses regularly operate from various parts of the country. Thus making it a perfect starting point for the Kedarnath Yatra, especially for those subscribing to the char dham yatra package.
Dehradun to Kedarnath: Convenient Pathways
The journey from Dehradun to Kedarnath is scenic and interesting. The distance between Dehradun and Kedarnath is approximately 246 km, and it can be covered in around 9-10 hours. Dehradun is well connected by road to Rudraprayag, and from there, you can take a taxi or bus to reach Gaurikund, the base for Kedarnath trek.
While Dehradun to Rishikesh is a plain drive, the mountain journey begins from the holy city of Rishikesh. Clearly, the journey is a beautiful mix of nature, spirituality, culture, and history. Devprayag is one of the old pilgrim towns that the road journey passes through., Rudraprayag, Sonprayag, and Gaurikund, presenting you with ample photo-shoot moments.
Getting to Kedarnath from Rishikesh by Road
Getting to Kedarnath from Rishikesh is an enthralling journey marked with scenic beauty and moments of adventure. The approximate distance separating Rishikesh and Kedarnath is 221 km., and the journey can take anywhere around 8-9 hours, depending on the mode of transport and road conditions.
The route to Kedarnath from Rishikesh is quite straightforward. You begin the journey from Rishikesh, then travel through towns such as Devprayag, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Tilwara, Agastmuni, Kund, Guptkashi, Phata, Rampur, SonPrayag, and Gaurikund. The last stretch from Gaurikund requires a trek through a scenic but challenging route. You can cover this stretch by foot or opt for a pony ride or a palanquin service if available.
Local Transportation in Kedarnath
Pony and Palanquin Services: Traditional Means of Transport
Here’s the table with the rate list for ponies in Kedarnath based on relevant research:
|One Side (INR)
|Round Trip (INR)
|Gaurikund to Kedarnath
|Rambara bridge to Kedarnath
|Kedarnath to Rambara bridge
|Kedarnath to Gaurikund
- Please note, these rates are subject to change and the actual rate will depend on the current rate at the time of booking.
- The information sourced for this table is based on data obtained from an official Uttarakhand Tourism website
- Pricing might also vary based on season and demand.
Pony and Palanquin services can be extremely helpful when the journey becomes challenging and steep. They’re available from Gaurikund, the start of a 16 km trek to Kedarnath temple. Pony service is a good option if you can ride, while Palanquin service suits those who’d rather sit back and enjoy the ride.
It takes approximately 7-8 hours to travel from Gaurikund to Kedarnath using pony services. Palanquin services are also available from Gaurikund, and it only takes about 5-6 hours to reach Kedarnath.
Trek to Kedarnath Temple: For Adventure Enthusiasts
If you’re an adventure enthusiast, you’ll relish the 16 km trek to Kedarnath Temple from Gaurikund. Dubbed as an exceptional trekking destination, the scenic journey is a paradise to be explored, with serenity enveloping you as you gradually ascend the Himalayan terrain. The trail brims with scenic landscapes, lush vegetation, and the constant companion – the enchanting sound of Mandakini river flowing along the trail.
Rest houses are available sporadically across the trek, where you can rest and replenish. Remember to carry your essentials like water bottles, energy bars, first-aid, a lightweight warm jacket, and don’t forget the comfortable and sturdy trekking shoes. Given the rugged terrain, Better Quality Trekking shoes not only provide comfort but also aid your hike across the mountains.
The trek from Gaurikund to Kedarnath takes about 7-8 hours. It’s recommended to start early in the morning, with the right gear that should include thermal layers and a good pair of trekking shoes, giving you ample time to reach the temple by evening. Despite the challenging climb, the stunning views of snow-clad Himalayan peaks and the religious fervor of co-pilgrims keep your spirits high.
Accommodation Near Kedarnath Temple
Top Hotels Near Kedarnath Temple
Guptkashi’s Nirvana Camp: Surrounded by absolute serenity, this resort offers the perfect blend of comfort and exclusivity. Known for its clean tents and home-like cuisine, Nirvana Camps serve as an excellent place to reside amid peaceful ambience. The primary features of the camp that stand out are its tranquil setting, closeness to the temple, and warm hospitality.
- Best for:Nature lovers and those craving a unique lodging experience
Rawat Tourist Lodge, Guptkashi: This lodge, known for its comfortable rooms and friendly staff, provides a chillaxed base to plan your sacred temple visit. The top-notch features of this place include garden-facing rooms, delicious vegetarian food, and wallet-friendly pricing.
- Best for:Budget Travellers and Backpackers.
Hotel Madhuban, Guptkashi: A phenomenal place to stay near Kedarnath Temple, this hotel provides cozy rooms featuring basic amenities. The key highlights are its prime location, amazing service quality, and an attached restaurant.
- Best for:Families and those scouting for a comfortable and centrally-located place to stay
Hotel Dev Dham, Gaurikund: An ideal retreat for spiritual tourists, this hotel offers neat, affordable rooms along with delectable local cuisine. Its notable features encompass its vicinity to the temple, mesmerizing views, and comfortable rooms.
- Best for: Solo travelers, families, and anyone on a budget
Hotel Kedar Valley Resort, Sonprayag: Renowned for its remarkable hospitality, Kedar Valley Resort ensures a pleasant stay with comfortable, spacious rooms and an in-house restaurant. Its top features, such as the panoramic view of the Himalayan peaks, swift room service and scrumptious food offering, make it ubiquitous.
- Best for:Those seeking a good location and views, families.
Budget Accommodations for Comfortable Stay
Kedarnath offers a variety of budget accommodations for travelers who prefer to travel light and save. Here are a few options:
- GMVN Kedarnath Tourist Rest House: Affordable and comfortable, GMVN rest houses are reputed for their verified cleanliness and excellent locations. This Rest House in Kedarnath is no exception and provides a warm, safe haven for travelers.
- Punjab Sindh Awas: Known for its economical prices, Punjab Sindh Awas has clean, spacious rooms and caters to the basic needs of travelers. The food here is often praised and it boasts friendly staff.
- Bikanervala: If you love traditional Indian food, then Bikanervala should be your go-to-place. A popular chain throughout India, Bikanervala’s rooms are comfortable and reasonably priced.
- Swargarohini Cottages: These cottages offer a unique, cozy experience at a reasonable price. They have all the necessary facilities and provide breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.
- Cheap Hotels in Kedarnath: There are several budget hotels in Kedarnath offering reasonably comfortable accommodations. These include hotels like Hotel Raj Kamal, Hotel Raj Deluxe, and Hotel Jagat Raj.
Remember, availability can be limited during peak seasons, so it’s advisable to book your accommodation well in advance.
Exploring 11 Places Around Kedarnath
1. Visit Gaurikund: A Sacred Destination
Gaurikund, at an elevation of 6,000 feet, is not only famous for its hot water spring but is also celebrated as a sacred pilgrimage site. Here, the Goddess Parvati is believed to have performed penance to win Lord Shiva’s heart. The 16 km trek to the Kedarnath temple starts from this location as well.
Gaurikund provides more than just spiritual solace amidst its panoramic views. Here, you can enjoy pony rides and trekking, rejuvenate in the hot water spring, and stand in awe of the grandeur of the Himalayas.
Pilgrims looking for divine blessings often make an extra religious stop at the Gaurikund temple, which is devoted to Goddess Parvati. So, whether you are looking for religious fulfillment or simply a place rich with cultural history and natural beauty, Gaurikund should be on your itinerary.
Gaurikund is a place which is a starting point of kedarnath trek. You can reach gaurikund from sonprayag..there is a hot spring kund where you can take a holy dip and give your visit to a gauri templeNaveen Oberoi At TripAdvisor
2. Get Mesmerized at Vasuki Tal
Vasuki Tal, located at a breathtaking elevation of 14,200 feet, is a high glacial lake offering panoramic views of the Chaukhamba peaks and Mandakini valley. The lake’s crystalline blue water is a spectacle that will leave you mesmerized. It’s believed that Lord Vishnu bathed in this water on Raksha Bandhan, adding to its divine aura.
One of the most beautiful destinations near Kedarnath, Vasuki Tal is home to a variety of Himalayan flowers like Brahma Kamal, making you feel as if you’ve stepped into a magical realm. If you’re interested in trekking or camping, you can spot Chaturangi and Vasuki glaciers on your way up.
3. Don’t Miss Out on Sonaprayag
Sonprayag, nestled amid two holy rivers, Ganga, Mandakini, and Basuki, is a divine crossroads on the route to Kedarnath. It is believed that taking a holy dip in the confluence of these rivers washes away all the sins, offering a spiritual cleanse to the devotees. It’s located quite conveniently, only around 5 km from Gaurikund.
A car ride to Sonprayag is a trekker’s delight and a pilgrim’s paradise. Sonprayag’s picturesque beauty, pure environment, and serene vibe make it a must-visit spot for anyone visiting Kedarnath. The sight of the rivers intermingling amidst the lush green mountains is a spectacle that will fill your heart with awe and your soul with divine tranquility.
4. Bhairavnath Temple: Picturesque Shrine
Located near the main Kedarnath Temple, the Bhairavnath Temple is devoted to Bhairav, the fierce form of Lord Shiva. As per the myth, Lord Bhairav protects both the Kedarnath temple and the entire Kedarnath valley during the severe winter season, when the region is blanketed in snow and the main temple cannot be reached.
A steep climb from the Kedarnath Temple takes you to this temple. Despite the climb, the temple is a favorite among pilgrims and tourists due to the folklore attached and the panoramic view of the Himalayan range they get from here.
5. Chorabari Tal (Gandhi Sarovar): Scenic Lake at High Altitude
Chorabari Tal, also known as Gandhi Sarovar, is a picturesque glacial lake. This lake, situated at a height of 3,900 meters above sea level on the foothills of Kedarnath, is truly a magnificent sight. The trek to the lake is delightful, full of mesmerizing views of the snow-clad Himalayas.
As the lake gets its waters from the Chorabari Glacier, it has a serene and tranquil vibe. One anecdote claims that it is at this very spot that Lord Shiva gifted the knowledge of Yoga to the Saptrishis. Another fact about the lake is that it retains some ashes of Mahatma Gandhi, and thus it also goes by the name Gandhi Sarovar.
6. Triyuginarayan Temple: Mythical Wedding Site of Lord Shiva
The Triyuginarayan Temple pays testimony to the divine union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Situated 13 km away from Kedarnath at an elevation of 1,980 meters, this temple offers both a spiritual experience and a visual spectacle.
According to mythology, this temple was the venue for the grand celestial wedding of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, observed by Lord Vishnu and many other divine entities. The eternal flame or akhand dhuni burning in front of the temple is believed to have been lit during this celestial marriage.
7. Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary: Nature’s Abode
Cradled within the Garhwal Himalayas, Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Spread over 975 square kilometers, this sanctuary houses a diverse range of flora and fauna. The sanctuary is a haven for a variety of endangered species, including musk deer, snow leopards, brown bears, Himalayan tahr, and black eagles.
Trekking through the panoramic landscape of the sanctuary brings you closer to nature and offers you an experience like no other. Here, you can also witness the natural habitat of the Himalayan monal, the state bird of Uttarakhand.
8. Shankaracharya Samadhi: Spiritual Memorial
Right behind the main Kedarnath shrine lies the spiritual memorial of Adi Shankaracharya, marking his final resting place. It’s believed that the philosophical saint Adi Shankaracharya attained salvation here at a very young age. Pilgrims consider this site equally divine and significant and visit in abundant numbers.
Adi Shankaracharya was instrumental in reviving the four mathas (peethas) all across India and reestablishing the Hindu Dharma against Buddhism and Jainism in its initial days. He also played a key role in building the holy shrine of Kedarnath.
9. Trijuginarayan Trek: Adventurous Trail to Ancient Sites
The Trijuginarayan Trek is more than just a path. It’s a journey into the heart of nature, presenting awe-inspiring views of lush valleys, soaring snow-capped peaks, and rich biodiversity. Leading to the ancient Trijuginarayan Temple, where Lord Shiva and Parvati got married, the trail is deemed as a spiritual odyssey for many.
From short climbs and descents to gentle slopes, the trek offers varied terrain and has a difficulty level of moderate. Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or a beginner, the Trijuginarayan Trek can be easily conquered with a little preparedness and a positive spirit.
10. Rudra Cave: Meditative Space amidst Nature
Situated just 1 km uphill from the Kedarnath Temple, the Rudra Cave offers a unique and serene environment ideal for meditation. This cave became globally famous after India’s Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, visited it for meditation during the Kedarnath visit.
The cave is beautifully designed with all the necessary amenities, keeping in mind the comfort of the visitors. It has an area of around 5×2.75 meters and also has an attached bathroom. The cave offers an unobstructed view of the majestic Kedarnath peak and the temple.
11. Madhyamaheshwar Temple: Remote Sacred Site
Scholars regard the Madhyamaheshwar Temple, situated 20 km from the town of Ukhimath, as one of the most prominent sites related to the Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit. Comparable in prominence to the Badrinath temple in Uttarkashi, this site is steeped in mythology with beliefs that Lord Shiva’s belly appeared here when he transformed into a bull to evade the Pandavas.
Under a backdrop of the Chaukhamba group of peaks, the temple provides a visually stunning spiritual experience. The trek to this temple serves splendid views of the Kumaon Himalayas – including Chaukhama, Kedarnath, Neelkanth, Trishul, and glimpses towards the direction of the harmonious village of Mana nearby Badrinath.
FAQs about Travelling to Kedarnath
What is the Best Time to Visit Kedarnath?
The best time to visit Kedarnath is when the temple is open, which is during the summer and winter seasons, particularly from April to June and September to October. The temple opens at 4:00 AM for the Maha Abhishek Ceremony and closes at 1:30 PM. However, it is highly advised to avoid the monsoon season due to potential landslides and floods.
How to Plan for Kedarnath Yatra?
Planning for Kedarnath Yatra involves several steps – Register biometrically for Char Dham Yatra, carry necessary documents like Aadhar Card, Voter ID, PAN card, driver’s license or passport. Just like preparing for the journey to Yamunotri, accommodations such as Swiss Cottages or Deluxe hotels should be booked in advance. Also, considering the cold and rugged environment, it’s vital to pack warm clothing and shoes with a firm grip. The trek to Kedarnath Temple, similar to the challenging terrain of Yamunotri, can be surmounted using a pony/horse from Gaurikund, if so needed. Do not forget to carry necessary medications and a first-aid kit for emergencies.
What are the Helicopter Services to Reach Kedarnath?
Helicopter services offer a swift and easy way to reach Kedarnath, particularly from locations such as Phata, Guptkashi, Sirsi, Dehradun, and Sitapur. Despite being more costly than traditional modes of transport, they provide the convenience of reaching the destination in just 10-15 minutes, drastically reducing travel time. To secure your trip, it’s recommended to book tickets in advance, especially during peak seasons. The journey typically starts at Shastradhara Helipad in Dehradun or one of the helipads at Phata, Sitapur, and Guptkashi, with passengers then transferred to Kedarnath via another shuttle. While an expensive option, helicopter services afford one of the most spiritual and magnificent experiences in Kedarnath.
Which is the nearest Airport to Kedarnath Dham?
The nearest airport to Kedarnath Dham is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, approximately 239 km away. It’s well-connected to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai and offers direct and indirect flights. You can reach Kedarnath from the airport by cab, bus or helicopter.
Any recommended travel agents for the Chardham Yatra in India?
Yes, with over 12 years of experience in organizing successful Chardham tours, as a local tour operator, our services are unique and superior. Our connects span across places like Chamoli, Gangotri, and even Kotdwar among others, ensuring a seamless travel experience. Thanks to a wide network of hotel associates, verified agents, and 12k+ happy customers, we’re able to offer you various package options, including transport selection.