The ethereal and surreal divine destination Kedarnath in Uttarakhand is not only worth visiting as it is a spiritual place but it is also one of the most beautiful tourist places to visit in Uttarakhand. The entire land of Kedar Valley dances to the melodious music of holy rivers, in harmony with nature as it is dotted with gorgeous Himalayan peaks, lush forests, beautiful gardens, stunning glaciers, and waterfalls. It is a place to gain spiritual enlightenment as well as get solace from the breathtaking views of nature. Places to visit in and around Kedarnath Temple
Let us know about the holy land of Kedarnath and some of the best places to visit around it.
Best Places to See in Kedarnath Dham
Places to visit in and around Kedarnath Temple
- Kedarnath Temple
- Shankaracharya Samadhi
- Rudra Cave Kedarnath
- Bhairav Temple
- Gandhi Sarovar
- Vasuki Tal Lake
In the heart of the Kedar Valley, Kedarnath Temple is an extremely grand and most sacred pilgrimage site for Hindu devotees. It is one of the four divine Char Dhams of India. Devotees from all over the world come to seek divine blessings from Lord Shiva. Kedarnath Dham is the endpoint of the Char Dham Yatra, the final point of the spiritual quest for eternal peace. The architecture of the Kedarnath temple is stunning, it is a 1000-year-old temple made of huge stone slabs.
Sculptures of various deities are worth seeing in the inner walls of the temple. It was founded by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century. During winters, the temple of Lord Shiva is shifted from Kedarnath temple to Ukhimath as the entire temple is covered with snow. The idol of Shiva is re-installed in Kedarnath in the month of May.
Behind the holy Kedarnath temple is the samadhi of Adi Guru Shankaracharya. It is said that he founded the four holy dhams in India which have become the holiest pilgrimage sites for Hindu devotees. Thousands of devotees visit his grave to seek holy blessings. He attained Nirvana at the age of 32 and merged in the holy land of Kedarnath. Guru Shankaracharya established the holy Kedarnath Dham in the 8th century.
There is a hot spring near Kedarnath which is said to have been built by Adi Shankaracharya, it gives relief from the extreme weather of Kedarnath.
Rudra Cave Kedarnath
One and a half kilometers from Kedarnath Temple is the most popular and sacred tourist attraction – Rudra Cave. It is an underground meditation cave built by the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering. It is a peaceful spiritual retreat for meditation. The cave is built in the Garhwali style of architecture. It provides all the basic facilities like beds, electricity, CCTV cameras, and attached toilets. Tea and food services and an attendant for 24 hours make the stay a delight.
You will not have any problem meditating, this cave is very calm. From the cave, you will also get to see the holy temples of Kedarnath and Bhairavnath. It is an ideal place for yoga and meditation. This cave became a popular point of tourist interest as our Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the cave and meditated.
Situated to the south of Kedarnath is the astonishing and most important pilgrimage site- Bhairav Temple. It is one of the most popular religious places of Kedarnath. This temple is dedicated to Baba Bhairavnath who is an incarnation of Lord Shiva. He is considered the most fierce form of Lord Shiva associated with destruction. It is said that Lord Bhairavnath is the protector of Kedarnath Temple and the entire Kedar Valley. It is important to visit Lord Bhairav temple if you are going to the Kedarnath temple as per ritual. Apart from the religious importance, here you will be surrounded by breathtaking views of Kedar valley and high Himalayan peaks.
Gandhi Sarovar situated at the foothills of Kedarnath Peak and Kirti Stambh is a small scenic lake that is worth visiting in Kedarnath. It is also known as Chorabari Tal. Due to the immersion of some ashes of Mahatma Gandhi here, its name was changed to Gandhi Sarovar. Situated near it is a rock called Bhairav Jhamp, where people used to jump to attain salvation but this practice was banned by the British Government in the 19th century.
You have to trek 3 km to reach this charming lake. The trek from Kedarnath’s Iron Bridge takes you through stunning deodar and oak forests and picturesque waterfalls like Madhu Ganga Falls. This trek is a journey of a series of idyllic views of the high peaks of the Himalayas. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions to visit in Kedarnath.
Vasuki Tal Lake
Located at an altitude of 14,200 meters above sea level, the Vasuki Tal Lake offers impressive views of the high peaks of the Himalayas. It is one of the most visited tourist places in Kedarnath. The lake is one of a kind. You will feel at peace just by looking at it. The Brahma Kamal-like flowers around the lake make the Vasuki Tal more spectacular to behold. Apart from the soothing beauty, this lake has religious significance.
According to a legend, Lord Vishnu had bathed in this lake, due to which this lake became auspicious and divine. The lake is surrounded by beautiful terrain which makes it a great place for trekking.
Places to See in-route to Kedarnath
Places to visit in and around Kedarnath Temple
- Gaurikund Temple
- Triyuginarayan Temple
Gaurikund Temple is one of the most popular pilgrimage places for Hindu devotees. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvati. It is said that Goddess Parvati did penance here for many years to get Lord Shiva as her husband. Pleased by her devotion and love, Lord Shiva accepted her love and married her. Devotees from all over the world come here to seek divine grace and spiritual knowledge. To reach here, you have to trek 14 km from Kedarnath temple.
Gaurikund is one of the holiest pilgrimage sites for Hindus near Kedarnath. It is said that the devotees who take a holy dip in Gaurikund are freed from the burden of any karma and become holy. It is situated at an altitude of 6000 meters above sea level in the Garhwal Himalayas. The ambiance, beautiful lofty peaks, and divine aura make it a perfect place to get a respite from the chaos of the world. It is a starting point for the holy abode of Kedarnath. Devotees from all over the world take shelter here overnight to visit the Kedarnath temple.
On your way to Kedarnath, you must visit Phata village which is one of the most commercially important and popular tourist places to visit around Kedarnath. Pilgrims take helipad services to visit the most sacred and popular pilgrimage site – Kedarnath Temple. Devotees stop here to have refreshments and stay for a night at Kedarnath. It will take only 8 minutes to reach Shri Kedarnath Dham from Phata by helicopter. It is a delightful stop for tourists. There is nothing to see from a tourism point of view but the simplicity and peaceful atmosphere will melt your heart.
On the way to Kedarnath Dham, Sonprayag is one of the most popular religious tourist places for soul hunts. It is situated at the meeting point of two holy rivers, Basuki and Mandakini. It is said that by taking holy baths in the rivers, devotees attain salvation. Apart from religious significance, Sonprayag offers beautiful views of the snow-capped Himalayan mountains and lush green valleys. Peaceful and divine waves will take you to the world of Samadhi.
Triyuginarayan Temple located in Rudraprayag is one of the major pilgrimage centers of Uttarakhand. The beautiful views of the Garhwal region and the beautiful peaks of the Himalayas all around will win your heart. Triyuginarayan Temple is the center of attraction here which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Here the divine marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati took place in front of Lord Vishnu, hence the temple of Triyuginarayan was built in his honor.
Brahma Shila in front of the temple is the proof of marriage. There are three sacred pools near the temple – Rudra Kund, Vishnu Kund, and Brahma Kund. It is considered auspicious to take a holy bath in these kunds before entering the temple. The sacred pools are also said to have medicinal properties.
Rudraprayag is one of the most popular religious tourist places near Kedarnath. It is 88 km away from Divya Dham of Kedarnath. It is named after the Rudra avatar of Lord Shiva. The word Prayag means confluence and Rudraprayag is situated at the confluence of two holy rivers- Alaknanda and Mandakini. It is one of the five holy confluences of the river Alaknanda. It is very popular for Jagdamba Temple and Koteshwar Mahadev Temple. Thousands of devotees come here to seek divine blessings. The aura of Rudraprayag is divine and stunning as it has many beautiful lakes and glaciers that will delight your soul.
Situated in the beautiful Rudraprayag district, Agastamuni is a small town that is famous for the temple of the great sage Augusta. The village of Agastmuni was named after the sage. The place where the temple is situated used to be the place of worship of sage Augusta. It is also known as Agasteshwar Mahadev Temple. The temple looks grand in the Baisakhi fair. It is 95 km away from the holy Kedarnath temple.
Legend of Sage Augusta
According to the legends two demons, Atapi and Vatapi used to trouble the local people. A demon used the art of disguise and lured people to come to his place for food. When people visited them, the demon would become a dwarf and hide in the food offered to them. By doing this he entered the body of an innocent person and on the call of another demon, cut it from inside. Then two demons ate the person completely.
The local people were very upset by these demons. He called the sage Augusta for help. The demons used the same trick and invited the sage Augusta for a meal. Sage Augusta accepted the offer made by the demons and had food. Sage Augusta succeeded in defeating one demon by chanting mantras and the other demon was defeated by the sage in a fierce battle. In this way, the sage helped the local people. The temple of sage Augusta was built in his honor.
Places at a Distance of More Than 20km from Kedarnath
Places to visit in and around Kedarnath Temple
- Tungnath – Chandrashila
Guptkashi is 47 km away from the holy shrine of Lord Kedarnath. Situated at an altitude of 1319 meters above sea level, its aura is divine and the atmosphere is stunning with picturesque Himalayan peaks. It houses the holy Vishwanath temple and Ardhanarishvara temple which are the most important and popular holy tourist places for Hindu devotees. The center of attraction of Guptkashi is Lord Vishwanath Temple. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The small temple of Ardhanarishvara is situated on the left side of the Vishwanath temple. It is a place where two holy rivers Ganga and Yamuna meet at Manikarnika Kund.
Ukhimath is situated at an altitude of 1317 meters above sea level in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. It is a beautiful home of Lord Kedarnath and Lord Madmaheshwar during winters. The temple of Kedarnath remains closed in winters as the entire area is covered with snow. The worship takes place in the holy Omkareshwar temple of Ukhimath. The priests of Kedarnath are Rawals and they mainly reside in Ukhimath.
Along with peace and spiritual bliss, one will get spectacular views of Himalayan peaks like Neelkanth, Chaukhamba, and Kedarnath. Several temples dedicated to Usha, Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva and Mandhata, etc. make this place delightful and ethereal.
Situated at an altitude of 4000 meters, Chandrashila is one of the most fascinating celestial sites in Uttarakhand. It is 90 km away from Divya Kedarnath Dham. It is the summit of Chandrashila mountain on which one of the holiest pilgrimage sites Tungnath temple resides. It is one of the holy Panch Kedars and is the most important pilgrimage site for Hindu devotees.
The stunning Chandrashila peak offers mesmerizing views of the great Himalayas. Tourists and devotees join the adventurous and fascinating Chandrashila Trek to seek divine blessings from Lord Shiva at the holy Tungnath shrine. It is a heaven of peace and soul-soothing peace. The lush green meadows, lush deodar trees, and the splendid Tungnath shrine make this place utterly ethereal.
Covered with snow-capped Himalayan mountains on the right and stunning alpine meadows on the left, the beauty of Madmaheshwar Temple is irresistible. This small holy town of Madmaheshwar is named after Lord Shiva and the temple of Madmaheshwar dedicated to him is the center of attraction and one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand.
This is the fourth temple of the holy Panch Kedars. Here the navel (middle) of a bull which is a form of Lord Shiva is worshiped in the temple. It is said that the temple was built by Bhima, one of the five Pandavas, to worship Lord Shiva. The evening aarti performed in this temple is a sight to behold. It is 95 km away from the holy Kedarnath Dham.
The last and fifth time in the Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit is the temple of Kalpeshwar. It is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites around Kedarnath. This is the only temple that is open throughout the year. The jata or matted hair of Lord Shiva is worshiped in this temple. This temple is a grand sight to behold as it is surrounded by lush green forests and lush terraced fields.
It also has Kalpavriksha, which is a tree of wish fulfillment. It is said that with this all the wishes of the devotees are fulfilled. On the way from Helang village to Kalpeshwar, you will have stunning views of snow-clad mountains like Panchachuli, Bandarpunchh, Nanda Devi, and Kedarnath, blissful Kalganga river, apple orchards, and beautiful potato fields.
Sialsaur is situated on the blissful banks of the Mandakini River. If you are fond of bird watching then you must go to Sialsaur. Gorgeous views of lush greenery all around, majestic snow-capped mountains in the background, sunrise of Chaukhamba peak, the gusty flow of the river, and soothing chirping of migratory birds make this place an ideal weekend stop in Uttarakhand. From here you can visit some of the most popular holy places like Badrinath Dham and Haridwar. It is one of the best places to spend a peaceful day in the lap of nature.
Rudranath Temple is the most popular religious tourist destination situated amidst the Garhwal mountains. It is located 165 km away from Divya Kedarnath Temple. Surrounded by stunning rhododendron forests and beautiful alpine meadows, the peaceful ambiance of this grand temple will surely delight your soul.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and people worship him in the form of Lord Rudra. The journey to Rudranath temple is a challenging one but you will see the fascinating Himalayan peaks like Nanda Devi, Nanda Ghunti, and Trishul. Don’t miss a visit to the ‘Water of Salvation’ – the Styx River and mingle with the blissful vibes of nature.
Kedarnath, the divine abode of Lord Shiva, has a supernatural vibration. The entire Kedar Valley resonates with the myths, legends, and folk tales of divine gods and goddesses along with its surrounding places and the testimony of these stories lies in its divine destinations which are the epitome of spiritual bliss.
Not only will the divinity of the place take you a step forward towards eternal peace, but the mesmerizing views of stunning mountains, rivers, glaciers, forests will captivate your soul forever with its mesmerizing views. We hope this blog will help you in planning your trip to Kedarnath. If you have any questions, you can definitely ask in the comment section of the blog.
Read More About Chardham
- Kedarnath – Home of Lord Shiva
- Yamunotri Guide
- Haridwar & Rishikesh – A Spiritual Journey
- Badrinath Dham Guide
Frequently Asked Questions About Kedarnath
Q. What are the covid -19 travel guidelines to travel to Kedarnath in Uttarakhand?
A – Following are the essential travel guidelines to travel to Uttarakhand –
- You have to register yourself in the smart city portal of Dehradun.
- Covid vaccination certificate (15 days older) and a negative RT-PCR report of not more than 72 hours are required. Pilgrims visiting for Kedarnath Dham Yatra will not be able to take bath in the holy kunds.
- Only three people will be allowed in the Sanctum sanctorum of the Kedarnath Dham.
Q. What is the best time to visit Kedarnath?
A – The months of May to June and September to October are considered the best to visit Kedarnath. The road leading to the temple becomes extremely dangerous during peak monsoons as landslides and floods are very common during this time of the year.
Q. How can I go to Kedarnath?
A – By Air. The nearest domestic airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, about 239 km from Kedarnath, and operates daily flights to Delhi. …
By Train. The nearest railhead is at Rishikesh, 221 km away. …
By Road. Visitors can board regular buses from Rishikesh and Kotdwar to Kedarnath.
Q. In which month does Kedarnath open?
A – The doors of the four famous pilgrimage centers – Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri – are opened between April and May every year after a six-month closure. The doors of Badrinath temple will reopen on May 18 at 4.15 am on ‘Brahmamuhurta’.
Q. Which are the 4 Dhams?
A – The four temples included in the Char Dham are Yamunotri Dham, Gangotri Dham, Badrinath Dham, and Kedarnath Dham. Yamunotri Dham, named after Goddess Yamuna, is the first Dham in the route of the Yatra.
Q. Why is Kedarnath closed for 6 months?
A – The temple of Kedarnath is always covered with snow and due to its bad weather, the doors of the temple remain closed for 6 months. Before closing the doors of the temple, the priest vigils and takes the rod down. The lamp is lit here after cleaning the temple premises in taking the bar down.
Q. Can I go to Kedarnath by car?
A – You can opt for bus service, private taxis or you can also hire a self-propelled car to reach Kedarnath by road. There are various modes that one can choose from as per their convenience and comfort.
Q. Is there snow in Kedarnath?
A – Winters in Kedarnath starts in the month of November and lasts till April. This season is not a good time to visit here as the roads leading to Kedarnath are closed due to heavy snowfall. Kedarnath is covered with snow at this time, making this place inaccessible for some time.
Q. Is it safe to travel to Kedarnath?
A – Being a revered pilgrimage site, Kedarnath usually receives an influx of tourists during the travel season every year. So it is advised to be careful about your belongings. Monsoon season should be avoided as the roads leading to Kedarnath are prone to landslides.
Q. Does Kedarnath have an airport?
A – The nearest airport, Jolly Grant, is located at a distance of about 239 km from Kedarnath. People can reach by road by walking 225 km and remaining 14 km. Domestic flights are available from this place to many other places. Helicopter services are also available from Rishikesh and Kedarnath.
Q. Can we go to Kedarnath by bike?
A – Kedarnath is a holy Hindu city located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand and is surrounded by high, snow-capped mountains. The bike tour of this beautiful place is simply thrilling. You need 5 to 6 days for the Kedarnath bike trip from Delhi.
Q. Can I visit Kedarnath in December?
A – Kedarnath temple remains closed in December. You cannot visit Kedarnath in December as the temple is closed and the weather is quite cold at that time but you can visit Ukhimath where the idol of Lord Shiva is kept during the winter season.
Q. How far is Kedarnath from Badrinath?
A – The distance between Kedarnath to Badrinath by road is 218 km.
Q. Which Dham should I visit first?
A – The starting point of the Chardham Yatra is Haridwar, from where the pilgrims begin their journey to the four holy shrines. First, they go to Yamunotri, then to the famous Gangotri, followed by a pilgrimage to Kedarnath Dham, and finally to Badrinath Dham.
Q. Who built the Kedarnath temple?
A – Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is said to be more than 1,200 years old. It was built by Adi Shankaracharya and is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. A visit to Kedarnath Temple is an integral part of the famous Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand.
Q. Why is the door of Kedarnath closed?
A – The ancient architectural stone marvel built at an altitude of 3584 m above sea level is covered with snow during winters and hence it remains closed for the devotees for about 5 months.
Q. Is Kedarnath closed for 6 months?
A – This temple is located on the Garhwal Himalaya ranges near the Mandakini river in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Due to extreme weather conditions, the temple remains open to the general public only between the months of April (Akshaya Tritiya) and November (Karthik Purnima, Sharad Purnima).
Q. How difficult is Kedarnath Yatra?
A – Although some pilgrims ride on horseback or take porters, most prefer to walk. Since enough facilities are missing, the climb becomes a serious ordeal. The lack of shelters, refreshment stops, and rest places on the route prone to sudden rains make it a difficult journey.
Q. Can we go to Kedarnath in winter?
A – Weather – Kedarnath is rather inhospitable during the winter months. The region receives heavy snowfall and most of the roads are blocked. The temperatures also drop below zero and staying in Kedarnath during winters can be quite uncomfortable if you are not used to the cold.
Q. When can we see snow in Kedarnath?
A – In winter, Kedarnath receives snowfall, and the temperature drops below zero. September and October are the best time to visit Kedarnath in winter and after that heavy snowfall starts in the region.
Q. Can foreigners go to Kedarnath?
A – In this case, you have proof of Indian citizen or valid documents for foreigners. If you are non-Hindu then you can go to Kedarnath.
Q. How far is Kedarnath from Delhi?
A – Distance between Delhi to Kedarnath by Road is 452 km
Q. Which station is Kedarnath?
A – Kedarnath does not have a railway station. The nearest railway station from Kedarnath is Rishikesh Railway Station. Located about 210 km from Gaurikund, Rishikesh Railway Station is well connected to almost all the major cities of India and has regular trains on a daily basis.