Kedarnath Dham Travel Guide 2021

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Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath Travel Guide

Kedarnath Temple in Snow

  Jai Shri Kedar – One among the 12 Jyotirlingas of Mahadev Shiv Shambhu Kedarnath Jyotirling is 5th in a row and visited as the third Dham during Chardham Yatra after doing the Yamunotri Dham & Gangotri Dham.  Lord Shiva is situated here in the form of a Shivlinga. The literal meaning of Kedar is Ke means Moksha & Dar means door hence the Door to Moksha or Salvation is Kedarnath. Located in Rudraprayag District of Dev Bhumi Uttarakhand Kedarnath temple is a live example of a masterpiece temple architecture. After Gangotri Dham Yatra pilgrims proceeds for the Darshan of Shi Kedar Ji. From Gangotri, the distance is around 343 kms. To reach Kedarnath temple from Haridwar one has to cover a road distance of around 235 kms to Gaurikund. Gaurikund to Shri Kedarnath Ji Temple there is 18 kms trek. This Kedarnath dham yatra travel guide is ready to take you to the voyage of exploring the dham of Bhole Baba.

      Due to extreme weather conditions, the temples remain open from the Last week of April or the first week of May to Bhya dooj for around 6 months to the public. During winter the deity is carried down to Ukimath and from the closing of the main shrine door to opening the deity is revered and worshipped here. The temple of Shri Kedarnath Ji is among the main shrine and Dham of Chota Chardham Sector. Apart from trek Pilgrims can also do the Kedarnath Dham Yatra by helicopter too.

“बहूनि  सन्ति   तीर्थानि , दिवि  भूमि  रससुच ,  केदार सदृशंतीर्थं  न  भूतो  न  भविष्यते” ..

Meaning: Even though there are numerous religious places to visit on earth but Kedarnath Teerth is unlike any other. A man or woman who visits the temple and pays obeisance here at least once in a lifetime got free from the cycle of birth and death.


legends of kedarnath dham

It is believed that in Satyug Nar and Narayan two incarnations of Lord Vishnu meditated hard in Kedarnath. Being pleased with their meditation Lord Shiva gave then Darshan and asked them for any wish/boon. Nar and Narayan were very kind and true to their character, refused to ask for anything. They said,” Oh Almighty! for us your Divine Darshan is enough but for well being of the world we wish you to settle here in Kedarnath Dham as Jyotirlinga. From that time Lord Mahadev is present at this place in the form of Kedarnath Jyotirling.

      According to a story of Shiv Puran after Killing their brothers and relatives in Mahabharat War Pandavas on the suggestion of Lord Krishna traveled in search of Lord Shiva. They first traveled to Varanasi and not finding him there to Kedarnath. They wished to be set free from the sins of killing their relatives, Brahman Hatya & Gotra Hatya. But Lord Shiva didn’t want to forgive them and disguised himself as a bull. On being recognized by Pandavas lord Shiva dove underground but Balshali Bhim holds him by his tail. Then lord Shiva left his back in Kedarnath and later on the face of Bull appeared in Rudranath, Naval in Madh-Maheshwar, feet in Tungnath and hair in Kalpeshwar. Hence all the five places collectively derived their name as Panch Kedar.


old pic of kedarnath temple
Old Kedarnath Temple (img src - )

At Kedarnath Dham, the temple was firstly built by king Janmajeya one of the Pandava’s descendent. However, there is no written evidence of the temple construction. He built the temple in the memory of his ancestors. Over the centuries the number of saints and sages used this place for their meditation and spiritual practices. There is no authentic mention of who built the temple, but yes it is said that it was founded by Adi Guru Shankaracharya, who took Yog Samadhi here after praying to Lord Kedareshwar.   Historically point of view Kedarnath temple is among a few greatest structures of Devbhumi Uttarakhand. The construction of the temple is carried out by joining stones and huge carved rocks. The Temple is a live example of dazzling Garwali past. Present temple construction is proof of renovation. From micro research, three phases of development could be seen. Its scripture and Idols connect it with the Gupta Period. Garbh Greh, Inner, door decoration, and images give the impression of its second renovation. The third and final renovation reflects from the renovation of the top connecting to the pavilion of the temple. King Kumarpal of Gujrat had renovated the temple in the mid of 1160-70. After 4 or 5 centuries Sanskar Rani Ahalya Bai Holkar had renovated the temple when its original construction was destroyed.

Opening & Closing Dates of Kedarnath Dham Temple

Chardham Destination Opening Date Closing Date
Yamunotri Temple 14th May 2021, Friday (Tentative) 06th Nov 2021, Saturday (Tentative)
Gangotri Temple 14 May 2021, Friday (Tentative) 05 Nov 2021, Friday (Tentative)
Kedarnath Temple 15 May 2021, Saturday (Tentative) 06 Nov 2021, Saturday (Tentative)
Badrinath Temple 18th MAY 2021, Tuesday Closing day is decided by the priest of Temple on Vijaydashmi

The opening date of the doors of Shri Kedarnath Dham is always declared on the auspicious day of Mahashivratri after the Vedic Panchang Poojan in the winter seat of Shri Kedarnath Ji in Ukhimath. The shubh Muhurat of the temple opening is kept in Vaisakh month.   There is a tradition of closing the Kedarnath Temple doors on Bhya Dooj after Dipawali. In winter Shri Kedarnath Ji is worshipped at the ancient Omkareshwar Temple of Ukhimath. Here the Bhog Murti of Shri Madh Maheshwar is also worshipped.  This year in Chota Chardham Yatra 2021 Shri Kedarnath Dham Yatra opening date is 15th MAY 2021, timing 6:00 AM  & the tentative closing date is 06th November 2021.

Best Time to Visit

From the opening of temple April/May to before Monsoon June and after the monsoon still to the closing of Kedarnath Dham in Oct/November. Kedarnath travel guide recommend you to avoid traveling during Monsoon.

Temple’s Darshan Timing

Morning 5:00 am to 3:00 pm 

Evening – 5:00 pm to until the last pilgrims have darshan 

Kedarnath temple opens up at 05:00 AM every morning. There is not any official time to close the temple and is closed until the last pilgrims have Darshan at the temple in the previous night. IMP: From evening 3 PM to 5 PM the temple again got closed for Sringaar of Lord Shiva. Before 3 PM person can offer Ghee and do the Abhishek after this devotee can only have Darshan of Shivling no Puja & Abhishek can be performed after this as the main ideal is decorated as Emporer. So the pilgrims are advised to plan before or after 3 PM to reach Kedarnath. During Yatra season the line for Darshan sometimes even became more than a kilometer long, hence be prepared for it. Darshan may take from 1 or 2 to more hours.

How to Reach Shri Kedarnath Dham

BY ROAD :- Kedarnath Dham is well accessible by road from Haridwar, Rishikesh and Uttarkashi, Chamoli. The roads are getting wider and during the Yatra, the government tries to maintain them at the best. Yatris who are doing their Char Dham Yatra visit Kedarnath Dham as the third Dham after completing Gangotri Dham Yatra. There are two routes for visiting Kedarnath one Via Ghansali for the pilgrims doing Chota Chardham Yatra 2021 and via Srinagar, Rudraprayag for persons doing their Do Dham Yatra 2021. Although both of the routes merge at Tilwara and from their onwards same route is followed to reach Kedarnath. In between, there are several route extensions than regular routes which are used depending upon the requirement.

Route Via Ghansali The route of Shri Kedarnath Dham for Chardham Yatris goes via Ghansali, Mayali, Tilwara, Guptkashi, Sitapur, Sonprayag, Gauri Kund and then 18 Kms Trek.

Route Via Rudraprayag Do Dham Yatris visiting Kedarnath & Badrinath Dham the best route is Staring from either Haridwar or Rishikesh passing through Byasi, Devprayag, Kirtinagar, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Tilwara, Agastmuni, Guptkashi, Phata, Sitapur, Sonprayag & Gaurikund.Gaurikund is the last motorable point, from here one has to do the 18 kms trek. Depending upon comfort and health you can hire Pony, Doli or Pithu. Rates of them vary according to weight, one way or return, etc.

Route Map of Shri Kedarnath Dham

kedarnath temple route map

By Air :- Jollygrant airport is the nearest airport for the Yatra. Here during Chardham Yatra season ample direct and connecting flight starts their operation from various cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Mumbai etc.

Kedarnath Dham Yatra by Helicopter: Several Helicopter operators provide their Helicopter services for the Kedarnath Dham Yatra. There are several helicopter points like Guptkashi, Phata, Sirsi, and Sitapur from where the regular frequent helicopter rides are available for the pilgrims. The booking can be done online and offline too. Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority (UCADA) launches a tender every year for the Helicopter Operators on its website and operators who receive the tender start their Helicopter services to Kedarnath. The operators and rates of Helicopter are decided by the Government. Aryan, Thumby Aviation, Himalayan Heli, Global Vectra, Arrow Air Craft, Pawan Hans, Ut Air etc are names of some of the Heli operators.You are required chopper ticket, an ID proof for doing the ride. The ride from the boarding Helipad to the Kedarnath Helipad takes 7 to 15 minutes depending upon the Helipad distance like from Sirsi, Guptkashi or Phata helipad. Children above 2 years are charged as the full ticket. From helipad to darshan and return normally it takes 2 to 3 hours but may increase according to crow or weather. From Kedarnath helipad to Temple is at around 500-meter distance. The operation of heli depends upon the weather conditions and sometimes also on any VIP moments on the orders of government. In case of cancellation or change the refund goes according to the policy of the government and heli operators.

By Train :- Haridwar and Rishikesh are the nearest Railway stations for staring at the Kedarnath Dham Yatra. From Rishikesh, there is a drive distance of 215 kms to Gaurikund and fro Gauri Kund there is a trek of 16 kms to Shri Kedarnath temple. There are regular trains to Haridwar from almost every big city. If someone would like to do the Yatra from Kumaon then the nearest railway station would be Kathgodam.

Distance Chart

Chota Chardham Circuit:- Yatra Continuing From Uttarkashi Route to Kedarnath Dham:

Uttarkashi—(100 Kms) via Uttarkashi Kedarnath By-Pass Ghansali–(24 Kms)—Chirbitiyakhal—(20 Kms)—Mayali —(20 Kms) — Tiwara —(9 kms)—Agastamuni—(27 Kms)—Guptkashi—(15 Kms)—-Phata—(12 Kms)—Sitapur—(4 Kms)—Sonprayag—(5 Kms)—Gaurikund—(18 Kms)—Trek to Kedarnath

Do Dham Yatra Starting from Haridwar to Kedarnath Dham:

Haridwar—(25 Kms)–Rishikesh—(35 Kms)—Byasi—(40 Kms)—Devprayag—(29 Kms)—Kirtinagar—(8 Kms)—Srinagar—-(35kms)—Rudraprayag—(11 Kms)— Tiwara —(9 kms)—Agastamuni—(27 Kms)—Guptkashi—(15 Kms)—Phata—(12 Kms)—Sitapur—(4 Kms)—Sonprayag—(5 Kms)—Gaurikund—-(18 Kms)—Trek to Kedarnath

Driving Tips during the Yatra

  • Life is Precious so don’t drink and drive.
  • Hill driving is different from plains hence recommended hiring an experienced hill driver .
  • Don’t drive at nights as hill drive looks soothing and beautiful in day time but is that much scary and dangerous at night.
  • Don’t overload, try to keep your luggage as less and compile and travelers as according to the capacity of your vehicle.
  • Keep proper aired extra tires and all necessary tools during your travel to tackle and breakdown.
  • Keep all the updated documents like license, RC, pollution, Insurance, and permits if required.
  • Drive slowly as your love ones accompanying you love you too as much you do.
  • Be aware during the drive and have patience during jams due to roadblocks.
  •  Your safety is important along with taking care safety of fellow driving buddies.
  • Follow the regular routes don’t overtake and avoid short cuts as they may sometime make life cuts.

How to Plan for Your Kedarnath Trek

kedarnath trek

    To reach the main Temple shrine of Shri Kedarnath Ji one has to cover 16 kms distance. Kedarnath Trek Route: Gaurikund—4 Kms—Jungle Chatti—3 Kms—Bheembali—4 Kms—Linchauli—4 Kms—Kedarnath base Camp—-1 Kms—Shri Kedarnath Temple. The trek starts from Gaurikund and can be covered by foot or doly/pony/pithu. The trek is extremely beautiful, you can’t stop yourself admiring the majestic Himalaya.  From Sonprayag one has to go to Gaurikund on shared taxis by paying a very nominal amount of INR 20. The queue remains very long to board the taxi hence have patience and be mentally prepared. During Yatra season one has to sometimes wait for more than an hour for their turn. Although the option of going 5 Kms by feet from Sonprayag to Gaurikund always remains available to the guests. On the way, there are shelters and local vendors available selling lemon water and light snacks.From Sonprayag/Gaurikund Pilgrims can hire Pony, Doli or Pithu by paying the amount at Prepaid Counters. You can also hire a Kedarnath Dham travel guide for the track and route.

IMP Kedarnath Travel Tips During Trek

  • Don’t take the short cuts and trek with the group.
  • Keep all the necessary and important articles like a torch, raincoat, stick, gloves, cold cream, any medicine if prescribed with you.
  • Don’t trek during rain as hills become dangerous during rain and chances of landslide increases or some rock or heavy stone may slip.
  • Take necessary halts where ever you feel fatigued .
  • Have proper rest before the trek starts.
  • Try to cover as much as the distance you can comfortably, don’t stop for unnecessary photoshoots or clicks.
  • Selfies may sometimes cost life hence avoid going to steep rocks, hills or viewpoints for a photo click.
  • For safety don’t trek during night.

Pony Charges To & From Kedarnath

From To Distance & Time taken

**IMP: After getting down from Pony around 500 meters to Temple distance is required to cover by Foot. You may hire a Pithu for this if you find difficult to walk.

Pithu/Kandi Charges (Gauri Kund To Kedarnath)

From To Distance
INR 1900 UPTO 25 KG/INR 3350 UPTO 50 KG

Palanqui Charges From Gauri Kund To Kedarnath

From To Distance
INR 7950 UPTO 75 KG / INR 8450 UPTO 90 KG
INR 9550 UPTO 75 KG/INR 10050 UPTO 90 KG
INR 4550 UPTO 75 KG/INR 5050 UPTO 90 KG

**Above mentioned rates are the year 2019 rates, for the Char Dham Yatra 2020 rates may vary.

***We recommend you visit our blog page and read this ( Char Dham Yatra Travel Tips )  blog which will help and guide you as to How to prepare for Chardham Yatra and trekking? The blog contains all the necessary tips and information that you are required to plan before the Yatra.

Accommodation Facilities During Kedarnath Yatra

Guptkashi, Sitapur, Sirsi, Rampur, Sonprayag serves as the main stopover and night halt points during Kedarnath Yatra for the pilgrims either doing the Chota Char Dham Yatra or Do Dham Yatra of Kedarnath and Badrinath Dham. There are several normal to mid-range hotels and Guesthouses in these towns. However, you can’t complete the amenities with the hotel of plains as this hotel operates a seasonal basis.  There are a few superior hotels and camps. Although during May and June for an idea you can take that even the normal hotels and lodges charge around INR 700 to 1000 per room per bed. Some may also charge for hot water like 40 or 50 rupees per hot water bucket. For solo or group traveler it is advised to reach the destination above before it’s got dark so that you can choose among the best available options. If traveling with family or in a group then booking the stay in advance always remains the best option.

Stay At Kedarnath Dham

GMNV camp at kedarnath dham

At Kedarnath Dham there are few small lodges, Ashrams and Dharamshala are available. Due to high demand and low supply during peak Yatra season, most of them remain occupied. Apart from them Garval Mandal Vikas Nigam also operates their camps with sharing accommodation for the pilgrims. The rates remain nominal with basic facilities. Online booking is also available for the accommodation at Kedarnath. Their stay ranges from sharing to private camps. As the supply is limited a normal room during Yatra season and is better to book in advance. On spot, booking is also available but that remains on first come and first serve basis.

Mobile Connectivity

BSNL, Airtel and Idea have good connectivity at Kedarnath. From 2019 Jio also started its operation in Kedarnath.

Places to Visit Near Kedarnath Dham

  • Kedarnath Temple
  • Adiguru Shankracharya Samadhi
  • Bhairavnath Temple
  • Gaurikund
  • Trijuginarayan
  • Sonprayag
  • Guptkashi
  • Chopta
  • Tungnath & Chandrashila Trek
  • Ukhimath

To get full information about these tourist places near Kedarnath dham visit our blog. Click Here

Through this Kedarnath Travel Guide blog, we tried to give the best and valid information to our reader. We welcome and appreciate your feedback, suggestion, and comments on the below comment box about our blog. We are happy to answer your query about any part of the entire Char Dham Yatra 2020. You can also write or call us on the mentioned number and can connect with us for the latest updates on FB, Insta, Youtube Link….

Author Bio

Mr. Vikas Sharma holds (Masters in Tourism Management from BHU, Diploma International Tourism from KUK & Yogacharya from Uttarakhand ). He has more than a decade of work and writing experience in the field of Travel & Tourism in Top shot company of India. He developed his hobby of writing and is been engaged in writing fruitful content on travel, education, spirituality and yoga. 

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