The Protector and The Destroyer Lord Shiva settled at an altitude of 3,586mts in the lap of gigantic Himalayan peaks. Kedarnath is one of the Chaar Dham in Uttarakhand. It is also one of the twelve jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. The mystic view of this spiritual town and the Garhwal mountains will shower your soul with its pristine beauty. The calm Himalyan and the divine aura of the Kedarnath temple allow you to meet your inner soul. Every year Kedarnath welcomes a flock of devotees. The best time for you to visit Kedarnath is from the end of April and beginning of November. Garhwal mountains and Mandakini River are the jewels of Kedarnath. Continue reading to know more about what are the activities to do in Kedarnath.
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Mythological Facts about Kedarnath Temple
India is always a country for mythological treasure. Kedarnath is one of the mythological and spiritual gems for devotees. It is to be believed that the divine temple of Kedarnath was established by the Pandavas on their journey to heaven. They built this temple to pleased Lord Shiva with their atonement. Kedarnath and this temple was resuscitated by one of the finest Hindu Philosopher, Adi Shankaracharya and his four disciples.
What is the Mythology about Kedarnath? When the Pandavas gave up everything after winning the Mahabharata war and went on their journey to ask for forgiveness from Lord Shiva. They walked for a really long time on the anonymous trail and failed every time but finally Bhima found Shiva incarnated as a bull to hide his identity from the Pandavas. Bhima is someone who was known for its power and strength, when Bhima tried catching and he hit the Hind part of the bull with his mace. The injured bull submerged into the earth and the body parts occurred in different places. Kedarnath is one of them and it is to be believed that the face part of the bull appeared at Kedarnath. After all of this a “Jyotirlinga” flickered and the divine avatar of Lord Shiva appeared in front of the Pandavas. It is believed that Pandavas were relieved from their sins with the shower of blessings from the cosmic light. Lord Shiva told them “From now onwards I will be worshiped here in the form of a triangular shaped Jyotirlinga, and by paying veneration at Kedarnath, the pilgrims will attain holiness. From that time Kedarnath has been one of the holiest spots of India and a triangular rock is worshiped in the “Garbhagriha” of the temple.
The other part of Lord Shiva incarnated as the bull fell at Tungnath, Madmaheshwar and Kapleshwar. These are described as Panch Kedar along with Kedarnath.
Activities to do in Kedarnath
Kedarnath is to be one of the most admired pilgrims settled at an altitude of 3,500 meters. The divine aura and spiritual vibe of the place allows thousands of devotees to walk through this holy pilgrimage every year. The spot cuts all the connection through with the outside world and sleep under the thick sheet of snow during winters.
One has to trek 16 kms to reach Kedarnath shrine due to no road connectivity to the shrine. The closest town to Kedarnath is Gaurikund which is located 19km from Kedarnath temple. This trek flourished with thousands of devotees and the scenic view throughout the trail. If you want to experience the ultimate trekking accompanied by the snow clad mountains then you have the chance to trek on some amazing treks such as Chorabari Tal, Vasuki Tal and Bhairon Mandi in Kedarnath.
If you are a real adventurer and want to explore the real beauty of this divine town then you have the chance to set up your own tent and camp near the town. Spending your night under the glittering sky with the mystic Kedarnath ranges in the background will be some of the alluring nights of your life. Camping at Kedarnath is itself a mesmerizing activity to take.
Day to Day activities to do in Kedarnath
Day 1: Reach Rishikesh, from there you can take a bus or public cabs (Tata Sumo’s) to reach Sonaprayag which is a drive of around 211 km. It is quite possible you won’t be able to get a direct bus to Sonaprayag. So here you can check for the buses for Guptkashi, the last settled town before Kedarnath. Rudraprayag is also one of the options. You can get a bus to Rudraprayag and then continue to Guptkashi. Sharing jeeps or Tata Sumo’s are available at Guptkashi to reach your destination, Sonaprayag. You won’t be allowed to travel beyond Sonprayag with a public or private vehicle. Your vehicle will be parked at a parking facility on the bank of Mandakini River. The only service that will be available for the tourist to reach Gaurikund is shuttle service. You can stay at any hotel and spend your night in Gaurikund.
Day 2: Trek of 16 km on the paved road from Gaurikund that will take you to the spiritual temple of Kedarnath. This trail will not be a challenge for tourists and you can also ride a horse or ponies that will snake up the steep path. It will take around 7 hours to complete the trek and reach Kedarnath. Once you reach Kedarnath, book yourself a room you can even share with others if you’re travelling alone to spend your night. This place is a treat for shutterbugs serving with the best view of the snow capped Himalayas. There are few points you need to keep in mind before beginning your trek to Kedarnath that are:
- Try to begin your trek early in the morning to avoid your skin burning due to harsh sunlight at noon.
- Walk while wearing trekking shoes to have the proper grip while walking on the trail.
- Carry water bottles and keep yourself hydrated.
- Carry an umbrella or raincoat because the weather here changes frequently.
Day 3: Wake up, get ready and leave to deliver your homage and showered with blessings of Lord Shiva the shrine of Kedarnath. Try to reach the temple early as the queue outside the line will extend with the time. You will notice small shops for prasads outside the temple. You can also pay your visit to Bhairav temple which is settled around 600 metres away from Kedarnath Temple.
Next day get down to Rishikesh and conclude one of the most spiritualistic and alluring journeys of your life.