BEST Places to Visit in Kedarnath

0
396
Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath, a revered destination, boasts numerous sightseeing spots steeped in mythological significance, primarily from the epic Mahabharata. These majestic locales allure pilgrims and tourists alike, beckoning them to explore the sacred town of Kedarnath. Below are some of the must-visit places in and around Kedarnath.

Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath Temple

Nestled amidst the mighty Garhwal Himalayas at an altitude of 3,580 meters, the Kedarnath Temple stands as one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. Forming one of the four sites of the Chota Char Dham Pilgrimage, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It holds immense significance as one of the 275 temples of Paadal Petra Sthalams, the most powerful Shiva temples globally, and is paramount among the Panch Kedars.

  • Location: In Kedarnath, 16 kilometers uphill trek from Gaurikund Rudraprayag.
  • History: Legend has it that the Pandavas constructed the temple, later restored by Adi Shankara in the 8th century AD. Despite being over a millennium old, the temple survived being buried under snow for 400 years during the Little Ice Age (1300-1900 AD).
  • Architecture: Crafted from gray stone slabs interlocked with iron clamps, the temple boasts a striking conical lingam, a cylindrical pedestal, and a Mandap for pilgrims.
  • How to Reach: Accessible only via trek, with helicopter services available. Gaurikund serves as the last road head, with Rishikesh as the nearest railhead and Jolly Grant Airport as the closest airport.

Also Read:

Gandhi Sarovar (Chorabari Tal)

Gandhi Sarovar (Chorabari Tal)

This serene lake, also known as Chorabari Tal, sits at an elevation of 3,900 meters at the foot of Kedarnath and Kirthi Stambh peak. Trekkers embark on a 3-kilometer journey from Kedarnath’s iron bridge, passing through virgin deodar and oak forests and picturesque waterfalls.

  • Location: Located 20 kilometers from the roadhead, reachable via a 17-kilometer trek from Gaurikund.
  • Attractions: Enthralling views of the Himalayan peaks and a breathtaking waterfall en route make the trek to Gandhi Sarovar a memorable experience.
  • Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year, with early mornings recommended due to rapidly changing weather.

Phata

Phata, Kedarnath

Situated en route to Kedarnath, Phata boasts a helipad frequently used by pilgrims visiting Kedarnath Dham. Pilgrims often stop here for night stays or refreshments, and helicopters provide a convenient means of darshan for those unable to trek to Kedarnath.

  • Location: 14 kilometers from Guptkashi, serving as a stopover point for pilgrims traveling to Kedarnath.
  • Helicopter Services: Helicopters from Phata offer quick access to Kedarnath, reducing travel time significantly.
  • How to Reach: Well-connected by road, with Guptkashi as the nearest town. The nearest railway station is at Rishikesh, and the closest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun.

Sonprayag

Sonprayag, Kedarnath

Located between Guptkashi and Gaurikund, Sonprayag holds religious significance as the confluence of the holy rivers Basuki and Mandakini. Hindu mythology regards bathing at such confluences as auspicious for spiritual attainment.

  • Location: Approximately 20.4 kilometers from Kedarnath, offering captivating views of snow-covered mountains and lush green valleys.
  • Attractions: Besides the confluence, Sonprayag provides breathtaking vistas of the surrounding landscapes, making it an ideal spot for spiritual rejuvenation.
  • How to Reach: Accessible via road from Rudraprayag and Gaurikund. The nearest railway station and airport are located in Rishikesh and Dehradun, respectively.

Gaurikund

Triyuginarayan Temple

As the starting point for the 16-kilometer trek to Kedarnath, Gaurikund sits at an elevation of 1,982 meters. Named after Goddess Parvati (Gauri), the town offers vivid greenery and a serene atmosphere, surrounded by the Vasuki Ganga.

  • Location: Adjacent to the Mandakini river en route to Kedarnath.
  • Attractions: The thermal spring, though affected by floods in 2013, still draws visitors seeking its healing waters. The town’s proximity to lush forests and panoramic views adds to its allure.
  • How to Reach: Well-connected by road with major Uttarakhand cities like Haridwar and Rishikesh. Rishikesh Railway Station is the nearest railhead, while Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the closest airport.

Vasuki Tal Lake

Vasuki Tal Lake

Situated at an impressive altitude of 14,200 feet within the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, Vasuki Tal offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu bathed in this lake during the auspicious Raksha Bandhan festival.

  • Location: Accessible via an 8-kilometer trek from Kedarnath or a 24-kilometer trek from the nearest roadhead at Gaurikund.
  • Attractions: Visitors can spot Himalayan flowers, including the Brahma Kamal, around the placid lake. The trek, though moderately difficult, rewards trekkers with majestic vistas and serene surroundings.
  • How to Reach: Gaurikund serves as the nearest roadhead, accessible by road from major Uttarakhand cities. Rishikesh is the nearest railway station, while Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the closest airport.

Shankaracharya Samadhi

Shankaracharya Samadhi, Kedarnath

Located near the Kedarnath Temple, Shankaracharya Samadhi commemorates the resting place of Adi Shankaracharya. Devotees pay homage to this revered saint, who is credited with reviving Hinduism and propagating the Advaita Vedanta philosophy.

  • Location: Adjacent to the Kedarnath Temple complex.
  • Attractions: Besides the samadhi, the area offers a serene ambiance conducive to meditation and spiritual reflection.

Kedarnath Helipad

Kedarnath Helipad

Operational during the pilgrimage season, the Kedarnath Helipad facilitates swift transportation for pilgrims seeking darshan at the Kedarnath Temple. Helicopter services from Phata and other nearby towns offer a convenient alternative to the strenuous trek.

  • Location: Adjacent to the Kedarnath Temple complex.
  • Services: Helicopter services operate during the pilgrimage season, providing a faster mode of transportation for pilgrims.

Triyuginarayan Temple

Triyuginarayan Temple

Situated approximately 20 kilometers from Kedarnath, Triyuginarayan Temple is renowned as the sacred site of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati’s celestial wedding. Devotees visit the temple seeking blessings for marital harmony and longevity.

  • Location: Near Sonprayag, accessible via road from Kedarnath.
  • Attractions: The eternal flame burning at the temple’s sanctum symbolizes the enduring bond of matrimony, attracting couples and devotees alike.
  • How to Reach: Accessible via road from Sonprayag, with Kedarnath and Guptkashi as nearby towns. The nearest railway station and airport are located in Rishikesh and Dehradun, respectively.

Bhairav Temple

Bhairav Temple, Kedarnath

Located adjacent to the Kedarnath Temple, the Bhairav Temple is dedicated to Lord Bhairav, a fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva. Devotees offer prayers at this temple seeking protection and blessings for spiritual progress.

  • Location: Near the Kedarnath Temple complex.
  • Attractions: Besides the deity’s shrine, the temple offers a serene ambiance conducive to meditation and introspection.

Rudra Cave

Rudra Cave, Kedarnath

Tucked away amidst the picturesque landscapes of Kedarnath, Rudra Cave offers a tranquil retreat for spiritual seekers. Devotees and ascetics often visit this cave for meditation and solitude.

  • Location: Near the Kedarnath Temple complex, accessible via a short trek.
  • Attractions: The cave’s serene ambiance and natural beauty make it an ideal spot for spiritual reflection and communion with nature.

Suggested Tour:

These are just a few glimpses of the spiritual and natural wonders that adorn the sacred town of Kedarnath. Each site, steeped in myth and mystique, invites pilgrims and travelers alike to embark on a journey of spiritual enlightenment and divine grace. Whether seeking solace in the tranquil environs or marveling at the architectural wonders, Kedarnath promises an enriching experience for all who visit.

Also Reads: