Are you getting a call from the Supreme God of the Trimurti in the Hindu religion? Well, maybe it’s time to visit Kedarnath, the most revered site for Hindu pilgrims. Dedicated to Shiva, the God of Destruction in Hindu Mythology, Kedarnath is a place that every Hindu plans a trip to at least once in life. Whether it is about paying tributes to the lord of destruction or just for a short adventurous trek to the mountains, this pilgrimage site holds a special place for everyone. Also, don’t forget to create your bucket list of the best places to visit near Kedarnath temple!
About Kedarnath Temple
Kedarnath is a sacred temple in Hinduism and one of the holiest Hindu pilgrimages in India. It is dedicated to one of the three supreme gods in Hindu mythology (Trimurti) – Lord Shiva or Mahadev. The other two supreme deities are Lord Vishnu, the Preserver or the Protector of the Universe and Lord Brahma, the Creator.
Kedarnath is an important part of the 12 Jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is located on the Garhwal Himalayan Range in the Rudraprayag District of Uttarakhand and is open for six months from April to November as the region receives heavy snow for the rest of the months.
Re-constructed by Adi Shankaracharya, the present temple is believed to be a thousand years old, It was initially built by the Pandavas using enormous stone slabs over a large rectangular dais. The pilgrimage to the temple is believed to provide one “Moksha” or salvation. Thus, this site notices lakhs of devotees every year, all thanks to its spiritual and religious significance.
Best Time to Visit Kedarnath
The holy shrine of Lord Kedarnath is open from April to November. The best time to visit Kedarnath temple is from May to June and September to Oct/Nov (till Diwali). The temperature range is around 10°C to 20°C, and the sunny days make it a good time to trek. Though the temple is open in Monsoons too, travel is prohibited due to the harsh climate at the top of the hill.
Interesting Places to Visit Near Kedarnath Temple
There are several places to visit near Kedarnath temple that we are going to discuss in this list. Take note of the following places before setting your itinerary to Kedarnath.
1. Bhairavnath Temple
Enshrined by the revered Hindu God – Lord Bhairav – Bhairavnath Temple is situated at a distance of 500m from the Kedarnath Temple. This place is blessed with magnificent views of the surrounding Himalayas with the entire Kedarnath valley on the south. Lord Bhairav is the main Gana of Lord Shiva and hence the temple is respected in Hinduism. It is among the Kedarnath Temple’s nearby places to visit.
2. Chorabari Lake
A quaint lake at a distance of around 3 km from the Kedarnath Temple, Chorabari Lake also goes by the name of Gandhi Tal. Its crystal clear waters draw tourists’ attention from far destinations. Chorabari Lake originates from the Chorabari Bamak Glacier and is a short trek from the Kedarnath Temple.
Situated on the way to Kedarnath Temple, Sonprayag sits at an elevation of 1829m. It is believed that Sonprayag is the place where Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were married. The site is flanked by nature’s bounty and glorious peaks capped with snow. It is also a place where River Mandakini joins River Basuki.
A well-known pilgrimage in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, Triyuginarayanm is a picturesque village that offers panoramic views of snow-covered mountains of the marvellous Garhwal region. The central attraction, Trijugi Narayan Temple, draws thousands of visitors every year.
Almost 47 km before the holy town of Kedarnath, Guptkashi is on the route to the temple on a ridge on the west side of the Mandakini river valley at an elevation of 1319 mts above sea level. This location enjoys enchanting snow-covered peaks of Chaukhamba mountains in the backdrop. It is also the best hill station near Kedarnath.
Gaurikund in Guptkashi is the starting point of the Kedarnath Yatra. It is located on the banks of River Mandakini, Gaurikund is believed to be the gateway to spirituality and salvation. Gaurikund Temple and Gauri Lake, both at an altitude of about 2,000 metres above sea level, are important landmarks that Hindus follow before starting the trek.
7. Tungnath and Chandrashila
A great place to go for a memorable trek, Tungnath is a quaint village in Uttarakhand. At an altitude of 2680m from the mean sea level, this place is the starting point of the popular Chopta Chadrashila Trek. This is one of the easiest treks in the Himalayan region and for that reason, beginners can start from there.
Don’t forget to explore the place dedicated to Saint Agastya for his one-year Tapas (meditation) if you’re sorting the best places to visit near Kedarnath temple. This ancient temple is a significant example of grand architecture and an adorned interior with wall art.
Ukhimath or Okhimath is the home of Lord Kedarnath and Madhyamaheshwar during winters as the worship is performed at the Omkareshwar Temple here during winters when the doors of Kedarnath remain closed. Because of its splendid location on the lap of the Himalayas, Ukhimath features snow-capped peaks of the Himalayan range.
10. Vasuki Tal
Vasuki Tal or Vasuki Lake is among the best places to visit near Kedarnath. The site offers a view of the neighbouring Chaukhamba peaks. Trekkers often include Vasuki Tal in their Kedarnath itinerary as it provides an ideal range to climb up.
Time to Curate Your Bucket List!
If you have made up your mind and thinking of an adventurous journey to explore some of the best places to visit near Kedarnath temple, this is the right time to create your itinerary. While the place is the holy shrine of Lord Shiva, the God of destruction, Kedarnath is no less than a paradise for nature lovers and trekkers. The list covers the top 10 places to visit near Kedarnath temple that surely will give you some amazing memories to cherish for life.
Frequently Asked Questions
The holy shrine of Lord Bhairavnath is among the nearest places to visit near Kedarnath temple. Bhairavnath Temple is 500 metres north of the Kedarnath Temple.
Gaurikund is the destination before Kedarnath and after Sonprayag. It is the place where the 16 km long Kedarnath trek starts. Gaurikund is believed to be the gateway to spirituality and salvation. The walking distance to Kedarnath temple is 16-18 km, starting from Gaurikund to Kedarnath.
Kedarnath Temple is one of the 4 pilgrimage sites of Char-Dham Yatra in Hinduism. After Kedarnath, people visit Badrinath and those who are staunch followers of Lord Shiva, visit this place once in their life. People visit Badrinarayan Temple or Badrinath Temple which is the biggest attraction of the place.
The food in Kedarnath is an awesome mix of Garhwali and Kumauni flavours. Such as:
Kode ki Roti
Kumauni Aloo ke Gutke
Bhatt ki Churkani
Bhang ki Chutney
Travelling from the West to the East direction brings an omen to a pilgrim’s life. The sequence of Char Dham Yatra is Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and then finally Badrinath.
Panch Kedar or Panch Nath temples are the shrines of Lord Shiva in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. These temples are Kedarnath, Tungnath, Madhmaheshwar, Rudranath, Kalpnath.
A trip to Kedarnath takes a minimum of 2 days to climb up and down, assuming that you are on foot. The estimated trip cost to Kedarnath Temple on foot is around Rs. 7000 per person. However, if you’re taking additional transportation services such as helicopter or mule and pony services, the additional cost may vary accordingly.