It’s Unlock 5 and thinking of adventurous track vacation the first thing that bogle in the mind is the Kedarnath Dham Yatra, and it’s October !! The best time to make a visit. Highest among the 12 jyotirlingas, the temple is believed to be built by the Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya ji in the 8th century A.D. Since then the temple stands tall and makes the visitors feel the utmost bliss and the divinity of Lord Shiva.
Kedarnath is a remote town in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. This town holds its significance due to the sacred pilgrimage “The Kedarnath Temple”. The shrine is located on the Garhwal Himalayan Range at the peak of 11755ft. above the sea level, on the banks of Mandakini river. The region offers unruffled ambiance with its snowy peaks, alpine forests and colourful rhododendrons .The region is surrounded by many glaciers and mesmerizing valleys.
The temple is unfurled to visit only between mid-April to mid-November, as the other months experience excessive snow showers. Talking about the weather conditions, in monsoon the region encounters fluctuating and regular heavy rainfalls and it becomes a bit of a risky task to head upon with the trek. So the month of October, yes right now! Is the best time to visit as it is the beginning of the pleasant fluffy winter.
The Lord Shiva house is not directly approachable, the travellers have to make their way through an audacious pathway. After reaching Sonprayag the visitors need to park their vehicles over there, and have a nice walk to the special jeep. The jeep will lay out an enjoyable 3kms ride to Gaurikund. Now we are here left with these onerous 14kms from Gaurikund to Kedarnath Temple. There are many variants of available options such as Horses, Palki, trek and helicopters to reach the sacred divine.
If you are planning to choose a horse or a palki, then you must pre-book(one way price is 1800inr and 5000inr resp.) them as they hike the on spot prices. So be aware!! The travel time by a horse is somewhere between 4 to 5 hours. So you can start early in the morning (say 4A.M.) and reach by 9 A.M. at max.
Read Also: Kedarnath Travel Guide
But, if you choose to trek, then have a brave heart! It is 14 kilometres long. The initial 6 kms are smooth going, but after Bhimbali the steep nature of the mountain escalates and the oxygen levels de-escalates. Making the 8kms seem like 16, hence a strenuous task to complete. A tip to all trekkers, no need to carry oxygen cylinders just take some camphor as an emergency tool. The travel time is of about 10 hours, so if you start early morning you will reach till late afternoon, and the temple closes at 3PM and opens only partially after that at 4PM. One cannot touch the lingam and do rituals like jalabhishek in the evening.
There are also some aviation companies like ‘ Pawan Hans’ offering helicopter rides direct to the temple. The two charges are generally 7000inr of a person upto 80kgs, and extra addons if the weight exceeds. If you want to add on supremacy and luxuriousness to your visit opt for the most convenient helicopter rides.
Apart from the Kedarnath Temple, there are several places worth visiting nearby. I have listed a few that you can check upon your list…
Chorabari tal and glacier : The tal offers a small alpine lake and an ideal hiking area. The Glacier over gives your eyes a beautiful and soothing scenery of snowy loaves and a river originating between the mountains. Isn’t it just contenting to imagine?
Other places include Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi, Bhairavnath Temple, Vasuki Tal, Mayali Pass and many more….
Historically the Kedarnath Temple is associated with the legendary Pandava brothers who regretted killing Kauravas, after the Mahabharata. It is usually confused with the fact that pandavas built the temple. No, they just went there for “paschatap”. So, they were in pursuit of taking Lord Shiva’s blessings. But the Lord didn’t want to forgive them and took the form of a bull while trying to escape. In order to avoid encountering them, he dug the ground to hide , but Bheem found out and pulled the nandi bull out. Finally, Lord Shiva appeared in his original form and blessed and forgave the Pandavas.
Not only the pious but also those who impulse to conquer the jagged peaks of Garhwal should make a visit to this sacred and holy expedition. So ,you are all set for the visit then what’s stopping you?