Located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand in India, Kedarnath is one of the holiest towns for Hindus. Situated at an astonishing height of 3584 metres above sea level near the banks of Mandakini River, Kedarnath is one of the Char Dhams in the Himalayas.
The temple of Kedarnath is situated ideally amidst snow-topped mountains and is visited by thousands of devotees from all over the world each year.
Best Time To Visit Kedarnath Temple
During summers, from April to June, is the best time to visit the temple of Kedarnath. This time is also ideal to visit Gangotri, Yamunotri and Badrinath temple. The temple remains closed during the winter season and the opening of the temple is announced on the occasion of Mahashivaratri.
History Of Kedarnath Temple
Legend states that the Pandavas constructed the sacred Kedarnath temple and installed the revered Kedareshwar Linga. Stepping into the realm of Kedarnath invokes a distinct sense of awe and reverence, as per ancient mythology. Perched at an altitude of 12,000 to 13,000 feet above sea level, this ethereal sanctuary captivates all who encounter it.
The temple's origins trace back to the 12th or 13th century, with the present structure attributed to Adi Guru Shankaracharya in the 8th century, adjacent to the original Pandava-built shrine. Inscriptions in Brahmi and Pali scripts adorn various temple spaces, shrouded in mystical significance.
Adjacent to this temple is the temple of Shri Bhairav Nath, the guardian deity of Kedarnath, integral to the pilgrimage's spiritual completion. Lord Shankar presides over Kedarkhand, nestled by the Mandakini River near the Himalayas and worshipped alternately by humans and celestial beings. Kedarnath epitomises the divine benefactor, Shiva, revered in a perpetual cycle of devotion and celestial grace.
Kedarnath Temple Architecture
The magnificent Shri Kedarnath Temple is the largest Shiva shrine in Uttarakhand, meticulously crafted from colossal boulders of cut stone. Adorned in a rich brown hue, these stones form the temple's imposing structure, elevated on a lofty platform six feet above ground.
Within the temple's ancient sanctum, believed to date back to the 8th century, four sturdy stone pillars mark the corners, facilitating sacred circumambulation. The temple's assembly hall exudes grandeur, boasting a vast expanse supported by four imposing stone pillars.
Notably, the temple's roof, a marvel of engineering, is fashioned from a single colossal stone. Watchtowers adorned with intricately carved male idols add to the temple's artistic allure, each figure a testament to masterful craftsmanship and timeless devotion.
Kedarnath Temple Rituals
At the helm of Kedarnath's sacred rituals stands the esteemed Rawal, hailing from Karnataka's Veerashaiva community. Under his guidance, dedicated Pujaris perform intricate pujas, offering devotees avenues for divine connection, both onsite and online. The Rawal's lineage is deeply intertwined with the temple's history, and his role is pivotal in upholding the sanctity of rituals passed down through generations. The Pujaris, trained in Vedic traditions, execute rituals with utmost devotion, ensuring that each offering resonates with spiritual significance. Their expertise and dedication infuse the temple's atmosphere with reverence, inviting devotees to immerse themselves in the divine energy that permeates Kedarnath.
Beyond its association with Lord Shiva, Kedarnath bears the legacy of Shankaracharya's samadhi, enriching its spiritual essence. Shankaracharya, a revered saint and philosopher, is believed to have attained spiritual liberation at Kedarnath, leaving behind a profound spiritual legacy that continues to inspire seekers from across the globe. Shankaracharya's samadhi adds a deeper layer of sanctity to the temple complex, drawing devotees and spiritual aspirants seeking enlightenment and transcendence.
Kedarnath Temple Aarti | Opening & Closing Times
From the Maha Abhishek at dawn to the Shyan aarti at dusk, the temple resonates with daily pooja rituals, inviting seekers to partake in its divine melody. Each aarti is meticulously performed, accompanied by chanting of sacred mantras and hymns, creating an atmosphere charged with spiritual energy.
Morning Aarti. 4 am
Shayan Aarti. 7 pm
Devotees gather in reverence, offering their prayers and supplications to the divine presiding deity, Lord Kedarnath. The rhythmic cadence of aarti timings punctuates the day, marking moments of divine communion and spiritual rejuvenation for all who participate.
The schedule for the Chardham Yatra, including the opening and closing dates of Kedarnath Dham, is determined by the Char Dham Temple committee in accordance with Hindu Panchang rituals. The announcement of the 2024 Kedarnath Dham Yatra's commencement will coincide with the auspicious Shiv Ratri on 8 March 2024. Conversely, the conclusion of the Kedarnath Dham Yatra is set for Bhai Dooj/Yama Ditiya, marking its closure on 2nd November 2024.
Opening Date- 14th May 2024
Closing Date- 2nd Nov 2024
Sacred Rituals | Invocation of Divine Blessings Rudrabhishek, Aarti, Bhog, Abhishek, Rudra Homa, Panchamrit Puja, and Utsav epitomise devotion and seek divine grace at Kedarnath Temple.
Rudrabhishek- Rudrabhishek, a sacred bathing ritual, invokes the blessings of Lord Shiva, while daily aartis elevates the atmosphere with devotional fervour.
Bhog- Bhog offerings symbolise gratitude and devotion.
Abhishek. Abhishek purifies the devotee's soul.
Rudra Homa & Panchamrit Puja- Rituals like Rudra Homa and Panchamrit Puja create a sacred ambience, resonating with the divine presence.
Festivals- Festivals like Maha Shivaratri and Diwali witness elaborate ceremonies, uniting devotees in celebration and reverence for the divine. Each ritual serves as a conduit for divine blessings, enriching the spiritual journey of devotees at Kedarnath Temple.
Major Attractions Around Kedarnath Dham
Situated at a height of 3,500 metres, Kedarnath is one of the holiest Hindu shrines and numerous Hindu devotees partake in arduous pilgrimage every year. The shrine is surrounded by the thick snow layered Himalayan mountains.
Only 19 kilometres away from Kedarnath, Gauri Kund is the nearest town with road connectivity. From there, one has to trek 16 kilometres to the Kedarkantha shrine making it an unforgettable experience. And if you like to explore further, then you can extend your trek to Chorabari Tal, Vasuki Tal and Bairon Mandi.
3. Camping in Kedarnath
There are not many options for accommodation in Kedarnath hence, tourists can pitch their tents near the town and absorb the natural beauty surrounding the town as well as the mighty Kedarnath peak in the backdrop.
How To Reach Kedarnath Temple
Kedarnath is easily accessible from Rishikesh and is well connected with roads. The roads are well-maintained till Guptkashi.
The nearest town to Kedarnath is Guptkashi, which is around 440 kilometres from Delhi. You can drive your own car or travel by the means of public transport. Shared or private cabs are readily available from Rishikesh to Guptkashi.
The nearest airport from Kedarnath is the Jolly Grant Airport which is situated at a distance of 239 kilometres away from the destination and 22 kilometres southeast of Dehradun. It has frequent flights from New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Trivandrum and Lucknow. The remaining distance can be covered via shared cabs, private taxis or buses.
Here is a list of Indian cities from where flights are available To Reach Kedarnath Dham
The nearest railhead from Kedarnath is at Rishikesh which is 221 kilometres away. Private taxi services are available just outside the railway station to cover the remaining distance. 207 kilometres of remaining distance can be covered by road and the rest 14 kilometres can be covered on foot to reach Kedarnath.
Commuting Within Kedarnath
By Foot. From Gaurikund, embark on the 16 km trek to Kedarnath, a spiritually enriching yet physically demanding journey. Rest stops along the route offer opportunities for rejuvenation amidst the stunning Himalayan landscape.
Trek Length. 16 km
By Pony/Palki. For those seeking an authentic experience or facing physical challenges, ponies can be hired from Gaurikund. While offering majestic views, this option is relatively costly.
By Helicopter. Helicopter services from Dehradun, Phata, Agustmuni, and Gaurikund provide aerial views of Kedarnath. With a limited passenger capacity, these flights offer convenience for travellers seeking swift access to the temple.
Navigating the diverse travel options to Kedarnath ensures a seamless journey for pilgrims embarking on their spiritual quest. Choose wisely and embark on a transformative trip to Kedarnath, the abode of spiritual enlightenment.
In conclusion, Kedarnath Temple is a beacon of spiritual solace amidst the majestic Himalayas, drawing pilgrims from far and wide to seek divine blessings and transcendence. Adotrip offers meticulously curated travel packages ensuring a seamless pilgrimage experience. From transport arrangements to accommodation and local guidance, Adotrip ensures every aspect of the journey to Kedarnath is imbued with reverence and spiritual fulfilment, creating memories to cherish for a lifetime.
With us, nothing is far!
Frequently Asked Questions About Kedarnath Temple
Q. What is the significance of Kedarnath Temple? A. The significance of Kedarnath Temple lies in its association with Lord Shiva as one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. It is believed that visiting the temple absolves devotees of their sins and liberates them from the cycle of birth and death.
Q. How do you reach Kedarnath from Rudraprayag? A. To reach Kedarnath from Rudraprayag, one can travel by road via Sonprayag. The distance is approximately 74 kilometres and can be covered by private taxis or shared vehicles available at Rudraprayag.
Q. What is the best time to visit Kedarnath? A. The best time to visit Kedarnath is during the summer months of May to June and the early autumn months of September to October. The weather is relatively mild during these periods, making it conducive for trekking and pilgrimage.
Q. Are there any trekking options near Kedarnath? A. Several trekking options are near Kedarnath, including the popular trek to Vasuki Tal, which offers stunning views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks. Other treks include the route to Chorabari Tal and Gandhi Sarovar.
Q. What rituals are performed at Kedarnath Temple? A. Various rituals are performed at Kedarnath Temple, including Rudrabhishek, Aarti, Bhog Aarti, Abhishek, Rudra Homa, Panchamrit Puja, and Maha Aarti. These rituals are conducted daily to invoke the blessings of Lord Shiva and seek divine grace for devotees.