Kedarnath a temple devoted to Lord Shiva, and it one of the twelve “Jyotirlinga” situated in the lap of “The Himalayas” located in the Garhwal range near the Mandakini river. This temple is the epitome of many stories that tell the significance of this temple. The journey towards the temple is no less than an odyssey, an odyssey that becomes an unforgettable memory for the rest of your life.
Here I will answer most of the questions that arise in anyone’s mind before going to Kedarnath, but first what Kedarnath is all about?
Let’s begin with the history of this temple, If you go through the history of Kedarnath then it will create a lot of confusion about who actually build this holy temple?
There are many debates on this question i.e. who actually build this temple at this height from the sea level that is 3,553mtrs.(11,755ft.) but still, this temple is pure work of art. So, let see the history if we go through a theological point of view then, according to it, the god Shiva agreed to dwell here at the request of Nara-Narayana.
After the Mahabharata, the Pandava brothers, came here to meet Shiva on the advice of the sage Vyasa, because they wanted to seek forgiveness for killing their kin during the war. However, Shiva did not want to forgive them: so, he turned into a bull and hid among the cattle on the hill. When the Pandavas managed to track him, he tried to disappear by sinking himself head-first into the ground. One of the brothers, Bhima, grabbed his tail, forcing him to appear before them and forgive them. The Pandava brothers then built the first temple at Kedarnath. The portions of Shiva’s body later appeared at four other locations; and collectively, these five places came to be known as the five Kedars (“Panch Kedar“); the head of the bull appeared at the location of Rudranath.
These were the history from the theological period. In my point of view, it is quite an interesting story because if you read Mahabharata then you will come to know that there is no mention of Kedarnath there if you are interested in reading the whole history you can visit more sources.
How to visit Kedarnath?
Many want to visit Kedarnath Dham but they don’t know how to get there? Favorable days for going to Kedarnath from mid-April to the end of October. The simplest route to get there the Kedarnath Dham, if I go with the full process of this journey that how “I” visited there because I hadn’t read articles much and I had decided and visited the temple, so if I will tell you the whole story then it will take so much time of yours, in a simple way you can visit there by taking a bus by Haridwar or from Rishikesh, cost of bus tickets of per head is about Rs.350 in general route but there is heavy construction of the roads are going on they are broadening the roads so, they may cost Rs.450 per head. Although it is a long journey of approx10 hrs. from Haridwar to Sonprayag, if you are travelling in the simplest route but if they have changed the route then you can add plus 80kms. through New Tehri. You can also go there by your personal car or bike and there are sharing cabs too that will help you to reach Sonprayag (they have the authority to keep the simplest route). And for your information there is no direct route to Kedarnath Temple you will have to go to Sonprayag by your means of transport after then you have to go to Gaurikund by pony, there are sharing cabs that will help you to reach Gaurikund or you can walk through which is a trek of 5km., till Gaurikund and from there your real trek start from Gaurikund to Kedarnath Temple it is the trek of 22km. from one side if we calculate both sides it will be 44km of a trek, you can get a pony or by Manahan, services are available all through the trek. In Gaurikund you will find a “kund” of hot water you can take bath there. Actually, the kund was destroyed in the 2013 disaster, the officials had regenerated it.
When to start trek?
When you reach Sonprayag, take hotels or shelters there are some free services available too, to stay for few days and after settling down in Sonprayag, In my opinion, start your trek before sunrise, then only get to the top (Kedarnath Temple) with the right time, in general, this trek takes 7-8 hrs. for youngsters, but still, all these are up to you. If we talk about the journey of the trek that is of 22kms. from one side, the trek is full of scenic views you will not get bored only by walking on the mountains, the trek will amaze you at every point of time, but while trekking and covering such a long distance get yourself hydrated and stay safe because of huge ditches all over the journey. At the top of your destination, there are tent services available too near or around Kedarnath Temple, so you can also stay there, but on the other hand, don’t trek with so much luggage it will not possible to trek with that much of load, put your luggage at the starting point of your journey and take only necessary items with you.
How to trek?
If you are a beginner then it’s a must read article for you, for them it will be quite a task because 22kms. of the trek from one side total 44kms. is not everyone’s cup of tea you will have to get some motivation for that, here in this case motivation is our lord Shiva, but still when you start this trek start with the very few essential items let me name them for you:-
- Water bottle (you have to keep yourself hydrated)
- Hand gloves (in mountains anytime weather changes)
- Sweaters (Must because of weather)
- Rain Coat (still because of weather)
- Medicines (if you get mild fevers)
These are some of the basic things you need as a beginner, the roads are not that much good so you also need a good pair of shoes (light ones) for this trek, on the other hand, oxygen level gets low at some places so kindly watch yourself and get hydrated.
Although it is a worth remembering trek so do visit this wonderful place in your coming summer holidays.
I can assure you this will be the best trek you have done in your life, a journey full of experience, views, and lord Shiva in your thoughts, while trekking you will also see the destruction caused in 2013. I am adding some photos of my trek.
All this above mentioned contents are from my self experience. Hope it will help you to achieve what you want and perform this trek with proper planning and safety measures.
There are many more things near Sonprayag to explore I will discuss them in my other blog.
If you want to know them visit my blog on Triyugi Narayan Temple
Have a safe yatra to Kedarnath Temple. HAR HAR MAHADEV!!
Please let me know in the comment is this helpful or not.
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