Kedarkantha is one of the 4 Char Dham Hindu pilgrim centers in Uttarakhand, India. The town and the temple are open from May to October only to avoid heavy snowfall in winter. Specific dates are as per the Hindu Calendar and one needs to check for specific dates for each year. One can still visit when the town is shut down but one needs to be prepared for being on own amidst heavy snow fall. Gaurikund also shuts down in winter.
Kedarkantha is a holy Hindu town located in Uttarakhand in India. It is one of the Char Dhams located in the Himalayas at a height of 3584m above sea level near the head of Mandakini River. It is a very popular destination for all Hindu pilgrims of all over the world.
The Kedarkantha temple lies amidst the majestic snow-capped Himalayan ranges and is thronged by thousands of tourists each year. The extreme weather condition of Kedarkantha prompts the temple to remain open from the end of April to the beginning of November. It is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Kedar or Lord Shiva. In Kedarkantha alone there are about more than 200 shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Range : Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand
Days : 9 Days ( from base camp Sankri )
Base Camp : Sankri Village
Grade : Easy
Distance : Approx 20 km
Max Altitude : 12500 ft
Package : Rs 7500 per person
Kedarkantha is a town located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and has gained importance because of Kedarkantha Temple. It is a nagar panchayat in Rudraprayag district. The most remote of the four Chota Char Dham sites, Kedarkantha is located in the Himalayas, about 3,583 m (11,755 ft) above sea level near Chorabari Glacier, the head of river Mandakini, and is flanked by snow-capped peaks. The nearest road head is at Gaurikund.
Kedarkantha is named in the honour of King Kedar, who ruled in Satya Yuga. He had a daughter named Vrinda who was a partial incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. She performed austerities for several years and the land is named after her as Vrindavan. However, Kedarkantha and its temple exist from the Mahabharata era when the Pandavas are supposed to have pleased Lord Shiva by doing penance there. It is one of the most important dhams amongst the Chota Char Dham. The Shiva statue here is considered to be decapitated where as the head is believed to be in Doleshwor Mahadeva Temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal.
Kedarkantha is located at a distance of 223 km from Rishikesh in Uttarakhand and close to the source of Mandakini river at a height of 3,583 m (11,755 ft) above sea level. The township itself cannot be called attractive, as it is built on a barren stretch of land on the shores of Mandakini river but the surrounding scenery of Himalayas and green pastures makes it a very attractive place for pilgrimage and trekking. Behind the town and Kedarkantha temple, stands the majestic Kedarkantha peak 6,940 m (22,769 ft), Kedar Dome 6,831 m (22,411 ft) and other peaks of the range.
Day 1 : Arrive Delhi.
Day 2 : Delhi - Dehradun - Mussoorie.
Day 3 : Mussoorie - Sankri.
Day 4 : Sankri - Juda Ka Talab.
Day 5 : Juda Ka Talab - Kedar Kantha Base.
Day 6 : Kedar Kantha meadows - Kedar Kantha Peak (12,500 ft). Descend to Hargaon camp.
Day 7 : Hargaon camp - Sankri.
Day 8 : Sankri - Dehradun.
Day 9 : Dehradun - Delhi.
Day 1 : Arrive Delhi.
Upon arrival at Delhi airport met our representative and then transfer to pre booked hotel. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 2 : Delhi - Dehradun - Mussoorie.
Board the morning AC Train for Dehra Dun at 06:55 hrs. Arrival at Dehradun by noon. Upon arrival at Dehra Dun met our representative and then transfer to Mussoorie and check in to hotel for overnight stay.
Day 3 : Mussoorie - Sankri (166 kms/ 5-6 hrs).
The twisting road follows a winding course going into the Yamuna valley via Mussoorie, and the Kempty falls, finally descending into the Tons river valley, crossing towns such as Sankri, Purola and Mori. Sankri is the last village connected to the motor road. This picturesque village is about 13 Kms inside the Govind Wild Life Sanctuary (Netwair is the place where the check post is located). Sankri is the gateway to the almost untouched Har-ki-dun (3566m) with the Swargarohini Peak(6096m) towering above it in the backdrop. Overnight in tourist rest house/tent.
Day 4 : Sankri - Juda Ka Talab (Trek 4 kms/4½ hrs).
In the morning after breakfast trek towards Juda Ka Talab. Cross the village Saur and the road takes a wide curve. Later climb sharply to next to a stream. The trail gets into the pine forest and starts to climb sharply until you reach a ridge ten minutes later. On the ridge the trail evens out and widens for almost the rest of the day. Overnight stay in tents.
Day 5 : Juda Ka Talab - Kedar Kantha Base (Trek 4 kms/4 hrs).
The trail out of Juda Ka Talab is clearly visible and straight forward. The trail rises to a ridge at the edge of the lake. At the ridge take a sharp left and dive into the dense pine forest climbing higher. Avoid the trail that goes ahead and down (that is another trail to Sankri used by shepherds).
Day 6 : Kedar Kantha meadows - Kedar Kantha Peak (12,500 ft). Descend to Hargaon camp (Trek 6 kms/6-7 hrs)
In the morning view the sunrise from the Kedar Kantha meadows is as startling as the sunset. It is something worth getting out of your sleeping bags early for. It starts early at the meadows, so you need to plan it somewhat. Overnight stay in tent.
Day 7 : Hargaon camp - Sankri (Trek 6 kms/4 hrs).
The Hargaon camp site is another campsite that stays in your mind for its prettiness. There is plenty of firewood to light a campfire as well.
Day 8 : Sankri - Dehradun (215 Kms, 7-8 hrs).
The trek for the day is relaxing and fun walk through the forest and on the well marked path. On arriving Sankri bid farewell to ponies/ porters. Board the vehicle and start driving towards Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand.Take out time to visit places such as the Forest Research Institute, The Indian Military Academy, Malsi Deer Park, Robber's cave, or a simple Dekko of the Paltan Bazaar! Overnight in the hotel.
Day 9 : Dehradun - Delhi.
In the morning board the AC train for Delhi at 05:10 hrs. Arrival at Delhi by 11:15 hrs. On arrival met our representative and then transfer to airport and from here catch your onwards destination flight.
Kedarkantha trek is part of Chota Char Dhams (four minor pilgrimage sites) for Hindus and the temple of Kedarkantha is located in a nagar panchayat in Rudraprayag district. The other three Chota Char Dhams are Yamunotri, Gangotri and Badrinath. Badrinath is also a part of the major Char Dhams for Hindus. Kedarkantha is located at about 3584 metres (11759 feet) above sea level. The town is located near the Chorabari Glacier, which forms the the head of the Mandakini river. This closeness to the glacier also made it the worst hit due to the incessant rains which eventually led to the flash floods.
Kedarkantha is believed to have been named in honour of King Kedar, who ruled in the Satya Yuga. The land is around the temple is named Vrindavan in honour of King Kedar's daughter. There's also a legend that says this is the temple where the Pandavas finally found Lord Shiva in order to seek forgiveness for the sin of killing their cousins. The temple is over 1000 years old.
The lingam at Kedarkantha unlike the usual form is pyramidal and is regarded as one of the 12 Jyotirlings. Kedarkantha is highest among the 12 Jyotirlingas. The trek to Kedarkantha can only be made by foot or you can take a helicopter service. In 2012, the temple saw over 5,48,166 pilgrims.
The temple opens on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya which usually falls in April end or first week of May and closes on Bhai Duj (in October or November after Diwali). The temple is closed for six months because of heavy snowfall. Once winters begin, the statue of Shiva is carried down from Kedarkantha to Ukhimath, and later reinstated at Kedarkantha, in the first week of May. The Monsoons are not a recommended time for visiting Kedarkantha due to threat of landslides.
Bhairon Temple which is close to Kedarkantha, is a temple where the god Bhaironathji is ceremoniously worshipped at the opening & closing of Kedarkantha. The belief is that he protects the land around Kedarkantha from evil during the time when temple of Kedarkantha is closed.
There is lot of flexibility in bus timings on this route. Different type of buses operate on this route like A/C Sleeper (2+1), Non A/C Sleeper, Volvo A/C Multi-Axle Semi-sleeper, Volvo A/C Multi-Axle Semi-sleeper. You have to check the availability of bus tickets for Kathgodam from city Delhi. Government and private buses run frequently between Delhi and Kathgodam.
To travel by train from Delhi to Kathgodam, check the train schedule and availability now. Board train from Delhi to Kathgodam, a journey of about 4 hours. Kathgodam is the nearest railway station.
If you prefer taking the road to reach Kathgodam from Delhi, you have to check the taxi guide. It will cost you INR 5 per kilometre, depending on the choice of your car. The toll tax should be paid separately by you.
Check availability of flights from Delhi to Kathgodam. There are direct flights available to Kathgodam from Delhi. Travel by flight takes about 1 hour. Several cab and taxi services are available outside the airport to travel from airport to other parts of Kathgodam. Pantnagar airport is the nearest airport near Kathgodam. It is about 27 kms from Pantnagar airport to Kathgodam.
A wide variety of bus operators with multiple bus types operate on this route including Volvo A/C Semi-sleeper (2+2), Volvo A/C Multi Axle Semi-sleeper (2+2), Volvo A/C -Multi Axle Semi-sleeper (2+2). Government and private buses run frequently between Dehradun and Kathgodam.
You have to check the train status, schedule, timetable and availability to reach Kathgodam from Dehradun. You will reach in 5 hours from Dehradun to Kathgodam by train. Kathgodam is the nearest railway station. Lot of interesting places come along the way Dehradun and Kathgodam like Haridwar Junction (52 kms), Najibabad Junction (121 kms), Rampur (246 kms), Rudrapur City (291 kms), Haldwani (329 kms).
Hire a taxi from Dehradun to Kathgodam to travel by road. It will cost you INR 5 per kilometre, depending on the choice of your car. The toll tax should be paid separately by you.
You have to find flights from Dehradun to Kathgodam, explore the availability and Book Flight tickets from Dehradun to Kathgodam. A number of flights fly directly between Dehradun to Kathgodam. It takes 1 hour to reach by flight. You can conveniently book prepaid cabs from the airport to reach your destination in Kathgodam. Pantnagar airport is the nearest airport near Kathgodam. It is about 27 kms from Pantnagar airport to Kathgodam.