Journey to the Kedarnath Temple.
The Kedarnath Temple is one of the prime pilgrim centres in the country. Set at a high altitude in the state of Uttarakhand, the temple is visited by lakhs of Hindus every year.
Kedarnath is one of the most sacred Char Dhams for the followers of Hinduism, the others being Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. As per religious Hindu scriptures, Pandavas from the Mahabharata did the Char Dham yatra in order to wash away the sins that were committed by them during the epic war of Kurukshetra. So Kedarnath holds such religious significance in India for Hindus.
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Reaching Kedarnath Temple is not a difficult task, however, the trek that leads to the main temple can be a little tiring and one testing task. But if you are an adventure junkie, you are just going to love it. Standing at an altitude of 3584 m above sea level, Kedarnath, a pristine town in Uttarakhand, is guarded by the mighty peaks of the great Himalayas. Devotees flock to Kedarnath to pay a visit to an ancient shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is considered the destroyer and the purifier. Apart from strong religious significance, Kedarnath in the Garhwal region features unmatched natural beauty. The snow-capped mountains and alpine forests create a whole new world altogether.
Meditation Cave at Kedarnath Temple
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Now, pilgrims can book the cave known as Rudra Meditation Cave for a stay at INR 3,000 per head for three days. The bookings are applicable online through the online portal.
Meditation cave located about 400 m from the famous Kedarnath shrine in the Indian Himalayas, a new entrance plaza, an enlarged platform, and other new developments in the infrastructure at the temple site will be presented when PM Narendra Modi visits Kedarnath on November 6, 2018. The idea of setting up a meditation cave for the pilgrims was given by PM Modi himself.
The uninitiated should know that the meditation cave at Kedarnath is a natural one, but is equipped with all the basic facilities like water, electricity supply, and telephone. The guests are provided with meals as well. The cave is 5 m long and 3 m wide.
How to reach Kedarnath?
When it comes to how to reach Kedarnath, you must know that Gaurikund is the last motorable road from Kedarnath. From there, it is a trek along the Himalayas. Those traveling by airplanes will have to take a flight to Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun and from outside the airport cab and taxis can be hired. The town is also well connected to Dehradun and Haridwar by bus. Train travelers will have to get down at Rishikesh Railway Station and take a bus to reach Kedarnath.
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1) The best way is to take a bus to reach Dehradun which is about 260 km is from Kashmere Gate Bus Terminal and Anand ) Vihar Bus Terminal in Delhi. Once in Dehradun, you can take a bus to Kedarnath.
2) Or you can also take a bus from Haridwar to reach Kedarnath. The distance between Haridwar and Kedarnath is around 125 km and buses take about 5 hours to cover the distance.
3) You can also hire a cab from Dehradun if you want to enjoy that lovely stretch at your own will.
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Kedarnath does not have an airport of its own which makes Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun the nearest civil airhead. Located around 250 km from Kedarnath, Jolly Grant Airport is connected to the major cities of India including New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. There are plenty of flights operating from these cities and provide a lot of options in terms of flight timing and fares. Once you are in Dehradun, you can either take a bus or hire a cab to reach Kedarnath.
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There is no railway station at Kedarnath. Rishikesh Railway Station is the nearest railway head from Kedarnath. Located about 210 km from Gaurikund, Rishikesh Railway Station is well connected to almost all the major cities of India and has a regular train on a daily basis. From Rishikesh, one can take a bus to Gaurikund.
Also, remember that:
1) It is advisable to avoid harsh winter and monsoon months.
2) Make sure to carry your light winter wear even if you plan to visit during the summer season.
3) It can rain anytime here, so it is mandatory to carry an umbrella and raincoat along with your rain shoes.
5) Now, this is a very important tip. Start preparing your body for the yatra by getting started with preparatory exercises much in advance.
6) Cold creams, moisturizers, and sunscreen creams are a must.
7) Medical kit with painkillers, cough syrups, antiseptic creams, muscle creams, and tablets for cold and fever are also a must.
8) It gets too tiring after long treks, so do carry dark chocolates, dry fruits, and glucose along for some instant energy.
9) Book your hotels in advance.
Altitude: 3,553 meters above sea level
Best time to visit: Summer (May – June)
Best time to visit: Winter (September – October)
Nearest airport – Dehradun’s Jolly Grant Airport
Nearest Railway Station – Dehradun railway station