Kedarnath Yatra is one of the most sacred pilgrimages in India. Kedarnath Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India and it is believed that by worshiping Lord Shiva in this holy temple, pilgrims attain salvation. It is situated at an altitude of 3584 meters above water level. One has to make a difficult journey to reach the temple of Kedarnath. Since the winter months from November to March receive heavy snowfall, the Kedarnath temple can be visited only for a limited time every year.
Best time to go to – May, June, October
Location – Rudraprayag, Garhwal, Uttarakhan
Distance – 16 kms
Ideal duration – 1 day
Kedarnath Temple Darshan Timings – 06:00 AM to 01:00 PM and 05:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Nearest Railway Station – Rishikesh (228 kms)
Nearest Airport – Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun
Nearest helipad – Phata
KEDARNATH TEMPLE OPENING DATE 2022
If you are planning only for Chardham Yatra or even Kedarnath Temple, then you need to know the date of opening of the temple. Opening date of Kedarnath temple depends on Akshaya Tritiya. Akshaya Tritiya or Akha Teej is celebrated on the third day of Shukla Paksha in the month of Vaishakh. Akshaya Tritiya day is a very auspicious day . Every year on the basis of this day, the priests of Kedarnath temple announce the date of opening of the doors of Kedarnath temple. This year in 2022, Kedarnath temple will open on 8th May. From this day the Chardham Yatra will run for the next 6 months.
HOW TO PLAN KEDARNATH YATRA 2022
Unlike the other three temples that constitute the Chardham Yatra in Uttarakhand, the Kedarnath temple cannot be reached via motorable road. To reach the temple of Kedarnath one has to travel an arduous journey of 16 kms. There are two ways for a pilgrim to reach the Kedarnath temple. Either by trek (if you are traveling to Kedarnath by road then you can also book Pony/Palanki) or can opt for helicopter service available from Phata Helipad.
KEDARNATH YATRA 2022 BY ROAD
Pilgrims from all over the country visit this holy pilgrimage every year. For those traveling from outside Uttarakhand, Delhi serves as the base from where they travel from Rishikesh to Rudraprayag to reach Kedarnath. The journey to Kedarnath truly begins from Haridwar or Rishikesh. Haridwar is connected by rail to all or many major cities of the country. You can reach Haridwar by train. To go beyond here, you’ll either book a taxi or pass by bus. Irrespective of the fact from where you start your journey, Rishikesh will be the common point if you are traveling by road to Kedarnath. Kedarnath is situated at a distance of 230 kms from Rishikesh. Gaurikund is the last point which is connected by road (216 kms from Rishikesh). The trek distance from Gaurikund to Kedarnath temple is 16 kms. You can opt for buses from Dehradun or Haridwar/Rishikesh to reach Gaurikund. A number of state transport buses as well as privately held deluxe and Volvo buses ply between these destinations. You can also hire a cab/taxi to reach Gaurikund.
KEDARNATH YATRA 2022 BY HELICOPTER
The most convenient and fastest way to reach Kedarnath Temple is by helicopter. Kedarnath Yatra is available from Dehradun by Helicopter. From Dehradun, Kedarnath Yatra helicopter cost is around Rs 50,000 per person. You can also opt for helicopter shuttle service available from Phata to reach Kedarnath by helicopter. The cost of shuttle service from Phata to Kedarnath temple is around Rs.2,500 for one-way trip and Rs.5,000 for round-trip.
TIME TO VISIT KEDARNATH TEMPLE AND ORDER OF WORSHIP
The doors of Kedarnath temple open daily at 07:00 am. In the morning the Shivling is bathed and anointed with ghee. Then aarti is performed with diyas and chanting of mantras. Pilgrims can enter the sanctum sanctorum in the morning to attend the aarti and have darshan. A special puja is performed from one to two in the afternoon after which the doors of the temple are closed for rest. The doors of the temple are once again opened for the visitors at five o’clock in the evening. From 07:30 pm to 08:30 pm, a special aarti is performed, during which the five-faced idol of Lord Shiva is duly adorned. Devotees can only see it from afar. The doors of the temple are closed for darshan at 08:30 pm. In the order of worship of Lord Shiva, morning worship, Maha Abhishek worship, Abhishek, Laghu Rudrabhishek, Shodashopachara worship, Ashtopchar worship, complete aarti, Pandava worship, Ganesh worship, Shri Bhairav worship, Parvati ji worship, Shiva Sahasranama etc. are prominent.
·If you are planning to visit Kedarnath by road, it is imperative that you are in good physical shape. Since it takes a long and difficult trek to reach the temple, you need good stamina to walk the distance.
·Since the temple is situated at a very high altitude, adaptation can also become an issue. Make sure you start jogging/brisk walking well before starting this pilgrimage.
· If you are traveling in the summer months, pack warm clothes, jackets, thermocot innerwear, raincoats, woolen socks etc as the temperature drops very quickly after sunset.
·Also carry a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen lotion as the sun’s rays can be very harsh during the day. Carry a walking pole and torch when you are traveling to Kedarnath.