The name Kedarnath evokes a sense of deep devotion among any devout Hindu. Located in the district of Rudraprayag at an elevation of 3,583 metres above sea level by the holy river of Mandakini, kedarnath is a crucial part of the Chota char dham yatra of Uttarakhand. This ancient holy temple is flanked by massive, majestic mountains on all sides and offers some of the most stunning views of the Kedar Valley. Literally, the word Kedarnath translates into ‘lord of Kedar’ which is known to be Lord Shiva and is also the presiding deity here. Known for being the highest jyotirlinga in India the entire region consists of undulating landscape and lush greenery that gives views of the wonderful Himalayas.
History of the Temple
The temple was reestablished by the great saint and sage Adi Shankaracharya during the 8th century when he was going along the length and breadth of India establishing Matths and propagating Advaita philosophy. The exact date of the creation of Kedarnath dham is still a mystery however it has found its mention in various ancient religious Hindu texts like Skanda Purana. One such legend involves the story of the pandava brothers, who after killing their kin in the war of Mahabharat visited Kedarnath in search of Lord Shiva and enshrined the temple with a Shivling and performed penance there asking for forgiveness from the lord. Other hagiographies mention the fact that Adi Shankaracharya had attained his Mahaparinirvana right behind the temple making it even more spiritual and significant.
Opening and Closing Dates
Being situated at a high elevation the temple experiences extreme climatic conditions. The temple remains only open for 6 months out of the year when the pilgrims make their way to this temple with the aim of completing their char dham yatra circuit which is also a part of the panch kedar yatra. The temple opening and closing dates are decided by the temple committee here.
Opening Dates: The temple opens up for darshan during the auspicious eve of Akshaya Tritiya which generally falls during the onset of summer months generally on last week of April or the first week of May.
Closing Dates: The temple shuts down for the season during the holy day of bhai Dooj that generally falls on the month of either end of October or the first week of November.
Winter Home: The presiding idol of Lord Shiva of Kedarnath dham is transferred to his winter abode at Ukhimath on a palki which proceeds on with traditional music, dance and great zeal. Pilgrims continue to offer their prayers and darshan at the Omkareshwar temple here. During this time the main Kedarnath temple remains buried in heavy snow with a constantly burning lamp lighting up the insides of the main temple shrine.
Accommodation Facilities In Kedarnath
01. Hotel Bikaner House:
The core belief of this luxury hotel in Kedarnath is ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’, or guests are god hence, you can expect an impeccable range of services here. They have multiple rooms from which you can choose your pick that suits your budget the best. Each room is sparkling clean and offers magnificent views of the surrounding Kedar Valley. We cater to a range of tourists and are a preferred choice among pilgrims looking for a comfortable stay.
- The hotel is located at just a minute’s walk from the main temple of Kedarnath which can be covered by walking just for a few minutes.
- You will be getting round the clock room service whenever you need it no matter the time of the day.
- In case you need immediate doctor’s services or consultation then they also provide round the clock facility of doctor on call.
- Electricity is not an issue since the hotel has 24 hours of power back up facility available. A number of hotels and accommodation in Kedarnath suffers from the problem of regular power outages but Bikaner house has no such issue.
- Every guest will be provided with 1 bucket of hot water which will be of great help in such cold and frigid temperatures.
02. Hotel Himachal House:
This luxury hotel is fitted with all the modern and latest amenities and is situated close to the main temple of Kedarnath. Staying here will allow you to have a comfortable and a stress free stay. The rooms are impressively clean and hygienic complete with attached bathrooms with both hot and cold water supply. Every room here has a regular 24 hours of electricity and power back up with comfortable beds.
- Each room is hooked up with cable TV facilities and a telephone for your convenience and comfortable stay.
- The rooms are big in size and the beds inside have comfortable mattresses and cozy blankets that will allow you to have a good night’s sleep after a busy day of darshan.
- You will be availing a 24 hours of room service that will cater to all your needs at any hours of the day.
- In case you are looking to have a fulfilling meal that will relish you, then the hotel also has a complete restaurant service offering some delectable dishes.
03. Hotel Marwar House:
This hotel offers one of the most comfortable and convenient stay options for the pilgrims here. Although this hotel comes under luxury stay options the rooms are extremely affordable and budget friendly. The proximity of the hotel to the temple makes it one of the most preferred options for pilgrims on their char dham yatra. All the facilities here will allow you to feel like you’re in the comfort of your own home.
- The hotel offers 24 hours of efficient room service that will meet all your needs at any time of the day.
- You will be availing the laundry facilities for the duration of your stay that will wash your clothes duly and on time.
- The rooms are equipped with a safe deposit box for your essential belongings that you want to be kept safe.
- In case you require immediate doctor’s attention then the hotel also has the facility of doctor on call.
04. Kedar Valley Resorts:
If you are looking for luxury within budget then opting for a stay at Kedar valley resorts will be your best choice. This place is the perfect place to get some stunning views of the surrounding forests of deodar and oak along with staying in comfortably. Not only are the rooms spick and span but the dining area is also clean and offers delicious foods.
- If you are travelling by your own car then you will be provided with a free parking space facility where you can keep your car safely.
- If you need internet services in your room then you will be provided with Wi-Fi service on demand.
- The best thing about this hotel is the 24-hour room services. You can have your meals brought up to your room if you don’t feel like leaving your room for meals.
- Payment methods that are accepted here are – cash, online transfer and pay TM.
05. Hotel Mandakini:
This budget-friendly deluxe hotel offers a range of premium facilities and services that are available at the best and the cheapest rates. The hotel has a hospitable and efficient staff that is genuine in nature and extremely caring towards the needs of the guests. The hotel is designed in a contemporary architectural style and comes with excellent services that will make your stay here extremely memorable.
- In case you need the internet facilities then you will be provided with a free internet service.
- The hotel also has some pristine banquet and conference room facilities that are equipped with the latest and superior technology.
- The hotel also has a restaurant service that offers delectable food items and you won’t need to go outside to avail delicious food facilities.
- You can choose from which room you require an AC or a non – AC room facility depending on your budget. No matter which room you avail you will still be Trested with impeccable services.
06. Hotel New Basera:
The hotel is placed amongst the lush green surroundings of the kedar valley consisting of oak and deodar trees. The price of each hotel room is set at a reasonable rate and will definitely fit your travel budget. With a 24 hour reception desk preset here to cater to any of your requirement and demands, the rooms also undergo daily housekeeping and the guests are also provided with a daily newspaper that will make the guest’s here extremely pleasant.
- Every room will be provided with a complimentary delicious breakfast service that will be a fulfilling and a delicious option.
- The hotel has the facility of 24 hour power back up where you will not be devoid of electricity at any point.
- If the guest is travelling in their own car then the hotel will be providing a free parking facility which will keep your car safe.
- Guests will also be provided with the facility of dry cleaning or laundry where your clothes will be cleaned properly.
Gmvn Tents And Cottages:
This is probably one of the cheapest options for every pilgrim due to its close proximity to the temple. There are a number of packages available here that offer the option of staying inside the tents. In case you book some puja rituals or want to be a part of the early morning darshan then choosing to stay inside a tent close to the main temple shrine is advised. The tents provide every pilgrims with cheap food facilities in the form of thalis. All these tents are properly vented, clean and extremely budget friendly. The beds provide in the tents are extremely comfortable and the blankets are warm however you should definitely confirm your bookings way before hand in order to avoid any cancellation since overall the tents here can accommodate only a total of 5000 pilgrims. The area that is separated near the temple for camping purposes includes cottages, fabricated compartmented rooms as well as tents. Since the GMVN is responsible for setting up these tents, they have made this accommodation facility available to all sects of people coming to visit the temple from far and wide.
Accommodation Facilities In Gaurikund And Sonprayag:
In case you have plans of staying in Gaurikund (the closest road head for Kedarnath) or Sonprayag then you will have the option of choosing from a range of different hotels from Budget friendly accommodation to government guesthouses like:
- Gmvn Tourist Rest House (Guarikund): This guesthouse offers a range of rooms to select from like deluxe, economy, dormitory and huts. Every room or dormitory here is clean and hygienic and offers incredible views of the surrounding lush green mountains.
- Bhawani Tourist Complex (Gaurikund): Situated in close proximity to the holy tapt kund, this hotel offers all the basic facilities at the cheapest available rates. In case you are looking to relax for a while before heading for the kedarnath trek then this hotel is a good option since it is extremely comfortable.
- JPG Hotel (Sonprayag): This is one of the most convenient and most preferred budget hotels located at Sonprayag. There are a number of basic amenities and facilities available here like hot water and comfortable and clean beds, along with a cozy and homely ambience which will make you feel right at home. This is also an ideal hotel for people looking to go on trekking expeditions.
- Shivalik Valley Resort (Sonprayag): If you are looking to spend a little on comfort then this hotel is a good option for you. With wooden flooring, modern amenities, leisurely and comfortable beds and blankets this hotel is the best option if you want to treat your family and loved ones with a stay to remember.