About The Yatra:
Dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of Lord Kedar, and situated at an elevation of 3,584 metres above sea level close to the glacier of Chorabari, Kedarnath yatra comes to life during the peak yatra seasons of April to June and August to October. The temple’s history is believed to date back to almost 1,000 years and has been the centre of attention ever since the ancient ages. People from far and wide visit this iconic temple to pay their homage to the presiding conical idol which is believed to be that of Lord Shiva.
Registration for the Yatra:
Before the commencement of the yatra you will be required to carry along with you a medical certificate stating that you are physically fit to make this strenuous journey. These certificates can be obtained from the medical centres present at Sonprayag and Guptakashi. If you want to register for a pony or a palki then there are a number of government counters available which take up this issue of yours.
In case you are planning on taking up the journey by helicopter then you will be required to register during the time of check in at the helicopter. It is advised for you to keep your Aadhar Card along with you which will come in handy while you get into the helicopter from Phata / Agastyamuni or Guptkashi.
Temple Opening and Closing Timings:
For the darshan and convenience of the pilgrims the temple opens up during 4 am and shuts down at 9 pm. The temple shuts down from afternoon to evening which is from 3 pm to 5 pm, when the temple Raavals and other pundits do some clearing and maintenance work inside the temple. During this time it is advised for you not to avail your helicopter trip and plan your yatra journey accordingly.
Best Time to Visit:
The temple doors opens up for darshan during the auspicious eve of Akshaya Tritiya which falls during the months of either late April or early may and shuts down for darshan after the holy eve of Bhai Dooj which falls during the time of either late October or early November. During this the months of April to June and September to October are considered to be the best time to visit. Going on a yatra journey during the rainy months of July to August are considered to be extremely dangerous for the pilgrims since the entire region remains prone to heavy rainfall (hampering the helicopter and other alternate mode of transportations services) or unpredictable landslide.
Places to Visit near Kedarnath Dham:
- Vasuki Tal: This pristine clear, high altitude Glacial Lake can be reached after covering a moderately difficult trekking journey of 7 kms. The environment around the lake is extremely serene and offers you an unparalleled sense of peace along with the reflection of the surrounding Himalayan peaks.
- Shankaracharya Samadhi: Dedicated to the sage and legendary seer responsible for reigniting a spark of Hinduism with Advaita philosophy, this Samadhi stands on the place of Maha Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya. This place is located right behind the temple and can be easily visited during your Kedarnath yatra.
- Gaurikund: Named after the consort of Lord Shiva, goddess Parvati, the road trekking journey to Kedarnath commences from Gaurikund and it is a 14 kms long trek. This place holds a small temple dedicated to the fact that Lord Shiva has accepted to marry Parvati right at this place.
- Chorabari Tal (Gandhi Sarovar): Situated at a comfortable trekking distance of just 3 kms ahead of the holy dham of Kedarnath, this beautiful clear lake, reflecting the surrounding snowcapped Himalayan ranges is named after the fact that the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were disposed of here.