Kedarnath is situated at an altitude of about 11740 ft in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand state in India. Kedarnath is a Hindu temple and is one of the Jyotir Lingas; holiest shrines of Shiva!
About the Trail:
Kedarnath Trek is a beautiful journey from Gaurikund for any spiritual seeker. The Garhwal Himalayas is said to be the ‘Abode of Gods’ which is apparently true because of the insurmountable beauty which the mountains exude. The trail and the energy of this place could surely stir one’s soul!
- Elevation: 11740 ft (3578 m)
- Best seasons to Trek: May to June or Sept-October
- Guide and Permits: Can be taken at Gaurikund
- Duration: 1-2 days
- Trek Difficulty Level: Moderate
- Trek Distance: 16-17 kms
- Accommodation: GMVN Stays
- Location: The trek starts from Gaurikund
- Nearest Train station: Rishikesh Railway Station
- Nearest Airport: Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun
- By Road:
- Rishikesh – 235 kms away from Gaurikund
After reaching Gaurikund, one can stay the night out here and start off early the next morning.
The trek could take around 8-9 hours and it can be done at a slower pace considering the altitude climb would be 6000 odd feet in a single day. The trail is neatly paved and inclines gradually. The last stretch is a serpentine trail and it could be exhausting but the key is to tread slowly.
After reaching Kedarnath, one can visit the Kalabhairav which is on a small hillock towards the right of the Kedarnath temple. Other places to visit or trek nearby Kedarnath temple is Kanti Sarovar / Gandhi Sarovar.
Things to pack /carry:
- Sturdy Backpack(50L-60L) preferable with wider shoulder straps as it should sit comfortably on your shoulder
- Hiking Shoes( to suit the Mountain terrain) and socks
- Water bottle / Water pack -2 bottles of 1l each
- Sun Cap and Woollen / Fleece Cap
- Sunglasses – Black or Brown
- Trekking pole
- Comfortable trekking pants and tees
- Wind and Rain jacket /poncho depending on the season
- Sweater / Fleece Pullover depending on the weather
- Small first aid box
- Regular medication if any
- Fleece Gloves and Rain Gloves
- Sunscreen Lotion – SPF to suit the Higher altitudes
- Toiletries- Basic and much needed ones
- Dry fruits or Energy Bars
- Head torch
- Sleeping bag
- A small notepad and pen
- Essentials: Wallet, ID card
- Mobile phone, chargers, Powerbank
- Cameras and Batteries
Highlights of the Trek:
- Kedarnath Temple: The energy that one can feel in the temple is miraculous and spellbinding!
- Snow clad mountain ranges at the backdrop of the temple: The sights are just scintillating and it is marvelous when they turn golden to the first rays of the Sun.
- Kalabhairava: This place is magical as well and the sights of the mountains and the Kedarnath temple from out here is splendid
- Ambience: Just the place seems magnetic and beautiful. One can soak in its presence and be lost in stillness.
Pre-requisites for the Trek:
- Please read about the Trek and the weather conditions prior to planning.
- Having a good exercise routine is a must to embark on Himalayan treks – Ensure that you do the required preparation for the trek, ideally 1 year prior to the trek.
- Research about the trek- Plan on how you wish to trek; Through a Trekking Agency or by yourself.
- If you are trekking by yourself with a group of friends, ensure to take a Guide along at the starting point of the Trek and plan your Trek accordingly. This option should be considered only if you have some experience in Trekking and have taken the necessary precautions and adhere to the protocol of Trekking in Himalayas.
- If you are unable to complete a Trek, that is totally fine. Mountains will always be there but not us. So, make sure you do not compete with others or yourself in the madness to reach the destination. Take it Slow always!
- Plan your finances accordingly for the Trek and have a Plan B if you stop the Trek midway or some unforeseen circumstances hold you back.
- Mountains always have the last say, remember this always!
Considering the COVID-19 Pandemic, ensure that you adhere to the protocols of the situation and the Place of the Trek.
Hope you have a wonderful adventure out in the Himalayas!
PS: You can read about my personal experience at Kedarnath out here – Spiritual Sojourn – Kedarnath