Breath-taking snow-covered Himalayan mountains, a 1000-year-old temple invoking deep emotions, an enveloping divine aura, this is Kedarnath- the Land of the Gods. Kedarnath lies at a height of 3584 meters, close to the source of the holy Mandakini river. Named after king Kedar from the Satya Yuga, Kedarnath is one of the four Chota char Dham that also includes Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. Everyone, once in their lifetime, must give this one of the most sacred places on earth a visit. Before you go, take note of these 10 best places to visit in Kedarnath.
18 Places To Visit In Kedarnath
Here are the 18 best places to visit in Kedarnath on your next vacation to Uttarakhand and have a great time away from the hustle-bustle. These places offer the finest views and also let travelers immerse themselves in religious activities.
- Kedarnath Temple
- Bhairavnath Temple
- Vasuki Tal
- Shankaracharya Samadhi
- Triyuginarayan Temple
- Chorabari Tal
- Tungnath Temple
- Rudranath Temple
- Madhyamaheshwar Temple
- Kalpeshwar Temple
- Mayali Pass Trek
- Deoria Taal
1. Kedarnath Temple
When you are at Kedarnath, the most important place to visit is the Kedarnath Temple. This temple is around 1000 years old, which means it is standing here since the time of Mahabharat. This temple houses one of the 12 jyotirlingas and Panch Kedars. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and located at a height of 3,584 m in the Garhwal region of Himalayas.
It is believed the original temple was built by the Pandavas and the current one near the old was built by the greatest scholar and spiritual leader Adi Shankaracharya. There is also an interesting legend about Lord Shiva turning into a bull and being chased by the Pandavas associated with this temple. The temple is open for darshan from end of April till the beginning of November. It remains closed for the remaining 6 months of the year owing to unpredictable winter conditions in the region.
- The original temple built by the Pandavas
- One of the 12 jyotirlingas
- The hump of the bull, which was Lord Shiva in disguise, was found here
- Badri – Kedar Utsav in the month of June
2. Bhairavnath Temple
Situated close to Kedarnath Temple is this beautiful temple of God Bhairav, the main Gana of Lord Shiva. Located on a hillock, it is one of the best temples to visit in Kedarnath. The deity of this temple is said to be the protector of the Kedarnath temple.
It is believed that when the kedarnath temple is closed during the harsh winters, Lord Bhairav, also known as Kshetrapal, keeps a watch on the temple and the whole Kedarnath. Not just for the darshan, visit this temple to have your breath taken away by the stunning views of the valley.
- Dedicated to a deity known to protect Kedarnath temple and valley
- Must visit pilgrimage site after Kedarnath Temple
3. Vasuki Tal
Vasuki Tal is one of the best places to see in Kedarnath. This is a beautiful lake situated at a height of 4135 m over the hills of Kedarnath. From up here, you can have a magnificent and up-close view of many peaks. The water in the lake is crystal clear through which you can easily spot the rocks beneath it.
There are also mystic flowers blooming around the lake, one of them being the famous Brahma Kamal. Getting to the lake is treacherous as one has to ascend a long narrow track from Kedarnath and cross ravine filled glaciers in the path.
- Lord Vishnu once bathed in the lake
- Crystal clear water and enticing view of surrounding peaks
- Various flowers including Brahma Kamal bloom here
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The confluence point of holy rivers Basuki and Mandakini is where Sonprayag lies. Do take a bath in the merging rivers as they are believed to be givers of purity. Sonprayag falls in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand and lies at a height of 1829 m. The snow capped mountains and soothingly flowing rivers create a magnetic charm.
- Magnetic view of snow-capped peaks
- Sin washing rivers Basuki and Mandakini
- Close to Triyuginarayan temple
5. Shankaracharya Samadhi
Adi Shankarcharya, the 8th century saint and great scholar, visited Kedarnath at the end of his journey through the world. He had journeyed to various parts of the world to spread his philosophy of Advaita. Kedarnath was the last place he visited before leaving his mortal body behind. The place he attained nirvana is where the Shankaracharya Samadhi was built.
The spatika lingam inside the shrine is believed to remove negative energies and effects of serious illnesses of anyone who visits it. There is also a hot spring here that was created by Adi Shankaracharya himself. The purpose behind it was to remove the sufferings of the devotee travelers.
- The resting place of guru Adi Shankaracharya
- Spatika lingam with healing properties
- Hot spring created by Adi Shankaracharya
Chandrashila peak is one of the most popular places to visit in Kedarnath, it is situated 4000 m above sea level. This place is believed to be where Lord Rama prayed to Lord Shiva after killing Ravana. After Ram gave an end to the Rakshasa clan by killing Ravana, he sought cleaning of his sins by meditating in this holy land. There is also the legend of Moon God or Chandradev performing penance for his sins for years here.
The trek to Chandrashila is a steep one with trekkers requiring to cover a distance of 4.5 m from Chopta, the peak having the highest Shiva temple. Chandrashila offers a splendid 360-degree view of the Himalayan range and popular peaks in the region like Nanda Devi, Trishul, Kedar Peak, and Chaukhamba peaks.
- Meditating place of Lord Ram after the war with Ravan
- One of the most popular treks in Kedarnath
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According to legends, Goddess Parvati performed years of hard Tapa or meditation to get married to Lord Shiva. And Gaurikund, nestled in the Garhwal Himalayas, is the place where she performed the tapa. There is also another event that took place here.
The incident of Lord Shiva cut off Ganesha’s human head and replacing it with an elephant’s. Visit this divine place and feel the energy of the Gods. Take a dip in the hot water spring nearby and feel blessed and pure.
- The place of long tapa performed by Goddess Parvati
- Holy hot water spring
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8. Triyuginarayan Temple
What happened after Goddess Parvati completed her tapa? Lord Shiva admitted his love for her and they got married! The place they got married at is also in Kedarnath. Situated 13 meters away from Gaurikund is Triyuginarayan Temple where the God and Goddess took marriage vows. There is an exact place marking the spot where the celestial union took place. It is called Brahma Shila which is at the front of the temple.
You will notice a fire burning in front of the temple.
This fire is believed to have been burning since the time of the marriage! This fire has given the temple another name Akhand Dhuni temple. The temple also has a Saraswati kund whose water is believed to have arrived from Lord Vishnu’s navel. Triyuginarayan Temple is approachable from Sonprayag which is just 10 km away from it. You can also trek to the temple from Sitapur village, which is 7 km away.
- The marriage place of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati
- Continually burning fire from the time of the divine marriage
When in Kedarnath, you must plan to visit this small town in Rudraprayag district. It lies enroute to Kedarnath on the Mandakini river bank. Gupta Kashi or hidden Kashi is where Bhagwana Shiva hid from the Pandavas when they came to seek his blessings after the war of Mahabharata.
Being in Guptakashi means you get to visit other popular house of worship like Vishwanath and Ardhnarishwar Temple that are situated nearby.
Both temples dedicated to different forms of lord Shiva are listed among the must visit places in and around Kedarnath. If for nothing else, visit this town to indulge in some shopping. It has some of the best shops having idols, paintings, artifacts and more.
- Is home to popular Vishwanath and Ardhanareshwar temple
- One of the biggest shopping centers around Kedarnath
10. Chorabari Tal
The lake formed from Chorabari Bamak glacier is this scenic Chorabari Tal located at a height of 3,900 m. This lake is at the foot of the Kedarnath peak. Chorabari Tal is also known as Gandhi Sarovar for the simple fact that some of Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes were immersed here.
This lake is also believed to be the place where Lord Shiva gave the knowledge of Yoga to the Saptrishis. The trek to Chorabari Tal is the easiest one as you need to trek 3 km through picturesque grass filled fields. On the way to the lake, you will have a mesmerizing view of a waterfall by the name of Madhu Ganga with the mystifying mountains in the background.
- Easy climb
- Some of Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes were immersed in the lake
- Close to Bhairava Temple
11. Tungnath Temple
Resting at a height of 3,680 ft, the Tungnath temple is known to be one of the Panch Kedar temples. Famous for being the highest Shiva temple in the world, this temple is situated at a distance of 3 km from Chopta. One of the famous sightseeing places in Kedarnath, this place attracts many pilgrims every year. This is believed to be around 1000 years old where Lord Shiva is enshrined and worshipped. The architecture of the temple is done in Nagara style and inside the sanctum, only 10 people can be accommodated. This temple is believed to be discovered by Adi Shankaracharya. As per the mythology tales, this temple was built by the Pandavas to seek pardon and blessing from Lord Shiva for killing their cousins. It is believed that Lord Shiva disguised as a bull and the places where the parts of the bull were found are now famous temples of Shiva.
- One of the temples built by Pandavas
- One of the Panch Kedar temples
- The black stone inside the temples denotes the arm of Lord Shiva
12. Rudranath Temple
Located at the Chamoli district, this ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Resting at an altitude of 2286 m in Garhwal Himalayas, the Rudranath temple is believed to be established by the Pandavas. This is the third temple to be visited on the Panch Kedar Yatra. According to mythology, this temple is the place where the head of Lord Shiva appeared in the form of a bull. Surrounded by the thick forests, the head of Lord Shiva is worshipped and called the Neelkanth Mahadeva. Besides this, there are many sacred tanks of water located around the temple which include Suryakund, Chandra-Kund, Tara-Kund, Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Nanda Ghunti. Every year this temple opens its gates in the month of April/May and closes in the mid of November.
- This is one of the Panch Kedar
- Every year an annual fair is hosted here on a full moon day
- Inside the temple, there is a Shivling shaped like a human face which is worshipped
13. Madhyamaheshwar Temple
The Madhyamaheshwar temple is considered to be one of the ancient Hindu temples which is situated at the base of Chaukhamba peak in Garhwal. Resting at a height of 3,497 m, this temple is one of the beautiful tourist places in Kedarnath. One of the Panch Kedar, this temple is built in the Nagara style which looks mesmerizing with the beautiful backdrop of the mountains. Inside the temple, the naval part of the bull is worshipped and considered to be the most sacred. In addition to this, there are small shrines in the vicinity which are Parvati and Ardhanarishwara.
- This temple is believed to be built by Bheema who was the second Pandava brother
- The temple has enshrined the naval shaped Shiva lingam
- From here the trek to Kanchani Tal starts
14. Kalpeshwar Temple
Situated at the Urgam valley in Chamoli district, the Kalpeshwar temple is resting at a height of 2200 m in the Garhwal Himalayas. Surrounded by the lush greenery and dense forests, this temple is a part of the famous Panch Kedars and famous for being the trekking route to Joshimath. Inside the temple, there is a stone idol of Lord Shiva. Besides this, there is a natural cave where the image of hair locks can be seen carved naturally which is believed to have appeared in Kalpeshwar. There is a Kalpavriskha tree inside the temple which is believed to fulfill the wishes of a person.
- This temple remains open throughout the year unlike other Panch Kedar temples
- It is believed to be built by the Pandavas
- This temple falls in the trek route to Joshimath and one can explore other nearby temples like Budha Kedar Temple and Dhyan Badri temple
15. Mayali Pass Trek
Located at a distance of 15 km from Kedarnath, the Mayali pass is resting at a height of 5300 m in the Bhilangana Valley. Boasting the beautiful view of the Masar Tal and the Vasuki Tal, this pass is one of the best places to visit in Kedarnath. Quite a famous place among the trekkers, this route was used by the pilgrims in ancient times to visit Gangotri and Kedarnath. Giving the view of the beautiful Himalayan peaks, this takes through the Gangi village, Thalay Sagar peak, Bhilangana river catchment, and Khatling glacier.
- The trek starts from the Ghuttu and goes around the Bhilangana valley
- There are two routes to reach Mayali Pass – One from Ghuttu and other from Mala
- The best time to visit Mayali pass is during the months of May-June and from September to mid-October
Ukhimath is a beautiful hill town which is located at the Rudraprayag district in Uttarakhand. Resting at a height of 1317m, this place is also known as Ushamat which is derived from the name of Banasur’s daughter Usha. The main highlight of this place is the Omkareshwar temple which is also considered to be one of the oldest in the entire region. This place is also known as the abode for Lord Kedarnath and Madhyamaheshwar in the winter season. This place is situated at a distance of 59 km from Kedarnath.
- According to mythology, Ukhimath is where Usha and Anirudh (grandson of Lord Krishna) got married.
- The Utsav Doli of Lord Kedarnath is brought here during the winter and worshipped for six months.
Resting at a height of 1000m above sea level, Agastmuni is a religious town located by the banks of River Mandakini in Rudraprayag. This place is known for the famous Agastyamuni temple which is named after the well-known sage who meditated here for one year. The temple houses some of the very intricately detailed carvings of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Alongside that, there is a Shiva temple which is named the Agasthaswar Mahadev temple.
- This town is located at a distance of 67 km from Kedarnath
- The Agastyamuni hosts an annual fair during the festival of Baisakhi
- The visitors can also enjoy fishing in the Mandakini river
This is a beautiful lake located in the vicinity of the Saari village in Uttarakhand and lies surrounded by the lush-green and mighty mountains. Resting at a height of 2438m, to reach this lake one has to go 3kms uphill from Saari to the Ukhimath-Chopta road. This is one of the famous places to visit in Kedarnath and Badrinath. From here one can gaze at the beauty of Chopta, Tungnath, and Chandrashila. Alongside the lake is enclosed by mountains like Chaukhamba, Nilkantha, and Bandarpunch.
- This is located close to the Nanda Devi Biodiversity Park
- According to Hindu Mythology, Devas used to take a bath in this lake
- This is one of the popular trekking destinations in Uttarakhand
Excited to give this divine land a visit? Reaching and exploring these places to visit in Kedarnath might be a little tiring and difficult, but once you are there it is worth the experience of a lifetime. Visit this alluring place by planning your trip to Uttarakhand and enjoy a great time amidst the beautiful views and wilderness of the place.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Kedarnath
Which is the best time to visit Kedarnath?
May to October is considered the best month to visit the holy valley of Kedarnath. Most of the temples in the region are closed during winters so it is best to not visit the place during the month of winters.
How to reach Kedarnath?
There is no direct route via flight or train to reach Kedarnath. If you are taking a flight, the nearest airport is Dehradun, from there you have to cover the distance via rail or road. The nearest railway station to Kedarnath is Rishikesh. There are also options to travel by helicopter from Dehradun and Rishikesh.
Can I include other pilgrimages to visit on my Kedarnath trip?
Yes, you can definitely do that. You may just have to increase the number of days in order to cover these places in a single trip. There are a number of pilgrimage sites near Kedarnath. Tungnath Temple, Rudranath temple, Madhyamaheshwar Temple, Kapleshwar temple, Agastamuni, etc. are some of the important and popular pilgrimage sites situated close to Kedarnath.
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