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Planning A Trek To Kedarnath? Here's What You Need To Keep In Mind

This 16 to 18-km trek starts from Gaurikund and promises a surreal experience throughout the journey.

Team ZZ

Kedarnath, a village in the Rudraprayag region of Uttarakhand, India, is one of the Char Dhams, or holy places, in the Himalayan region. Kedarnath is located at an incredible height of 3,584 meters at the head of the Mandakini River. Every year, thousands of people travel to visit the spectacular Kedarnath temple fighting the chilly peaks of the Garhwal Himalayas.

While we all know that hiking gives us an adrenaline rush, trek in Kedarnath can do more. It also induces a state of complete joy. And how can we forget to mention the spiritual bliss of this experience? The experience, commitment, and gorgeous beauty of Kedarnath is wonderful beyond words!

When to go for the Kedarnath trek?

The greatest time to hike to Kedarnath would be during the summer season, from April to June. The relatively mild weather makes it perfect for hiking. In case you're wondering, winter is an inconvenient time since snowfall can lead to delays on the road. The monsoon's strong rains, landslides, and floods can also make your vacation extremely dangerous.

Note: Start hiking to Kedarnath early in the morning since you may only hike between 4:00 AM and 1:30 PM. This is because Kedarnath Dham is located within a nature reserve, and devotees are not permitted to venture outside beyond this time window. 

Major highlights of the Kedarnath trek

Before the trip begins, hikers are treated to breathtaking views of Haridwar, Devprayag, and Rudraprayag. The mystical union of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi at Devprayag on one hand, and Alaknanda and Mandakini at Rudraprayag on the other, is an enchanting encounter. Due to the presence of magnificent temples every few miles, hikers call Uttarakhand the “Land of Gods”.

The journey officially begins at Gaurikund and includes various campsites along the way. Some of the camps you can expect to travel through on the walk include Jungle Chatti, Bheembali, and Linchauli. Throughout the route, hikers will come across devotees celebrating the trail. The Sankri to Kedarnath distance is about 92.4 kilometres.

The last step towards the Kedarnath temple is magnificent with worshippers chanting “Mahadev” every step. The temple adorned with marigold garlands, long joyous lineups of pilgrims, and the tranquillity of the Kedarnath trek route is a sight to behold. The best part of this is that the location is so captivating that you will get lost into its essence.

Kedarnath trek distance

The trip to Kedarnath is an 18-kilometre journey that begins in Gaurikund and ends at Kedarnath. In 2013, the floods increased the trek distance from 14 km to 16 km rerouting the entire hike. 

The best route for the Kedarnath trek

The trekking time from Gauri Kund to Kedarnath is around 6 hours. Previously, the path used was from Rambara, and it was a well-developed, well-fenced, and well-facilitated trek route. However, following the 2013 accident, the government has modified the Kedarnath trekking route, as the former route to Kedarnath was entirely wiped. People often confuse KedarKantha and Kedarnath trekking routes. Kedar Kantha to Kedarnath distance is about 90 kilometres.

  • You can cover the first 6 kilometres at Gaurikund by hiring a shared taxi from Sonprayag.
  • The trek from Gaurikund to Jungle Chatti (6kilometres) is through the Rambara Bridge. The distance is 4 kilometres. In case you're curious, the sight from here is spectacular! If you are fatigued, take a pause, drink some water, and then carry on.
  • You can reach Bheembali after a 3-kilometre journey from Jungle Chatti. You'll be surrounded by snow-capped mountains and temple walls that will seduce your senses along the way. Yes, there are accommodations available, and you may spend the night here if you choose.
  • Bheembali to Linchauli is about 3-4 km next. The last stop to Linchauli is another 4 Km from Bheembali. If not, you can take a rest for a few moments and then carry on! The view of the mountains will take away all the tiredness in your body.
  • The linehaul towards Kedarnath Base Camp is roughly 4 kilometres away from here. On your trip from Linchauli to Kedarnath base camp, you will pass various camps on both sides of the trail, surrounded by stunning mountains. Stop to see the sweeping vistas of the beautiful mountains—your senses will thank you for it.
  • Kedarnath Base Camp to Kedarnath Temple is the last leg of the journey. This is the final (and maybe the most thrilling) 1 kilometre of the journey! You'll have to walk on snow here, so be cautious. When you get to the temple, expect to be utterly stunned by the incredible spectacle!

Keep these things handy for the Kedarnath Trek

  1. Since evenings at higher elevations tend to be significantly colder, we recommend wearing high-quality, robust, and comfy clothes, as well as high-quality sneakers.
  2. It is encouraged to keep emergency supplies on hand just in case of personal illness.
  3. Because the ride offers a stunning view of several peaks, do not forget to bring your camera and a battery pack.

A guidebook to your Kedarnath Trek

  1. Get a health check-up done before Kedarnath trekking.
  2. If you are facing any respiratory problems, the Kedarnath trek should not be something you try.
  3. Booking ponies or palki can be done from Sonprayag to lessen the walking distance.
  4. Trek only between 4 AM and1:30 PM as this is the only time when pilgrims are allowed to trek to Kedarnath.
  5. In case you feel you won’t be able to cover the trek till late evening, you can take a palki or ponies to reach your destination. You can also stay in the camps which are set up in between the trek at Jungle Chatti, Bheem Bali, and Lincholi for a night, and start the journey the next morning.
Photo: Shutterstock
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