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What are best tourist places in Kedarnath

 Top 10 best tourist places in Kedarnath

Kedarnath, nestled in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand, is a revered pilgrimage site and a paradise for nature lovers. Surrounded by majestic peaks and serene landscapes, Kedarnath offers a spiritual and breathtaking experience. If you're planning a visit to Kedarnath, here are the top 10 best tourist places in Kedarnath you must explore.

1. Kedarnath Temple: Spiritual Sanctum

Kedarnath Temple

The main attraction of Kedarnath is the Lord Shiva-dedicated Kedarnath Temple. It is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas and holds immense religious importance. Visit the temple, offer prayers, and witness the divine aura that envelops the surroundings. The temple is beautifully nestled amidst snow-capped peaks and offers a soul-stirring experience.

One of the char dhams, the Kedarnath Temple welcomes lakhs of devotees yearly. The pilgrims undertake an arduous but devotional journey to reach this 3,584-m high shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is one of the 12 jyotirlingas, which are places of worship for Lord Shiva, in the country. Because of this, it is seen as especially holy. The sanctum sanctorum houses a conical rock formation worshipped as Lord Shiva’s Sadashiva (ever auspicious) form. This 1,000-year-old temple is made out of giant stone slabs arranged over a rectangular platform. There are inscriptions in the Pali language on the steps leading to the sanctum sanctorum. The inner walls have sculptures of various gods and scenes from Hindu mythology. It is said that the temple was built in the 8th century by sage Adi Shankaracharya and has undergone several renovations over the years. Every year in November, the idol of Lord Shiva is shifted from the Kedarnath Temple to Ukhimath since the entire temple gets covered in snow during winter. In May, the idol is reinstated in Kedarnath.

There is an interesting legend behind this religious place. It is said that Lord Shiva turned himself into a bull to evade the Pandavas when they were looking for him to seek atonement for their sins after fighting the epic Mahabharata battle. When the Pandavas spotted Lord Shiva, he hid inside the ground, leaving only the hump visible on the earth's surface.

2.Vasuki Tal: Alpine Lake
Vasuki Tal

Situated at an altitude of 4,150 m above sea level, this serene lake offers spectacular views of the Chaukhamba peaks and the Mandakini Valley. A continuous ascent from Kedarnath to Vasuki Tal or Vasuki Lake makes for a great trek. Trekking to the lake from Gaurikund can be a task for first-time trekkers. If you don't have the time or strength to take the 24-km-long trek, you can first reach the Kedarnath Temple from Gaurikund by taking a pony ride. It's an 8 km trek from the temple to the lake that is worth the effort. The trek from Kedarnath to Vasuki Tal can be quickly done in a day. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu is said to have bathed in the lake on the auspicious festival of Raksha Bandhan..

3. Chorabari Tal: Crystal Clear Lake

Chorabari Tal

Chorabari Tal, also known as Gandhi Sarovar, is a glacial lake situated en route to Kedarnath. The lake is known for its crystal clear waters and serene ambiance. Take a moment to admire the pristine beauty of the lake and the magnificent peaks reflecting in its calm waters.

The crystal-clear Chorabari Tal offers magnificent views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks. Also known as the Gandhi Sarovar or Gandhi Tal, the lake lies about 3 km from the Kedarnath temple. An easy trek from the temple leads you to the lake, which was originally known as Kanti Sarovar. Some of Mahatma Gandhi's ashes were put in the lake in 1948. After that, the lake was called Gandhi Sarovar. There is a story that Lord Shiva taught the Saptrishis how to do yoga at Chorabari Lake. The Chorabari Bamak Glacier feeds into the lake, which sits 3,900 m above sea level. You can also visit the nearby Bhairava Temple. The mesmeric Madhu Ganga waterfall falling on the way makes for a serene stopover.

4. Gaurikund: Gateway to Kedarnath

Gaurikund

Gaurikund is the starting point of the trek to Kedarnath and holds mythological significance. It is believed to be the place where Goddess Parvati meditated to win Lord Shiva's heart. Take a dip in the holy Kund, visit the Gauri Devi Temple, and soak in the spiritual vibes before embarking on the sacred journey to Kedarnath.

Hindus come to dip in the hot water spring at Gaurikund, one of the most incredible places in their religion. It is believed that taking a dip in the holy water of the pond will make a person pure. Gaurikund is the starting point of the famous Kedarnath temple trek and is surrounded by panoramic views. The spring lies at a height of about 6,000 ft in the Garhwal Himalayas. Devotees also visit the Gauri Devi Temple dedicated to Goddess Parvati. It is believed that this was where Goddess Parvati had meditated for a long time to win Lord Shiva as her husband. The tale of how Lord Ganesha got his elephant head is also linked to the area. Pilgrims trekking to the Kedarnath shrine often take a night halt at Gaurikund.

5. Shankaracharya Samadhi: Spiritual Resting Place

Shankaracharya Samadhi

Shankaracharya Samadhi is the final resting place of Adi Shankaracharya, the renowned philosopher, and theologian who revived Hinduism. Pay homage to the great saint and philosopher at this serene location. The samadhi is located near the Kedarnath Temple and is visited by devotees seeking blessings and spiritual solace.

Lying slightly behind the Kedarnath Temple is the grave of Adi guru Shankaracharya, the saint who is said to have established the four sacred dhams in India that are a vital pilgrimage for Hindus. The famous Hindu philosopher attained nirvana (enlightenment) at the young age of 32. It is said that Shankaracharya merged with the land itself. Visited by thousands of pilgrims, the Shankaracharya Samadhi is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kedarnath. Shankaracharya is said to have made the Kedarnath shrine and started one of his four mathas there in the 8th century. His disciples visit a hot water spring believed to have been created by Shankaracharya to get relief from the extreme climatic conditions in the area.

6. Sonprayag: Confluence of Rivers

Sonprayag is a picturesque confluence of the holy rivers Mandakini and Basuki, located on the way to Kedarnath. The tranquil surroundings, gushing river waters, and distant views of snow-clad peaks create a mesmerizing ambiance. It is considered a sacred spot and is often visited by pilgrims on their way to Kedarnath.

7. Triyuginarayan Temple: Divine Wedding Site

Triyuginarayan Temple

Triyuginarayan Temple is a sacred Hindu temple located near Kedarnath. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married at this very site. The temple is known for its architectural beauty and serene surroundings. Visit this holy temple and experience the divine aura that surrounds it.

People know this temple as the place where Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married. People say an eternal flame that burns in front of the building saw this important wedding. The temple looks a lot like the Kedarnath temple. It has silver statues of Lord Vishnu, Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Badrinarayan, Goddess Sita, Lord Ramachandra, and Lord Kubera inside its shrine. The Brahma Shila marks the exact place of the wedding in front of the temple. Three sacred ponds, the Rudra Kund, Vishnu Kund, and Brahma Kund, are also on the temple premises. Known for their medicinal properties, these ponds source their water from the main Saraswati Kund. It is believed that the Saraswati Kund's water springs from Lord Vishnu's navel. Right outside the Triyuginarayan Temple lies another small shrine dedicated to Panchanama devatas. A 2 km walk from the temple leads you to a cave dedicated to Goddess Gauri. An annual fair is held every year at the temple during August and September and is a vibrant affair.

8. Agastyamuni: Scenic Village

Agastyamuni is a quaint village located near Kedarnath, known for its scenic beauty and peaceful ambiance. Surrounded by lush greenery and enchanting landscapes, Agastyamuni offers a serene retreat away from bustling city life. Spend some time in this idyllic village, connect with nature, and rejuvenate your senses.

9. Gaurikund Temple: Goddess Parvati's Shrine

Gaurikund Temple is a small shrine dedicated to Goddess Parvati, located in Gaurikund village. Goddess Parvati is said to have pondered here in order to win Lord Shiva as her husband. The temple holds immense religious significance and attracts devotees seeking the blessings of the divine mother.

10. Kedar Valley: Nature's Wonderland

Kedar Valley is a picturesque valley nestled amidst the majestic Himalayan ranges. It is renowned for its natural beauty, lush green meadows, and panoramic views. Trek through the valley, soak in the serene atmosphere and witness the awe-inspiring vistas of snow-capped peaks and gushing waterfalls.

 

FAQs about Kedarnath

Q1: When is the best time to visit Kedarnath?

A1: May through June and September through October are the ideal months to travel to Kedarnath. During these months, the weather is pleasant and ideal for trekking and temple visits. The temple is always closed because of the heavy snowfall throughout the winter.

 

Q2: How can I reach Kedarnath?

A2: The nearest airport to Kedarnath is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, and the nearest railway station is Rishikesh. The starting site for the trip to Kedarnath, Gaurikund, is accessible from there by bus or cab. The trek from Gaurikund to Kedarnath is about 16 kilometers.

 

Q3: Is it necessary to undertake a trek to visit Kedarnath?

A3: Yes, currently, the only way to reach Kedarnath is by undertaking a trek from Gaurikund. The trek is moderately challenging and takes approximately 6-8 hours. However, ponies and palanquins are available for those who prefer not to trek.

 

Q4: Are there accommodation options available in Kedarnath?

A4: Yes, there are a few accommodation options available in Kedarnath, ranging from budget guesthouses to simple lodges. However, it is advisable to make prior bookings as the number of accommodations is limited.

 

Q5: Is photography allowed inside the Kedarnath Temple?

A5: No, photography is not allowed inside the Kedarnath Temple premises. Visitors are requested to respect the religious sentiments and rules of the temple.

 

Conclusion

Kedarnath offers a unique blend of spirituality and natural beauty. From the sacred Kedarnath Temple to the serene lakes and picturesque valleys, each place in Kedarnath holds its own charm and significance. Plan your visit to these top 10 tourist places in Kedarnath and immerse yourself in the divine and breathtaking ambiance of Kedarnath.