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Trekking to Kedarnath is an Exhilarating Adventure

Apr 17, 2018

Trekking to Kedarnath is an Exhilarating Adventure
Trekking to Kedarnath is an Exhilarating Adventure | Credit: India

Kedarnath, the ancient holy Shiva temple situated at an altitude of 3,553 metres in Uttarakhand state attracts thousands of devout Hindu pilgrims each year and is part of the Char Dham Yatra pilgrimage. The legendary temple, believed to have been built by the Pancha Pandavas according to mythological lore, miraculously survived the tragic flash flood of 2013 which destroyed the town, killing thousands of people. 

Anybody planning a visit to the renowned pilgrimage that is one among the 12 Jyotirlinga temples, must consider some important factors before embarking on this exhilarating adventure. The temple is located on the banks of the river Mandakini and can be reached by road for the most part. However, the rest of the journey is by trekking and the temple is closed during 6 months of the year. May, June, September and October are the best times to visit the sacred temple. The Char Dhaam Yatra can be done only during May to October.

Credit: Punjabkesari
Credit: Punjabkesari

The Start of the Trek

Pilgrims can reach Gaurikhand and begin the 14-kilometre-long trek from there. It is recommended that you have to be fit and ready by preparing well ahead for the trek. Gaurikhand has hot sulphur springs which has body healing properties, and many have a bath before setting out on the trekking route to the holy shrine. As you begin the trekking you can view breathtakingly beautiful vistas and beauty of nature as you plod along. Dense jungles, sparkling waterfalls and a continuously rising climb is part of the trek that you will experience along the path to Kedarnath. 

Rules and Regulations

The trekking has to be planned well ahead. Government regulations allow only a certain number of pilgrims to register for the pilgrimage per day, ever since the 2013 flash flood disaster. Additionally, pilgrims are required to obtain medical fitness certificates before the trek. From Gaurikhund it takes approximately 7 hours to reach Kedarnath for a normal fit person.

The trek road and path has now been improved by the government and there are convenient amenities such as medical clinics, accommodation, food, drinking water, tea stalls, as well as emergency services on the route.

Credit: Nav Uttarakhand
Credit: Nav Uttarakhand

Important Guidelines to Follow

Follow some rules when you plan the trek to Kedarnath temple.

1. Check the weather conditions and the actual distance of the trek

2. Be prepared for showers, snowfall and the steep gradients of climb

3. Carry enough warm clothing, gloves, raincoats, caps to cover your head and protect your face from the sun

4. First aid, regular medications, walking sticks, water, torch, blankets, strong hiking shoes, extra batteries and other such supplies have to be included.

5. Stay away from drinks that dehydrate your body and take chocolates, dry fruits, biscuits and other healthy snacks to give you energy along the way.

6. Carry a good camera to capture beautiful pictures but do not click pictures in areas where it is not permitted.

7. Maintain fitness through regular exercise at least five months before the trek.

Try trekking to Kedarnath once and you are certain to remember it as a memorable and exhilarating experience of a lifetime.