Kedarnath is a beautiful and holy place located in the state of Uttarakhand in India. It is a popular pilgrimage destination for Hindus and a popular tourist destination for those looking to explore its natural beauty and spiritual energy. There are a number of places to visit in Kedarnath, ranging from ancient temples to scenic landscapes. In this blog post, we will be looking at the top 10 places to visit in Kedarnath and why they should not be missed when visiting this beautiful destination.
1) Badrinath Temple
Badrinath Temple is one of the most revered pilgrimage sites in India, located in the Himalayas at an altitude of 10,000 feet above sea level. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and has been a center for religious activity since ancient times. Badrinath Temple is visited by thousands of pilgrims each year who come to pay their respects and seek divine blessings. The temple is surrounded by snow-clad peaks and offers spectacular views of the valley below. Inside, the temple is decorated with intricately carved statues of Hindu gods and goddesses and features a large central altar. Pilgrims visit the temple to perform rituals such as pujas and take part in various ceremonies. Aartis are also performed daily, along with the recitation of prayers and hymns. Visitors should keep in mind that Badrinath Temple closes during the winter season due to heavy snowfall.
2) Tungnath Temple
Located at an altitude of 12,073 feet, Tungnath Temple is the highest temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in the world and a must-visit for pilgrims who come to Kedarnath. The temple is situated about 4 kilometers from Chopta and is surrounded by picturesque mountain peaks.
The temple is believed to have been built by Pandavas as an offering to Lord Shiva for forgiveness. It is also said that Adi Shankaracharya stayed here while making a pilgrimage to Badrinath and performed penance here.
The three-storey temple is built out of stone and has a large Shiva lingam at the entrance. Inside the temple, one can find two statues of Nandi, two statues of Lord Ganesha and numerous sculptures depicting scenes from Hindu mythology.
Apart from the temple, visitors can also enjoy trekking through the breathtaking Himalayan terrain or take a dip in the hot water spring located nearby. The Tungnath Temple has become a popular attraction and is now one of the most visited destinations in Kedarnath.
Located at an altitude of 2,680 meters, Chopta is a picturesque meadow surrounded by dense forests of deodar. It serves as the base for trekking to Tungnath, the highest Shiva temple in the world. Visitors come here to take in its breathtaking views of the Himalayan range and to experience the serenity of the area. Chopta is also home to a variety of wildlife including musk deer, red foxes, leopards, and a number of migratory birds. During the winter months, visitors can ski down the slopes of Chopta or enjoy a campfire under the starlit sky. With so much to do and explore, Chopta is definitely one of the best places to visit in Kedarnath.
Gaurikund is one of the holiest places in Kedarnath. Located at an altitude of 3,415 meters (11,203 feet) above sea level, it is a picturesque town with breathtaking views of the Garhwal Himalayan Range. The main attraction of Gaurikund is its Hindu pilgrimage site dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed that this place was used by Lord Shiva himself when he descended from Mount Kailash.
There are two temples here, one dedicated to Lord Ganesha and the other dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple of Lord Ganesha is known as Gauri Kunda Temple and the temple of Lord Shiva is known as Chorabari Tal. There are also many small shrines dedicated to other gods and goddesses such as Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati.
The most important event held here is the annual fair of Gauri Kunda, which is celebrated on Kartik Purnima (November). During this festival, devotees offer special prayers to Lord Shiva and offer his blessings. The fair also includes traditional cultural performances and a variety of stalls selling various items like clothes, jewellery and handicrafts.
Gaurikund is also a popular destination for trekkers and hikers. The trekking trail here takes you through some of the most spectacular and breathtaking scenery in India. The trail leads you to some amazing meadows, alpine pastures and beautiful high-altitude lakes. Whether you are looking for a peaceful trek or an adventure filled hike, Gaurikund offers something for everyone.
Ukhimath is a sacred town situated in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. It is believed that Lord Shiva resides here during winter, making it one of the most important pilgrimages for Hindus. Ukhimath is one of the destinations for Char Dham Yatra along with other popular places like Badrinath, Kedarnath, and Gangotri.
The main attraction of Ukhimath is the Omkareshwar temple which is devoted to Lord Shiva. This temple was built by the former King of Kumaon, Mandhata. In addition to this, there are numerous other temples located around Ukhimath, such as Kalimath, Madhyamaheshwar Temple, and Vasuki Tal.
Ukhimath is also known for its stunning views of the Himalayas and the beautiful valleys surrounding it. The valley provides perfect opportunities for trekking, camping, and various other activities. The most popular treks include Tungnath trek, Madmaheshwar trek, and Chopta trek.
The nearby towns of Guptkashi and Gaurikund are also worth visiting while in Ukhimath. Guptkashi is home to some ancient Hindu temples, while Gaurikund is known for its natural hot water springs.
Apart from the religious aspects, Ukhimath also has many interesting places to explore, such as Devaria Tal, Panch Kedar Temple, Bhim Pul, and Chorbari Tal.
For those looking to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, Ukhimath is an ideal destination. With its scenic beauty and numerous religious sites to explore, it is a perfect place for anyone seeking a spiritual journey.
6) Madhyamaheshwar Temple
The Madhyamaheshwar Temple is an important Hindu pilgrimage site in the Kedarnath valley. Located at an altitude of 3,497 m, it is one of the five temples of Panch Kedar and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is believed to be more than 1000 years old and the Shivalinga inside is considered to be self-manifested.
The temple structure is a two-storeyed building with a ‘Mandapam’ and ‘Garbha Griha’ on the first floor. The entrance door is carved with images of various gods and goddesses. Inside the temple are four shrines, each representing a different form of Lord Shiva, namely Madhya Maheshwar, Bhairavnath, Ganesha, and Umamaheshwar.
A trek from Gaurikund to Madhyamaheshwar Temple will take about 4 hours. During the journey you will pass through lush green forests of deodar and pine trees and stunning views of the Himalayan Mountains. Devotees can also take part in various activities like rafting, angling, camping and rock climbing in the area around the temple.
Madhyamaheshwar Temple is also home to several cultural festivals that take place throughout the year. The annual festival held in the month of May attracts thousands of devotees from all parts of India. The festival is celebrated with great fervor, offering prayers to Lord Shiva and enjoying cultural performances by local artists.
7) Kalpeshwar Temple
Located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, the Kalpeshwar Temple is one of the five Panch Kedar temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Built in the 11th century by the Pandavas, this temple is situated at a height of 2,200 m above sea level and is surrounded by thick forests of deodar and pine.
The temple is believed to have been built by King Yudhishthira after his victory in the Mahabharata war, and is considered to be the only Panch Kedar temple which is still in its original form. The temple has a two-storeyed structure and its walls are adorned with images of Gods and Goddesses. Inside the temple, devotees will find an ancient stone Shivlingam which is worshipped as Lord Shiva himself.
This temple also houses many ancient artifacts, including coins and weapons from various dynasties. The main deity worshipped here is Lord Shiva in the form of Kalpavriksha, meaning ‘the wish fulfilling tree’. It is believed that Lord Shiva gave shelter to Pandavas in this sacred tree during their exile.
Apart from offering prayers to Lord Shiva, devotees come here to seek blessings for a prosperous life and long life. During their visit, they can enjoy beautiful views of nature such as snow-capped mountains, forests and rivers. If you’re planning a pilgrimage to Kedarnath, make sure you include a visit to the Kalpeshwar Temple on your itinerary.
8) Vasuki Tal
Located at a height of 4,220m, Vasuki Tal is a lake that lies in the midst of meadows and grassy slopes near Kedarnath. It has crystal clear water and beautiful views of the surrounding snow-clad Himalayan peaks. Named after the Hindu mythological snake king, Vasuki Tal is considered to be sacred by Hindus. It’s a perfect spot to relax and take in the tranquil beauty of nature.
The lake is accessible via a trek from Sonprayag and takes around 4 hours. You will get to pass through lush green meadows, grassy slopes, streams, and thick forests on your way up to Vasuki Tal. The surrounding mountains of Nilkanth, Neelkanth and Meru Parvat make for stunning views. At the lake, you can enjoy the peace and quiet as you take in the captivating views and bask in the glory of nature.
If you are lucky enough, you might even spot some wild animals like pheasants and mountain goats here. The area also offers plenty of opportunities for photography enthusiasts to capture some beautiful pictures.
Located at an elevation of 3,753 metres (12,313 ft), Sari is a picturesque village that is a popular stopover for trekkers heading to Kedarnath. Situated near the Vasuki Tal, Sari is renowned for its verdant meadows and pristine beauty. It offers magnificent views of the Chaukhamba mountain range and is also home to the famed Gaurikund pilgrimage site.
The alpine meadows in Sari attract thousands of tourists each year. Visitors can enjoy camping, rock climbing, and hiking in the nearby hills. There are several ancient temples dedicated to Hindu gods in the area. Sari is an ideal destination for adventure lovers and nature enthusiasts alike.
For those looking to explore further, a trek to Chopta via Devaria Tal and Dodital is recommended. It is one of the most popular treks in the region and offers breathtaking views of the snow-capped Himalayas.
10) Chorabari Glacier
Chorabari Glacier, located in the Kedarnath Valley of the Himalayas, is one of the most beautiful and spectacular natural attractions in the area. The glacier provides a stunning backdrop to the already impressive Kedarnath Temple, making it an ideal spot for photographers.
The glacier is known as “Gaumukh”, meaning “mouth of a cow”, due to its shape. It is believed that the Chorabari Glacier was formed when a large chunk of ice broke off from the Gangotri Glacier, which lies further down the valley. This huge chunk of ice eventually melted and created the Chorabari Glacier.
The glacier can be accessed by trekking up the Kedarnath Valley, which takes roughly two hours. Once you reach the glacier, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the nearby peaks, as well as a chance to witness the beauty of nature in all its glory. If you’re lucky enough, you may even catch sight of some rare species of animals or birds living in this pristine environment.
The glacier is also known for its therapeutic powers. Taking a dip in the icy cold water of the glacier is said to have healing properties and can help in treating several physical ailments. This makes it a popular destination for people seeking relief from various health issues.
So if you’re looking to explore one of the most spectacular natural attractions in Kedarnath, then a visit to the Chorabari Glacier should definitely be on your list!