Top things to do in Kedarnath temple – A spiritual guide

The beautiful state of Uttarakhand is home to a 1200-year-old place of worship of the Hindu God, Shiva. The holy place, known as Kedarnath Temple, is one of the Char Dhams. If you’re planning on going on a road trip to explore this enchanting destination, you can enhance your journey by booking a chauffeur-driven car with Savaari from Dehradun. This allows you to enjoy the scenic routes and immerse yourself in the tranquility and historical significance of Kedarnath Temple. The thrilling trek to reach the temple only adds to the overall magnetism of this revered site.

Table of Contents

  1. About Kedarnath temple
  2.  Kedarnath Temple Darshan timings
  3. Kedarnath Temple dress code
  4. Sevas and poojas at Kedarnath temple
  5. Kedarnath temple entry fee and pooja charges
  6. Kedarnath temple festivals
  7. Other attractions near Kedarnath temple
  8. How to plan a trip to Kedarnath temple
  9. Hotels and Resorts near Kedarnath temple
  10. Nearby road trips from Kedarnath

About Kedarnath Temple

Uttarakhand is the home to a 1200-year-old beautiful place of worship, the Kedarnath Temple. The sanctity and the overwhelming sense of peace that this site offers has made it one of the most sought after places in the state. The place has always attracted people looking for peace and a spiritual experience. The feeling of trekking to the highest-placed jyotirlinga just adds enough drama to the place to allure people looking for some thrill.

Deity of Kedarnath temple

The temple is famous for the Sadashiva form of Lord Shiva, manifested as the hump of the Nandi Avatar of the Hindu God. One of the 12 Jyotirlingas, Kedarnath is also one of the four significant sites that have always been pulling pilgrims towards them – Gangotri, Badrinath, Yamunotri, and Chota Char Dham. The temple also worships idols of Parvati, Nandi, the Pandavas, Draupadi, and Veerabhrada. 

Where is Kedarnath temple located?

Resting in the heart of Uttarakhand, Kedarnath Temple is located near the Mandakini river, on the Himalayan range called Rudraprayag, Garhwal.

History of Kedarnath temple

The origin of the Kedarnath Temple can be traced back to the second century. There are claims that Bhoj of Malwa was the one who first started the construction of the temple. Others believe that it was built by the Pandavas after the Mahabharatha when they were in the Himalayas looking for forgiveness from Lord Shiva for all the war sins that were committed during the Mahabharatha. 

Lord Shiva couldn’t forgive the sins of the war and was trying to avoid meeting the Pandavas. He then took sanctuary in the same spot as the Kedarnath Temple. When the Pandavas found him, Lord Shiva was in his Nandi avatar (the bull) and dove into the ground leaving only his hump behind. The hump is now worshipped in the Sadashiva form. While the origin information about temple might be debatable, its significance in the rich history of the country is not. 

[Also read: Char Dham Yatra road trip guide]

Best time to visit Kedarnath

Best time to visit Kedarnath Temple is during the summer season. Due to the high altitude location of the Temple, the weather is usually freezing, so much so that the temple is closed for about sin months in a year. One should avoid winters and monsoons while planning a trip to the temple. The ideal time to visit Kedarnath is from May to June and then again from September to October if you don’t mind it being a little chilly. 

Interesting Facts about Kedarnath

  • The shiva lingam at the Kedarnath temple is triangular which is very different from the other lingams which are cylindrical in shape.
  • Kedarnath Temple is closed for 6 months of the year due to extreme temperatures that make it inaccessible. During this time the idol of the deity is moved to Omkareshwar Temple and is worshipped there for those six months.
  • The date of opening of Kedarnath Temple is based on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya or Akshaya Teej and is announced every year on the day of Mahashivratri. 
  • Research has shown that Kedarnath Temple was buried under snow for around 400 years during the Little Ice Age. 
  • Even though the temple is so old and the courtyard is just big enough to survive heavy rainfall, it has survived many natural calamities. The most recent one being in 2013 when a flood destroyed everything around the temple but the temple was saved. People believe that it is Lord Shiva himself who protects the temple. 
  • Surprisingly enough, though the temple is located in Uttarakhand, the mantras are chanted in the Kannada language in the temple. Not only this, the head priest of the temple has always been from the Rawal clan of Karnataka. 
  • It is believed that the head of the idol of Lord Shiva is in Doleshwarmahadev Temple in Nepal. 
  • It is believed that Kedarnath ji is protected by the Bhairo Nath temple. It is required to visit the Bhairo Nath Temple on the occasion of the opening and closing of the Kedarnath Temple. 

Kedarnath temple darshan timings

Temple in India

The temple is open from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The ritual cycle takes place twice- morning and evening. The temple is closed for recess from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. You can book the tickets online by following this link. 

Entry fee: Free

Morning rituals: 4 a.m. to 3 p.m

Break: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Evening aarti: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Kedarnath Temple dress code

There is no strict dress code for this temple, but it is advised to dress modestly. You will see most devotees wearing shirts and trousers, dhotis and something to cover the upper bodies, if they are biological men. For females, the preferred dress code is a saree or a kurta. It is advisable to refrain from wearing short tops in the premises of the temple. One should pack winter-friendly clothes even during the summer months. 

Sevas and poojas at Kedarnath temple

The following is a list of rituals performed in Kedarnath Temple.

Morning Pujas
Mahabhishek Puja₹8,500
Rudrabhishek Puja₹6,500
Laghurudrabhishek Puja ₹5,500
Shodashopachaar Puja₹5,000
Ashtopachaar Puja₹850
Panchopachaar Puja₹850
Evening Pujas
Shiv Ashtotari Path₹900
Shiv Sehashtranaam Path₹1,800
Shiv Nmawali₹1,800
Shiv Mahimanstrotam Path₹1,800
Shiv Tandav Strotam Path₹1,700
Shiv Parakshamastrotam Path₹1,800

Kedarnath temple entry fee and pooja charges:

The temple is open from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. The ritual cycle takes place twice- morning and evening. The temple is closed for recess from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Although entry is free for all pilgrims, there are charges to attend the pujas and rituals performed by the priests. One can also choose to pre-book slots for the rituals. There are special provisions to attend all the rituals of the evening aarti for ₹2,500. 

“I had taken a trip with my mother who is very devoted to Lord Shiva. This was the first time I had taken her on a trip with my salary. When I saw the prices for all the pujas, my heart sank. It cost about ₹40,000 if we wanted to attend all the pujas. Luckily, our driver told us that there was a special provision to book for the entire day at just ₹26,000. I saved so much!”

-Megha Chandran

Kedarnath temple opening date 2023

The opening date for the Kedarnath temple visit is announced every year on the auspicious day of Mahashivaratri. This year, the temple will be open for devotees starting from the Akshaya Tritiya, which falls on 25th April. The Kedarnath yatra, which is considered one of the holiest pilgrimages in Hinduism, will continue until 14th November 2023, giving devotees ample time to pay their respects at the temple.

Kedarnath temple festivals

visitors in temple
  • Vinayaka Chaturthi: A festival that is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over the country, Ganesha devotees make it a point to visit the shrine dedicated to his father, Lord Shiva. Each year, on the auspicious day of Ganesh Chaturthi devotees, are drawn to the Kedarnath Temple to pay their respects.
  • Samadhi Puja: This ritual takes place on the last day of the Kedarnath Temple. The Samadhi Puja takes place in the Shankaracharya Temple which is right behind the main Kedarnath Temple, and after this ritual, the shutter is closed and won’t open for another six months. The beautiful scenery accompanied by soulful music, lights, and processions makes for the perfect reason to be here. 
  • Shravani Annakoot Mela: The organizers of the fair hold it one day before Raksha Bandhan to mark the local harvest time in the region. On this colorful occasion, they offer the harvest to the deity’s feet, which they call “Prasadam,” and decorate the Jyotirlinga with a paste made from the harvest. Kedarnath is a treat for the eyes during the Mela. 
  • Badri Kedar festival: The month of June is the best time to visit Kedarnath especially if you have a love of the heritage, arts, and culture of the majestic state of Uttarakhand. During this 8-day-long affair artists from all over the state come together to showcase their talents. There is music, art, color, and culture dripping from the streets of Kedar during this time. 
  • Diwali: Diwali in Kedarnath is something that every Shiva worshipper should experience at least once in their lifetime. The place is decorated with colorful flowers in the daytime, and a minimum of 5000 diyas glow in the darkness of the night. Every corner of the beautiful place is full of hope and glimmer. One might even be lucky enough to spend Diwali with some very famous people here too. 

Driver suggested places to visit near Kedarnath temple

  • Trekking: For adrenaline junkies, Kedarnath holds a very rewarding trekking experience at 3,584 meters above sea level. There are various routes for this trek and one can choose a route according to their needs and abilities like the Chopta- Tunganath- Chandrashila trek. 
  • The Tals of Kedarnath: Vasuki Tal and Chobari Tal are places that allow one to soak in the gorgeousness of the Himalayas and bring in a sense of being at peace like no other place. Just sitting near these places is nothing short of an out-of-body experience. 
  • Bhairavnath Temple: Located just 500 meters away is the believed guardian of the temple. The Bhairavnath temple is a must-visit site for any devotee.Bhairavnath scares the demons away with a Trishul as the weapon and uses a dog as his savaari.
  • Chandrashila: Another abode for thrill lovers, Chandrashila is open for 10 months of the year. It has a wide range of trekking and skiing options. It is located 3679 m above sea level. 
Reliable and safe cabs for Dehradun

Driver suggested places to eat in Kedarnath

Kedarnath is a place that suffers extreme weather conditions, due to this the places to eat are very basic but as soon as you sit in a place surrounded by the majestic range of the Himalayas, all food starts to taste divine. Just sitting in these places and getting a warm meal is definitely worth adding to things to do in the temple.

  • Mayadeep Resort, Chopta, Okhimath-Gopeshwar Road, Duggal Bittha, Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand, 246469
  • Hariyali Restaurant, Main Badrinath Highway, Gulabrai (Near Police Check Post on Kedarnath Bypass Merging Point), Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand, 246171
  • Chauhan Guest House, Gumkhal Silogi Rishikesh Road, Gumkhal, Uttarakhand, 246128
  • Magpie Restaurant, Dugalbitta, Rudraprayag, Chopta, Uttarakhand, 246469
  • Saket Restaurant, Badrinath Temple Access Path, Badrinath, Uttarakhand, 246422

How to plan a trip to Kedarnath temple

Himalayan range

Kedarnath Temple is open for only a few months of the year due to extremely cold temperatures. Because of this, we advise you to plan your trip in the summer months. If possible, one should also try to time their trip during the festivals so that they can have a more rounded trip. Adventure lovers should try to keep at least 3 days in hand for this trip as there are a lot of fun things to do near Kedarnath Temple.

How to reach Kedarnath

By Train

The nearest railway station is in Rishikesh which is about 200 km from Gaurikund. Rishikesh railway station is well connected to the northern part of the country. You can drive down or book a cab from Rishikesh to Gaurikund

By Road

Gaurikund is well connected by motorable roads, and you can find a lot of buses from various parts of Uttarakhand. You can also drive down or book a cab to reach Kedarnath Temple from Delhi, Rishikesh, Haridwar or Dehradun.

By Flight

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport which is 35 km from Dehradun and 235 km from Gaurikund. If you’re traveling from very far away, then you may book a flight to this airport. From Jolly Grant Airport you can take a bus or book a cab to Gaurikund.  

You can also choose to book a helicopter ride from Gaurikund to Kedarnath and strike off another element from your bucket list. 

Hotels and Resorts near Kedarnath temple

Because the Kedarnath temple is inaccessible by road, we advise pilgrims to stay in nearby towns such as Sitapur and Sonprayag.

Stay Address Phone number
GMVN Cottages GMVN COTTAGES, Kedarnath, Uttarakhand 246445 N/A
Agrabhawan Kedarnath Old Agrabhawan Kedarnath near  Kedarnath temple 9897646171
Hotel Trishul P3M8+VPH, Kedarnath, Bypass Marg, Mandla N/A

Nearby road trips from Kedarnath

Destination Distance  Duration
Gaurikund to Rishikesh 208 km 6 hrs 
Gaurikund to Dehradun 245 km 7 hrs
Gaurikund to Haridwar 228 km 7hrs
Shimla 541 km 14 hrs

Useful links:

Last Updated on January 17, 2024 by Swati Deol

A quick summary
Mystic Peaks of Devotion - Things to do in Kedarnath Temple
Article Name
Mystic Peaks of Devotion - Things to do in Kedarnath Temple
Plan your perfect trip to Kedarnath with our list of things to do in Kedarnath temple. Our guide will help you make the most of your visit.
Savaari car rental

About the author

Being a passionate wanderer and storyteller, Aarushi's love for exploration began during her childhood adventures across India. With a background in teaching, she crafts narratives that intertwine cultural insights she learned and observed with travel experiences. Her articles reflect a deep connection to heritage and an insatiable curiosity about India's diverse landscapes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.