Kedarnath Temple Closing Date 2019, Timings, Aarti, and History

Kedarnath Temple Video – Full Journey

Kedarnath Temple Opening and Closing Date 2019: Kedarnath temple opened on Thursday, May 9 on the eve of Akshaya Tritiya and closes on Tuesday, October 29 on the eve of Kartik Purnima. Kedarnath is closed during winter and the idol is worshipped in Ukhimath.

Kedarnath Temple Timings: The temple remains open daily between 04:00 am to 09:00 pm. There is a break in darshan between 03:00 pm to 05:00 pm. Kedarnath is open only for 6 months a year due to extreme weather conditions. Best time to visit: May and June.

Kedarnath Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is located in the state of Uttarakhand. Kedarnath Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. The main deity of the temple is Kedareshwar. The temple is also a part of Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand.

This guide explains the significance of Kedarnath Temple, darshan timings, aarti timings, pooja timings, opening and closing dates for 2019, history of the temple and how to reach Kedarnath.

Kedarnath Temple Facts
Temple Timings4:00 am to 3:00 pm. 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Rudrabhishek Timings4:00 am to 7:00 am. Rs.1300 per person
Opening Date9-May-2019 (Akshaya Tritiya)
Closing Date29-October-2019 (Kartik Purnima)
Time Taken for DarshanMay and June: 4 hours. July-October: 1 hour
Entry FeeFree. VIP Darshan: Rs.2500 per person
Best Time to VisitMay, June, September, October
Kedarnath Darshan by HelicopterRs.8,000 per person to and fro
RegistrationBio-metric registration in Rishikesh
Nearest AirportDehradun

Here are some other useful articles if you are planning on visiting Kedarnath temple:

Frequently asked questions about Kedarnath Temple

When should we visit Kedarnath Temple?

It is best to go in the opening months of May to June and in the closing months of September to November. Avoid going during the monsoon months of July to September.  There are chances of landslides and floods in monsoon.

Is Kedarnath open now?

Kedarnath temple opens every year in April/May and closes in Oct/Nov. The dates for 2019 are 9 May 2019 to 29 Oct 2019.

How much time does it take from Gaurikund to Kedarnath?

It depends on the way of trekking. If you go by foot it takes approx. 5 to 8 hours. If you go on horse/mule, it takes around 4 hours. If you go on a palki, it takes around 5 hours.

Can I visit Kedarnath in March?

No, Kedarnath temple opens in the month of April/May. So it is not good to go in March.

Is Kedarnath open in April?

No. Kedarnath usually opens in May and closes in October.

How can I go to Kedarnath Temple?

If you are coming from abroad, Delhi is most connected. By rail, Haridwar is best. From there you have to travel by road to reach Sitapur. From Sitapur, you have to either trek or take a helicopter to reach Kedarnath.

How can I go to Kedarnath from Badrinath?

There are no flights or trains between Kedarnath to Badrinath. The convenient way to reach from Kedarnath to Badrinath is to take a taxi or tour bus.

Can we go to Kedarnath by car?

Yes, you can go to Kedarnath by car. However, it is not recommended to do so. Find out why?

How far is Kedarnath from Rishikesh?

If you are going on the helicopter, the aerial distance is 105 km. However, the road distance is 226 km.

Does Kedarnath have snow?

Yes, Snowfall occurs in Kedarnath in the months of November to March. However, there are chances of snowfall in the summer season too.

Can we visit the Kedarnath temple in November?

No, Kedarnath temple closes in the month of November usually around Diwali. So one should be careful with the date of their trip.

What is the altitude of Kedarnath?

Kedarnath temple is the highest (3583 meters) among the 12 Jyotirlingas.

How old is Kedarnath?

Kedarnath’s history dates back to many centuries. It is not certain who built the temple originally. It has also been renovated a lot of times. Read full history.

Who founded Kedarnath?

Some say Raja Bhoj of Malwa built the temple while another theory is that the temple was built in the eighth century by Adi Shankaracharya. There is also a legend that Pandavas built the temple.

Which God is in Kedarnath?

Kedarnath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The main deity of the temple is Kedareshwar.

Is Kedarnath temple destroyed in flood?

No, the temple was not destroyed because of its great construction. Although the temple upholds the force of floods, the surrounding area was destroyed resulting in the death of hundreds of pilgrims and locals. 

Which river flows in Kedarnath?

Mandakini originates from the Chorabari Glacier near Kedarnath. Mandakini joins Alaknanda at Rudraprayag. Alaknanda proceeds towards Devaprayag and joins with the Bhagirathi River to form the Ganga river.

Kedarnath Temple destroyed in floods of 2013
Kedarnath Temple destroyed in floods of 2013

Kedarnath Temple Timings

The temple remains open daily between 04:00 am to 09:00 pm. There is a break in darshan between 03:00 pm to 05:00 pm. Kedarnath is open only for 6 months a year due to extreme weather conditions. Best time to visit: May and June.

Here are the Kedarnath temple darshan timings and pooja timings:

Day Timing
Monday 4:00 am – 3:00 pm
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Tuesday 4:00 am – 3:00 pm
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Wednesday 4:00 am – 3:00 pm
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Thursday 4:00 am – 3:00 pm
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Friday 4:00 am – 3:00 pm
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Saturday 4:00 am – 3:00 pm
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Sunday 4:00 am – 3:00 pm
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Kedarnath Temple Timings
Timings4:00 am to 3:00 pm (Morning Darshan)
5:00 pm to 9:00 pm (Evening Darshan)
Opening Date9-May-2019 (Akshaya Tritiya)
Closing Date29-October-2019 (Karthik Purnima)
Time Taken for Darshan3-4 hours in May-June, 1 hour in July-October
VIP DarshanRs.3500 per person
PoojasRudrabhishek, Mahabhishek

What are the sevas and poojas at Kedarnath Temple?

The Shiva linga here is worshipped in a religious manner. Poojas and sevas are performed at the temple twice a day. Here are the different kinds of sevas and poojas that take place inside the Kedarnath temple.

Ukhimath Winter Home of Kedarnath
Devotees Bringing the Idol of Kedarnath from Winter Home Ukhimath

Morning Sevas: The below poojas are performed in the morning between 4:00 AM to 7:00 AM.

  1. Mahabhishek– This seva can take place between 4:30 AM – 6:30 AM.
  2. Rudrabhishek – The pooja is for Lord Shiva in the form of Rudra. The puja wipes out all sins and purifies the atmosphere. It also removes all sorts of bad planetary effects.
  3. Laghurudrabhishek – This Abhishek resolves issues related to health and wealth. It also removes the bad effects of planets in the horoscope.
  4. Shodasopachar Pooja – There are sixteen traditional steps that are performed in this Pooja. Each of these steps expresses admiration towards God by its devotees.

Evening Sevas:  The below poojas are performed in the evening between 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM.

  1. Sahasranamam Path – The priests recite the 1008 names of Lord Shiva in front of the Linga. The Priest also does Abhishekam then.
  2. Mahimastotra Path – The Stotram is a Sanskrit composition originally composed by Pushpadanta. This composition praises Lord Shiva.
  3. Thandavastotra Path – There are stotrams containing 16 syllables per stotra. They describe Lord Shiva’s power and beauty to the common man.
  4. Sampurna Aarti – This aarti takes place from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM. The name itself is suggesting it is a complete aarti of Kedareshwar.

People can have the darshan at Kedarnath temple at free of cost. There is also VIP darshan available at Rs.3500 per person. Devotees can also do some special poojas or aartis. For this, they can deposit a specific amount in the trust of the temple.

What is the history of the Kedarnath temple?

Kedarnath Temple’s history dates back to many centuries. The name “Kedarnath” means “the lord of the field“. It is derived from the Sanskrit language ‘Kedara’ meaning fields and ‘Natha’ meaning lord. According to mythology, Lord Shiva agreed to live here at the request of Nara-Narayana.

After the Kurukshetra War, the Pandava brothers came here on the advice of sage Vyasa. They wanted to meet Shiva to seek forgiveness for killing their brothers. But, Shiva did not want to forgive them. Hence, he turned into a bull and hid among the cattle on the hills.

Pandavas Brothers Seeking Forgiveness from Shiva
Pandavas Brothers Seeking Forgiveness from Shiva

When the Pandavas tracked him, he again hid by sinking his head in the ground. One of the brothers pulled his tail and war occurred then. The head of the bull landed in the location of Rudranath. The parts of Shiva’s body landed at four other locations.

These locations are collectively known as the Five Kedars (“Panch Kedar“). This forced Shiva to appear before the Pandavas and forgive them. Lord Shiva then turned himself into a Jyotirlinga and established himself at Kedarnath.

Another reference to Kedarnath occurs in the Skanda Purana. It contains mythology describing the origin of the Ganga river. According to which, Kedarnath is the place where Shiva released the holy water from his knotted hair. That holy water was river Ganga and it is flowing there since that time. It is also said that monuments marking the death place of Adi Shankara are located at Kedarnath.

Best Season to visit Kedarnath

Why is Kedarnath popular?

Kedarnath temple is highest among the twelve Jyotirlingas. It is situated at a height of 3583 meters. This makes the temple more famous to its followers. The word ‘Jyotirlinga’ means that the Linga of Lord Shiva is self-manifested. He himself turned into the Linga there.

The temple is also one of the temples forming the 275 temples of the Paadal Petra Sthalams. These temples were admired in the verses of Saiva Nayanars (hounds of Shiva ). They are considered as powerful Shiva Temples in the world.

The temple is also a part of Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand. The other three are Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. Gaurikund which is 18 km away from Kedarnath has its own history. It is believed that Shiva cut the head of Ganesha at this place. He later replaced it with an elephant’s head.

Unlike other Jyotirlingas, the way to Kedarnath is not easy and is actually rough and hard to walk. Still, thousands of pilgrims come here every year.

Poojas like Mahabhishek and Rudrabhishek are attended by hundreds of followers. Also, a lot of people worldwide come here to celebrate the popular festivals and utsava. Besides the Kedarnath Temple, the Panch Kedar Temples are also trekked by a lot of pilgrims.

What is inside the Kedarnath Temple?

The temple is built of large-sized rocks on a rectangular platform. It has a Garbhagriha (sanctum) and a Mandapam. Words in Pali language is inscribed on the steps leading to sanctum. Mandapam consists of statues of the Pandavas, Lord Krishna, Draupadi, and Virbhadra. A big Nandi statue of stone is also present opposite to the main shrine.

Shivalinga in Kedarnath Temple
Shivalinga in Kedarnath Temple
Nandi Statute at Kedarnath
Nandi Statute at Kedarnath

What to wear while going to Kedarnath?

Kedarnath temple is situated in the cold valleys of the Himalayas. The weather is cold throughout the year. Rainfalls and snowfalls often occur there. Hence, one should wear proper winter clothes with mufflers and gloves. An umbrella is also a must to carry.

There is a lack of oxygen on the hills too. Hence, people having short breath should also carry the necessary things with them.

Wear woolens in Kedarnath
Wear woolens in Kedarnath

What are the festivals celebrated here?

Some of the festivals celebrated at Kedarnath temple are:

  1. Badri – Kedar Utsav – The temple usually organizes this festival in June. The festival lasts for 8 days. Artists from all over Uttarakhand come together to show their musical talent. They dedicate their music to Lord Vishnu as well as Lord Shiva.
  2. Shravani Annakoot Mela – This is organized a day before the Raksha Bandhan festival. The priests do Pooja by covering the entire Jyotirlinga with rice. Later, They distribute the rice as Prasad to the devotees.
  3. Samadhi Pooja – A grand Pooja is done on the Samadhi of the great Sri Adi Shankaracharya every year. Also, on this day, the Kedarnath Temple closes.

How to reach Kedarnath Temple?

  • Air –The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. It is 238 km away from the Temple town.
  • Train – The nearest railway station is Rishikesh. It is 216 km from Kedarnath.
  • Road – One can board buses from Dehradun, Rishikesh, and Haridwar. Buses are also available from Pauri, Tehri, Srinagar, and Chamoli.
Helicoper Services in Kedarnath Temple
Helicopter Services in Kedarnath Temple
Horse facility  in Kedarnath Temple
Horse facility in Kedarnath Temple
Things to keep during Kedarnath Trek

Where to stay near Kedarnath temple?

Some of the places where one can stay near Kedarnath while undertaking the Char Dham Yatra are:

  1. The Kedar Dev’s: The hotel offers facilities like front desk and room service. In any medical emergency doctor on call facility is also available. The hotel staff ensures the fulfillment of all the needs of its guests.
  2. Narayan Palace Hotel: The hotel offers comfortable accommodation in 46 well-furnished rooms. It has 20 Deluxe rooms, 4 Super Deluxe rooms, and 4 Suites. The rooms have satellite television and heaters. The washrooms have 24 hours supply of hot and cold water.
  3. Jagirdar Guest House: It offers tented accommodation and a budget stay. Guests can enjoy the breath-taking views of the great Himalayas from their windows. Its also gives pick-up facility and guides on request. Guests can also avail of delicious food at the in-house restaurant.

What are some of the temples nearby?

Some of the temples near Kedarnath temple are:

  1. Omkareshwar Temple, Ukhimath – This place is the winter home of Lord Kedareshwar. It is also the year-round home of Lord Omkareshwar. During winters, the Kedarnath temple is closed for 6 months. The idol of Lord Shiva is taken to Omkareshwar temple at that time. Here, priests do regular poojas for the next 6 months.
  2. Triyuginarayan temple – This temple is only 25 km away from Kedarnath. It is near Gaurikund and Sonprayag. Devotees believe that Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati at this place. Lord Vishnu was also present at this ceremony.
  3. Kalimath Temple – The temple is located on route to Kedarnath. It is 20 km away from Ukhimath. According to legends, Goddess Kali killed the demon Raktbeej here. After that, she went underground at this spot. A silver plate covers the spot where Kali supposedly entered the ground.
  4. The Panch Kedar Temples – There are 5 temples under Panch Kedar journey. One of them is Kedarnath. The other 4 are Madhyamaheshwar, Rudranath, Tungnath, and Kalpeshwar. These temples can only be trekked by pilgrims. Trekking routes are available from areas such as Ukhimath, Uniana, and Rudraprayag.
Panch Kedar Yatra 2019
Panch Kedar Yatra 2019

9 thoughts on “Kedarnath Temple Closing Date 2019, Timings, Aarti, and History”

  1. S. Udaya Shankar

    No where it is mentioned about the probable time taken for darshan- no doubt the size of the crowd is the main factor . Further no mention is made of availability of special darshan tickets.

    1. Sasidhar Darla

      It totally depends on the crowd. During the month of May and first half of June it will take around 3 hours. During July-October it will take less than an hour. VIP Darshan tickets are available at a cost of Rs.3500 per person. They can be purchased directly from the temple committee.

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