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. This temple is the highest (3583 meters) among the 12 Jyotirlingas. 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, history of the temple and how to reach Kedarnath.
|Kedarnath Temple Facts|
|Temple Timings||4:00 am to 3:00 pm. 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm|
|Rudrabhishek Timings||4:00 am to 7:00 am. Rs.1300 per person|
|Opening Date||9-May-2019 (Akshaya Tritiya)|
|Closing Date||29-October-2019 (Karthik Purnima)|
|Time Taken for Darshan||May and June: 4 hours. July-October: 1 hour|
|Entry Fee||Free. VIP Darshan: Rs.2500 per person|
|Best Time to Visit||May, June, September, October|
|Kedarnath Darshan by Helicopter||Rs.8,000 per person to and fro|
|Registration||Bio-metric registration in Rishikesh|
Here are some other useful articles if you are planning on visiting Kedarnath temple:
- Best Time to Visit Kedarnath
- Things to Carry during Kedarnath Yatra
- Can I visit Kedarnath during Monsoon?
Kedarnath Temple remains open only for six months a year due to extreme winters. The temple opens on the day of Akshaya Tritiya in May. It closes on the eve of Karthik Purnima in October. After that in winters, priests carry the idol to Ukhimath and worship there for the next 6 months till the onset of spring.
Here are the opening and closing dates of Kedarnath Temple in 2019:
Kedarnath Temple Opening Date in 2019: 09 May, 2019
Kedarnath Temple Closing Date in 2019: 29 October, 2019 (Tentative)
Frequently asked questions about 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.
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.
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.
No, Kedarnath temple opens in the month of April/May. So it is not good to go in March.
No. Kedarnath usually opens in May and closes in October.
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.
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.
Yes, you can go to Kedarnath by car. However, it is not recommended to do so. Find out why?
If you are going on the helicopter, the aerial distance is 105 km. However, the road distance is 226 km.
Yes, Snowfall occurs in Kedarnath in the months of November to March. However, there are chances of snowfall in summer season too.
No, Kedarnath temple closes in the month of November usually around Diwali. So one should be careful with the date of their trip.
Kedarnath temple is the highest (3583 meters) among the 12 Jyotirlingas.
Kedarnath 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.
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.
Kedarnath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The main deity of the temple is Kedareshwar.
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.
Mandakini originates from the Chorabari Glacier near Kedarnath. Mandakini joins Alaknanda at Rudraprayag. Alaknanda proceeds towards Devaprayag and joins with Bhagirathi River to form Ganga river.
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:
|Kedarnath Temple Timings|
|Timings||4:00 am to 3:00 pm (Morning Darshan) |
5:00 pm to 9:00 pm (Evening Darshan)
|Opening Date||9-May-2019 (Akshaya Tritiya)|
|Closing Date||29-October-2019 (Karthik Purnima)|
|Time Taken for Darshan||3-4 hours in May-June, 1 hour in July-October|
|VIP Darshan||Rs.3500 per person|
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.
Morning Sevas: The below poojas are performed in the morning between 4:00 AM to 7:00 AM.
- Mahabhishek– This seva can take place between 4:30 AM – 6:30 AM.
- 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.
- Laghurudrabhishek – This Abhishek resolves issues related to health and wealth. It also removes the bad effects of planets in the horoscope.
- 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.
- Sahasranamam Path – The priests recite the 1008 names of Lord Shiva in front of the Linga. The Priest also does Abhishekam then.
- Mahimastotra Path – The Stotram is a Sanskrit composition originally composed by Pushpadanta. This composition praises Lord Shiva.
- Thandavastotra Path – There are stotrams containing 16 syllables per stotra. They describe Lord Shiva’s power and beauty to the common man.
- 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 Kedarnath temple?
Kedarnath Temple 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
What are the festivals celebrated here?
Some of the festivals celebrated at Kedarnath temple are:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Where to stay near Kedarnath temple?
Some of the places where one can stay near Kedarnath while undertaking the Char Dham Yatra are:
- 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 fulfilment of all the needs of its guests.
- 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.
- Jagirdar Guest House: It offers tented accommodation and a budget stay. Guest can enjoy the breath-taking views of the great Himalayas from their windows. Its also gives pick-up facility and guides on request. Guest can also avail delicious food at the in-house restaurant.
What are some of the temples nearby?
Some of the temples near Kedarnath temple are:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.