Located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Kedarnath Temple is one of the most revered temples in Hinduism. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this holy shrine attracts millions of pilgrims every year who come to seek the blessings of the Lord and immerse themselves in the divine aura of the place. However, visiting Kedarnath Temple can be a daunting task, especially if it’s your first time. From the unpredictable weather to the long queues, there are many things to keep in mind before embarking on this spiritual journey. In this article, we will discuss the essential things to remember while visiting Kedarnath Temple to make your journey hassle-free and memorable.
Dress Code and Essential Items to Carry
One of the most critical things to remember while visiting Kedarnath Temple is to follow the dress code. Since it is a sacred place, visitors are expected to dress modestly and cover their heads. Here are some things you should keep in mind:
Dress Code for Men and Women
Men are advised to wear dhoti-kurta or pyjama-kurta, while women are encouraged to wear sarees or salwar kameez.
Visitors should avoid wearing jeans, shorts, skirts, and revealing clothes.
Wearing shoes is strictly prohibited inside the temple premises, so make sure to wear comfortable sandals or slippers.
Essential Items to Carry
Warm clothes: The temperature in Kedarnath can drop significantly, especially at night, so make sure to carry warm clothes such as jackets, shawls, and sweaters.
Raincoat: Since Kedarnath is situated in the Himalayas, the weather can be unpredictable, and it can rain anytime. Carrying a raincoat is a must to protect yourself from the rain.
Medicines: Due to the high altitude and extreme weather conditions, visitors may experience altitude sickness, cold, or fever. Carrying basic medicines like paracetamol, cough syrups, and nasal drops can come in handy.
Torch: The temple is situated in a remote area, and the electricity supply can be erratic. Carrying a torch can be useful, especially during the night.
Getting to Kedarnath Temple can be a challenging task, but with proper planning, it can be a smooth journey. Here are some travel tips to keep in mind:
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Kedarnath Temple is from May to June and September to November when the weather is pleasant and the temple is open for visitors. However, it is advisable to avoid the monsoon season (July-August) as the region experiences heavy rainfall, which can lead to landslides and roadblocks.
Mode of Transport
Helicopter: Visitors can book a helicopter ride from Dehradun or Phata to Kedarnath, which takes around 30 minutes.
Trekking: Trekking is the most popular mode of transport to Kedarnath Temple. Visitors can start their trek from Gaurikund, which is around 16 km from Kedarnath. The trek takes around 6-7 hours and can be strenuous, so it is advisable to take frequent breaks.
Accommodation and Food Options
There are several accommodation options available in Kedarnath, ranging from budget to luxury. Some of the popular options include:
Dharamshalas: These are basic accommodation options run by the temple authorities, and the rates are reasonable. However, visitors may have to share rooms with other pilgrims.
Guesthouses: There are several guesthouses in Kedarnath that offer basic amenities like clean rooms, hot water, and food.
Luxury Hotels: For those looking for luxury, there are several hotels in Kedarnath that offer amenities like hot water, room service, and Wi-Fi.
There are several food options available in Kedarnath, ranging from local to continental cuisine. Some of the popular options include:
Prasad: Visitors can offer prayers at the temple and receive prasad, which is a holy offering of food. It is believed to be blessed by the Lord and is considered a divine meal.
Local Cuisine: Visitors can try the local cuisine, which includes dishes like Rajma Chawal, Aloo Poori, and Kadhi Chawal.
Continental Cuisine: For those looking for international cuisine, there are several restaurants in Kedarnath that offer continental dishes like pasta, pizza, and sandwiches.
Visiting Kedarnath Temple is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that offers a glimpse into the rich spiritual and cultural heritage of India. However, it is essential to keep in mind the things mentioned above to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey. With proper planning and preparation, visitors can make the most of their trip to Kedarnath and create memories that will last a lifetime.