Kedarnath trek is a remote trek that starts at Gaurikund, which is the base camp of the trek. It is a moderate-level trek and can be embarked on by even novice trekkers without any prior experience. The Kedarnath trek distance is 16 km and you will need to trek for 5 to 6 hours to reach the Kedarnath base camp at an altitude of 3583 m. Trekkers who are not accustomed to long journeys and high altitudes may find it difficult to complete the trek. Hence reasonably good physical fitness is required for this trek.
Experience the incredible natural beauty as you journey from Rishikesh to Sonpragyag. The first base camp of the Kedarnath trekking is at Gaurikund, which offers a magnificent range of himalayan range which can be explored by a jeep or shuttle feeling spellbound looking at the surroundings.
The trek from Gaurikund will start the next day and for 5 to 6 hours you will be captivated with the beauty of the surrounding mountains, running streams and greenery. See the tips of the snow covered mountains which will become more and more visible with your ascend. Witness the peaceful energy as you get to see the famous Kedar Nath Temple as your top destination. Get blessings from one of the temples of the Chota Char Dham of Uttarakhand which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. There will be several points on the way where you will be able to make a stop including Jungle Chatti, Bheem Bali, Linchauli and finally Kedarnath Base camp.
Kedarnath Trek Maximum Altitude: 3583 m
Kedarnath Trek Duration: From Gaurikund to Kedarnath: 7 to 8 hours
Trekking distance: From Gaurikund to Kedarnath: 16 km
Trail type: Medium to steep
Railhead: Nearest Railway station is Rishikesh Railway station, 221 km from Kedarnath
Airport: Jolly Grant Airport, near Dehradun, about 239 km from Kedarnath.
Snow Season: November to April
Service from: Delhi
Base camp: Gaurikund
Best season: Summer (April to June)
Region: Garhwal Himalayan range near the Mandakini river, in the state of Uttarakhand, India.
Who can participate: Anyone who is physically fit can participate as there is no prior experience that is required for this trek.
Day 1: Arrival in Delhi
Day 2: Travel from Delhi to Haridwar (By Train - 217.6 km)
Day 3: Drive from Haridwar to Guptkashi (Altitude 1,319 m) (By Road - 203.5 km)
Day 4: Travel from Guptkashi (Altitude 1,319 m) to Gaurikund (Altitude 1982 m) and then Trek to Kedarnath (Altitude 3583 m) (By Road - 15.3 km & Trek - 14 km)
Day 5: Trek to Vasukital( Altitude 4,135 m) (Trek - 8 km) and Back to Kedarnath(Altitude 3583 m) (Trek - 8 km)
Day 6: Trek to Gaurikund (Altitude 3583 m) (Trek - 14 km) - Drive to Rudraprayag (Altitude 690 m) (Drive - 41.2 km)
Day 7: Drive back to Rishikesh (By Road - 141.7 km)
Day 8: Travel back to Delhi
Arrival in Delhi
Your Kedarnath trek will start as soon as you arrive at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi.
You will be transferred to your hotel in a spacious and comfortable vehicle.
Check in for the night and take a rest in the hotel after enjoying a delicious dinner.
Travel from Delhi to Haridwar by train
Distance: 217.6 km
Duration: 6 hours and 20 minutes
On the second day of your Kedarnath trekking trip, you will need to wake up early in the morning and check out of your Delhi hotel after having a sumptuous breakfast.
You will be taken to the railway station in a comfortable vehicle and board the train for Haridwar.
Enjoy the journey to Haridwar for 6.5 hours and arrive at the Haridwar railway station.
You will find yourself heading towards your place of accommodation in a spacious and comfortable car.
Spend the evening exploring the local attractions of the town at a leisure pace on your own.
Return to the hotel to have a delicious dinner in the night.
Drive from Haridwar to Guptkashi
Altitude: 1,319 m
Distance: 203.5 km
Duration: 6 hours and 20 minutes
Start your day 3 with a hearty breakfast and then check out of your Haridwar hotel.
You will be proceeding towards Guptkashi by road. You will be traveling 203.5 km via National Highway 7.
Reach Guptkashi after 6 hours and 20 minutes and check-in your hotel.
Freshen up, spend some time exploring the city and then enjoy a scrumptious dinner, and rest overnight at your hotel.
Travel from Guptkashi (Altitude 1,319 m) to Gaurikund (Altitude 1982 m) and then Trek to Kedarnath (Altitude 3583 m)
Altitude: 1,319 m to 1982 m to 3583 m
Distance: By Road - 15.3 km & Trek - 14 km
Duration: By Road - 1 hr 12 min & Trek - 6 hours
Start your morning with a delicious breakfast and feel energized to start the most important day of your trekking tour when you will finally trek to Kedarnath dham.
Check out of your hotel and proceed on your journey to the base camp of the Kedarnath trek, Gaurikund from where you will proceed to Kedarnath temple located at an altitude of 3583 m.
Ensure you start on time to reach there on time as trekkers are only allowed between 4:00 AM to 1:30 PM.
The Kedarnath trek distance is 16 km and will take you 5 to 6 hours to reach.
Carry your packed lunch and start your trek.
Your 1st stop will be Jungle Chatti at 4 km from Gaurikund which you will reach after trekking through the Rambara Bridge.
Take a break to enjoy the stunning view before you continue for another 3 km to reach Bheembali.
Your scenic journey to Bheembali will include a magnificent view of snow-covered mountains and temple walls.
Continue on Kedarnath trekking for 4 km more to reach Linchauli and take a break and enjoy the stunning mountain view.
Next, proceed towards Kedarnath base camp which is at a distance of 4 km from Linchauli and located at an altitude of 3583 m.
From this location, you will be able to watch the panoramic view of the valley, where you can enjoy the tranquil ambience of the place and explore the lush surroundings.
Reach Kedarnath and stay overnight at the hotel after a mouthwatering dinner.
Trek to Vasukital( Altitude 4,135 m) (Trek - 8 km) and Back to Kedarnath(Altitude 3583 m) (Trek - 8 km)
Altitude: 3583 m to 4,135 m
Distance: 8 km
Duration: 5 -6 hours one way
Start your morning with the breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains and get ready for visiting one of the famous temples of India. Visit the temple to offer your prayers and receive Lord Kedarnath’s blessings.
Carry your packed lunch and start your picturesque trek to Vasuki Tal.
Reach Vasuki Tal and feel enchanted looking at the beauty of the pristine and explore the area to enjoy the natural splendors for a while.
Start your descent to Kedarnath in the evening and reach your hotel to enjoy a piping hot dinner and retire for the night.
Trek to Gaurikund (Altitude 3583 m) (Trek - 14 km) - Drive to Rudraprayag (Altitude 690 m) (Drive - 41.2 km)
Altitude: 3583 m to 690 m
Distance: Trek - 14 km & By Road 41.2 km
Duration: Trek - 6 hours, Drive - 2 hr 46 min
Wake up to the scenic beauty and tranquil ambience of Kedarnath and enjoy a healthy breakfast at your hotel.
Start your descending trek to Gaurikund and carry a packed lunch with you.
Trekking for 6 hours to cover the distance of 14 kms down to reach Gaurikund.
Once you reach Gaurikund, you will start your journey to Rudrapayag by road. Reach Rudraprayag after travelling for 2 hr 46 minutes.
Reach your hotel, have a mouthwatering dinner and rest overnight.
Drive back to Rishikesh (By Road - 141.7 km)
Distance: 141.7 km
Duration: 4 hr 10 min
Wake up in the morning and enjoy a flavourful breakfast at your hotel.Check out of your hotel and proceed on your journey to Rishikesh by road.
Reach the city of Rishikesh in about 4 hours and 10 minutes, travelling a distance of 141.7 km.
Reach Rishikesh, check-in your hotel and freshen up.
Enjoy a delicious hot dinner before you retire to rest overnight at your hotel.
Travel back to Delhi
Distance: 268.1 km
Duration: 5 hr 7 min
Wake up on the last morning of your Kedarnath trek to the serene atmosphere of Rishikesh and enjoy a hearty breakfast at your hotel.
Check out of your hotel and proceed for a sightseeing tour of the Yoga Capital of India.
Complete sightseeing by evening and proceed towards the Haridwar railway station in a comfortable and spacious vehicle and leave for Delhi.
Your trekking trip comes to an end at Delhi railway station from where you will proceed on your onward journey back home with wonderful memories of the amazing places you have visited.
Get yourself sturdy well-fitted trekking footwear so that your feet do not hurt during the trek.
Get your medical checkup done to ensure fitness before you go on a trek.
People with heart, respiratory and blood pressure problems should not go trekking without a doctor’s advice. The trek is also not recommended for pregnant ladies.
You will need to abide by government rules and complete the trek within the stipulated time frame of 4 am to 1.30 pm.
Pay attention to your trek instructor and follow the traditional Kedarnath trek route.
If you are unable to complete the trek in a day, there are several places in between where accommodations are available.
Carry some light snacks such as dry fruits to keep you energized. You can also stop at the several food stalls and eateries on the way to get some food.
Wear clothes and shoes that are comfortable for trekking.
Carry a medical kit which may come in handy for sprains, cuts etc.
Be careful as you walk. Do not get distracted while walking, which might result in losing your foothold and spraining your legs.
There is only one route which you will be taking when you go on your Kedarnath trek.
Base Camp: Gaurikund: You will be starting at the base camp at Gaurikund which is located 5 km from Sonprayag. Your vehicle will take you to Sonprayag and from there you have to travel by shuttle or jeep to reach Gaurikund.
First Stop: Jungle Chatti: Once you start from Gaurikund, you will need to trek through the Rambara Bridge for 4 km to reach Jungle Chatti.
Second Stop: Bheem Bali: The trek from Jungle Chatti to Bheem Bali is 3 kilometers and has a spectacular view of snow-capped mountains and temple walls. There are accommodations available here for those who want to take a break or stay the night.
Third Stop: Linchauli: Next is the 4 km trek from Bheem Bali to Linchauli. The trail has a stunning mountain view for you to enjoy. Linchauli also has accommodations for those who wish to stop and stay the night.
Fourth Stop: Kedarnath Base Camp: You will need to travel for 4 km from Linchauli to reach the base camp. You can opt to stop here for the night or proceed to reach the temple.
Final Destination: Kedarnath Temple: You will only need to travel for 1 km to reach the Kedarnath Temple, your final destination.
Summer (April to June): During this time, the weather is comparatively warm and there is no rain and snowfall. You will be able to enjoy trekking during these months as the temperature will be mild. Also, the weather is ideal for visiting the temple, sightseeing and indulging in activities. The temperature is around 17 degrees during these months.
Autumn (September to October): The weather during these months is favourable, making it ideal for trekking. You will be able to enjoy the scenic beauty of the surroundings with the clear sky while travelling during these months.
By Air: Rishikesh does not have an airport of its own but you can fly to its nearest airport, Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. The airport received daily flights from several major cities in India. You will need to travel for 35 km to reach Rishikesh from Dehradun. You can opt for a taxi or go for bus services available from Dehradun. The other alternative is to reach Delhi by flight and take a bus to reach Rishikesh.
By Road: Rishikesh is well connected with several cities and states by road by National Highway 58. You can get buses from Delhi, Haridwar, Dehradun and other places and reach one of the two bus stands of Rishikesh - the Main Bus Stand and the Yatra Bus Stand. Alternatively, you can also take a rented vehicle and travel by road. If you are traveling from Delhi, you can reach in 6 to 7 hours via Modinagar and Roorkee. Those traveling from Dehradun can also opt for a shared jeep.
By Train: Rishikesh has its own railway station but only few trains which run on a daily basis. Hence, it might be better to travel by train to Haridwar which is well connected with major cities of India. Once you reach Haridwar, you will need to travel for 25 km to reach Rishikesh by a bus or a taxi.
Kedarnath in local dialect means ‘lord of fields’, named after Kedar, the deity who is an incarnation of Lord Shiva who is considered to be the embodiment of all passions - love, fear, hatred, death and mysticism, expressed through his various forms.
Legend has it that Lord Shiva hid in a form of bull to avoid the Pandavas. One of the Pandavas, Bhima recognised him and tried to capture the bull from behind. But before Bhima could catch the bull, it disappeared, and later the hump of the bull appeared in Kedarnath and is worshiped since then.
Going for the Kedarnath trek is one of the most popular and scenic treks in India, where you find beauty, peace, and amazing memories. It is a highly celebrated pilgrimage site and is one of the Chota Char Dham or Char Dham of Uttarakhand. The temple is located at an astonishing height of 3583 m and is very near to Chorabari Glacier, the birthplace of the Mandakini River. The whole area is covered with snow-capped mountains and is spectacular to look at. Once you start your journey from Rishikesh, you will be mesmerized by the stunning scenic view, first of the Ganges flowing along with you and then by the beauty of the famous Kedarnath Mountain. The trail is not too difficult, hence if you enjoy a good health condition, you can go for this trek, even if you are a novice.
How difficult is the Kedarnath trek?
Being at an elevation of 3583 m, Kedarnath trek may prove to be a moderate-level trek, which is strenuous for those trekkers who are beginners. Hence, it is strongly advised that they go for a medical fitness test to ensure that they are physically fit. They should also learn about altitude sickness and inform their trekking guides as soon as any symptom is noticed. People with heart, respiratory and blood pressure problems should not go trekking without a doctor’s advice. The trek is also not recommended for pregnant ladies. Those who feel that they will not be able to continue the trek for 5-6 hours may take a break at Bheembali or Linchauli and stay overnight and continue the journey the next day.
Is the Kedarnath trek safe?
Yes, the Kedarnath trek is very safe and reliable, in spite of being located at a high altitude. The government has taken initiative to build new trails and better safety protocols to ensure safety for all trekkers.
Can the Kedarnath trek be completed in one day?
Yes, it is possible to complete the trekking in one day. The trekking trail from Gaurikund to Kedarnath camp is 16 km and it takes 5 to 6 hours to reach there. If you start early in the day, it is possible to complete the trek in a single day. However, the Kedarnath trek is also adventurous and strenuous, so you will need to plan the trip as per your ability.
Can we do the Kedarnath trek at night?
No, as per Government norms, you can only do the Kedarnath Trek between 4 am till 1:30 pm. This timing has been set keeping in mind the safety of the travelers. So if you start late and cannot complete the trek by 1:30, you can make a stopover at Jungle Chatti, Bheem Bali or Linchauli and start your journey the next morning.
What clothing should I wear for the Kedarnath trek?
It is preferable to wear clothes which are comfortable. The best is to wear trek pants, t-shirts and a jacket. You must carry woolens as it will be chilly once you reach the top. Wear a head cover such as a cap to cover your head. Wear a sunglass for eye protection and wear sturdy well-fitted trekking footwear so that your feet do not hurt during the trek.
Where should I stay while trekking in Kedarnath?
There are several hotels and guest houses at Sonprayag as well as Gaurikund where you can stay before or after your trek. Guest Houses and cottages are also available at Kedarnath Base Camp for you to stay in once you reach the final destination. You can also stay at guest houses and dormitories near the temple as well. If you need to stop during your journey from Gaurikund to Kedarnath Base Camp, you can stay at accommodations available at Jungle Chatti, Bheem Bali or Linchauli.
What are the common mistakes that you need to avoid while trekking?
Do not carry too much weight.
Do not hike too fast or slow.
Do not wear clothes which can make you uncomfortable.
Do not go on the trek without consulting a doctor to ensure fitness.
Do I need to register with the Uttarakhand Government before going for the Kedarnath trek?
Yes, you will need to register with the Uttarakhand Government before going for the Kedarnath trek. You can either register online beforehand or register at Sonprayag before your trek.