> Uttarkhand/ India/ Travels

kedarnath

Updates – WHEN WILL INDIA LEARN ???

In India we do everything in a very unscientific way. We construct dams right on the fault planes (geologist and structural engineers were never consulted), our cities and towns were never planned properly, and then when disaster stikes, we blame everyone from GOV to GOD in the process. Exactly four years back we make a trip to uttarkhand, been to Kedarnath and Gaumukh and have seen most dreadful pollution there. Imagine 80% of the hill slopes were covered by the garbage dump !
This was a disaster waiting to be happened for so long. Dont think ever that this is natural calamity. This is Pure Man Made.
My thoughts and prayers are with the victims.

Continuing from our previous Rishikesh to Gangotri – Gaumukh trek

{Day 7}: 1stJune 2009
From: Uttarkashi to Rampur
By: Road
Distance: 265km (11 hrs) via Shrinagar

The town of Uttarkashi is set on the banks of river Bhagirathi at an altitude of 1150m and considered to have similar importance as that of Kashi. Most of the terrain is mountainous with ridges, hills, dense forest and the valleys and slopes of the hills contain sparsely populated hamlets interspersed with terrace cultivation.

Uttarkashi is known for its religious significance as it has a temple of Lord Vishwanath dedicated to Lord Shiva and has a unique Shiva’s trident (mahadev ka trishul) made of ashtadhatu (eight major metals). It is flank by temples of Durga and Hanuman. Other important temples are of Ekadash Rudra and Parshuram.

Among other tourist attractions in Uttarkashi, one can explore the Dodital (16km), Sat-tal (2km from Harsil), Nachiketa Tal (29km) and Dayara Bugyal (32km), which are beautiful lakes on the lap of Himalaya Mountains and surrounded by majestic oaks and deodar trees.

The route to Rudraprayag from Uttarkashi usually goes through Srinagar but we took a different route not by choice but by mistake. It was through Bhaldiana-Lambgaon-Ghansyali-Chirbatiya and finally joining Tilwara in the main route. The roads are well-maintained but climbs are very steep with hairpin bends. From Tilwara the route goes through Siyalsur-Agastyamuni-Guptkashi-Phata and then to Rampur.

Agastyamuni and Phata are the two places from where helicopter services to Kedarnath temple are being operated. Charges are 7000-8000rs and 3000-4000rs respectively for a round trip and that includes special darshan and stay. One can also approach GMVN for the booking.

A word of advice: Make sure you follow the right route to reach earlier. Because of our longer route we reached Rampur very late.

{Day8}: 2ndJune 2009
From: Rampur to Gaurikund to Kedarnath
By: Road and by pony
Distance: 5 Kms to Gaurikund and 14 kms to Kedarnath.

Next morning we kept the luggage at Rampur, started for Kedarnath, and were lucky enough to catch the 9:30am gate. When we reached Gaurikund, the vast sea of humanity paralyzed me.

Kedarnath

View of Kedar peaks from Rampur

The 14 km stone laid trail to Kedarnath temple was deadly polluted and since it rained last night so it was all wet, slippery and stinking. There was no fixed rate for ponies; they were charging anything between 500-1000rs. After much negotiation, we started on our respective ponies for the Kedarnathji and after climbing 2-3 km the first sight of Kedar dome standing majestically, beaming in the morning sun was mesmerizing. One cannot ask for anything more.

After reaching 7km, there was a short break not for us but for the ponies! My knees were badly bruised and I could not stand on my own. Somehow managed to make my way to a nearest tea stall, had some aloo ke paratha and later decided not to mount the pony again. Rest 7km I trek through the thick crowd and finally reunited with my family at 4.00pm.

kedarnath

View of Higher Himalayas from Kedarnath

It was already late, so we could not consider going to Chorabari glacier (3-4km) (from where river Mandakini emerges) and Chorabari Tal (a glacial lake with floating ice on the crystal clear water) or Gandhi Sarovar (2km). I wish I could have one more buffer day with me.

The 8th century Kedarnath temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya and is magnificent in its style and architecture. The stark grey stone structured temple surrounded by snow-capped peaks with Kedar dome in its backdrop is one of the twelve jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva.
The jyotirlinga in the sanctum resembles a hump of a bull and the mandap walls adorned with idols of five Pandavas and Draupadi.

Kedarnath temple

Shrine @ Kedarnath

The shrine closes for the winters on the first day of Kartik (Oct-Nov) and reopens on Vaisakh (Apr-May) on the day of Akshay Tritiya, this year it is on 24 th April 2012.

The Shankaracharya Samadhi is located just behind the temple.

Shankaracharya samadhi

Shankaracharya samadhi @ Kedarnath

In the evening, we had a darshan of Lord Kedarnath after standing for two hours in the ice-cold ground. The temple closes at 8:00 pm and reopens at 6:00am in the morning.

A word of advice: Again as in most places in uttarkhand , there is the concept of “Gate”. These open up traffic in one way directions to enable smooth flow. It’s important to leave early to catch the early traffic gate from Rampur.
Once in Gaurikund be careful in choosing your mode of transport to Kedarnath ! Well you have three options really : walk, by horse, or by chair. If you are using a horse , please choose one carefully. The horses here are not too well treated and not in good shape either. If the roads had been in better shape , walking would really have been the ideal choice. Also because of the slippery roads , I have seen many a fall of horse and rider !
Insist on a folded blanket/cushion to sit on the horse, to soften your horse ride. Riding 4 hours on the saddle is not for everyone !
Food : Food choice are very limited and poor quality.
Stay : There are plenty of guest houses , often organized by different States , which offer other food choices to the traveler.
Camera : Keep your camera handy for any occasion. During the summer months the mountains can get very shy and peek out of the clouds once in a while. If you miss an opportunity to click you may not get it again !

kedarnath

Standing in queue for the Lord’s Darshan surrounded by majestic peaks

{Day 9}: 3rd June 2009
From: Kedarnath to Chandrapuri
By: Pony and by Road
Distance: 14 km (Gaurikund) and 55 km (3 hrs)

Next morning after performing puja at the temple, we descend down to Gaurikund after a bit hassle. Gaurikund is the last bus station on kedarnath route. The hot water pond and the Gauri temple are important here.

From Gaurikund we boarded on a shared jeep, which dropped us at Sonprayag where all the vehicles were parked.
SonPrayag is  the confluence of river Basuki and Mandakini and is 5km from Gaurikund.

From Sonprayag, Trijuginarayan is 13km on the path that connects Ghuttu to kedarnath. A magnificent temple of Lord Vishnu is here and is believed to be the site of Lord Shiva and Parvati’s marriage, the eternal flame around which marriage was solemnized still burns here through the three yugs or ages, hence Trijuginarayan.

Around 5:00 pm, we start for Rampur, picked our luggage and off to Chandrapuri. The GMVN’s cottage at Chandrapuri is very well placed on the bank of Mandakini and from where one can enjoy the views of snow-capped mountains at a distant.

Chandrapuri

View of Kedar peaks from Chandrapuri

A word of advice: Most Mobile networks do not work in and around this place.
Not advisable to carry ALL your luggage with you to Kedarnath. Plan on leaving the heavy ones with your hotel in Rampur or wherever you stayed at the foothills of Kedar.

 

Follow our next trip to Chopta and Tungnath

 

If you have any latest travel related news pertinent to these regions, do let us know, through comment section, it will help us to keep this post updated and for the benefits of other travellers too. Any latest news will be highly appreciated.

 

15 Comments

  • Reply
    Tweets that mention kedarnath « saffronstreaks… a food and travel blog -- Topsy.com
    May 6, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by saffron streaks. saffron streaks said: chardham yatra: kedarnath http://wp.me/pzajg-75 […]

  • Reply
    Deboshree
    February 18, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Interesting information there… my Dada has forever wanted to visit this place. I’ll pass it on.

    • Reply
      saffronstreaks
      February 18, 2011 at 4:32 pm

      You are too good dear, I cant ask for more. season to chardham is picking up.

      • Reply
        Arijit
        May 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm

        Please help to know if i can get a accommodation in Kedarnath when i reach there?If yes what are the approx. charges??I will reach Kedarnath on 22/06/11.

        • Reply
          saffronstreaks
          May 25, 2011 at 11:38 am

          Hi Arijit,
          Kedarnath will be thickly crowded during this time, so it is always better to go there with a prior booking, even though we booked through Gmvn, but couldnt get there guest house, we were boarded at one of their reccomonded hotel.
          It cost us around 1800rs (in 2009) for room rent with a functional toilet, food cost was not included, quiet dingy, and bed was cold like ice.

          Next time, if ever I have to visit Kedarnath, I will definitely opt for heli services.

          Thanks for visiting my blog, and hope that info provided here will be helpful to you.

  • Reply
    india gate delhi
    February 1, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    My brother recommended I might like this web site. He used to be totally right. This submit actually made my day. You can not believe simply how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  • Reply
    gangotri gaumukh trek
    March 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    […] Follow our next trip to Kedarnath. […]

  • Reply
    chopta and tungnath
    March 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    […] to Sri Kedarnath temple […]

  • Reply
    ARUN AGARWAL
    May 29, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Send me details of Helicopter service to Kedarnath shrine. I need the service sometimes in June 2012

  • Reply
    Vamsi Kosuri
    June 24, 2012 at 6:49 am

    BEWARE of Himachal House Hotel in Kedarnath

    I visited Kedarnath in June 2012. During this trip, I had a horrible experience with Himachal House hotel. I am sharing this experience so that nobody else should suffer the way I suffered with this hotel. Here are the problems I faced here:

    • Only one bucket of hot water in 24hrs. Rest of the time, pipes run with freezing water, which will make you hands numb in 5 seconds.
    • No towels provided
    • Hotel does not have any heating system and no extra blankets are given
    • At first, he talked as if the welcome chai and dinner were included in our package. The owner Umesh Posti said: “Come have your dinner. It’s ready!”. Then he charged an unreasonable amount for chai and dinner, almost double the price of our next door hotel for a very bad service. When asked why he cheated us, he talked us arrogantly like ROWDY saying he can do whatever he wants to do.
    • The owner Umesh Posti who lured us with his sweet talk when we checked-in warned us of using physical force when we questioned about the injustice done to us.

    I had a horrible experience with this place and the owner. He ruined my Kedarnath experience. I recommend everyone to STAY AWAY FROM THIS PLACE!!!

    • Reply
      saffronstreaks
      June 28, 2012 at 10:34 pm

      Sorry Vamsi to hear about your experiences at Kedarnath. Well, this is not just with this hotel, the conditions are same in pretty much every hotels there, no hot water. no heating sysytem, no extra blankets, no good food, forget about the towels ! and top it all, very rude behaviour. There are thousands of devotees flocked at kedarnath every year, so if they improve the conditions, it will definitely help the tourists. However, for one day stay, we usually dont bother about all these, but with kids it will be really a tougher situation.

  • Reply
    divya86
    August 1, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    do they charge for the blankets? does it make the ride comfortable enough?

  • Reply
    Ashutosh Rout
    February 9, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    We want to visit Kedarnath during April 2016. Please help us giving a guide for the same and also a plan. We want to trek from Gouri kund to Kedarnath.

    • Reply
      saffronstreaks
      February 10, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      Please go through this post in detail and you will find answers to your queries. However after the disaster I am not sure about the present situation of Kedarnath. You will get much details in government sites.

    Speak Your Mind

    %d bloggers like this: