Kedarnath Temple in Uttarakhand, India is the most revered shrine of Lord Shiva.
Outside the temple door, a large statue of the Nandi Bull stands as guard.
Kedarnath temple is considered to be more than 3000 years old and also the highest among all the divine 12 Jyotirlingas.
How To Reach:
My suggestion will be to reach Rishikesh or Haridwar in Uttarakhand from any part of India and then take a Uttarakhand Government or a private Bus to Sonprayag.
Please Note that the direct bus service to Sonprayag from Rishikesh / Haridwar are very limited & Prior booking is recommended.
I will share the route I took to save time & cost.
From Rishikesh to Rudraprayag & then to Guptakashi, I travelled on a local private bus and from Guptakashi to Sonprayag I travelled on a sharing cab.
You will find many budget friendly restaurants on the way, so if you feel you need to take a break, you can take a halt in Rudraprayag or Guptakashi or Sonprayag.
Please note, if you have booked a Helicopter service in advance and your helipad is in Phata, then you have to get down at Phata which is on the way before Sonprayag.
Stay & Food Options:
My suggestion will be to stay in Sonprayag. As you will find many Bhaktanivas or budget hotels for your stay in Sonprayag at reasonable prices. You will also get limited restaurants serving North Indian Dishes at Sonprayag.
Staying in Gaurikund is also an option, but please note that Private Cabs / Buses are only allowed to go till Sonprayag, from there you have to take a sharing taxi or a Horse or Pony to cover a distance of 5-6 kms to reach Gaurikund. Also, for booking this sharing taxi you need to stand in a queue which usually takes few hours.
Food Options on the trekking route from Gaurikund to Kedarnath Temple is very limited, please do carry some snacks along with you.
Once you reach Kedarnath Temple, you might think of night staying there and descending the next day, keep in mind that there are camps setup near the temple and prior bookings of these tents are required. Few lodges are also available near to the temple.
Best Time To Visit Kedarnath:
The trek remains open from early April till the month of November as during the winters due to heavy snowfall the temple remains closed.
The best time to visit Kedarnath is in summers during the month of April to July (temperature remains between 15-30 degree Celsius) when the weather is warm and soothing.
Local Modes of Transportation:
Kedarnath Trek starts from Gaurikund, you can trek till the Kedarnath temple or take help of the Palkis, Ponies or Horses which are available at the starting of the trek from Sonprayag or Gaurikund.
Temple Opening & Closing Hours:
The temple remains open daily between 4:00 am To 9:00 pm. There is a break in darshan between 3:00 pm To 5:00 pm.
Kedarnath is open only for 6 months a year due to extreme weather conditions.
Keep warmers and winter cloths with yourself as it’s pretty chilly out here at this location.
Wear good trekking shoes if you are planning to do a trek from Gaurikund to Kedarnath Temple.