Kedarnath Darshan Open Now: Here’s How You Can Plan Your Trip

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Embarking on the sacred pilgrimage to Kedarnath, nestled in the spectacular Garhwal Himalayas, is an awe-inspiring experience. With the temple open for the 2024 season, here’s a detailed plan to help you prepare for this spiritual journey, complete with travel options, accommodation details, and other essential information.

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Planning Your Trip

1. Best Time to Visit: The temple usually opens from late April or early May and closes after Diwali in November. The optimal times to visit are May to June and September to October, avoiding the monsoon period.

2. Detailed Itinerary:

  • Day 1: Arrival in Haridwar/Rishikesh Reach Haridwar or Rishikesh by train, bus, or car from major cities like Delhi. Overnight stay.

  • Day 2: Haridwar/Rishikesh to Sonprayag Take a state-run bus or private taxi for the 8-9 hour drive to Sonprayag. This is the main hub before you begin your trek or helicopter ride to Kedarnath. Overnight in Sonprayag.

  • Day 3: Sonprayag to Kedarnath Travel from Sonprayag to Gaurikund by local transport or taxi, then trek 16 km to Kedarnath. You can also choose a helicopter ride from Phata, Sirsi, or Guptkashi. The helicopter journey is around 5-7 minutes and costs approximately INR 6,000 to INR 7,500 per person for a round trip. Overnight in Kedarnath.

  • Day 4: Kedarnath Darshan and Return Attend morning prayers at the temple. Return by trek or helicopter to Sonprayag. Overnight in Sonprayag or Guptkashi.

  • Day 5: Return to Haridwar/Rishikesh Head back to Haridwar or Rishikesh by bus or taxi. Further exploration or rest.

3. Accommodation Options: From budget lodges to mid-range hotels are available in Haridwar, Rishikesh, Sonprayag, and Guptkashi. In Kedarnath, basic lodges and ashrams are available. Advance booking is highly recommended.

Travel Options:

  • By Bus: State-run buses and private operators run regular services from Haridwar and Rishikesh to Sonprayag. The journey is cost-effective but can be long and tiring due to the hilly terrain.

  • By Taxi: Private taxis offer a more comfortable journey from Haridwar or Rishikesh to Sonprayag and can be booked at the taxi stands or pre-booked online.

  • By Helicopter: For a quicker and more scenic journey, helicopter services are available from Phata, Sirsi, and Guptkashi to Kedarnath. The cost varies but is around INR 6,000 to INR 7,500 for a round trip per person. You can book helicopter tickets online through official portals like Helicopter Booking for Kedarnath.

Things to Remember:

  • Health and Fitness: Prepare for high altitude and a strenuous trek by engaging in physical activity weeks before your trip.

  • Travel Permits and Registration: Obtain a Compulsory Health Certificate and register for the yatra, which can be done online or at designated centers.

  • Packing Essentials: Pack warm clothing, rainproof gear, trekking shoes, a first-aid kit, water bottles, and energy snacks.

  • Connectivity: Mobile connectivity is patchy in remote areas. Keep family updated about your itinerary.

  • Local Customs: Respect the sanctity of the temple and adhere to local customs.

For more detailed and official information on Kedarnath, visit the Uttarakhand Tourism Official Website.

By following this comprehensive guide, your pilgrimage to Kedarnath will not only be spiritually enriching but also smooth and memorable.