Rishikesh to Kedarnath: Must-See Stops on the Way

The route from Rishikesh to Kedarnath in Uttarakhand, India, is a cherished pilgrimage path. It takes you from the serene town of Rishikesh, nestled by the Ganges, to the revered Kedarnath Temple, a sacred abode of Lord Shiva in the Garhwal Himalayas. This journey involves a mix of road travel and trekking, as the temple sits at a lofty 3,583 meters above sea level, beyond the reach of motor vehicles.

Kedarnath from Rishikesh

To reach Kedarnath from Rishikesh, the journey is accessible solely by road, taking approximately 6 to 7 hours to reach Gaurikund, which marks the terminus of the motorable road. From Gaurikund, a trekking trail spanning 16 kilometers leads to the revered Kedarnath Temple.

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1. Rishikesh – Gateway to Tranquility and Adventure

Overview of Rishikesh

Rishikesh is famed for its spiritual essence and offers a blend of peacefulness and excitement. This divine city is adorned with temples, ashrams, and yoga centers, attracting seekers from around the world. It marks the commencement of the Kedarnath Yatra and offers thrilling experiences like river rafting, bungee jumping, and soul-nourishing yoga retreats.

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Rishikesh to Kedarnath Distance

The road stretch between Rishikesh and Kedarnath is around 227  kilometers. Yet, due to the mountainous terrain,

  • Rishikesh to Kedarnath Distance by Road: 227 km (211 km road + 16 km trek)
  • Rishikesh to Kedarnath Airel Distnace : 105 km
  • Travel Time from Rishikesh to Kedarnath by Road: Approximately 6-7 hours

Kedarnath from Rishikesh

By Road

The common route to Kedarnath from Rishikesh is by road. Pilgrims can opt for shared taxis, private vehicles, or buses to reach Gaurikund, the gateway for the Kedarnath trek. The road journey from Rishikesh to Gaurikund spans around 211 kilometers and Rishikesh to Kedarnath distance by road time 7-8 hours. En route, you’ll be treated to captivating vistas of towns, valleys, and forests, all against the backdrop of the Himalayas.

By Helicopter

For a speedier and comfier journey, helicopter services are accessible from Rishikesh to Kedarnath. These flights cut travel time and are ideal for elderly or physically challenged devotees, although they hinge on weather conditions.

Navigating the Route from Rishikesh

Embark on a journey from Rishikesh, unfolding a picturesque route that leads you to the divine Kedarnath Temple. Let’s trace your steps:

Starting Point: Rishikesh The expedition commences in the tranquil embrace of Rishikesh, guiding you towards the spiritual heights of Kedarnath.

Devprayag: The Confluence Your path takes you through Devprayag, where the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers merge, bestowing a sacred aura upon your journey.

Srinagar: A Pause in the Town As you progress, Srinagar beckons, offering a charming interlude with its alluring facets and serene ambiance.

Rudraprayag: Confluence Revisited Continuing onwards, Rudraprayag greets you with its confluence of the Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers, rekindling your connection with nature.

Tilwara: Touching Another Milestone Tilwara stands as a testament to your journey’s progress, inviting you to appreciate the unfolding landscapes.

Agastamuni: Nurtured by Mythology Your path leads to Agastamuni, a place enshrined in mythological tales, infusing your journey with deeper significance.

Kund: Purifying Waters Upon reaching Kund, let the pure waters envelop you in their sanctity, preparing you for the forthcoming voyage.

Guptkashi: The Sacred Town Guptkashi welcomes you with its sacred aura, intertwining spirituality with your journey’s narrative.

Phata: A Stop Along the Way Phata emerges as a temporary halt, a moment to rest and absorb the beauty that surrounds you.

Rampur: Progressing Steadily As you journey through Rampur, your steps weave a tapestry of experiences, all leading you closer to your destination.

Final Mile: Gaurikund And finally, you reach Gaurikund, the gateway to your trek. From here, you embark on a 16-kilometer trek to the awe-inspiring Kedarnath Temple.

Let this route, from Rishikesh to Gaurikund, be your conduit to a transformative pilgrimage to Kedarnath, where every stop enriches your journey and connects you with the essence of spirituality.

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Kedarnath Temple

3. Trekking to Kedarnath: A Soulful Path

Gaurikund to Kedarnath Trek

The trek from Gaurikund to Kedarnath covers roughly 16 kilometers and lasts 6-8 hours, based on your pace. The trail winds through challenging terrains, rocky tracks, and lush forests, treating you to awe-inspiring views of snow-cloaked mountains. The route is punctuated with rest stops where you can relish the region’s natural beauty.

Pony and Palanquin Services

If walking is a challenge, pony or palanquin services at Gaurikund are available. Ponies can carry you for a significant stretch, while palanquins, shouldered by porters, present a traditional mode of transport.

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Guptkashi Temple- The shadow of Kashi Vishwanath

Trekking Path to Kedarnath: Unveiling the Route

The journey to Kedarnath is a sequence of steps, each offering its own charm and significance. Let’s follow the trail closely:

  • Gaurikund: The starting point, Gaurikund is your entryway to the sacred journey. Begin here and take the first stride towards Kedarnath.
  • Jungle/Bhairon Chatti: Progressing, you’ll reach this point, traversing through forested regions and embracing the natural surroundings.
  • Bheembali: Another milestone on your trek, Bheembali welcomes you with its distinctive beauty and adds to the allure of the route.
  • Linchauli: This spot enchants with its panoramic views and marks another significant point on the journey.
  • Kedarnath Base Camp: As you advance, you’ll reach the base camp of Kedarnath, preparing to enter the realm of the revered temple.
  • Kedarnath Temple: The culmination of your trek, the Kedarnath Temple stands as a beacon of divinity amidst the majestic Himalayan landscape.
Rest Stops and Facilities: Ensuring a Comfortable Trek

The Kedarnath Trek, known as “Paidal Marg,” is thoughtfully equipped with rest stops and amenities, ensuring a comfortable journey. Along the path from Gaurikund to Kedarnath, the administration provides various facilities:

  • Medical and First Aid Facilities: You’ll find medical assistance and first aid services available at Bhimbali and Lincholi. Additionally, a modern hospital with ten beds and ECG facilities is situated at Kedarnath.
  • Tea/Coffee Shops: Throughout the route, you can enjoy refreshment breaks at tea and coffee shops, offering a moment to rejuvenate.
  • Resting Sheds: Various resting sheds dot the path, offering a chance to rest, recharge, and admire the landscapes. These shelters can be found at points like Gaddha-Kuchha, Peethakhama, and Tundikhani.

4. The Scenic Delights Along the Way

  • Neer Waterfall: A short 3 km from Tapovan in Rishikesh, it’s a popular attraction.
  • Shivpuri Camping Sites: About 15 km from Rishikesh, enjoy camping amidst nature’s embrace.
  • Zipline Adventure Point: Try ziplining in Shivpuri, crossing the Ganges with thrill.
  • River Rafting: Embark on an exhilarating 16 km rafting journey from Shivpuri to Rishikesh.
  • Vashistha Cave: A 25 km drive from Rishikesh, it’s an ancient meditation cave.
  • Byasi: Around 30 km from Rishikesh, perfect for white water rafting.
  • Kaudiyala: A stop for Kedarnath travelers, famous for beach camping.
  • Devprayag: A sacred confluence of the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers.
  • Srinagar: Known for Dhari Devi Temple, Kirti Nagar, and Kamleshwar Temple.
  • Rudraprayag: Visit Koteshwar Mahadev Temple, Kartik Swami Temple, and more.
  • Guptkashi Town: Explore Vishwanath Temple, Narayana Koti Temple, and more.
  • Sonprayag: Visit Maa Mahishasuramardani Temple and Gaurikund.

Conclusion

This journey holds spiritual depth and physical challenges, offering immersion in nature’s beauty and cultural significance. Prepare with proper trekking gear, acclimatize to the altitude, and follow safety norms for a secure and gratifying expedition. As you tread the path from Rishikesh to Kedarnath, connect with the Himalayas’ majesty and the temple’s divinity.

 

Author

Namaste! I am Om. I am a licensed Tourist Guide ( Approved by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India), I’m originally from Varanasi. Now, I am living in Rishikesh. I set up this blog to share my tips and experiences for traveling to inspire and help you to travel more. Hari Om

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