If you're planning to go on a trek to Kedarnath, then you're in for a treat. The trek to Kedarnath is one of the most challenging and beautiful treks in India. The all-India famous lord shiva Kedarnath Temple is placed at an altitude of 3587 meters and is visited by thousands to lakhs of Hindu pilgrims every year. The temple is typically only accessible six months out of the year because of the persistent snow cover. This is the longest hike of the Char Dham as there is no motorable road there. But these troublesome roads might not be able to frighten devotees like you who come from all over India and complete this trek to visit the temple.
Travel options to Kedarnath
There are several options to travel to the temple of Kedarnath, here are some of them:
Trek to the temple - If you love adventurous stuff and trekking, this perfect option is for you! The trek starts from Gauri Kund. The Yatris have to trek for around 14 km from Gauri Kund to reach the divine place. The road was affected a lot due to the 2013 floods thus it can be challenging at times but if you have the devotion and the motivation no one can stop you from completing the trek on your own. It will take around 6-8 hours to complete this trek. As it is a long trek it is recommended to start as early as possible so if you are a night owl you will need to make some changes here, it is advised to start the trek at around 4:00 am so that you reach the temple on time and don't miss the darshan! You don't have to worry about refreshments as there are a lot of shops in between the trek where you can stop, take a break, eat some good hot food, and freshen up if you want to.
Horse ride - This option is for people who want to experience the fun of horse riding, it's not as challenging as the trek but it has its fun and adventure. There are a lot of vendors who have trained their horses and provided you with an effortless horse ride to the temple. They start from the base and take you directly to the top of the hill to the temple. You won't be the one who will be tired and you can go spend the night there if you want, have a peaceful sleep and start with horse riding the next day.
Helicopter service - Ever imagined the view of the top of the hill from a helicopter? well, you can experience it firsthand now. You can get this special out-of-the-world experience of travelling in the helicopter to the top here! but it comes with its price. The helicopter ride is pretty expensive but it is an experience that you will never forget! You can book the helicopter tickets online now as there is a lot of demand for those and most of them get booked a month prior to the opening of the temple.
Now that you are aware of the options you can choose to travel to there, it's time to know about the things you will need to take care of and pack for the visit to the temple.
1. Physical Fitness: If you are planning to trek till there, the trek is not for the faint-hearted. It's a challenging trek that requires good physical fitness. So, make sure you're in good shape before starting the trek.
2. Altitude Sickness: The Kedarnath temple is at a very high altitude, so it's important to be aware of altitude sickness. To prevent altitude sickness, make sure you acclimatize to the high altitude before starting the trek.
3. Weather Conditions: The weather conditions in Kedarnath can change quickly and unexpectedly. It's important to check the weather forecast before starting the trek and be prepared for cold and wet conditions.
4. Pack wisely: When packing for the trek, make sure to pack warm clothes, good quality waterproof gear, sturdy shoes, and a good quality backpack. Also, don't forget to carry a first-aid kit and any necessary medications.
5. Get Insured: The trek to Kedarnath can be risky, so it's important and wise to get insured before starting the trek. Make sure your insurance covers trekking, medical expenses, and evacuation in case of an emergency.
6. Hire a Guide: If you're a first-time trekker, it's always a good idea to hire a guide who knows the route and can help you in case of any emergency.
7. Respect the Environment: The Kedarnath trek takes you through some of the most beautiful and fragile environments in India. So, it's important to respect the environment and leave no trace.
The trek to Kedarnath is a challenging and rewarding experience. By following these tips, you'll be well-prepared for your journey and can enjoy the Kedarnath yatra to its fullest. Happy trekking!