Monday, August 8, 2022

The Abode of Gods ( Part 6- Kedarnath)


The journey from Badrinath to Kedarnath commenced when the flakes of first snow were trickling from the October sky. The early snowfall is a rare occurrence but the beauty of watching this spectacle is difficult to describe in words.. The winds picked up and soon the sky cleared as the bus started the descent trough the undulations in the hills.

At  the Gauri temple at Gaurikund
The distance of approximately 230 km would have taken about 8 hours so we were all braced up for another long journey. The immense beauty of the snow covered peaks , coniferous and pine trees and stray melodies of the birds during the journey made the distance appear like listening to a song.. After about three hours the bus arrived at Rudraprayag. It was a time for a break to stretch the legs. From here onwards the route was  unfamiliar terrain and the beauty of small towns like Augstmuni, and Guptkshi were an absolute treat. By the time we reached Gaurikund,the final destination , the sun was setting. We were fortunate to find shelter for the night at GMVN Guest House, which was comfortable. Very close by there was a hot water spring where we decided totake a dip. It was so refreshing that the tiredness that  had set in just vanished. We had a simple dinner and dozed off quickly.

At hot water spring at Gaurikund
The next morning, I got up early to the chimes of the bells from nearby Durga( Gauri)  Mandir. I took a dip once again, and we visited the temple and offered our prayers. We were all set to go on the long 14 hour trek to one of the most difficult stretches with hardly any other travellers. We were unaware of the vagaries of the weather or the terrain. My seven year old daughter who was undertaking this long trek was thoroughly excited.

En route on 14 km trek to Kedarnath  my companions, daughter and wife
The climb got more and more difficult as we continued our journey on trek. After about two hours we stopped at a shanty for a cup of tea and after a brief rest started yet again. Some times the showers came and forced us to take shelter under the overhang of rocks. After about six hours of climbing the last stretch was extremely tough. The frozen rivulets of stream had wet our socks and shoes and my daughter was struggling. Just before we were about to run out of steam we could see the Kedarnath town and the temple at a distance. With all our last stock of energy we arrived at the town and immediately found a place for the overnight stay.We requested for a bucket of hot water especially for our daughter whose feet were almost numb from the cold. It was a very fdifficut trek and far more strenuous than our daughter had undertaken the previous yea,r when we had gone to Rameswaram and Dhanushkoti.

The Kedarnath shrine
Kedaarnath is one of the holiest shrines dedicated to the Lord Shiva and is perched at an altitude of 3583 m .The shrine is almost a thousand years old. The temple is built on a 6 ft high platform and just outside the main entrance there is a statue of the bull-Nandi. The temple also happens to be one of the Jyotirlingas. The temple is flanked by snow capped peaks all around. 

At the Kedarnath shrine after prayers to Lord Shiva
We visited the temple and it was one of the most enriching soul stirring experience. Never, had I imagined that I would be here one day with my family.  We later explored the tiny townthat had very few shops and small hotels. 

 The next day we started our downward descent of the 14 km trek back to Gaurikund. The journey on return was a bit easier but treacherous all the same as there were no clear defined pathways. Fortunately, it did not rain on the way back. It was very satisfying to reach back Gaurikund. 

Next day we proceeded to Rishikesh and our mesmerizing  adventurous trip had come to an end. The memories stay despite the passage of time as fresh as if it had happened yesterday

PS- This journey was undertaken in Oct 1992 so all images have been digitally enhanced

2. Route map - Kind courtesy Google


  1. 6 hours trek !!
    I am sure the memories are still very strong. otherwise, even after all these years, the reliving of the journey through this post, would not have been so "alive"

    1. It is so encouraging to read your kind comment to endeavor recreating some such moments:)

  2. I really loved the blog and pictures