Kedarnath shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva lies in Garhwal region of Uttarakhand at an altitude of 11755 ft. It is among Panch Kedar, 12 Jyotirlinga and Char Dham yatra. This place holds an important significance to be visited as per mythology. It is believed that temple is built around 5000 years ago by Pandavas. Please have a look at story behind the temple and Panch Kedar.
Started the journey
By taking name of Shambhoo, we friends in group of 5 started our journey from Gaurikund on 30th Sept,2018. Time was around 6:30 AM and it was bit cold due to height and river Mandakini flowing by side. Gaurikund is a well equipped market from where you can buy every thing for your journey, but carry cash as there are no ATMs.
We bought wooden sticks and started from the market. Not to worry about the food and water, as there would be lot of shops on the way. All you need is faith and courage.
Total length of the trek is 22 kms which looked pretty descent but we had to cover it in single day. From Gaurikund itself, you would come across lot of pony options as well and they charge around Rs 2000.
From very starting, you will come across lush green Kedar valley and Mandakini river on your right hand side.
Deoria Tal is the lake related with a story from Mahabharat. It is located in Garhwal region of Himalayas at an altitude of 8000 ft from sea level. When Padavas were hiking in this high altitude Himalayan range, they felt thirsty and then saw this lake. They were warned by Yaksha asking them not to drink water unless they answer his questions. Except Yudhishtira, all brothers went dead after drinking water from the lake. So, Yudhishtira entertained Yaksha and answered to his queries successfully and gave life to his brothers.
This lake is surrounded by plain land and and lush green forest with Himalayas at the back. The view turns so mesmerizing when reflection of Chaukhambha peak falls straight on the water of lake. Apart from the reflection, you can see bunch of clouds circling around the snow covered peaks. These kind of views are just awesome.
Most of you must be knowing that Tungnath is the world’s highest Shiva temple at an altitude of 12,073 ft. Not only this, but also this beautiful destination is the ultimate trekking paradise for beginners. When you head towards Chopta from Ukhimath, you will get to see some Himalayan peaks like Mandini, Chaukhama, Sumeru, Kedar range etc. You will drive through the lush green valley and can see these great snow covered peaks at distance. I have already covered major details about the place and how to reach in my earlier post.
The temple remains open only for 6 months but trekking is on throughout the year. We stayed at Dugalbitha which is 6 kms before Chopta, again a very peaceful place which is far beyond the chaos of Delhi. It was around 10 AM and by that time we were done with breakfast and packed ourselves with woolen stuff as it was chilled weather with temperature of 2-3 degree in day time. On the way till Chopta, we saw fresh snow on the road and up in the mountains, everybody got so happy and excited to start trekking.
Distance: 4 kms
Level: Moderate (proper paved path is made)
Maximum altitude : 12073 ft
Time taken: Around 6-7 hours to and fro
Trekking gear: Good trekking shoes, hiking stick, UV goggles, Cap/Hat, Raincoat, Spikes (if going during snow time)