Nestled amidst the majestic Himalayas, Kedarnath stands as a revered sanctuary and a cherished destination for countless devotees in India. As one of the Char Dhams in the sacred Char Dham Yatra, which includes Badrinath, Yamunotri, and Gangotri, Kedarnath holds a significant place in the hearts of pilgrims. Beyond its spiritual allure, Kedarnath boasts a breathtaking natural beauty that captivates visitors. If you're preparing to visit this enchanting destination, here are some invaluable travel tips to ensure a comfortable and memorable journey.
Physical and Mental Preparation
A journey to Kedarnath is both physically and mentally tiring. The Kedarnath trek is almost 16 km long and starts from Gauri Kund. The difficulty increases as the trek is all uphill after the first 5-6 km. Accordingly, your preparation should start one month before the journey. Some suggested exercises are brisk walking, light jogging and breathing exercises.
The temple is located on the bank of the Mandakini River at an altitude of 3,584 meters above sea level. Therefore, it is advisable to keep munching something during the trek; otherwise, you may aggravate the symptoms of AMS, i.e. Acute Mountain Sickness, which is caused when there is reduced air pressure at higher altitudes. You can also carry small packets of noodles and rice as they are valuable commodities. Carry your water bottle, which can be refilled when needed, as sometimes it may get challenging to procure a water bottle in the remote Himalayan highlands.
Book Your Hotel in Advance
Earlier, many ashrams, lodges and hotels in Rambara, Gaurikund, and Kedarnath had budget accommodations for pilgrims. But due to the floods in 2013, many hotels and resorts are still under construction. Therefore, the staying options can be limited. For more information on bookings and stay, visit the official government website. Also, if you don't plan to stay, you can always opt for helicopter services.
It would help if you carried some cash in hand, as the Himalayan terrain network is quite unpredictable. Also, you might be asked to show your tickets and photo identity proofs to enter certain places, so keep them handy.
Carry essential items such as ID Card, raincoat, first-aid kit, trekking shoes, backpack, trek pants, sunscreen, and power bank. You have the option of taking a mule or a helicopter for your journey as well. But in any case, carrying heavy luggage would create a hassle, so avoid doing that.
The weather is generally cold around the year, so carrying fleece jackets, socks, and woollen caps is recommended to keep you warm. Even if you travel from May to June, the temperature is between 15 and 30 degrees. The weather is quite unpredictable, so carrying some of the winter essentials is advisable.
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