There are many great places to visit near Kedarnath temple

While going to Kedarnath, the places to fall on the way are Gaurikund, Rudranath Temple, and Kalpeshwar Temple. So now talk about them one by one.

1. Gaurikund

Located 9 km from Kedarnath, Gaurikund is located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. Gaurikund is famous for being the starting point and the final road head before the Kedarnath Yatra begins. Gaurikund is situated on the banks of river Mandakini and is considered the gateway to salvation and spirituality. Situated at an altitude of about 2,000 meters above sea level, Gaurikund Temple and Gauri Lake are important sites for which the place is popular. According to legends, Goddess Parvati did rigorous penance or meditation at Gaurikund for years to marry Lord Shiva.

Devastating floods rocked Kedarnath in 2013, the original trekking route from Gaurikund to Kedarnath, via Rambara, a total walk of 14 km was completely washed away. However, after this tragic incident, due to the efforts of the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM), the trek route has improved a lot and is now completely safe with all facilities. Today, Gaurikund has good accommodation options in the form of Dharamsala, hotels, and guest houses. Except from March to November, this region is almost always covered by a sheet of ice.

2. Rudranath Temple

At a distance of 140 km from Kedarnath, Rudranath is a pilgrimage site dedicated to Lord Shiva, located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It is situated at an altitude of 2286 meters in the Garhwal Himalaya Mountains. Rudranath is the third temple to visit in the Panch Kedar pilgrimage. And it is a popular pilgrimage site and also a famous place for trekking in Uttarakhand. The Rudranath temple is believed to have been founded by the Pandavas, the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.

In accordance with mythology, this temple is the place where the head of Lord Shiva appeared in the form of a bull. Surrounded by dense forests, Lord Shiva’s head is worshiped and called Neelkanth Mahadev. Apart from this, there are many holy water ponds around the temple which include Suryakund, Chandra-Kunda, Tara-Kunda, Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Nanda Ghunti. The temple opens every year in the month of April/May and closes in mid-November. The idol of the temple is taken to Gopeshwar during winter and later returned at the opening of the temple.

And you can stay in Joshimath, and explore one of the best Chamoli homestays. In Joshimath, the homestay has its charges based on hospitality, food, and amenities. The cost of one person per night for a homestay in Joshimath ranges approximately from Rs. 700 to Rs. 2,500.

3. Kalpeshwar Temple

Located at a distance of 215 km from Kedarnath, Kalpeshwar is a pilgrimage site dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the picturesque Urgam valley in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It is situated at an altitude of 2200 meters in the Garhwal Himalayas. It is a part of the famous Panch Kedar and also a good trekking route near Joshimath. Being a part of Panch Kedar, it is one of the famous places to visit near Kedarnath.

Kalpeshwar Temple is the fifth temple to visit on the Panch Kedar pilgrimage. Kalpeshwar is the only Panch Kedar temple that can be reached throughout the year. And this temple is a small stone temple and has a stone idol of Lord Shiva. There is a cave near the temple which has the image of naturally sculpted hair. These are believed to be the locks of the hair of Lord Shiva who appeared in Kalpeshwar. Hence, Lord Shiva is also called Jatadhar or Jateshwar. There is a famous Kalpavriksha in Kalpeshwar. It is believed that this tree fulfills all the wishes of the person.

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