Delhi to Kedarnath distance is 452 km by road which is a 9-10 hr long journey. Pilgrimage to Kedarnath is part of the “Chhota Char Dham” pilgrimage for Hindus. It is located at approx. 3584 meters above sea level on the banks of river Mandakini in the district of Rudraprayag in Uttarakhand. According to Hindu belief, the Pandavas came to Kedarnath for a penance to please Lord Shiva.
The Kedarnath temple opens on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya and is closed around the time of Bhai Dooj. The temple is opened in the summers(April/May) and closed when winter starts(October/November) due to heavy snowfall. The temple remains closed for 6 months during this time.
Delhi to Kedarnath Distance
Kedarnath is one of the Char Dhams and is a very important place of pilgrimage for devotees of Lord Shiva. The Himalayas surround this beautiful town. This religious significance and scenic beauty make Kedarnath a busy tourist destination. You can travel to Kedarnath by the following means:
Travel by Bus
You can take a bus from Kashmere Gate or Anand Vihar bus terminal in Delhi to Dehradun. From Dehradun, you can take a bus/cab to Sonprayag which is 30 km away from the main temple. You can also travel from Delhi to Haridwar which is an important religious town too. Many buses are available from Haridwar to Sonprayag or Gaurikund. The last motorable route ends at Gaurikund. From there you have to trek for 16 km. Palki and mules are also available for tourists who find it difficult to trek for such a long distance.
Travel by Air
Delhi to Kedarnath distance by flight is 296 km. Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport to Kedarnath. There are many flights that operate in and out of Dehradun to Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi. After reaching Dehradun, you can take a bus or hire a taxi/cab service to reach Sonprayag or Gaurikund.
Travel by Train
The nearest railway station to Kedarnath is Rishikesh as Kedarnath does not have a railway station of its own. There are many trains available from Delhi to Rishikesh. From Rishikesh, you can take a bus or cab to Gaurikund.
Once you have covered the Delhi to Kedarnath distance by road, air, or rail travel, you can use the helicopter services from nearby towns. Pilgrims who are too old to trek for 16 km from Gaurikund can use the Helicopter services from places like Sersi, Guptkashi, and Phata all of which have helipads. You can also book return journeys using these services. Many pilgrims have started to make use of these services in the past few years as it is a comfortable and faster way to reach Kedarnath Temple.
Places to Visit In Kedarnath
The Kedarnath Temple
According to legend, Narayana requested Shiva to come and stay in Kedarnath. The Pandavas built the Kedarnath temple when they arrived there for a penance to please Lord Shiva. The sage Vyasa advised the Pandavas to ask Lord Shiva for forgiveness for the sins they committed during the great war of Kurukshetra. Kedarnath temple is considered to be the highest among the 12 “Jyotirlingas”. Pilgrims can’t access the temple directly by road and have to trek for a distance of 16 km from Gaurikund.
The Bhairav Nath Temple
The Bhairav Nath temple is approximately 2 km above the Kedarnath temple. The pilgrimage to Kedarnath is complete only after visiting the Bhairav Nath temple. The temple has a very old shrine dedicated to Baba Bhairav who is the Kshetrapal of Kedarnath. He protects the Kedarnath temple and valley. From the top, pilgrims can look at the beautiful Kedar valley and temple from a bird’s eye view.
Vasuki Tal Lake
The Vasuki Tal lake is where the Vasuki Ganga originates from. It is at a height of 4,135 m and only a short distance from Kedarnath. Many glaciers float in the lake. You can also see the reflections of the Kedarnath peak in the clear water of the lake. It is a beautiful tourist attraction.
Chorabari Tal, also known as Gandhi Tal or Gandhi Sarovar is a lake that is at a distance of about 3 km from the Kedarnath Temple. Lord Shiva blessed the Saptrishis with the knowledge of Yoga at Chorabari Tal. The ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were immersed here in 1948 after which it was named Gandhi Sarovar.
Adi Shankaracharya created the Char Dhams. Behind the famous Kedarnath temple is the Shrine of Adi Shankaracharya where according to belief he took Samadhi and merged with the land. It is a famous attraction for pilgrims who visit Kedarnath.
The Triyuginarayan Temple is located south of Kedarnath and has a trekking distance of about 25 km. According to belief, an eternal flame burns in the temple since the time Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati here. There are three sacred ponds inside the temple which are Vishnu Kund, Brahma Kund, and Rudra Kund. These ponds are famous for their medicinal properties. An annual fair is held at the temple during August and September.
Gaurikund is the last motorable route near Kedarnath and serves as the starting point for the trek to Kedarnath. The hot water spring of Gaurikund is a famous pilgrim attraction. It is believed once you take a dip in the holy water of the spring, all your sins are washed. According to legend, Goddess Parvati meditated at Gauri Kund to win Lord Shiva’s hand in marriage.
Towns to Visit near Kedarnath
Tourists can visit the following famous towns near Kedarnath and make their trip a more memorable and enjoyable one:
Situated on the banks of the Alaknanda River, Badrinath is 40 km far from Kedarnath and is famous for the Badrinarayan temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is also known for famous festivals such as Bedri Kedar and Mata Murti ka Mela. It is one of the famous four sites and is a part of the Char Dham pilgrimage. You can also visit the Neelkanth peak near Badrinath.
Sonprayag is a town located on the route to Kedarnath. It is at a distance of 13 km from Kedarnath. The town of Sonprayag has a lot of religious significance. The two holy rivers Basuki and Mandakini merge at Sonprayag.
Guptkashi is a town located 47 km before Kedarnath. It is a town of great religious importance and it is home to Vishwanath Temple and Ardhnareshwar temple. Vishwanath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva is situated in Guptkashi.
Rishikesh is the most famous tourist destination near Kedarnath. It is around 105 km away from Kedarnath. After completing their pilgrimage to Kedarnath, tourists can have fun and enjoy the scenic beauty of Rishikesh. It is also famous for its temples and adventure activities such as rafting, trekking, bungee jumping, and many water sports. Lastly, there are many different tourist attractions in Rishikesh such as Neelkanth Mahadev, Beatles Ashram, and Shivpuri.
Haridwar is one of the holiest places in India. Millions of devotees gather in Haridwar. You can visit Haridwar during festivals such as Durga Puja to see many different rituals. It is 123 km away from Kedarnath. You must visit this holy land to witness the Ganga aarti and the many temples located here.
The scenic beauty of Mussoorie makes it a popular tourist attraction for people from all over the country. It is located on the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayas, at a distance of 101 km from Kedarnath. You can visit Mussoorie for sightseeing and many adventure activities. Places to visit in Mussoorie are Happy Valley, Lal Tibba, and Kempty Falls.