Everybody at least once in their lifetime wants to visit the snow-clad towns of Kedarnath and Badrinath. These towns of Uttarakhand not only hailed as one of the famous Hindu pilgrim places but also famous for spiritualism and mythological beliefs. Part of the Do Dham or Char Dham Yatra, the high altitude towns are a must-visit at least once.
Perched on the Garhwal hill tracks, near Alaknanda River, Badrinath is situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Badrinath is known for the sacred Badrinath Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. On the Garhwal hills also sits the town of Kedarnath. Kedarnath is the most important among the 12 Jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Treks and routes of the tour might sound dangerous but the experience, the serenity and the touch of divine will take your breath away.
Which one should you visit first?
As per Hindu Mythology, the trip to Kedarnath comes first. Lord Shiva (Kedarnath) provided the space for Lord Vishnu (Badrinath) in Dev Bhumi Uttrakhand. Thus, Kedarnath is first.
How to reach Kedarnath and Badrinath?
The closest airport to Gaurikund is the Jolly Grant Airport, from where you can take a taxi to Gaurikund. Gaurikund is the last road head to Kedarnath. No road access is available to the temple and it can only be reached through a tough, uphill 18 km long trek.
The nearest railway station to Badrinath is Rishikesh, distanced at 216 km from Kedarnath. It is well connected with frequent trains to and from major destinations in India. It will be easy to travel from the railway station to Gaurikund through taxis or buses.
Gaurikund is well connected to all nearby cities such as Rishikesh, Dehradun, Haridwar, Pauri, Srinagar, Chamoli, Uttarkashi, Tehri etc, by cabs and buses. You can find buses in Delhi from ISBT Kashmiri Gate to Srinagar and Rishikesh. Any city in Uttarakhand will offer you buses to your destination.
To Badrinath (after visiting Kedarnath)
Badrinath is 218 km far from Kedarnath and 41 km aerially. The various mode of transport between Kedarnath to Badrinath is by road, by train or by flight. Traveller can choose any mode of transport from Kedarnath to Badrinath on basis of fastest and cheapest.
Jolly Grant International Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport to Badrinath. Taxis are easily available from the airport to Badrinath.
The nearest railway station to Badrinath is Rishikesh. From here, you can take any bus or book any taxi to Badrinath.
Badrinath is connected to major cities of Uttrakhand by a motorable road. Buses from ISBT Kashmiri Gate, Delhi are available to Haridwar, Rishikesh and Dehradun. Further connected by regular buses from cities like Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Chamoli among others.
Best Time To Visit Kedarnath and Badrinath
The best time to visit Kedarnath and Badrinath is between September to October and May to June when the snow has melted and the rainfall is also not there. Kedarnath remains closed for 6 months from November to March each year due to heavy snowfall in the region. Do not visit the towns during monsoon due to rainfall that causes landslides and also extremely dangerous cloudbursts.
Temple of Kedarnath
Nestled in the laps of Garhwal Himalayan Range in the Rudraprayag District of Uttarakhand lies one of the most religious temples of Hinduism in India. As a part of Chhota Char Dham Yatra, Kedarnath becomes one of the most prestigious and sacred Hindu temples.
The temple is the highest among the 12 Jyotirlingas. Kedar refers to Lord Shiva, the protector, and the destroyer. It is one of the holiest shrine dedicated to the deity and it is believed that a journey to this holy land opens up doorways to “Moksha” or salvation.
Trek to the temple remains nothing short of an adventure. With majestic mountains, swift Mandakini river flowing and the lush greenery fills any trekker or devotee with calmness, peace and leaves them mesmerized! For just a glimpse of the lingam, thousands of enthusiastic devotees visit each year to this auspicious place.
The interesting history, the spiritual value and the fascinating architecture amongst many reasons make Kedarnath Temple a must-visit.
Temple of Badrinath
Badrinarayan Temple or the Badrinath Temple is one of the four Char Dham and Chota Char Dham pilgrimage yatras. It finds its mention in the 108 Divya Desams devoted to Lord Vishnu in India. The main gate of the shrine painted in numerous colors. It has not only the image of Lord Vishnu but several other gods and saints’ houses inside the temple.
Badrinath Temple has a Tapt Kund, a hot water spring that contains medicinal and holy values. River Alaknanda originates from here. The vibrant festivals of Mata Murti Ka Mela and the Badri Kedar Festival give you another reason to visit the temple.
Situated at the height of 10,279 feet, gorgeous snow-clad peaks of the Himalayas with serene Alaknanda River flowing by surrounds this temple of high religious significance.
Other places to visit nearby
Located atop 3679 m. Chandrashila offers an excellent trekking range and skiing tracks throughout the year except in December and January. A Shiva temple sits on the peak of this mountain.
Vasudhara Falls, Badrinath
Originating from the Nar Narayan Peak of Himalayas, Vasudhara Falls locates in Mana Village, 9km from Badrinath. The fall meets with the Alaknanda river at an altitude of 12,000 feet. It is believed to have been the resting place of the Pandavas.
Neelkanth Mountain, Badrinath
Nilkantha, Neelakant, Neelkanth, Nilkanth, or Nilkanta is a major peak in the Garhwal mountain range. At a height of 6507 masl, Neelkanth becomes one of the most important and religiously revered peaks of the region due to its close proximity to Badrinath. It overlooks the lovely valley of the Alaknanda River.
Shankaracharya Samadhi, Kedarnath
It is believed Sri Sankaracharya established this holy shrine and one of his four Mathas in the 8th century. He attained Nirvana at age 32 here.