Everyone wants to visit Kedarnath and Badrinath once in their lifetime as these places are not only one of famous Hindu pilgrim places but also famous for spiritualism and mythological beliefs. Situated in a high altitude area, proper guidelines and knowledge about these places are very important before visiting the Do-Dham or Char-Dham yatra. Here is the Complete Guide of Kedarnath, Badrinath Yatra with every detail of nearby places like Haridwar, Kankahl, Tungnath, and Mana village and complete knowledge about Panch Prayag. This complete guide will allow you to enjoy your journey with proper comfort and make your journey easier.
Nestled in the lap of the entrancing Indian Himalayas in Uttarakhand, Char Dham is the focal point of spiritual activities for Hindus in all over India.
In India, the Hindus believe that the Char Dham yatra opens the doors of salvation by washing endlessly the entirety of their transgressions and sins. These four shrines have incredible importance place in Hindu mythologies. As per this mythology, Shri Adi Shankaracharya gained opportunity from resurrection in the Shri Badrinath Dham. The entryway to the Yatra is Yamunotri. The next goal is the famous Gangotri holy place. From that point, the explorer needs to visit Shri Kedarnath Dham lastly Shri Badrinath Dham. The four objectives of life portrayed in Veda are the Kama, Artha, Dharma and Moksha. This yatra is an activity in the quest for the fourth goal – Moksha.
I and Mom visited the primary two Dham which are Kedarnath and Badrinath alongside the Highest of Panch Kedar – Tungnath and Pancha Prayag.
It is said that Kedar means Lord Shiva and there are a total of twelve Jyotirlingas and five Kedar Dham that belong in India. Kedarnath is the supreme among the twelve Jyotirlingas. It is believed that Pandavas were advised by Vyas Dev, that their sin of slaying their own cousins Kauravas during the war of Kurukshetra in Mahabharata, can only be pardoned if they will worship Lord Shiva. To follow his words they went on to find Lord Shiva who was trying to hide from Pandavas because of being convinced about the guilt of Pandavas. In order, Lord Shiva went to Guptakashi and disguised themself as a bull. Nevertheless, Pandavas got caught him and the body parts of Lord Shiva in the form of a bull got rematerialized at five different locations and were later known as Panch Kedar where the Pandavas built the temple of Lord Shiva. It is said that the ancient temple of Kedareshwar Jyotirlinga and the first of panch Kedar, Kedarnath was built by the Pandavas. It was Kedarnath where the hump was found.
The third Kedar, Tungnath temple is actually associated with Panch Kedar temples which were built by Pandavas. Tunganath was the place where the hands were found! The facts also said that the main character of Ramayana, Lord Rama, meditated at Chandrashila peak in the vicinity of Tunganatha. Also, it is believed that the Lanka King Ravana, did Penance to Lord Shiva at the time when he resided there.
It is believed that the temple was originally established by Adi Shankara in the 9th century. It is said that he found an idol of Lord Badrinath in the river Alaknanda and enshrined it near Tapt Kund.
Prayag signifies the confluence of two or more two rivers. It is said that Panch Prayag is the holiest confluence of the rivers. The first Prayag is Vishnu Prayag where the Alaknanda River is joined by the Dhauliganga River near Joshimath.
Nandaprayag is the subsequent conjunction in the falling arrangement, where the Alaknanda River is joined by the Mandakini River. The third intersection of the Alaknanda River is at Karnaprayag, where the deplorable legend of Mahabharata, Karna, did retribution to please Sun God. Here, Pindar River joins Alaknanda. Rudraprayag is the fourth juncture among Alaknanda and Mandakini Rivers. The fifth and last association happens at Devprayag where the Alaknanda River joins the Bhagirathi framing stream Ganges, which streams down to the fields.
The nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun, 239 km from where you can take a cab or local bus
The nearest railway station is Haridwar from where the journey begins towards Do Dham or Char Dham or Panch Prayag.
Every place is well connected by road with Rishikesh, Dehradun and Haridwar.
I covered Do Dham, and Panch Prayag with Tungnath, Kankahl, Haridwar and Mana Village within 7 nights and 8 days. My journey started on 12th October 2019 and ended on 19th October 2019. Please read the below-mentioned outline of my journey :
Arrived at Haridwar from Delhi by Dehradun Shatabdi, visited the place with Kankahl and stayed overnight.
Haridwar – Guptkashi (220kms/08hrs Approx) – Pickup from, Haridwar on arrival depart by surface to Guptkashi via Agustmuni, Chandrapuri and Rudraprayag. On arrival at Guptkashi check-in at the hotel. On the way visited Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Ardh Narishwar Temple. Dinner and overnight stayed at the hotel.
Guptkashi – Kedarnath (by Helicopter) – Kedarnath – After breakfast, drove to Phata Helipad. From there by Chopper reached Kedarnath Temple, on arrival performed Pooja and Darshan. Dinner and overnight stayed at the temple homestays.
Kedarnath – Chopta – Early morning, came back to the helipad. departed by surface Chopta.On arrival at Chopta check-in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. Dinner and overnight stayed at the hotel.
Chopta – Joshimath (145kms/05hrs Approx)- After breakfast, trek to Tungnath then departed by surface to Joshimath via Chamoli and Pipalkoti. On arrival check in at the hotel. En-routed visit local Sightseeing. Rest of the day at leisure. Dinner and overnight stayed at the hotel.
Joshimath – Badrinath (90kms/02hrs Approx) – After breakfast, left for Shri Badrinath Ji Temple. En-routed visited Narsingh Temple, and Adi Shankaracharya Math at Joshimath, and drive to Badrinath. On arrival performed Pooja, and Darshan and spent time visiting the temple and Mana Village. Dinner and overnight stayed at the hotel.
Badrinath – Haridwar (317kms/11hrs Approx) – After breakfast, depart by surface to Haridwar via Rudraprayag, Devprayag, Srinagar and Rishikesh. En-routed visited the Confluence of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda Rivers which is called Devprayag. Dropped at Haridwar. Stayed overnight.
Bid Adieu and went back Home by car
The best Time to Visit Kedarnath and Badrinath is between May to June and September to October. With the beginning of the Monsoon season, Kedarnath and Badrinath witness substantial precipitation and a drop in temperature.
There are so many hotels, homestays, hostels and BnB available in the entire route and also government GMVN guest houses are also available at the budgeted range.
Haridwar is very famous among Hindus who come here to take a bath in the holy water of Ganga and watch evening aarti at Har Ki Pauri ghat. Apart from that, there are many temples like Mansa Devi Temple, Kalika Devi temple, Vishnu Ghat, Ram Ghat and places like Kankhal that are worth visiting.
Situated somewhat further up the Ganges than Haridwar, Rishikesh is considered the origin of yoga in India. It’s eminent for its numerous ashrams. A Ganga Aarti is additionally held each night in Rishikesh, at Parmarth Niketan ashram. You’ll likewise find various Hindu temples in Rishikesh.
One of the sacred places Kedarnath temple dedicated to Lord Shiva situated near the Mandakini river and at a height of 3583 meters from Rishikesh. The temple is open for 6 months for the public and can be accessible either by 22 km trek or by helicopter. The trek starts from Gaurikund and pony, machan services are available during the trek.
You can check the puja procedure and online puja booking here
Tungnath is one of the highest Shiva temples in the world and is the highest of the Panch Kedar temples located in the mountain range of Tunganath at the Uttarakhand district. Of all the Panch Kedar treks, the route to Tungnath is the shortest: 5 km starts from Chopta and can be covered in approximately 4–5 hours. Though the trek is a steep climb it is one of the easiest treks and the path is stone-paved with benches provided en route at intervals.
* You may read the Complete trekking guide of Tungnath – Tungnath trek guide
Badrinath temple is in the town, so you can access the temple direct by car. There are n numbers of hotels are there to accommodate the disciples there. Due to weather problems, Badrinath is also open for 6 months in the year. Taptkund, mana Village, Vyas Cave, Ganesh cave, Swargorohini, and Bheem pool are the major attractions here.
(Based on my Personal Experience)
A video with details of my trip is below
“Fire is His head, the sun and moon His eyes, space His ears, the Vedas His speech, the wind His breath, the universe His heart. From His feet, the Earth has originated. Verily, He is the inner self of all beings.”