How to reach Kedarnath Dham - Sacred Ancient Hindu Temple

If you came here looking for the information about how to reach Kedarnath, where to stay, what to eat and how much is the ideal budget then you are on the right track. I recently concluded my Yatra to this Ancient and one of the most sacred Hindu Temples. 

how to reach kedarnath dham, all the information

In this blog I will give you all the details, so make sure to read the post till the end. On June 4, 2019, I along with my mother and younger brother commenced our trip from Amritsar. 

Haridwar or Rishikesh is the center point, one has to go through either of the two cities to further the journey. There are two daily direct trains to Haridwar from Amritsar, Jan Shatabdi (Departs around 6:50 am) and Dehradun express (Departs at 9:30 pm). 

Since our plan was instantaneous, we couldn't get a berth in any of the direct trains. Therefore, we took a different route and boarded a train till Ludhiana. From there we got a train till Ambala Cantt, as all the trains that go to Haridwar pass through this station. Reached Ambala, to our surprise, there were no trains for next few hours! 

The next train to Haridwar was the train (Jan Shatabdi) we couldn't get berth in from our home city Amritsar. We decided to board this train, got general tickets from the counter and convinced the TT to let us sit in second setting compartment in lieu of Bribe. TT agreed and charged us Rs. 600, to our bad luck, the train was full to its capacity, there was no empty seats at all. Somehow we managed to get our mother half a seat and that was enough for us. After few hours, we finally reached Haridwar, a big relief!

Step by step guide on how to reach Kedarnath from Haridwar or Rishikesh

All the buses both Private and Government were unavailable from both Haridwar and Rishikesh. As the timing of our trip clashed with summer vacations, people set out for mountains which resulted in huge rush and chaos on the roads that lead to Kedarnath. Buses that normally take 10-12 hours to reach Kedarnath took up to 48 hours. So, none of the buses were available for us to reach our destination. For this blog post, I still got the info for those who want to travel by the bus

  • From both Haridwar and Rishikesh Bus Stand, hop into any of the buses that lead to Sonprayag, Rudraprayag, Gupt Kaashi, and Devprayag, you will be good to go
  • Sonprayag is the place you need to reach, if you can get a direct bus just go for it, otherwise take a bus to any of the places mentioned above, as all the buses pass through those places
  • From Sonprayag, look for a taxi that will drop you till Gauri Kund, the place from where 16 kms of trek starts. No taxis or motor vehicles can go beyond this point
  • From Gauri kund, one can commence the 16 km trek on foot or by any of these means: Horse ride, Paalki or Pithu, see the image below

Paalki pitthu kedarnath trekk information

  • One can book a Helicopter in advance as well. Helicopters fly from Phata, around 15 kilometers behind Sonprayag. These choppers will drop you just 500 meters away from Kedarnath mandir. Just make sure to book in advance

How to trek, what to eat and where to sleep on the way?

The Kedarnath trek is 16 kms long as mentioned above. Not everyone can do it on foot, therefore its no shame to take help of Pitthu, Paalki , Ghoda (Horse) or a Helicopter. This 16 km trek is very demanding, you are bound to get breathless at times, therefore, its best to walk slow and take frequent rests. 

Where to sleep?

While most people can't cover the entire trek in one day but there are some who push their limits and complete it in one day. 

Those who can't, don't worry, there are enough arrangements on the way, rent a tent for typically Rs. 300-350 per person. Take rest and continue the remaining journey the next day. 

What to eat in Kedarnath Trek?

Let me clear it in the beginning that, there are no langars (Free meal) anywhere. You need to pay the following charges for these items per person:

  • Tea = Rs. 30 to 40
  • Coffee = Rs. 40 to 50
  • Maggi = Rs. 50
  • Aloo Paratha = Rs. 50
  • Lemon water = Rs. 20
  • Breakfast = Rs. 100 (4 pooris, sabzi)
  • Lunch = Rs 100 - 200
  • Dinner = Rs 200

The only thing which is free for all is water, and it is there in abundance through taps and water falls. Even the Ghadwal Mandal which is a Government body that takes care of all the yatra charge same amount. That is something we really didn't like.

Arrangements near Kedarnath Temple Premises

The arrangements near the Temple are good but not the best and I can settle with that. The only problem was the mismanagement of the rush particularly during May to June. We had to spend 8 hours in a queue before finally getting to the temple. 

After paying obeisance, we set out to look for a room or tent, none was available at first. And we were super tired, to our luck, somebody had cancelled their tent booking and that tent was assigned to us. From this we realized that we should have made online booking of the tents and rooms near Mandir. If you are planning to go there during rush, consider making the prior bookings to avoid the fuss.

Ideal budget for the Kedarnath Trip?

If you are planning to go during May - June and you have no prior bookings, the ideal budget per person could go beyond Rs. 5000 easily. If you are going in July and Afterwards, Rs 2500 per person should be the ideal budget. And, this budget to only applies to pilgrims who want to do this pilgrimage on Foot. 

How did we reach Kedarnath and our expenses:

As mentioned before, we could not find a bus to Sonprayag or to any of the nearest places. We decided to hire a taxi. After looking for an hour, we got one just outside Rishikesh bus station. The charge of the taxi till Sonprayag was Rs. 9000 and we were only three people.

Since the taxi could take up to 8 passengers, we started looking for other people and finally got them. This is how, we divided Rs. 9000 among 8 people. Two of the passengers actually had a drop midway so they only paid Rs. 1000. Rest of the amount was shared by 6 people. Anyhow, this taxi dropped us at Sonprayag after midnight.

To learn more about what followed, watch this video and share with your friends:

Kedarnath Distance from Major Cities:

If you are planning to reach Kedarnath  via road from the following major cities of India, the following is the distance you need to cover. 

  • Ambala to Kedarnath - 221 km
  • Chandigarh to Kedarnath - 218 km
  • New Delhi to Kedarnath - 296 km
  • Mumbai to Kedarnath - 1427 km
  • Kolkata to Kedarnath - 1293 km
  • Chennai to Kedarnath - 1965 km
(The source here is Google Map)

How to book helicopter for Kedarnath

If you are looking for a helicopter ride to Kedarnath then you sure can book it online. It is advised that you book it in well advance to avoid last moment rush and higher costs. So, here's how you can book the helicopter ride:

  • Go to this Uttarakhand Govt website
  • Click on Register, they ask for your Aadhar Number, Mobile, Email ID, so do the required
  • After account creation login to the website, your username is your Aadhar number
  • On next screen, choose your boarding point from Phata, Sersi or Guptkashi
  • Select your dates and hit submit
  • You will see the availability and the fee
  • Simply select your date and make the payment
That's it. 

So, do try it if you are interested in Helicopter ride to Kedarnath Dham.


Hope through this article I have covered all the info one must know. If you think I have missed anything, kindly leave a comment down below, I will make sure to answer it as soon as possible.

Happy Journey!
How to reach Kedarnath Dham - Sacred Ancient Hindu Temple How to reach Kedarnath Dham - Sacred Ancient Hindu Temple Reviewed by Pankaj Sharma on 10/14/2021 Rating: 5

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