The most expedient and efficient way of getting to the auspicious destination of Kedarnath is via air. Due to the altitude and location of the state of Uttarakhand, the Char Dham Yatra pilgrimage can be quite strenuous. This means one would most likely want to reach the base camp of Gaurikund as quickly as possible, reserving all energy for the uphill trek to Kedarnath.
While Kedarnath doesn’t operate its own aerodrome, individuals can avail of the nearest air hub in Dehradun. Jolly Grant Airport is situated approximately 238 to 250 km from Kedarnath, playing a pivotal role in Uttarakhand tourism. The airport is well connected to major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata and Lucknow. Individuals may select from the following carriers – IndiGo, Spice Jet and Air India. In terms of the fastest route, New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport is only 260 km away, offering a flight duration of 45 minutes to an hour. Upon arrival, individuals may select from general, prepaid and private taxis as well as the city bus service to reach Kedarnath.
Jolly Grant Airport is equipped with all the necessary facilities, including high-speed WiFi, infotainment, buffet and bar services. This means travellers can breathe a sigh of relief as their arrival will be met with a host of amenities.
For those looking for a more cost-effective transportation medium, there are options available to you. However, bear in mind that this increases the duration of your commute significantly as the destination is a starting point to another journey itself.
Although there isn’t a railway junction in Kedarnath, individuals can avail of the railhead at Rishikesh. Situated approximately 210 km from Gaurikund, Rishikesh Railway Station is well connected to the capital city. Individuals may hop onto a fast train from Delhi to Rishikesh, which will take approximately 8 hours in duration. Upon arrival, there are regular buses that ply to the base camp, from which the trek begins.
In order to get to Kedarnath by road, travellers will have to get to the capital city of Delhi first. From Delhi, one can reach Dehradun by flight, train or bus. It is from Dehradun that you will be making your way to Haridwar and from this sacred city you will be heading for the path that leads to the Kedarnath trek. There are two major interstate bus depots from Delhi that schedule regular buses to Dehradun, namely - Kashmere Gate Bus Terminal and Anand Vihar Bus Terminal. Individuals may select from A/C sleeper, non-A/C sleeper, Volvo A/C, Volvo A/C and semi-sleeper buses, depending upon their needs.
We have chalked out a rough road route for you to get a sense of the magnitude of the journey: New Delhi > Haridwar (206 km) > Rishikesh (24 km) > Devprayag (74 km) > Srinagar (34 km) > Rudraprayag (33 km) > Gaurikund (via Augustmuni > Guptkashi > Phata > Sitapur > Sonprayag (74 km) > Kedarnath by trek (16 km).
Take note that this is a long and exhausting commute. We’d recommend getting to Gaurikund as quickly as possible, as the trip ahead is even more physically taxing.
Gaurikund is the point at which the road to Kedarnath ends and a 16 km trek to the temple begins. The ascending climb can be tough, especially for those who lack stamina and aren’t fit. However, it is also an exhilarating, thrilling and enlightening experience, amidst mountains, valleys and rivers. The strategic stops are planned to account for rest.
For those who have trouble walking or are simply craving an authentic experience, there are ponies that can be hired from Gaurikund. The journey is extremely spectacular as you’ll be navigating majestic landscapes. However, they are rather expensive to hire, costing anywhere between Rs. 5,000 and 6,000 for a round trip.
Individuals can avail of helicopter service for their Kedarnath Ji Darshan. Regular flights are chartered from Dehradun, Phata, Agustmuni and Gaurikund. A fleet of helicopters, with a passenger capacity of 6 and a range of 418 km, ply for short intervals during the day. The price is Rs. 6,990 per person for a round trip. For infants less than 2 years of age, the fare will be 10% of the ticket’s cost and no seats will be provided to the infants.
Now that you’re aware of how to reach Kedarnath and how to travel in Kedarnath, make sure to pick the quickest and most prudent option. Your spiritual quest for the soul awaits. Simply,choose the best time to visit Kedarnath and pick from Thomas Cook’s Kedarnath Tour Package and Char Dham Yatra Tour Packages and you can be on your way to a journey of moksha!