“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.”
Kedarnath is different from any other trek in so many ways.People visit this place not only for the love of mountain but the highest driving force which attract so many people here is their love and belief for almighty, Shiva.
You will see people suffering while climbing the never lasting 16 km trail but still not in the mood of giving up. You will observe people chanting the name of Shiva continuously. You will see the mountains signifying the essence of Shiva.
Even though I am not much of devotional person but this time I chose to visit Kedarnath as I have had heard the beauty of it from quite a while now.
We were two people for this wonderful and sacred journey.We took an overnight bus to Sonprayag from kashmiri gate,Delhi and reached sonprayag at 1 pm next day. From there we took a shared jeep to Gauri Kund which charged us 20 Rs each. By 4 pm we were at gauri kund. Since it started getting dark so we opted to rest in guest house instead for a night.
Next day at 6 am, we started climbing. Kedarnath is fully commercialized,you will get eateries almost everywhere. Even though people visit kedarnath to get the glimpse of lord shiva temple but curious trekkers like me can visit this place too, to feel the aroma of Himalayas. Trail is 16 km each side after the flood occurs in 2013. Earlier it was 14 km each side.
I won't suggest to complete whole kedarnath yatra in one day as it will be very tiring. We did that and faced the repercussions. Book any lodge midway and start descending next day.
I personally found kedarnath very beautiful. You will find greenery,valleys, waterfalls and bridges while climbing. You will also find lots of people who will be climbing with you and uplift you in case of any fatigue or skepticism.
It took us around 7 hours to ascend the mighty kedarnath valley and by 1 pm we were at door of temple. It was raining heavily whole day so there were not much people. Temple was almost vacant.
I entered the temple, folded my hands in front of the Shiva and felt the aura of the temple for few minutes.
Since we had the plan of descending the same day. So after half an hour we started descending.
I found ascending and descending equally difficult as road is not very well built and since it is one of the char dham yatra (Indian pilgrimage). So people use porters to get to the temple and complete the journey. This makes road muddy and congestion increases a lot.
It took us around 7 hours to descend, we reached Gauri Kund by 10 pm. You will find dimmed street light everywhere in case of darkness.
When we reached we were on the verge of breaking down, our body was aching and we were having very bad fatigue. We took painkillers and slept in a lodge.
In the morning we took roadways bus from Sonprayag to Rishikesh which is around 210 km . In the evening by 6 pm we reached Rishikesh and from there we took an overnight bus to delhi.
Despite being not so religious person still I found Kedarnath a must to do trip. You will be awestruck with the beauty of Kedarnath.And if by any chance you are the devotee of lord shiva then it will be icing on the cake!