24 March, 2016

Idols worshiped at Kedarnath and Kedarnath during winters

The idols worshiped at Kedarnath

Winter abode for Kedarnath idols

People / Swamis / yogis who stay over in Kedarnath during winters

This article is about Kedarnath and is the third in the series of four articles

The chardham circuit in the Himalaya is open for six months from May to November and closed during winters

Please refer below link

For commercial reasons the government of Uttarakahand is promoting the winter Chardham yatra

There is a lot of misconception regarding this, people think that the main idols of temples are shifted to their winter abode, but this is not so.

There is also a lot of misconception regarding the People / Swamis / yogis who stay over in the chardham’s during winters when the respective chardham towns are abandoned, they are considered to be special and highly elevated spiritually again this is not so

This article is based on my own personal experiences and the first-hand information that I have collected as I travelled to these places and stayed there for a long period of time 


Kedarnath temple

Me at Kedarnath with the famous Nandi in the background

Shiv Shilla is a huge stone which is worshiped at Kedarnath

The temple faces South (approximate)

On the eastern side of the town on top of a hill is the Kal Bhairav temple guardian deity of Kedarnath

Town of Kedarnath in 2010; totally destroyed except the temple in 2013

You may also like to read  (please click on the link)

From Rudraprayag to Kedarnath

The town of Rudraprayag is one of the Panch Prayag (five confluences) of Alaknanda River, the point of confluence of rivers Alaknanda and Mandakini

From here one can proceed to Badrinath as well as Kedarnath

On the way to Kedarnath from Rudraprayag  I visited the following ancient temples--Koteshwar Mahadev cave temple, Ukimath, Kalimath (where worship of Shree Yantra is carried out), vishwanath temple at Guptkashi, Nala temple and the triyuginarayan temple it is believed that the Gods married here when they walked on Earth and the eternal fire is still kept burning here which is a witness to the marriage of the Gods. People collect the ashes from the fire to achieve marital bliss or with the hope to solve bad karma  regarding matrimony

Koteshwar Mahadev cave temple on the bank of river Mandakani


Shree Yantra at Kalimath

Vishwanath temple at Guptkashi

Triyuginarayan temple

Can you see the white smoke coming out; this is smoke from the eternal fire 

Winter abode for Kedarnath idols

shiv shilla cannot be moved anywhere, during winters some panchdhatu (five metal combination) idols which are kept with the chief priest are moved down to the Omkareshwar temple in Ukhimath (Okhimath) one of them is the Bhog Murti (this idol has to be offered food daily)

Palanquin (doli) in which idols are carried to their winter abode and back

People who stay in Kedarnath during winters

No one stays over in Kedarnath in winters and it is completely abandoned

Visiting  Kedarnath in winters

All the chardhams in Uttarakhand are abandoned in winter, the temples sealed.

But there are a few people who visit these places in winter, some do it to experience the peace and tranquillity and absorb the spiritual vibrations when no one is around others do it as an expedition as one has to travel over snow covered roads.

Special permission IS required to visit Kedarnath

The old trek route started from Gaurikund to Kedarnath via Rambara, a total treking distance of 14 kms  after this route was destroyed in 2013  after that the trek was from Sonprayag to Kedarnath- Total 24 Kms which required two night halts. From 2015 new trekking route starts from Gaurikund to Rambara (7 km), then to Limchuli (5 km), Limchuli to Kedarnath (3 km), Total distance 15 km.
Never attempt this trek in winters without a local guide

Feel free to ask me any further questions and I recommend staying over for a few days in each dham. I always travel after monsoons when there is no rush and rates are less  

Kedarnath temple in future will be shifted

There is a prophecy that in the time to come the present day Kedarnath will be destroyed, the new temple will be at Joshimath.

A Swayambhu (self-manifested or that which is created by its own accord ) Shiv Shilla is currently in the process of formation at Bhavishya Kedar Temple in Joshimath

The Swayambhu (self-manifested or that which is created by its own accord ) Shiv Shilla at Bhavishya Kedar Temple in Joshimath

Very old photos of Kedarnath temple—year 1882

Old road to Kedarnath in 1882

1962 photo

Old photo year 1882 of Ukhimath temple which is the winter abode of Kedarnath idol


  1. We four are going to Kedarnath dham on September 2016. Will you please tell me from where can we get our bio metric ID and can we have our medical checkup? Is it now a one day trek? Or do we need to stop somewhere within the route? Thanking you in advance.

    1. sorry, i have not visited kedarnath after 2013 so i do not have this information, now it is a 2 day trek
      wish you all the best

  2. Hi bhoj,
    I plan to visit Kedarnath around last week of March 2017. Have you been there in march anytime.? Any guess what would it be like.


    1. no i have never visited any of the dhams after their closing dates in winter

      it is said that ancient men of wisdom established this system to abandon these places in winter and hence once must not break this tradition

      people who have gone there in march have experienced heavy snow conditions and the path is certainly dangerous to trek

  3. We plan to visit during second week of June Kedarnath. Please let me know Pooja items that can be taken like, honey, sugar balls, dry fruits etc

    1. in Kedarnath you are allowed to sit next to the Shivshilla and offer your puja, local pundits will also approch you
      i do not have the list of articles required, take as per your own feeling
      you can accept rains in mid june

  4. hi Bhoj, I am very impressed to read your blog. I am from Bangalore I want to travel to char dham and stay there for few days and also meet some sadhus. I am travelling along and don't have much knowledge of the area. Do you have an Email/phone no where I can ask a few questions? It will really help. Thanks

  5. Sir I am trying to contact you. I really like your articles. could you please share your email id ? Mine is kiranphp5@gmail.com

    1. in E mail exchange only you benefit, if you post comments here all others also benefit, however my id is bhoj11@rediffmail.com

  6. Please write about unique flora and fauna of Himalay on the way to chota char dham.

    1. thanks for visiting, but this blog does not deal with the above mentioned topics however you come across many herbs enroute eg at mana village good herbs are available for various ailments like diabetes
      curently i am in no mood to write as a majority of people who visit this blog are ungrateful who just read and leave, they cannot appreciate by writing a comment of thanks or following the blog, but sent mails for various questions

  7. i am planning to visit kedarnath in january 2019, where should i get the permission? and where can i get a guide? is it safe to go alone?