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Kedarnath Dham: A Pilgrimage to the Sacred Jyotirlinga

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Kedarnath Dham: A Pilgrimage to the Sacred Jyotirlinga

Kedarnath Dham, one of the twelve holy Jyotirlingas, holds a significant place in Hindu mythology. It is said to be one of the most challenging Jyotirlingas to visit. Kedarnath continues to be a focal point of attraction and devotion for devotees. People eagerly await the opening of the gates of Kedarnath and pray to Lord Shiva for His call. Due to heavy snowfall, the doors of Kedarnath Dham remain closed for six months of the year.

Opening of the Gates

The gates of Kedarnath Dham will open with full traditional rituals on May 10th at 7 a.m. The idol of Lord Kedarnath will be worshipped at Panch Kedar Gaddi Sthal, Shri Omkareshwar Temple in Ukhimath, on May 5th, and will proceed to Kedarnath Dham via various places, reaching on May 9th.

Initiation Process

The process of opening the gates of Kedarnath will commence on May 6th. On May 6th, the Chal Vigraha of Baba Kedar will reach Guptkashi from Omkareshwar Temple, Ukhimath. After reaching Rampur on May 7th, it will proceed to Gaurikund on May 8th and reach Kedarnath Dham on May 9th. The gates of Kedarnath Dham will open for devotees at 7 a.m. on May 10th. However, the gates of Badrinath Temple will open on May 12th, while the openings of Gangotri and Yamunotri Temples will be decided according to the Chaitra Navratri and Yamuna Jayanti.

Rituals of Gate Opening

The official ritual of opening the gates of Kedarnath Dham involves the first inauguration puja performed by the chief priest, following which pilgrims can visit the temple.

Cost Estimates

To undertake the journey to Kedarnath, you need three to four days. You can reach Gaurikund by road or rail. However, there is no road connectivity from Gaurikund to Kedarnath Temple. There is a trek of 18 kilometers, which can take around 15-18 hours. Helicopter services are also available. Tickets from Delhi to Dehradun by train or bus will cost approximately ₹300 to ₹1000. If you take a bus from Dehradun to Gaurikund, it may cost you between ₹300 to ₹500. You can also avail direct bus services from Delhi to Gaurikund, costing around ₹500 to ₹1000. If you opt for helicopter service, the round trip ticket per person is ₹5498, from Phata to Kedarnath Dham it’s ₹5500, and from Guptkashi it’s ₹7740. If the helicopter service is beyond your budget, you can also book a palki or horse from Gaurikund to Kedarnath.

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