Kedarnath Trip Experience 2020
It is now almost one year since my Kedarnath Trip in early June 2020, but the memories are as fresh, it seems I went last week! To say the least, it was an unforgettable experience that lives on and on in my mind.
Even though the situation in the country was far from normal at that time, we were able to go. There were two of us – a friend and me. We chose to hire a car from Rishikesh to make the Kedarnath trip with four-night stops on the way. We could have gone directly to Gaurikund on the first day itself, but we were in no hurry.
We left Rishikesh early in the morning and planned to travel up to Srinagar and spend the night there. Srinagar is about 112 km and it would be an easy drive. We reached Srinagar at about 12 noon. A little later we visited the Dhari Devi Temple which is about 15 km from Srinagar. This is a temple in the middle of the river and the Goddess is the guardian Deity of Uttarakhand. The temple has an amazing history and lots of stories connected to it. Back to Srinagar by early evening. This experience on a Kedarnath trip was unforgettable.
The next morning we had another early start, and our aim was to reach Gaurikund by evening. We had lunch in Agastyamuni and spent an hour exploring the town. By late afternoon we had reached Gaurikund. The Kedarnath trip experience was getting better and better with each passing minute. In Gaurikund we walked around, and visited two temples. One is dedicated to Mata Parvati (Gauri). There used to be a hot water spring here, but it is now a stream of hot water. Nevertheless, we bathed there and were refreshed and all our fatigue was gone. We went to bed early to rest up for the next day.
About seven in the morning, the next day, we left for Kedarnath. It was to be a 16 km trek. The first 7 or 8 km were fairly easy and we were not strained at all. Then came the tough part. The road steadily became steeper and steeper and we had to rest after every fifteen or twenty minutes. Luckily we were in good shape. On the way, there are many rivulets and small waterfalls. At last, the end was in sight and from afar we could spot the Kedarnath Jyotirling Temple. Magically all our tiredness vanished and we almost ran to the temple! The temple was closed, but we bowed our heads from outside and sat there. We thanked God for planning a Kedarnath trip for us and bringing us here. It is an experience I would love to repeat as many times as I can.
The rest of the day was spent visiting Bhairava Temple, Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi and other sites in Kedarnath. We spent the night in Kedarnath and started our downward trek at about 8 AM. Walking down is not as stressful as walking up, but is challenging.
Early afternoon and we are back in Gaurikund. The two-way trek had been a challenge and all we did was relax. This Kedarnath Trip is an experience that will be cherished and repeated whenever able. We set off on our return journey. We made a slight diversion of the main route and spent a night in Chopta. This is a beautiful village with fantastic scenes all around. More about that another time! Finally, our Kedarnath Trip ends in Rishikesh with an experience that is hard to find elsewhere.