Kedarnath Yatra is one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in India, attracting millions of devotees every year. The Kedarnath temple is located in the Himalayan range in the state of Uttarakhand and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is one of the four sacred shrines of the Chota Char Dham Yatra and is considered as one of the most significant religious sites in India.
Importance of Kedarnath Yatra
The Kedarnath Yatra holds great importance among Hindus as it is believed that Lord Shiva resides in the Kedarnath temple. The Yatra is considered as a way of attaining Moksha or liberation from the cycle of birth and death. The pilgrimage journey is also believed to wash away all the sins of the pilgrims.
Kedarnath Yatra Route
The Kedarnath Yatra route starts from the town of Sonprayag in Uttarakhand. From Sonprayag, pilgrims have to travel 19 km to reach Gaurikund. From Gaurikund, the trek to Kedarnath temple begins which is about 14 km long. The trek is steep and can be challenging, but the scenic views and the spiritual experience make it all worthwhile.
Kedarnath Yatra Opening on April 25
The Kedarnath temple remains closed during the winter months due to heavy snowfall in the region. The temple reopens every year in April or May depending on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya. This year, the Kedarnath Yatra is set to begin on April 25, 2023, and will remain open till November 16, 2023.
Covid-19 Guidelines for Kedarnath Yatra
In the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Uttarakhand government has issued guidelines for the Kedarnath Yatra. Pilgrims are required to carry a negative RT-PCR report not older than 72 hours. They also need to register themselves on the state government’s website and obtain an e-pass before starting the Yatra. Wearing masks and following social distancing norms are mandatory during the Yatra.
Accommodation Options for Pilgrims
There are various accommodation options available for pilgrims during the Kedarnath Yatra. The state government has set up tents and guest houses at various points along the Yatra route. Private hotels and lodges are also available in nearby towns like Guptkashi, Rudraprayag, and Sonprayag.
Things to Carry During the Yatra
Pilgrims need to be well-prepared before embarking on the Kedarnath Yatra. Some essential items to carry during the Yatra are warm clothes, raincoats, comfortable shoes, water bottles, energy bars, and medicines. It is advisable to carry only the necessary items as the Yatra route can be challenging.
The Kedarnath Yatra is a unique experience that combines spirituality, adventure, and scenic beauty. The Yatra opening on April 25, 2023, is an excellent opportunity for devotees to seek blessings from Lord Shiva and attain Moksha. Pilgrims need to follow Covid-19 guidelines and be well-prepared before starting the Yatra