45,000

Per Person

Panch Kedar Trek, Uttarakhand | Complete Guide

Region: Uttarakhand

Base Camp: Rishikesh

Days: 11

Altitude: 12,000 ft

Grade: Difficult

Distance: 95 km

Min Age: 15 Years+

Best Season: May – Oct

Trek Description

In the heart of the majestic Himalayas, where snow-capped peaks touch the heavens, lies a sacred pilgrimage route known as Panch-Kedar. The term “Panch” signifies ‘Five,’ and “Kedar” represents the ‘Mountain Lord’—a revered name for Lord Shiva in Hinduism. Panch-Kedar comprises five sacred temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, each representing a specific part of his divine form.

This spiritual journey is not just a physical expedition but a soulful quest that holds a special place in the hearts of Lord Shiva’s devoted followers. According to Hindu texts, it was the Pandavas, the valiant heroes of the Mahabharata, who built these temples.

Your journey begins in the vibrant city of Rishikesh, where our team will guide you through a scenic drive to the enchanting town of Guptkashi. From there, you’ll embark on a trek to Kedarnath Temple, the first of the Panch-Kedar temples. This 16-kilometer trek unfolds with fascinating checkpoints, offering you a chance to witness the divine “back side” of Lord Shiva. The day ends with a visit to the temple during the Aarti ceremony, providing a moment for spiritual reflection.

As your pilgrimage continues, you’ll retrace your steps from Kedarnath back to Guptkashi and journey to Ukhimath, gearing up for the next leg of your adventure. Your path takes you to Ransi Village, the starting point for your trek to Madhmaheshwar. Along this journey, you’ll be treated to stunning vistas and lush meadows, offering a tranquil atmosphere for introspection and devotion.

The trek continues to Tunganath Temple, the highest Shiva temple in the world, representing the “hands” of Lord Shiva. As you trek through dense forests, you’ll connect with the natural world and find solace in the majestic Himalayan landscapes.

The spiritual journey advances to Rudranath Temple, known for its tranquil ambiance and breathtaking vistas. Here, you’ll pay your respects to the “face” of Lord Shiva, drawing closer to the divine essence of his countenance.

Finally, your pilgrimage culminates at Kalpeshwar Temple, where Lord Shiva’s “hair” or “Jata” is venerated. This serene temple, enveloped in lush greenery, provides the perfect setting for meditation and reflection.

The optimal period for embarking on the Panch-Kedar pilgrimage is between May and October, as the doors of Kedarnath open in late April. During this timeframe, pilgrims can access the main temples, as the weather is favorable and the paths are clear.

However, it’s crucial to note that from early November to mid-November, these temples are temporarily closed due to heavy snowfall, rendering them inaccessible. Remarkably, Kalpeshwar Temple stands out as the exception, graciously welcoming devotees throughout the year, making it a year-round spiritual destination.

Itinerary

Your spiritual journey commences as our team picks you up from Rishikesh, a vibrant city that sets the stage for this remarkable adventure. Enjoy a scenic drive covering approximately 180 kilometers, immersing yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Himalayan landscapes.

As you embark on this soul-enriching expedition, you’ll be treated to awe-inspiring mountain vistas, with the majestic Ganga River accompanying you on your journey. Your path will lead you through several significant checkpoints, each holding its unique charm and significance.

Devprayag: Your first stop, Devprayag, is a place of profound spiritual importance. Here, the holy Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers merge to form the sacred Ganga River, marking the inception of your Panch-Kedar pilgrimage. The divine confluence of these sacred waters sets the tone for your spiritual odyssey.

Rudraprayag: Your journey continues to Rudraprayag, where the confluence of the Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers offers another spiritually charged experience. Here, nature’s beauty combines with spiritual significance, providing another opportunity to connect with the divine through the merging of these holy waters.

Agastyamuni: Further along your route, you’ll reach Agastyamuni, a place resonating with the spiritual energy of Rishi Agastya’s meditation. It’s a site where the ancient sage delved deep into his spiritual practice, adding another layer of sacredness to your expedition.

Ukhimath: Your path then leads you to Ukhimath, a town known for its spiritual ambiance and serene surroundings. It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in introspection and soak in the tranquil beauty of the Himalayas.

Guptakashi: Finally, you will arrive at Guptakashi, where you will rest for the night. Guptakashi holds its own significance in the Panch-Kedar pilgrimage. It’s the place where Lord Shiva concealed himself from the Pandavas, prompting Yudhishthira to give it the name “Guptakashi,” signifying the “Hidden Kashi.”

Embark on the true adventure as you set out on a 16-kilometer trek from Gaurikund to the revered Kedarnath Temple. As you traverse this scenic trail, encounter a rich diversity of flora and fauna, including indigenous species of plants and animals.

The trek unfolds with fascinating checkpoints, and as you ascend, be captivated by the natural beauty that surrounds you. At Kedarnath Temple, have the opportunity to witness the divine “back side” of Lord Shiva. The day ends with a visit to the temple during the Aarti ceremony at 8:30 AM in the morning and 6:30 PM in the evening, offering a chance for spiritual reflection.

Retrace your steps from Kedarnath back to Guptkashi, preparing for the next leg of your journey. Embark on a drive to Ukhimath, gearing up for the upcoming trek to Madhmaheshwar.

A scenic drive from Ukhimath takes you to Ransi Village, the starting point for your trek to Madhmaheshwar. The trek covers a distance of 16 kilometers and treats you to stunning vistas along the way. You will also pass through Gaundar Village.

The trek follows the course of Madhmaheshwar Ganga, locally known as Madhu Ganga. The day concludes with an opportunity to witness the Aarti ceremony at the temple, which venerates the “stomach or navel” part of Lord Shiva.

After paying your respects at Madhmaheshwar, trek back to Gaundar and then continue your journey to Ukhimath via vehicle.

Your next destination is Chopta, where you’ll embark on a short but challenging trek. The trail is adorned with the beauty of white and red Rhododendron flowers.

Tungnath, the world’s highest Shiva temple, is your destination, where you’ll worship the divine “hands” of Lord Shiva during the Aarti ceremony at 8:30 AM and 6:30 PM. Following this, you’ll move on to Sagar, your base for the upcoming Rudranath trek, a place named in honor of Lord Ram’s ancestors.

This day marks one of the most challenging yet rewarding phases of your journey. Trek from Sagar to Panar Bugyal, encountering three varieties of high-altitude grasslands known as Bugyals.

The trek takes you through Pung Bugyal, Lyuti Bugyal, and finally, Panar Bugyal. These meadows are adorned with awe-inspiring natural beauty, including dense forests. The steepness of the trek requires preparation, especially for beginners.

Today’s trek takes you to Rudranath, offering breathtaking vistas and excellent photographic opportunities. Pass through Pitra Dhar, a place of worship for ancestors in the Sanatan Dharma tradition, and Devdarshani, which provides your first sight of the Rudranath Temple.

Here, the face of Lord Shiva is being worshipped, and the temple is surrounded by sacred kunds (lakes) such as Narad Kund, Surya Kund, Saraswati Kund, and Chandra Kund. You’ll be captivated by the divine energy of this place. The day concludes with the Aarti ceremony at Rudranath.

Retrace your steps from Panar to Sagar village, allowing you to soak in the serene surroundings once more.

Your journey takes you to Kalpeshwar, the final destination among the Panch-Kedar temples, located in Urgam village of Joshimath. Here, you’ll worship the divine “hair” / ”jata” of Lord Shiva. Kalpa Ganga flows nearby, adding to the sacred ambiance. This temple is easily accessible, with just a 1.5 to 2-kilometer walk. Afterward, drive from Urgam to Pipalkoti.

Note: The road to Kalpeshwar temple is now open from Devgram, which is less than 500 meters away. However, please note that it may not always be in firm condition, so check for road status before planning your visit.

The final leg of your incredible journey takes you from Pipalkoti back to the place where it all began, the spiritual hub of Rishikesh. This marks the end of your transformative Panch-Kedar adventure.

In our view, if you plan to embark on a journey towards a sacred destination, we strongly advise against imposing any stress or burden on animals. Instead, we recommend undertaking the trek independently, as it will provide you with an indescribable experience that will leave an enduring sense of accomplishment for a lifetime.

What’s Included?

Price Inclusion

  • Transportation: Transportation from Dehradun to the basecamp and back to Dehradun is included in the package.
  • Accommodation: Enjoy comfortable stays during your trek with accommodation in hotels, guesthouses, or dormitories, offered on a twin, triple, or dormitory sharing basis. When camping, rest in spacious tents on a double or triple sharing basis.
  • Meals: We provide nourishing and delicious vegetarian meals. Our meals are designed to keep you energized throughout the trek.
  • Camping Fees/Permits: All necessary trekking permits and woodland camping fees are included in the package, ensuring a hassle-free experience.
  • Trek Equipment: We provide essential trekking equipment, including dining tents, kitchen tents, sleeping tents with mattresses, and sleeping bags. Utensils, ropes, micro-spikes, and gaiters (if required) are also part of our equipment offerings.
  • Mules and Porters: Mules and porters are available to carry central equipment, easing your load and allowing you to focus on the trek.
  • Qualified Team: Our team comprises experienced and qualified guides, cooks, helpers, and porters who are dedicated to making your trek safe and enjoyable.
  • Basic First Aid: A basic first aid kit with an oxygen cylinder and a helmet (if required) is available to address any potential health concerns during the trek.
  • Expert Assistance: You can always reach out to our experts for any queries or assistance during your trekking journey. Simply contact us at +91-8089693825.

Price Exclusion

  • Backpack Offloading: If you prefer to offload your backpack, an additional fee of INR 1050 per bag applies.
  • Mules or Porters for Personal Bags: The service of mules or porters to carry personal bags is not included and can be arranged at an extra cost.
  • Emergency Costs: Any expenses arising from emergencies during the trek are not included in the package.
  • Tips: Tips for the trekking team are optional and not included in the package.
  • Items Not Mentioned: Any expenses or items not mentioned in the inclusion section are not covered.
  • Stay at Dehradun: Accommodation and meals in Dehradun on the last day of the trek are not included.
  • Meals During Transportation: Meals during transportation are not included.
  • GST: A 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST) is applicable and not included in the package.

Things to Carry

  • 45-60 Ltr Bag Pack With Rain Cover & Comfortable Straps
  • Hot & Cold Water Bottle Like Borosil & Milton
  • Energy Bar, Dry Fruits & ORS
  • Personal Medical Kit
  • 2/3 Full Sleeves (Non-Cotton)
  • 1 Full Fleece T-Shirt
  • 1 Fleece Jacket (Woollen Or Sweater)
  • 1 Down Feather/Hollofil Jacket
  • 1 Waterproof Jacket/Poncho
  • 1 Pair Thermal Inners (Upper And Lower)
  • 2 Trek Pants (Avoid Shorts & Denim Pants)
  • 1 Pair of Waterproof Gloves
  • 1 Pair of Woollen Gloves
  • Sun Cap
  • Woollen Cap
  • 4 Pairs Of Cotton Socks
  • 1 Pair Of Woollen Socks
  • 1 Pairs Of Sunglasses (U/V Protected)
  • 1 Neck Gaiters (Buff)
  • Tiffin Box
  • 1 Waterproof & High Ankle Trekking Shoes
  • 1 Pair Of Floaters
  • Hand Sanitizer & Sunscreen Lotion
  • Toothbrush And Toothpaste
  • Toilet Paper And Wet Wipes
  • Quick Dry Towel
  • Lip Balm & Antibacterial Powder
  • Moisturizer

How To Reach

The nearest airport to Rishikesh is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is approximately 35 kilometers away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi to reach Rishikesh. Several domestic flights connect Dehradun to major Indian cities.

The nearest railway station to Rishikesh is Yog Nagri Rishikesh Railway Station, which is well-connected to major Indian cities. From there you have to go to Rishikesh Bus Stand or Natraj.

Rishikesh is easily accessible by road and is connected to major cities in northern India. You can hire a taxi or take a bus from cities like Delhi, Haridwar, or Dehradun. Rishikesh has a well-maintained bus station, and you can find both government and private bus services that connect it to nearby towns and cities. Bus journeys offer an economical and convenient way to reach Rishikesh.

Difficulty Level of Panch Kedar Yatra

  1. Kedarnath: Suitable for All Levels – This pilgrimage destination offers a trek that falls within the easy to moderate range, making it accessible to a wide range of travelers.
  2. Madhyamaheshwar: Approachable for All – The trek to Madhyamaheshwar is characterized as easy to moderate, accommodating both novice and moderately experienced trekkers.
  3. Tunganath: Beginner-Friendly – Tunganath is a great choice for those with varying trekking experience, as it is categorized as an easy to moderate trek.
  4. Rudranath: Moderate to Challenging – This trek poses a moderate to difficult level of challenge, making it suitable for trekkers with some prior experience and a good fitness level.
  5. Kalpeshwar: Easily Accessible – Kalpeshwar stands out as an easily reachable destination, offering a straightforward trek suitable for trekkers of all skill levels.

Best Time for Panch Kedar Yatra

The optimal period for embarking on the Panch-Kedar pilgrimage is between May and October, as the doors of Kedarnath opens on the 25th of April and are the first ones to open. During this timeframe, pilgrims can access the main temples of Kedarnath, Tunganath, Madhyamaheshwar, and Rudranath as the weather is favorable and the paths are clear.

However, it’s crucial to note that from early November to mid-November, these temples are temporarily closed due to heavy snowfall, rendering them inaccessible.

Remarkably, Kalpeshwar Temple stands out as the exception among the Panch-Kedar temples. It graciously welcomes devotees throughout the year, with its doors remaining open even during the winter months when the other temples are closed due to the snowfall.

This unique feature allows pilgrims to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva at Kalpeshwar regardless of the season, making it a year-round spiritual destination.

More Info of Panch Kedar Yatra

After the tumultuous events of the Mahabharata, the virtuous Pandavas found themselves burdened by a profound sense of remorse. Their participation in the great war had resulted in the deaths of not only their own kin but also their revered teachers and numerous others.

These transgressions against “Dharma,” the sacred code of righteous conduct, weighed heavily on their hearts, and they were aware that these sins could obstruct their path to “Moksha,” the ultimate liberation of the soul.

The Pandavas’ deeds during the Mahabharata, including using deceitful tactics on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, had not found favor with Lord Shiva, the divine preserver of righteousness. In their earnest quest for redemption and purification, the Pandavas resolved to seek the Darshan (divine vision) of Lord Shiva, believing that his blessings held the key to absolving them of their grave sins.

As the Pandavas embarked on their journey towards the majestic Himalayas, their hearts filled with both hope and trepidation. Upon reaching the hallowed presence of Lord Shiva, they encountered an enigmatic turn of events. The omniscient Lord Shiva, in his infinite wisdom, chose to conceal his true form and assume a guise to test the sincerity of the Pandavas’ penance.

Lord Shiva, the cosmic dancer, transformed himself into a Nandi, a sacred bull, and took refuge amidst the idyllic Himalayan landscapes. From afar, the Pandavas beheld the divine bull, unknowingly standing before their beloved deity.

Yudhishthira, the wise and noble leader among the Pandavas, perceived that Lord Shiva had concealed himself from them, recognizing that their sins were not yet fully atoned for. In reverence and acknowledgment of this divine act of concealment, he declared that the very place where Lord Shiva had veiled his presence would henceforth be named Guptakashi, signifying the “Hidden Kashi.

It was Nakul and Sahadev, the observant and perceptive brothers, who first noticed the uniqueness of the bull. Sensing the divine presence within this unusual manifestation, they shared their discovery with the mighty Bhima, the strongest among the Pandavas.

Learning of Lord Shiva’s transformation into a bull, Bhima, fueled by his unwavering devotion and determination, embarked on a quest to find and capture the divine being.

The divine encounter between Bhima and Lord Shiva, now in the form of the Nandi bull, carried a profound significance. As Bhima approached, Lord Shiva chose to merge with the earth itself, disappearing from Bhima’s sight. Yet, it is said that Bhima’s unshakeable faith and spiritual insight enabled him to recognize the divine presence that had merged with the earth.

The legends narrate that as Bhima sought to capture Lord Shiva, the earth yielded to his devotion, and numerous divine Lingas (representations of Lord Shiva) emerged from different points on the ground. These Lingas served as sacred reminders of Lord Shiva’s omnipresence and became revered pilgrimage sites, each enshrining a fragment of the divine essence.

In this way, the Pandavas’ journey to seek Lord Shiva’s forgiveness and redemption transformed into a profound spiritual odyssey, leaving behind a trail of sacred sites known for their deep significance and spiritual potency.

This tale of divine concealment, discovery, and ultimate revelation encapsulates the timeless theme of human devotion and the divine’s boundless compassion, a theme that continues to inspire countless pilgrims and seekers on their spiritual quests. The different places from where the different body parts of Lord shiva occurred are:

Kedarnath Temple – The Back Side of Lord Shiva

Our journey begins with Kedarnath, the first of the Panch-Kedar temples. Located amidst the breathtaking Garhwal Himalayas, Kedarnath Temple is perched at an altitude of approximately 11,755 feet above sea level. Devotees believe that this temple represents the “back side” of Lord Shiva. The temple’s surroundings are a testament to nature’s grandeur, with the Mandakini River flowing nearby and towering peaks as witnesses to the divine presence.

Madhya-Maheshwar Temple – The Stomach and Navel Part of Lord Shiva

Continuing our spiritual quest, we reach Madhya-Maheshwar Temple. This sacred site is said to embody the “stomach and navel” of Lord Shiva. Situated in the midst of lush meadows and pristine wilderness, the temple offers a tranquil atmosphere for introspection and devotion. The journey to this temple, surrounded by serene beauty, is an experience of spiritual awakening.

Tunganath Temple – The Hands of Lord Shiva

Next on our pilgrimage is Tunganath Temple, representing the “hands” of Lord Shiva. Perched at an altitude of approximately 12,073 feet, it is the highest temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in the world. The trek to Tunganath takes devotees through dense forests, offering a chance to connect with the natural world and find solace in the majestic Himalayan landscapes.

Rudranath Temple – The Face of Lord Shiva

As we advance on our spiritual journey, we come to Rudranath Temple, the sacred site symbolizing the “face” of Lord Shiva. The hardest trek among Panchkedar is nestled in the Garhwal Himalayas, this temple is known for its tranquil ambiance and breathtaking vistas. Devotees believe that visiting Rudranath brings them closer to the divine essence of Lord Shiva’s countenance.

Kalpeshwar Temple – The Hair (Jata) of Lord Shiva

Our pilgrimage culminates at Kalpeshwar Temple, where Lord Shiva’s “hair” or “Jata” is venerated. This serene temple is enveloped in lush greenery and a sense of spiritual serenity. The calmness of the surroundings provides the perfect setting for meditation and reflection. This is the only kedar which is always open unlike the rest of the Kedar’s and is most easily accessible.

The sequence of these temples mirrors the anatomy of the lord, allowing pilgrims to pay their respects to different aspects of his form. As one embarks on this sacred voyage, they not only traverse the rugged terrain of the Himalayas but also embark on a journey within, seeking spiritual enlightenment and communion with the Lord.

Flora:

The Panch Kedar region is not only a spiritual haven but also a sanctuary for a diverse range of flora. Spring brings vibrant colors to the landscape, with brilliant red, pink, and white rhododendron blossoms adorning the countryside. Deodar and pine forests offer thick foliage along the hiking trails, adding to the area’s natural charm.

The rare Brahmakamal, also known as Saussurea obvallata and Uttarakhand’s state flower, showcases its uniqueness during the monsoon season. Higher elevations host juniper and birch trees, enriching the area’s biodiversity.

As you ascend into the Himalayas, alpine meadows come to life with an array of alpine flowers, including primulas, gentians, and anemones. The region is also home to Himalayan Balsam, known for its exploding seed pods, and Cyananthus lobatus with its bell-shaped blue or purple blooms.

Himalayan geraniums adorn gardens with exquisite pink to purple blossoms, while Anaphalis Margaritacea, also known as pearly everlastings, retain their color even after drying. Rudranath’s meadows are where you may find the striking yellow Ranunculus hirtellus, and Himalayan Bistort, or Bistorta affinis, thrives in the Himalayas.

Fauna:

The Panch Kedar region is a haven for diverse wildlife. The elusive Himalayan Musk Deer, found in the deep woodlands, is known for its unique scent glands that produce musk. The Himalayan Monal, Uttarakhand’s official bird, enchants with its colorful plumage and distinctive vocalizations.

Blue Sheep, or Bharal, frequent the high mountain slopes and serve as essential prey for local snow leopards. The Himalayan Tahr, a robust herbivorous mammal, roams the alpine meadows.

The rare and elusive Snow Leopard, representing the region’s pristine environment, has successfully adapted to the challenging mountain habitat. Himalayan Black Bears, omnivores, inhabit the forests near the Himalayas and play a vital role in the ecosystem.

Red Foxes are versatile carnivores that can be found at lower elevations. The majestic Himalayan Griffon Vulture soars gracefully on thermals, scavenging carrion and playing a crucial role in maintaining alpine ecology.

  1. Kalimath Temple, near Madhmaheshwar (Rudraprayag): Located near Madhmaheshwar in Rudraprayag, the Kalimath Temple is a place of spiritual significance. It is dedicated to the Goddess Kali, and the serene surroundings make it a perfect spot for meditation and reflection.
  2. Anusuya Mata Temple, near Rudranath (Gopeshwar): Nestled near Rudranath in Gopeshwar, the Anusuya Mata Temple is a sacred site. It is dedicated to Goddess Anusuya, known for her devotion and hospitality, and the temple’s location offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan landscape.
  3. Gopinath Temple, near Rudranath (Gopeshwar): The Gopinath Temple, situated close to Rudranath in Gopeshwar, is dedicated to Lord Krishna. It’s a place where devotees come to seek spiritual solace and admire the temple’s architectural beauty.
  4. Deoriya Tal, near Tunganath (Chopta): Deoriya Tal, located near Tunganath in Chopta, is a pristine and serene lake surrounded by lush forests. It’s a popular trekking destination and an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts to soak in the natural beauty.
  5. Chandrashila Peak, near Tungnath (Chopta): Chandrashila Peak, near Tungnath in Chopta, is a trekkers’ paradise. The summit offers panoramic views of the snow-clad Himalayan peaks and is a must-visit for adventure seekers.
  6. Shri Markandeshwar Temple, near Tunganath Makku Village (Chopta): The Shri Markandeshwar Temple, located near Tunganath Makku Village in Chopta, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It’s not only a religious site but also a place to appreciate the tranquil surroundings.
  7. Bansi Narayan Temple, near Kalpeshwar Temple Urgam Village (Joshimath): Situated near the Kalpeshwar Temple in Urgam Village, Joshimath, the Bansi Narayan Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It’s a place of devotion and architectural beauty set against a backdrop of scenic splendor.
  8. Dhyan Badri Temple, near Kalpeshwar (Joshimath): The Dhyan Badri Temple, near Kalpeshwar in Joshimath, is a sacred site where Lord Vishnu is worshipped. The temple’s location in the serene Himalayan landscape offers a tranquil atmosphere for spiritual seekers.

Gallery

Map of Trail

FAQs

The Panch Kedar temples vary in difficulty levels. Rudranath is considered the toughest trek among them. Kedarnath and Madmaheshwar are moderate in terms of difficulty. The easiest ones to reach are Kalpeshwar and Chopta Tungnath.

During the Panch Kedar Yatra, you can witness stunning views of various Himalayan peaks, including Kedarnath, Neelkanth, Chaukhamba, and more, depending on the temple you visit.

You will come across ATMs in various towns during your Panch Kedar Yatra. However, it’s advisable to carry sufficient cash or make transactions in Rishikesh before embarking on the journey.

Charging points may be limited during the trek, so it’s recommended to carry a power bank for your electronic devices.

45,000

/ Per Person

5% GST & Transportation Cost

Book Now

Cancellation Policy

Available Dates

Call for Booking

Call for Booking

Call for Booking

Similar Treks

6 days

9,999

Hampta Pass Trek

6 days

8,999

Kuari Pass Trek

8 Days

18,999

Gidara Bugyal Trek

7 Days

15,499

Gaumukh Tapovan Trek


Leave a Comment

45,000

/ Per Person

+ 5% GST

+ Transportation Cost

Book Now

Cancellation Policy

Available Dates

Call for Booking

Call for Booking

Call for Booking