Kedarnath is one of the holiest shrines in Hinduism and the journey towards this sacred temple is considered to be a pilgrimage like no other.
Today’s blog will guide you on how you can cover the Haridwar to Kedarnath distance and reach the most revered pilgrimage site in Uttarakhand and Bharat: by bus, cab, private vehicle, helicopter or on foot. It will also include the cheapest and best ways to embark on this memorable journey.
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Haridwar to Kedarnath Distance and How to Reach
You start your journey in the entrance or door to the land of Hari or the Divine, Haridwar. Pilgrims from across the country begin their Char Dham Yatra from this place as well.
The Haridwar Railway Station is well-connected to a majority of big cities across the country, and one can reach this place easily and affordably from anywhere around Bharat.
Also Read: Godwin Hotel Haridwar Review
The first thing to know before you begin your journey is that all the motorable routes towards Kedarnath end up at this place called Gaurikund.
The Haridwar to Kedarnath distance by road is approximately 250kilometers, and includes two levels or legs to make you reach your destination.
- The First Leg: When you start your journey and reach Gaurikund, situated at a distance of about 239 km from Haridwar.
- The Second Leg: When you begin one of the most outstanding, beautiful, highly demanding Kedarnath trek to reach the holy shrine, situated at an approximate distance of 16 kilometers.
*There are many ways you can cover the second leg of the holy pilgrimage: by trekking, horse-riding, even a helicopter.
As for the first leg of your pilgrimage, you can have the indulge in various other transportation modes: by bus, by booking a cab, your own private vehicle, a helicopter or a demanding, but memorable trek.
1. By Bus: A Sacred Pilgrimage
The most popular and economical way to cover the journey to reach Kedarnath from Haridwar is to take a state-run bus.
The USRTC or Uttarakhand State Road Transport Corporation operates regular buses from Haridwar to Gaurikund. The journey takes somewhere around 8 to 10 hours.
The Haridwar to Kedarnath bus ticket price comes between INR 700 to INR 1000, depending on the type of bus you choose (Standard, Semi-Deluxe or Deluxe).
- Expect scenic routes, breathtaking vistas and a picturesque journey through the mountains.
- The most budget-friendly way to cover your pilgrimage to the holy shrine.
- Ideal option for solo travelers and backpackers.
- More eco-friendly transportation option as compared to helicopters or private vehicles.
- The buses, although economical, can take a much longer time off your journey.
- You cannot expect the best of comforts when you travel by a bus, especially on the Himalayan routes.
- A bus does not allow one to stop anywhere we want to register the breathtaking scenic views along the journey. Private vehicles or cabs are much preferred for the journey lovers.
- Peak Season of the pilgrimage leads to crowded buses and it is a challenge to actually get a seat for yourself or your family. You must book tickets in advance to beat that.
2. By Cab: A Divine Journey
For travelers or pilgrims who prefer comfort and convenience more so than the budget-friendly options, hiring a cab or taxi from Haridwar for journeying towards Kedarnath temple.
You can easily book your taxis through the local agencies or via Ola/Uber outstation services as well. It takes about 6 to 8 hours to reach Gaurikund via a cab, and the cost usually ranges from INR 4,000 to INR 7,000 depending on the cab type, group size and season of traveling.
One of my personal favorite thing about hiring cabs or private vehicles to travel between Haridwar to Kedarnath is that you have all the time for yourself. You can stop for meals, sightseeing, photographs and just enjoy the journey at your own pace.
And when it is a scenic route through the mesmerizing mountains, it becomes even more interesting and memorable for each member of the group.
- Much comfortable and faster mode of travel when compared to a bus.
- A cab is a very ideal choice for small groups of friends or families.
- As mentioned above, you can stop anywhere you want for sightseeing or relaxing amongst the magnificent vistas on the route.
- Cabs are highly reliable and convenient, they offer you a chauffer or driver who has done this journey many-a-times and knows just the most fascinating spots, places and tips which could come handy during your trek to the Kedarnath temple.
- With all that customization opportunities and comfort, comes higher costs.
- If you did not pre-book your cabs before the journey begins, you might have to deal with availability issues and even higher costs.
- You must learn about the experience of the driver before booking the cab from the service providers. The terrains keep changing as you move closer to your destination and only an experienced driver can tackle the changing atmosphere and rocky roads which lead you from Haridwar to Kedarnath.
- You need to keep track of any road closures or delays along the way.
Few tips to consider when traveling by a Cab:
- Pack Essentials: Ensure you have warm pullovers or jackets, snacks and plenty water for the journey. Also keep medications to tackle motion sickness – which is quite common on those roads.
- Plan your stops and tell your driver about those. The journey includes many fascinating spots to look at as we move from the wonderous roads of Rishikesh-Devprayag-Srinagar and you must inform your driver to slow it down when you reach those scenic landscapes to stop for a moment and experience it all.
- Be Responsible: Respect the nature and do not litter around the roads.
- Keep weather in-check: Always look at the weather conditions and keep track of it as you move along the journey, especially during the monsoons.
3. By Private Vehicle: A Himalayan Expedition
My own personal favorite way of journeying is to have your own private vehicle, be it a motor bike or a car, and experience the changing worlds around you at your own pace.
It feels almost like an adventure when you drive through the scenic, but wacky terrains of the Himalayan-carved roads. It is a mesmerizing experience.
Even for me, the first time I drove on the hilly, steep roads of the hills, it was challenging but at the same time it also was a pretty outstanding experience. You feel like you’ve leveled up as a driver and as a traveler, in it’s own weird sense.
When you have your own private vehicle for journeying the Haridwar to Kedarnath distance, you have full control on your pace, time and utmost flexibility in terms of where you want to stop, where you want to eat, etc.
- Most convenient and flexible transport option to cover the distance between Haridwar and Kedarnath.
- One of the most incredible feature of a private vehicle, is the experience and customization that you get along the journey.
- Ideal for those seeking a road trip experience towards the holy shrine of Kedarnath.
- A private vehicle gives the highest amount of privacy for you and your friends or family to enjoy the journey and play your favorite travel songs along the way.
- Before you take your private vehicle on this marvelous journey, you must factor in vehicle maintenance and learn about the fuel costs.
- The hilly terrains for reaching from Haridwar to Kedarnath demand prior driving experience.
- There might be limited accommodations in remote locations along the journey, so you must always preplan your stops along the journey.
- Unpredictable weather is like something that comes with the Himalayan terrains and you cannot ignore it. So, always check for the weather conditions before moving any further.
Step-by-step guide for your road trip from Haridwar to Kedarnath:
- Step 1: (Haridwar to Rishikesh) | 27 km, 1 hour –
Visit the iconic Laxman Jhula, Ram Jhula, Triveni Ghat.
- Step 2: (Rishikesh to Rudraprayag) | 138 km, 5 hours –
Stop for the fascinating merger of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi river, to form the Ganges at Devprayag along the route.
- Step 3: (Rudraprayag to Guptkashi) | 45 km, 2 hours –
Continue journey towards Guptkashi and visit the historic Vishwanath Temple dedicated to Shiva.
- Step 4: (Guptkashi to Gaurikund) | 30 km, 2 hours –
Gaurikund is the last motorable spot for your road trip. It is here where the road journey ends and the trek to the holy shrine of Kedarnath begins.
4. By Helicopter: Soaring to Serenity
Now that we know about the road journeys towards Kedarnath, it is time to get into a more luxurious and a mesmerizing experience to reach from Haridwar to Kedarnath: via a private helicopter.
Several private helicopter operators offers fantastic chartered services from Haridwar, Dehradun and other nearby areas. This mode of transport not only gives you a lavish experience, but also provides the bird’s-eye view of the Himalayan ranges, while cutting the travel time to just about 30 minutes or so.
However, with that lavishness and comfort and the experience, this option becomes the most expensive among the many ways to reach from Haridwar to Kedarnath. The prices start at approximately INR 6000 per person for a one way ticket.
If you are interested in getting the most suitable chopper packages (inclusive of all meals, accommodation and private on-road transfers) for you and your loved ones wanting a serene experience, you can check out this Kedarnath helicopter package.
The helipads connecting the two destinations are Sahastradhara Helipad, in Dehradun and Sirsi Helipad, near Kedarnath.
You can get your itinerary from the chopper providers to understand more about the journey.
- Most rapid, comfortable and lavish experience to reach your destination.
- Experience serene landscapes and stunning aerial vistas of the Great Himalayas.
- Saves a lot of time and is ideal for those with limited schedule.
- You get to avoid the strenuous trek as the helicopter ride takes you straight to Kedarnath Helipad (700 meters from the temple).
- It is the most costly mode of transport for pilgrims wanting to travel between Haridwar and Kedarnath.
- Prebooking is essential for chopper bookings, as they are limited and might not be available to hire at the moment of your journey.
- The chopper travel depends on weather conditions and if it is unfavorable, flights can be delayed or even cancelled. Just like we said for the other modes of transport, always check the weather conditions before anything else and be prepared.
- Traveling with a chopper might be a fun experience, but is also pretty hard on the environment. If you are a conscious traveler, this might be a thing to consider.
5. On Foot: The Pilgrimage of the Soul
Most of the other modes of transport leaves you at the foothills of this most inspiring, adventurous and spiritually inclining experience for journeying from Haridwar to Kedarnath is to follow the ancient pilgrim routes and trek your way up to reach your destination at the shrine.
This trek is recommended only for the seasoned and highly experienced trekkers, as not many can do this demanding trek. The journey is physically demanding, you need to be at the best of your health to complete it, but once you do – it is an immensely fulfilling and a rewarding travel option as well.
If you are interested in pursuing the fascinating trek from Haridwar to Kedarnath, following is a step-by-step guide:
- Leg 1: Haridwar to Rishikesh
- Leg 2: Rishikesh to Sonprayag
- Leg 3: Begin trek from Sonprayag to Gaurikund (4 kilometers)
- Leg 4: Gaurikund to Kedarnath Shrine (16 kilometers)
*The trek usually takes about 6 to 8 hours to complete, depending on your pace and stops.
- People still pursue this demanding trek to reach the doors of their God for the deep spiritual experience that it has.
- It offers a breathtaking (literally) experience as you move amidst the nature and learn about the local culture along your path.
- It is truly an off-the-beaten path adventure with the most rewarding, peaceful and magical experience as all your worries, all your pains seem to go away as you get the first glimpse of the holy Kedarnath shrine.
- It is also considered as one of the best ways for people seeking inner growth and self-discovery
- Kedarnath trek is considered to be among the most highly demanding treks in Bharat. It demands physical fitness and displays challenging and steep routes.
- You will require proper trekking gear and necessary permits, including the Yatra Registration Permit.
- This trek could take a toll on your body, so you need to have the necessary rest and acclimatize before beginning it. Or you would need to rest at one of the many guesthouses along the trek route.
- The Himalayan weather is unpredictable, and you might encounter rain, snow or adverse weather conditions along the journey.
At the end, I would say that the best way to get to Kedarnath depends on various elements of travel: budget, time constraints and personal preferences.
- If you want the cheapest option to cover the Haridwar to Kedarnath distance is to book a state-run bus.
- If you want a more comfortable or convenient journey, you can book a cab or private vehicle.
- If you value your time and have the necessary means, a helicopter ride can be a marvelous journey.
- Consider to take the trek, no pony or choppers to reach the Kedarnath shrine for the most spiritually enriching experience.
Whichever option you choose, the journey from Haridwar to Kedarnath promises to be a memorable and a spiritually enhancing travel venture.
Always remember to book in advance for all the elements of your pilgrimage: from the transport to accommodations and other necessary stuff.
If you liked this article and want to know how to travel smoothly between two different destinations, feel free to comment down below and I will make sure you get a blog for that too.
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