Rishikesh to Kedarnath- Route, Distance & Stay

The journey to Kedarnath is a profound spiritual adventure, often starting from the bustling yet serene town of Rishikesh. Nestled in the Himalayas, Kedarnath is one of the most revered pilgrimage sites for Hindus. This article provides an in-depth guide on traveling from Rishikesh to Kedarnath, including the route, distances, transportation options, and accommodation details, ensuring a well-planned and memorable journey.

Overview: Rishikesh to Kedarnath

Kedarnath, located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, is accessible from Rishikesh, which serves as the primary base for the journey. The trip involves a mix of driving and trekking, covering a total distance of approximately 220 kilometers.

Distance From Rishikesh to Kedarnath

How to Reach Kedarnath from Rishikesh

By Road

Rishikesh is well-connected by road to various major cities. From Rishikesh, pilgrims can either take a direct bus or hire a private car to reach Gaurikund, the starting point of the Kedarnath trek.

  • Buses: Government-operated GMOU and UPSRTC buses, along with private buses, are available from Rishikesh to Gaurikund.
  • Private Car/Taxi: Many prefer hiring a taxi for a more comfortable and flexible journey.

By Train

The nearest railway station to Kedarnath is in Rishikesh. Trains from major cities across India connect to Rishikesh, making it a convenient starting point. Upon arrival, travelers can take a bus or hire a car to continue their journey to Gaurikund.

By Air

The closest airport to Kedarnath is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, located about 21.7 kilometers from Rishikesh. From the airport, one can take a bus or a taxi to Rishikesh and then proceed to Gaurikund.

By Helicopter

For a quicker and more scenic option, travelers can book helicopter rides from Dehradun, Haridwar, or Phata to Kedarnath. Helicopter services are also available from the Sahastradhara helipad in Dehradun to Phata, from where Kedarnath is a short flight away.

Detailed Route and Key Points

The route from Rishikesh to Kedarnath covers several picturesque towns and significant pilgrimage sites. Here’s a breakdown of the journey:

Rishikesh to Devprayag

  • Distance: 72.2 km
  • Highlights: Devprayag is renowned for the confluence of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers, which merge to form the holy Ganga. This town, one of the Panch Prayags, features ancient temples like the Raghunathji Temple and the Nakshatra Ved Shala observatory.

Devprayag to Srinagar

  • Distance: 35.9 km
  • Highlights: Situated on the banks of the Alaknanda River, Srinagar has a rich history as the capital of the Garhwal Kingdom. The town offers various temples and sacred sites along with comfortable accommodations.

Srinagar to Rudraprayag

  • Distance: 32.3 km
  • Highlights: Another important confluence town, Rudraprayag marks the meeting point of the Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers. Nearby attractions include the Tungnath Temple, Kartik Swamy Temple, and Basukedar.

Rudraprayag to Phata

  • Distance: 55.4 km
  • Highlights: Phata is a crucial stop for helicopter services to Kedarnath. It’s also known for the Vishwanath and Ardhanareshwar temples in nearby Guptkashi.

Phata to Sonprayag

  • Distance: 16 km
  • Highlights: At Sonprayag, pilgrims can find parking and transfer to shared vehicles heading to Gaurikund. The confluence of the Basuki and Mandakini rivers here adds to the spiritual ambiance.

Sonprayag to Gaurikund

  • Distance: 5.2 km
  • Highlights: Gaurikund, the starting point of the Kedarnath trek, is known for its hot springs and the Gauri Temple dedicated to Goddess Parvati.

Gaurikund to Kedarnath Temple

  • Distance: 16 km (trek)
  • Trek Route Stops:
    • Jungle Chatti: 4 km from Gaurikund.
    • Bhimbali: 3 km from Jungle Chatti.
    • Lincholi: 4 km from Bhimbali.
    • Kedarnath Base Camp: 4 km from Lincholi.
    • Kedarnath Temple: 1 km from the base camp.

Accommodation Option

In Rishikesh

Rishikesh offers a wide range of accommodations from luxury hotels to budget guesthouses and ashrams, catering to different preferences and budgets.

Along the Route

  • Devprayag, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Guptkashi: These towns have numerous hotels and guesthouses. Guptkashi, being a major base for the Kedarnath trek, has several lodging options that require advance booking during peak season.
  • Sonprayag and Gaurikund: Basic accommodations are available. It is advisable to book early as these areas can get crowded during the yatra season.

Trek Route Stops (Jungle Chatti, Bhimbali, Lincholi)

These stops offer GMVN tents and basic facilities including medical aid, restrooms, and food supplies.

Kedarnath Base Camp and Temple Area

  • GMVN Camps: At the base camp and near the temple, GMVN offers tents and dormitories which should be booked in advance through their official website.
  • Private Lodges: Some private accommodations are available near the temple for those who prefer more comfort.

Things to Carry

  • Clothing: Warm and waterproof clothing, including thermal wear, jackets, and trekking shoes.
  • Medical Kit: Personal medications, basic first aid supplies.
  • Documents: ID proof, necessary permits for the trek.
  • Trekking Gear: A sturdy backpack, water bottles, energy snacks, and a flashlight.
  • Miscellaneous: Sunscreen, sunglasses, toiletries, and a camera.

Essential Tips for the Journey

  • Advance Booking: Whether it’s for transport, accommodation, or helicopter rides, advance booking is crucial, especially during peak pilgrimage seasons.
  • Physical Preparation: The trek from Gaurikund to Kedarnath is physically demanding. Ensure you are in good health and consider engaging in some physical training before the journey.
  • Weather Check: The weather in the Himalayas can be unpredictable. Check the weather forecast before starting your journey and be prepared for sudden changes.
  • Hydration and Nutrition: Carry sufficient water and light snacks to stay hydrated and energized during the trek.

The Spiritual and Scenic Splendor of Kedarnath

The journey to Kedarnath is not just a physical trek but also a spiritual quest. The path is adorned with stunning Himalayan landscapes, dense forests, serene rivers, and waterfalls, making it a deeply enriching experience. The ultimate reward is the sight of the majestic Kedarnath Temple, nestled against the backdrop of the snow-clad peaks.

Kedarnath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas and holds immense religious significance. The temple’s history, its resilient structure, and the legends associated with it add to the spiritual aura of the place.


A journey from Rishikesh to Kedarnath is a blend of devotion, adventure, and natural beauty. With the detailed information provided in this guide, you can plan your yatra efficiently, ensuring a smooth and enriching experience. Whether you choose to travel by road, rail, air, or trek the distance, the spiritual journey to Kedarnath is bound to be memorable and transformative. Safe travels and divine blessings!