The ancient temple of Kedarnath stays open for a duration of 6 months. This is the time when the temple remains open for pilgrims to visit and offer their prayers. For the remaining 6 months, the temple remains shut for Darshan. The idol of Lord Kedar’s deity is shifted to his winter home in Ukhimath. The dates for the opening and closing of the temple are decided by the Badri Kedar Temple committee. The dates are decided as per the Hindu calendar or Panchang.
COVID had a huge impact on the functioning of the Char Dham Yatra. However, this year the yatra has commenced with great zeal and enthusiasm. The government of Uttarakhand has taken rapid and effective measures and important steps in keeping the pilgrims safe during the journey.
Here are the latest opening and closing dates for Kedarnath 2023:
About Kedarnath Temple
Kedarnath temple is an ancient Shiva temple that is also a part of the Char Dham Yatra along with Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. The temple was built by the great sage Adi Shankaracharya during the 8th century. The first foundation was first laid by the Pandavas brothers. The temple is located at a very high altitude region amidst the Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary and next to the holy river of Mandakini. It is also a major part of the Shiva Jyotirlinga Tour and Panch Kedar Yatra.
Reaching the Temple
The temple is located at a very high altitude remote location in the Garhwal Himalayas. Reaching the temple is a challenging trekking endeavor. The trek is 18 kms of regular uphill walk. People need to be physically capable to go on their ventures. The journey starts from the last road and heads to the temple at Gaurikund. It takes almost the whole day for people to make the journey.
Many pilgrims choose the helicopter yatra package to Kedarnath. This package includes a VIP Darshan pass, Yatri registration, and other luxurious facilities. These also include smooth transfers and stays at good accommodations.
Many pilgrims who choose to go the trekking route also go for alternate ways of getting there. There are ponies, Dolis and other such services available.
How are the Opening and Closing Dates for Kedarnath Decided?
The process of deciding the date takes place along with a religious ceremony. This ceremony is performed followed by Hindu Panchang. Every year the temple is set to open from late April to early May. After consulting the priests, the dates are decided and announced later on by the Badri Kedar temple committee. These opening and closing dates are decided after referring to the astrological chart.
Opening date for Kedarnath 2023
The opening date for Kedarnath 2023 is 25th April. The temple opens its doors on the holy occasion of Akshay Tritiya. The doors are opened amidst great traditional folk dance and musical performances. It takes place early in the morning. The opening date announcement took place on 1st March 2023, during the holy eve of Shiv Ratri.
Closing Date for Kedarnath 2023
The closing date for Kedarnath in 2023 is 26th October. The gates shut down for 6 months on the holy eve of Bhai Dooj. Just like the temple opening procedure the temple shuts down amidst great fun and musical performances as well. The Garhwal bands take the idol of the presiding deity to his winter home in Ukhimath. After the shutting down of the temple, a single lit Diya is kept throughout the season inside the temple. It is also looked after by the Bhairav Baba shrine located I km above the temple.
Winter Home of Kedarnath 2023
Even after the temple shuts down for Darshan, it remains open for Darshan at the winter home of Kedarnath, Ukhimath. The presiding idol is that of Lord Shiva belonging to Kedarnath Mandir. Omkareshwar temple in Ukhimath is the winter home. The temple in itself is an architectural masterpiece. Complete with fine engravings and elaborate carvings, it is a very pretty-looking temple. For a duration of 6 months, the lord stays here. The winter home or the winter Char Dham Yatra was established with the aim of allowing the pilgrims to continue on with their journey even when the weather doesn’t allow them to.
Be sure of the opening and closing date before planning a trip or booking a Kedarnath package.