Cradled in the Garhwal Himalaya’s ranges are five of Hinduism’s most important temples
inspired by the five religious forms of Lord Shiva, known as the Panch Kedar.
Kedarnath (3584 m) / Madhmaheshwar (3289 m) / Tungnath (3810 m) / Rudranath (2286 m) / Kalpeshwar (2134 m),
sprawled over the vast Kedar Valley with altitudes ranging from 1500m to 3680m.
The Panch Kedar trek includes all the shrines associated with these legends.
Kedarnath is situated at the head of the Mandakini River,
where the Linga is a natural rock that resembles the hump of a bull.
Madhmaheshwar, at the base of the Chaukhamba Peak, is at the altitude of 3500 m.
The Linga is here worshipped in the form of a navel.
Tungnath, where the arm of Shiva appeared, is the highest temple in Garhwal (3810 m).
500 m above the temple at Tungnath is Chandrashila, with a breathtaking view of the Himalayas.
Rudranath is situated where the face of Shiva is said to have appeared.
There is a natural rock temple in which the Shiva Mukha is worshipped.
Nearby the temple, there are many little lakes like the Surya Kund, Tara Kund and Manas Kund.
Kalpeshwar is situated in the beautiful valley of Urgam.
There is a cave temple and Shiva is worshipped in his matted hair form,
when He tried to flee from the Pandavas at Kedarnath.
Trek route / Best time: June to October / 170 km circuit / 13 days (moderate).
Rishikesh – Kedarnath – Madmaheshwar – Tungnath –Rudranath – Kalpeshwar – Joshimath.
It is a trek through dense forest and lush meadows full of colours,
passing through a few rustic villages steeped in old culture.
Day 1: Rishikesh – Gaurikund by motor road (209 km), check and overnight in hotel.
Situated on the Rudraprayag – Kedarnath road, Gaurikund (1981 m.)
provides a breathtaking view of the Himalayan ranges.
Day 2: 14 km trek to Kedarnath (3581 m.), sightseeing and overnight in camp.
Lunch at Rambara enroute.
Day 3: Trek back to Gaurikund, + 40 km drive to Guptkashi, overnight in camp.
Day 4: 9 km trek to Gaundhar, overnight in camp.
Day 5: 10km trek to Madmaheshwar (3289 m.), overnight in camp.
Day 6: trek back to Gaunduhar with packed lunch, overnight in camp.
Day 7: 12 km trek to Jagasu + 16 km drive to Ukhimath, overnight in Hotel.
Day 8: 35 km drive to Chopta (2900m.) and 4 km trek to Tungnath (3886 m.).
Back to Chopta, overnight in camp.
Day 9: 30 km drive to Sagar + 10 km trek to Panargupha (meadow), overnight in camp.
Day 10: 12 km trek to Rudranath, overnight in camp.
The trek goes through alpine meadows and huge dense forests with a panoramic view
over the Nanda Devi, Trishul and Nanda Ghunti peaks.
Day 11: 18 km trek to Dumak (village), overnight in camp.
Day 12: 14 km trek to Urgam (village) + 2 km trek to Kalpeshwar Mahadev, overnight in camp.
Day 13: 9 km trek to Helang + drive 13 km to Joshimath, overnight in hotel. And rest!
… One can also trek to the temples dedicated to Vishnu, the Dhayan Badri and Bansi Narayan ones.
But they are not in this Panch Kedar Circuit. They have more local importance…