When is Kedarnath less crowded? The Best Time to Visit

When is Kedarnath less crowded

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Kedarnath, home to one of the holiest Hindu temples in the Himalayas, attracts thousands of devotees and tourists each year. However due to its remote mountain location, the number of visitors to Kedarnath varies significantly across different seasons.

If you wish to experience Kedarnath and its sacred temple in a more serene, less crowded way, the best time to visit is during the winter and monsoon months when tourist numbers drop substantially.

Here’s a look at when Kedarnath has fewer crowds and what to expect during these off-season months:

Note: You can still visit during the off-season, but do note that the temple is only open from April to November. The exact dates for opening and closing are decided by the priests and local authorities, considering weather conditions and the Hindu calendar.

Related Article: Chardham Yatra Opening Date 2024

Winter Months – December to March

The winter months from December to March are when Kedarnath witnesses the least number of tourists. During this time, the entire region experiences heavy snowfall, freezing temperatures, and harsh weather conditions.

The winter snow cuts off road access to Kedarnath. The 15-kilometer uphill trek from Gaurikund to Kedarnath becomes extremely risky and difficult due to snow-covered paths. As a result, very few devotees and tourists attempt to reach the Kedarnath temple during the peak winter months.

However, for those willing to brave the cold, winter provides a unique chance to experience Kedarnath in all its serene glory. The snow-capped landscapes are stunningly beautiful. The temple remains open for a few hours daily and can be visited with minimal crowds. Watching the evening aarti in the glow of Div diyas offers a magical experience.

Monsoon Months – July to September

The monsoon months from July to September also see a dip in tourist numbers for Kedarnath, although not as drastic as the winter drop. Rains often damage roads leading to Kedarnath, making access difficult. Landslides in the region are also common during monsoons.

But while the weather is unpredictable, the monsoon allows you to experience the lush greenery around Kedarnath with snow-fed streams and cascading waterfalls at their fullest flow. The air is refreshingly clean after the rain. If you don’t mind some rainfall during your trip, the monsoon months can be ideal to visit Kedarnath and enjoy its natural beauty without hordes of tourists.

Peak Season – April to June

In comparison to winter and monsoon, the summer months of April to June are the peak tourist season in Kedarnath, when you’ll see maximum crowds. The weather is pleasant, the skies are clear, and the temple remains open for extended hours. Thousands of pilgrims flock to complete the Char Dham yatra during this period.

While the festive atmosphere is energizing, you’ll have to contend with long queues for darshan, accommodation shortages, traffic congestion, and a lack of privacy. If crowds and noise don’t appeal to you, avoid making a Kedarnath trip during these peak summer months.

You would also like to read: How to Plan Char Dham Yatra

Tips for Visiting Kedarnath in the Off-Season

Here are some tips to make the most of your travels to Kedarnath during the less crowded winter and monsoon seasons:

  • Carry enough warm and waterproof clothing as per the weather conditions expected during your visit. The region can get extremely cold and wet.
  • Check for any road blockages or damage due to snow or landslides before embarking on your journey. The route to Kedarnath may become temporarily inaccessible.
  • Make basic lodging and food arrangements in advance, as minimal facilities are available during the off-season. Guesthouses offer basic amenities only.
  • Hire experienced local guides to trek safely if you plan to visit during the winter months, when the terrain and paths may be covered in snow.
  • Travel with a reasonable level of fitness and stamina. The cold weather and non-peak conditions can be more challenging to manage.
  • Avoid venturing out alone or staying out late in the evening. It is better to visit the temple and trek during daylight hours only.
  • Carry necessary medication, first-aid kits, and emergency communication devices in case of any exigencies since assistance may be limited.

To conclude, if you wish to experience the spiritual grandeur of Kedarnath temple and magnificent Himalayan beauty in peace and quiet, visit during the winter months of December-March or the monsoon months of July-September. The effort to reach Kedarnath during the off-season will be well rewarded with a safe and memorable trip if you plan carefully.

Also Check: Char Dham Yatra Taxi Service​

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