Amidst the clouds and rain, a trek to breathtaking Kedarnath

Amidst the clouds and rain, a trek to breathtaking Kedarnath

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I started traveling quite early in life. Sometimes, I would go on a vacation with my parents, while there were many trips with my Uncle’s, Aunt’s, cousins and a few other relatives. One such trip was to the Char Dham. Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri.

In June 2001, we left home for an adventurous and fun-filled trip to the hills. We were a group of 16 people. A mixed bag of oldies, mid-aged, teens and kids. And when you travel with family, you know a lot of entertainment awaits you.

We reached Gaurikund in the late evening and halted at a hotel for a night stay. After taking the holy bath in the kund (pond) the next morning, we proceeded towards Rambara. We packed an extra pair of clothes, a few eatables, water bottles, and started ascending with full enthusiasm. It was a long stretch of 14 km from Gaurikund to the Kedarnath temple.


The first 7 km were still manageable but we took quite a long time in reaching the halfway, Rambara. The next half from Rambara to Kedarnath was quite steep and tougher. As we had only a day in hand, we decided to take the horse ride and palanquins till the peak. My Uncle who was a senior citizen but the fittest traveler amongst all of us didn’t join us. Instead, he continued walking. It was an enjoyable experience traveling in a large group. The entire route of Kedarnath was mesmerizing with vibrant trees of different colored flowers. Those were not the days of smartphones so we couldn’t capture many pictures on the way. However, I have a few printed ones back home.


I remember we got down from the horse in many places and enjoyed the trek on foot. We met many Army trucks on the way and posed the sign of victory, “V” for them who reciprocated with the same warmth. When we left from Gaurikund, it was quite sunny but gradually, the weather started to change. It started drizzling and soon, we were amidst the clouds and rain. We didn’t have raincoats or windbreakers and got completely drenched in no time. Our bags were also not waterproof hence the extra pair of clothes that we had packed for the next day was also spoiled in the heavy rain.

Because of the rain, the route became very slippery and risky. Sitting on our horses and trembling, we were scared to fall down. At many places, there were narrow roads, fragile and dangerous wooden bridges and we were just praying for our safety. Finally, the adventurous ride ended and we reached our destination at around 6 pm. My Uncle who trekked on foot reached much before us and was waiting for us to reach. We were badly tired, wet from head to toe, and sleepy. As soon as we got down, we saw a few tea stalls. While waiting for the other members to arrive, we had 2-3 cups of piping hot tea in a sip. Yes, in a single sip, we finished it. The weather was too chilled to feel the heat of the tea. Despite dressed up in 4 layers of clothes, we were frozen.


We got basic accommodation through the Pandaas (local priests). Looking at our condition and wet clothes, the priest advised us not to take bath the next day as the air of the pilgrimage was pure enough to visit the temple. We realized our blunder of not carrying raincoats, the first lesson learned for the future. He was kind to arrange a coal brazier (angithi) and a heater for our room. On reaching our accommodation, we freshened up, changed into a few clothes which were not wet and tugged ourselves in the quilt. We dried our clothes through the heater while burnt a few. It was another lesson learned.

Once the rain stopped and we had dried clothes to wear, we went out for dinner. We were at such a height that the oxygen level in the air was quite low and some family members faced breathing trouble. Later we realized the idea of heating the room through angithi was wrong as it suffocated our room. Oxygen cylinders came to our rescue and we kept learning from our mistakes. This was the third lesson learned.

The day ended as all of us retired to the bed to start afresh for the next day darshan. Overall it was quite a wonderful experience of trekking and traveling with the family. The next morning we woke up to a bright day. We were relieved to see the Sun shining in the clear sky. We visited the temple, did pooja and headed to the next spot, Gangotri to experience a new adventure and make new mistakes to learn from them.


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April 1, 2019 4:28 am

Lovely read! Best way to embark on a month-long adventure (the a2zblogchatter)
Haven’t been to those places but happened to watch the recent movie by the same name – Kedarnath (starring Sushant Singh Rajput and Sara Ali Khan) – and your vivid description brought the place and specially the trek from Rambara to Kedarnath alive.

The tips (in the form of lessons) are of great help too. The readers will surely keep them in mind while planning their own visits to these places.

Looking forward to more of your adventures.

Sitharaam Jayakumar
April 1, 2019 5:03 am

Quite a trip! I can imagine what it must have felt like to get drenched in the rain in such cold weather. And the path up the hill must have been really dangerous in the rain! Entertaining post.

April 1, 2019 5:12 am

That’s quite an experience. I have never been to Kedarnath or char dham yatra. Thanks for sharing your experience and that’s an interesting travel tale. Looks like our themes are pretty similar. All the best, Vartika. 🙂

April 1, 2019 5:30 am

Now you are tempting for a holiday and a trek..with hot Chennai, this trek would be like a distant dream for me

Mayuri Nidigallu
April 1, 2019 5:43 am

That must’ve been cold, and how! Truly, travel teaches you so much. Love the fact that you’ve visited these holy places.

April 1, 2019 5:58 am

Oh wow! It was a wonderful experience for you, Isn’t It?

April 1, 2019 6:59 am

Great post. I love, or used to love, walking on the mountains. It is an exhilarating feeling to see the snow clad peaks. It takes mind off the mundane to divine.

Sonia Chatterjee
April 1, 2019 9:41 am

You have become a pro at travel blogging. Such beautiful pics and post with so much details.

Noor Anand Chawla
Noor Anand Chawla
April 1, 2019 9:45 am

I can really identify with your post Vartika. My family trekked to neighbouring Hemkund Sahib Gurdwara when I was younger; and made similar mistakes! In fact, my memory of that trip will also be a part of the #AtoZChallenge 🙂

Aditi Kapur
April 1, 2019 10:35 am

Nice memoir:)

Shalini R
April 1, 2019 10:40 am

What a beautiful narrative of your experience. Visiting Kedarnath is one of my dreams for I have visited Haridwar and Rishikesh and is blessed to have stayed in the Land of Gods. Fingers crossed.

Rashi Roy
April 1, 2019 11:22 am

Very well written, nice and detailed.

April 1, 2019 12:26 pm

You are an amazing storyteller…!

Vidhya Thakkar
April 1, 2019 12:53 pm

And its a beautiful place!! Loved it

Anurag Singh
April 1, 2019 1:03 pm

Arey what a post

True travel blogger you are

Very helpful indeed

Surbhi Prapanna
April 1, 2019 2:09 pm

Great beginning and I had a similar experience there when we visited this place in year 2000. looking forward to all upcoming post.

Sweta Papaiyawala
April 1, 2019 2:39 pm

Fantastic experience. Have fear of traveling on heights but the way u described, wouldn’t mind going for it. Looking forward to more read.

April 1, 2019 2:44 pm

Never been there. I do have plans to go on Char Dham well in advance so that I can enjoy the journey and bliss without worrying about health issues which later age would be bringing along. Lovely read Vartika.?

Alpana Deo
April 1, 2019 2:50 pm

Wow… traveling with a big group has it’s own charm. You don’t feel the distance Loved the last line new mistakes to learn from. Every travel gives us many memories to treasure and teaches us many lessons for our upcoming trips.
Good luck for A2Z

Esha Chakraborty
April 1, 2019 3:19 pm

Fab post… I really love the person touch to yoir travelogues…

Ritu Kalra
Ritu Kalra
April 1, 2019 4:20 pm

I always wanted to go trekking to kedarnath but everytime we feared of low oxygen levels and risks involved..would keep these points in mind when we go

Anahita Irani
April 1, 2019 4:54 pm

I am yet to do chaar dham. Learnt a lot from your experiences. A beautiful read Vartika. Truly you are gifted.

April 1, 2019 5:39 pm

Very informative and I could actually imagine or I should say visualize Tauji walking ahead of all and the rest of the narrative was very endearing too….good luck and keep up the good work.

Sanjota Purohit
April 1, 2019 5:51 pm

enjoyed reading. Never visited Kedarnath but we have plans with family. I will remember your lessons.

Prerna Wahi
April 1, 2019 6:36 pm

Wow Vartika. I didn’t know that you are a trekker too. Lovely article with so many useful details and handy tips. It’s a good guide for anyone planning to visit Kedarnath.

Aslam Khan
April 1, 2019 7:18 pm

Great expedition. “We dried our clothes through the heater while burnt a few” was quite nostalgic for me. I did the same, while I was travelling to a hill station.

April 1, 2019 7:40 pm

My mother so wants to visit this place. After reading this post of yours I am surely gonna make sure of taking her there…loved reading your experience here !

April 2, 2019 1:55 am

I remember doing this trek 10 years ago and no other trek can beat this stretch. The snow clad mountain ranges, waterfalls, hovering clouds all make it so beautiful.

Aritra Chakrabarty
April 2, 2019 6:34 am

Wow, a trek to Kedarnath must be a very fulfilling and adventurous experience, as is indicated in your narrative. You have also shared great insights. Loved reading your travelogue.

April 2, 2019 4:21 pm

I just love this post was wishing if the post can continue as want to read about your journey to Gangotri too

Harjeet Kaur
April 2, 2019 4:55 pm

What a pilgrimage….it gives me the heeby-jeebies but it is still on my bucket list and Hemkund Sahib..Inshallah!! Someday sometime 🙂 #blogchatterA2Z

Snehalata Jain
April 2, 2019 6:01 pm

After watching the movie i really wanted to go and see the beauty in real sense, i want to see that valley of flower

Sapna Bansal
April 2, 2019 6:19 pm

Being a shiv devotee, I long to visit this place. Your post made me more inclined to visit it soon. Share photos as would love seeing photos as well.

Shilpa Garg
April 2, 2019 7:31 pm

What an adventure trip. Getting wet in the cold weather can be treacherous. Glad that you had a good time despite the challenges.

Shilpa Garg #AtoZChallenge


[…] Read my last post in the series Amidst the clouds and rain, a trek to breathtaking Kedarnath […]

Kapila Rattan Bhowmik
April 3, 2019 3:13 am

Oh I have never been to Kedarnath. And now trekking seems impossible.. though I hope I get a chanvey

Monika Sehdev
April 3, 2019 6:34 am

Waoh Kedarnath is such a beauty. Absolutely love reading your blog post about this eternity ?

April 3, 2019 10:51 am

Very well expressed,I would love to visit Kedarnath for its mystic beauty.Though trekking is now out of the question due to excessive weight gain?

April 3, 2019 4:13 pm

It was quite a trip, I can see. First the cold of the Himalayas and then the rain! It’s an interesting travel tale.

April 4, 2019 4:03 am

Vartika, your post me reminded of latest movie Kedarnath. The scenic beauty must be surely an appealing to eye and soul.
Your lessons learnt are now going to guide many who travel to Kedarnath.


[…] our trip to Char Dham, we visited many other temples also en route. Kalimath Shakti Peeth Temple was one of them which is […]

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