My Journey to Shri Kedarnath Badrinath
| Gaurav Pandey, Healthcare Professional, Ghaziabad - 31 Oct 2021

Road To China Border Has Become Much Wider and Smooth 

Strategically, the road to Baba Badrinath Dham in Uttarakhand is very important as the China border is very close and improvement of this road is really going to help our Indian army in reaching quickly to the borders with arms, ammunitions food and personals. Most of the roads have become four lanes wide and smooth which are enough for vehicles coming from both the sides.

By Gaurav Pandey, Ghaziabad

A few days ago, everyone read and heard the news of road closure due to heavy rains in Kedarnath and landslides on the way to Badrinath. Many devotees were turned back from the yatra and could not visit the temples. Our itinerary of yatra was also almost at the same interval. As we heard the news we had also postponed the program and decided to go in the month of May next year. 

But with Baba's blessings, the rain also stopped and the roads of Badrinath ji was also cleared by 2:00 pm, exactly 1 day before the day we were to leave.

We re-arranged our schedule and started our journey from Ghaziabad on 22nd October and in the night we reached Guptkashi via Haridwar. 

With the ease of government procedures with could do online registration of our Uttrakhand visit and we didn't find any difficulty in entering the border as there was no physical checking or barricating. 

One of our taxi needed green card and hill license for commercial driver, we could do all the formalities online and reached Haridwar RTO office and after physical examination of our taxi we were easily provided the green card and hill license certificate. 

As we moved ahead to Rishikesh, Devprayag and Guptkashi we found that now the road condition was much better and wider roads than previous few years. We could also see road construction work going ahead at a great speed. After resting the night in Guptkashi, we went for Darshan of Baba Kedarnath in the morning by helicopter.

There was not much crowd and govt had given license to more than five helicopter companies and also due to heavy rains and information about the closure of roads, so we could easily take a helicopter as the weather was also clear. We could reach Kedarnath temple in the morning itself and see Baba Kedarnath Temple.

After darshan of Baba Kedarnath we went to visit Baba Bhairav Nath where there was a lot of snowfall and the temperature reached in minus but due to the power given by Baba, we were able to stay there and enjoy the evening aarti to the fullest. We worshiped there wholeheartedly in Baba's Temple and sought blessings from Baba for the happiness and peace of our entire family, friends and the whole world.

We found that accomodation, food, lighting, medical facilities have improved much better after the Kedarnath disaster 8  years back. We met local people too and they told us that the development work is going on at a very high pace and our PM is also coming on 5th Nov to announce many more projects including the statue of Addi Guru Shankaracharya. 

The next day there was a possibility of rain in the morning, so we came back to Guptkashi by helicopter in the morning and from there our journey to Badrinath started.

After driving some distance, we reached to Kali Math which is one of the Shaktipeeth, we worshiped Maa Durga and did pooja in the temple premises. After the worship, we enjoyed the Tawa (pan) roti and saag (hill greens) near the temple premises itself.

After taking the blessings of the Maa Durga in Kalimath, now we moved towards Ukhimath. Ukhimath is the 2nd House of Baba Kedarnath. When snowfall starts in Kedarnath in winter, the Lord is brought to Ukhimath where he is worshiped for 6 months.

In Ukhimath also we worshiped and visited Panch (five) Kedareshwar, the priest of Ukhimath told us that those who are unable to visit Panch Kedareshwar and come to Ukhimath get the privilege of visiting  Panch Kedareshwars. Usha (Banasur's daughter) and Aniruddha (Lord Krishna's grandson) were married here. This place was named Ukhimath after the name of Usha.

Ukhimath also houses the seat of the main guru of the Lingayat saints Rawal of Karnataka, South India. During winters the festive doli of Lord Kedarnath is brought to this place from Kedarnath. Winter worship of Lord Kedarnath and the throughout the year worship of Lord Omkareshwar is performed here.

We left from Ukhimath and proceeded towards Badrinath Ji and on the way we saw places of landslides at many places but they were cleared by the administration and the traffic was running smoothly. 

The roads were found to be in very good condition and we could see the good work of BRO (Border Road Organisation). Strategically also the road to Badrinath ji is much more important as the china border is very close and improvement of this road is really going to help our army in reaching to the borders with arms, personnel, food, ammunitions. Most of the roads were wide and smooth almost four lanes which were enough for vehicles coming from both the sides so that we did not face much trouble.

When we reached Badrinath in the night, we moved towards the temple of Baba Badrinath and after getting information about the darshans, ensured our program for morning darshan.

In the morning, first of all, bathing in the natural hot water pond (Tapt Kund) created by the hot water of sulfur carefully because the temperature there was very low, so going directly to hot water can be dangerous. Therefore, first of all put your feet in that hot water and then slowly go inside the pond till the knees and then till the waist and slowly, by giving time, completely lower yourself to take a dip in that hot pool.

Bathing in Tapt Kund was a very supernatural experience and it seemed as if the cold had run away from the body and after that with full energy at 6:15 am we went to the temple to have darshan of Lord Badri Vishal and saw the bathing, makeup of God and Saw the aarti, which was unique and supernatural. It is believed that the path to heaven starts from Badrinath and this is the place where one attains salvation after darshan.

According to the Puranas, in an area of 3 km in Badrinath, the Brahma Kapal, which is considered to be the fifth head of Brahma, fell and there after Pitra Tarpan and Pind Daan, the ancestors get salvation and this is the best and highest Pitra Tarpan and Pind Daan. After having darshan of Badrinath ji we went via Joshimath to visit Kartik Swami, located 15 km from Pokhari, it has a climb of 3 kms and it is situated at a very high peak and dense forests.

According to the stone board there Karthik Swamy is one of the holy tourist places in Rudraprayag district. Situated at a distance of 38 km from the city of Rudraprayag, this place has a temple dedicated to Lord Kartikeya, the son of Lord Shiva. Situated at an altitude of 3048 meters above sea level, this place is surrounded by the mighty Himalayan ranges. According to the legend, once Lord Shiva asked his two sons to do the Parikrama (circling) of the whole universe and declared that whoever comes here after taking first round will get the first opportunity to worship the parents. 

Lord Shri Ganesh, who was the second son of Shiva, won the competition by circling his parents (for Shri Ganesha his parents were the universe), which enraged Kartikeya. Then he gave the bones of his body to his father and the flesh to his mother. These bones are still present in the temple which is worshiped by thousands of devotees. Situated on the Rudraprayag – Pokhari road, this temple can be reached by trekking  of 3 km from Kanak Chauri village. After darshan of Kartik Swami, we rested for the night at Rudraprayag where the Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers meet.

From here Alaknanda goes to Devprayag and meets Bhagirathi and forms the river Ganges. The famous shrine Kedarnath Dham is 86 km away from Rudraprayag. Rudraprayag is named after Lord Shiva. Rudraprayag is situated on the river Alaknanda and Mandakini. Rudraprayag is situated at a distance of 34 kms from Srinagar (Garhwal).

The confluence of the Mandakini and Alakhnanda rivers is a unique beauty in itself. Seeing them, it seems as if two sisters are hugging each other. It is believed that music maestro Narad Muni worshiped Lord Shiva here and Lord Shiva incarnated in the form of Raudra only to bless Narad ji.

From Rudraprayag we left for Haridwar in the morning via Rishikesh and after taking a bath in the Ganges at Har ki Paidi in Haridwar, tasted the delicious Poori, Chhole, Halwa and Lassi at the famous Mohan Puri Wale and left for Delhi after taking Gangajal. Due to such a good Darshan of Lord we had such a successful journey, there was a lot of joy and we were brimming with new energy again and again. The way we completed the journey successfully removing all the obstacles, it again became true that when Baba calls the devotees, no obstacle can stop them on the way. 

Photo - Gaurav Pandey

Author Gaurav Pandey

Writer is a senior healthcare professional and has been serving patients with utmost humanity. Writer is also engaged socially with many NGOs and social groups always focussing his acts towards the betterment of society. He has established many healthcare organizations which are running successfully and serving the need of society and the nation. 


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