Complete Guide of Gaurikund to Kedarnath Trek – Located within the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, the ancient Shiva Temple of Kedarnath is one of the many said to have been built in the 9th century by the Adi Shankaracharya. The Rawal, or high priest at the shrine, is in the long line of the Nambudiris established by Shankaracharya, and the pilgrimage, believed to be one of the four most essential in the Hindu tradition, is an ode to faith. Though a trekker would classify the climb as easy, it is a respectable ascent, from 1,800 to well over 3,400m. View the trek through the eyes of a Tamilian widow, clad in white and wearing insubstantial woollies. Hear her gasp for breath at every step, look at the plastic chappals she is wearing, and remember you are looking at the grit-equivalent of you and me climbing Everest without oxygen. This is devotion you have to respect. This ardent faith has its roots in several legends. The most popular one is that the Pandavas, victorious heroes of the Maha- bharata, sought forgiveness from Lord Shiva for having killed their own kin, the Kauravas. Not wanting to discuss metaphysical issues with the likes of Bhima, Lord Shiva transformed himself into a bull. Bhima saw through the disguise and catching up with him in the vicinity of Kedarmath threatened Shiva with physical violence Shiva dove into the ground, leaving his hump on the surface. The lingam worshipped at Kedarnathi the manifestation of this hump The walk to Kedarnath is along a cobbled, well-maintained path, called a cheh- footiya, or six-footer, in the local parlance referring to the width of the path. Today, the cheh-footiya is a busy thoroughfare.
Every couple of kilometres, there are cluster of stalls selling candy, fizzy drinks and bottled water and offering the hot tea and simple vegetarian food. There are many streams and watering points all the way up from where you can refill your water bottle, except the river, whose water is quite uncontaminated. So this is a route, like most popular pilgrim routes where you can travel extremely light. Gaurikund, from where the trail starts, is 73 km/ 3 hrs by car (Rs 600) from Rudraprayag, or 4 hrs 15 mins by bus (Rs 50), available 5 am-4 pm.You can hired porters, ponies or palkis from here.