A record-breaking 8 lakh pilgrims visited the Kedarnath Shrine on July 23, 2019, if the newest news reports are anything to go by. Apparently, this is the highest number of yatris that have had darshan of the holy shrine. The doors of Kedarnath temple were flung open for the travellers on May 9, 2019, and ever since, almost 30,000 travellers have been visiting the shrine daily. In fact, the number of pilgrims that have reached the temple this year has surpassed by leaps and bounds.
According to news reports, this is the reason why the Badrinath-Kedarnath committee had to extend the time limit for daily darshan. So much so that the shrine committee had to keep the temple gateways open for the whole night due to the huge arrival of pilgrims. Though the traveller arrivals slowed down in the past few weeks due to the coming of monsoon, the number of visitors making it to the shrine has gone up yet again after the divine month of Shravan has started.
There are still nearly 90 days to go for Kedarnath yatra, and it is projected by the temple committee that the number of guests to the shrine will cross the 10-lakh mark.
Kedarnath Temple must be accessed via Rishikesh, Joshimath and Rudraprayag. Pilgrims must reach Gauri Kund, which is a holy hot water spring, in order to start the trek to Kedarnath shrine. Several travellers prefer taking a bath in the Kund waters and then continue for the trek. The hike itself is quite difficult and steep, though, ponies are offered at the starting point of the trek. Kedarnath Shrine is also held blessed for the fact that there is a resting place or samadhi of 8th century born saint, reformer and philosopher Adi Shankaracharya.