Situated at an altitude of 1982 m in the Garhwal Himalayas, Gaurikund is an important Hindu pilgrimage spot that is also the base camp of the trek to Kedarnath. Hindu pilgrims also stop by on their Chardham Yatra to take a dip in the holy water of Gaurikund. This place is named after Goddess Parvati who is also called as Gauri and visitors can also see a temple of the goddess here. According to the Hindu mythology, Goddess Parvati was committed to penance that involved a lot of practices including ascetic and yogic to win the affection of Lord Shiva.
The legend has it, Gaurikund is the spot where the Goddess lived while performing all the practices and then Lord Shiva finally admitted his love for her. Triyugi Narayan is a place nearby where it is believed the two got married. Gaurikund is also known to have quite a number of hot springs which are now converted to bathing places for the pilgrims heading especially to Kedarnath. It is also believed that this religious place is the spot where Ganesha acquired the head of an elephant. It happened when Goddess Parvati was bathing in the kund and she fashioned Ganesha from the froth of soap on her body.
She breathed life into him and placed him at the entrance as her guard. Later Lord Shiva was stopped by Ganesha on his arrival. This annoyed him and Shiva beheaded the child which made Parvati sad. She insisted her husband to bring back the child to life. Shiva placed the head of a wandering elephant on the torso of the child and brought him back to life, and this is how Lord Ganesha was given the head of an elephant. If you are a nature lover, there are a lot of reasons that you must visit including the elegant view of the greenery around the kund. Vasuki Ganga which flows from below the kund also adds on the beauty of the view of this place. Gaurikund is located in the midst of the lush green forests offering a picturesque setting and panoramic views. One of the popular religious tourist attractions before the flash flood in 2013, was the hot spring in this place. Due to this disastrous flood, the Kund was erased from its existence and now one can just find a narrow stream of water flowing down from where the Kund used to be.
The area offers vivid greenery with Vasuki Ganga flowing from below. Located amongst lush green forests, the place boasts of its panoramic views and the two famous attractions located here: Gaurikund Temple and Gauri Lake.
This temple has the idol of Goddess Parvati in it, where devotees offer their prayers. People on their way to Kedarnath make it a point to stop here to visit this holy religious site.
Also known as Gauri Lake, Parvati Sarovar or the Lake of Compassion, this is the lake where Goddess Parvati had breathed life into Lord Ganesha. Hindus consider this lake to be a sacred spot and take a ritual bath here. Sadly, after the 2013 floods, there is only a small stream of water flowing in place of the Kund.
Avoid the monsoon season as heavy rains could mean blocked roads due to landslides. It is advisable to advance book your hotel as during this season its difficult to find accommodation in the region.
The best time to visit Gaurikund is during the summers or monsoons, basically when the Chardham Yatra perpetuates. In the winters, Gaurikund is shut down for the devotees due to heavy snow and closure of the doors of Kedarnath and other Chardham Yatra temples.
Summer : Commencing from the month of March and lasting till June, the summer season in Gaurikund is quite pleasant with the temperature fluctuating between 15°C and 24°C. The cool breeze throughout the season steers the temperature down to cool than hot.
Mansoon : From July to September is the monsoon season where the temperature is between 5°C and 20°C. The month of July sees a heavy rainfall and the temperature goes down during this season.
Winter : October to February is the time for winter season when the place receives heavy snowfall. The temperature ranges between -5°C and 16°C. Ideally people do not visit Gaurikund in the winter season due to snow.
By Air :The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant which is situated in Dehradun. It is about 252 km from Gaurikund. One can take a taxi from Dehradun to Gaurikund.
By Rail :The nearest railheads are Rishikesh and Haridwar, which are 212 km and 232 km from Gaurikund respectively. One can hire a cab from these places to Gaurikund as per your convenience.
By Road :A smooth connection with the major tourist attractions like Son Prayag, Rudraprayag, Rishikesh, Haridwar, and Dehradun gives a comfortable ride to people who choose road as the means to reach Gaurikund. There is efficient cab service from these destinations that connect Gaurikund.