I wasn’t going to do this, until I had covered all the Five Kedar (popularly known as The Panch Kedar)—of which only Rudranath is left, the other four being Kedarnath, Madhmaheshwar, Tungnath and Kalpeshwar—and then write a detailed account of it all. Since the queries haven’t stopped pouring in, I’ve decided that I should, at least answer the burning questions about getting there, the trek itself and places to stay.
While the detailed account will come later, here’s cutting to the chase, coming to the point so you can get going.
Where is Madhmaheshwar?
Madhmaheshwar (3,490 metres) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the Mansoona Village of the Garhwal Himalaya, Uttarakhand. While it is widely believed to be the Second Kedar to be visited, in case you are keeping up with that sequence, some also claim it to be the Fourth. However, the temple premises have a board that says ‘Dwitiya Kedar’, meaning ‘Second Kedar’. I’ll leave it up to you to decide.
Where does the motorable road end?
Haridwar – Rishikesh – Devprayag – Srinagar – Rudraprayag – Ukimath – Ransi
It ends at Ransi village in the Rudraprayag District of Uttarakhand. And the trek starts from here.
This more than sorts it out in case you are driving your own vehicle or a self-drive vehicle.
And the road is more or less well-maintained except for a few patches that fall under the landslide zone.
In case I want to opt for public transport?
1. Take a bus or shared taxi (Max) from Haridwar/Rishikesh to Rudraprayag
2. Take a bus or shared taxi (Max) from Rudraprayag to Ukimath
3. Take a bus or shared taxi (Max) from Ukimath to Ransi
Buses, both local and of Uttarakhand State Transport, and shared taxis start plying from Haridwar/Rishikesh to Rudraprayag and further as early as 4 am.
There is also a direct bus from Rudraprayag to Ransi but it takes it own sweet time. In fact, all the local buses do. The one from Rudraprayag to Ransi starts at around 1 pm. And the bus from Ransi to Rudraprayag too starts about the same time.
It should cost one person 700-800 bucks, Haridwar to Haridwar.
How long is the trek?
Ransi to Madhmaheshwar – 18 km
Madhmaheshwar to Boodha Madhmaheshwar – 2 km
If the weather is clear, Boodha Madhmaheshwar is a solid vantage point to see The Greater Himalaya’s Gangotri Group of Peaks. Well, some of them; to name a few Kedarnath, Kedar Dome, Kharchkund, Mandani, and Chaukhamba. It’s an awe-inspiring view you should not, should not miss.
What’s the trek route? Do I need a guide?
Ransi – Gaundhar – Bantoli – Upper Bantoli – Khatra Khal – Nanu – Maikhamba Chatti – Koon Chatti – Madhmaheshwar – Boodha Madhmaheshwar
It’s a well laid out trek; you cannot divert from it unless you have some hidden agenda of disappearing into the night. You don’t need a guide. However, if you’re trekking solo, you might as well take one. It’s your safety, it’s your call.
How’s the trek route?
Ransi to Gaundhar – About 6 km – Gradual descent
Gaundhar to Madhmaheshwar – About 12 km – Gradual ascent – Gets steeper after Nanu
Nanu to Madhmaheshwar – About 5 km
Madhmaheshwar to Boodha Madhmaheshwar is a 2 km ascent through the meadows. It felt shorter to me.
Depending on fitness, one can complete the entire 40 km stretch in 2-4 days. Ideally, 3.
Porters and mules are available at Ransi.
Where to stay and how much will it cost?
Small village homes or lodges are available at all these points. However, Maikhamba and Koon have only one home with one room, I’m guessing. Boodha Madhmaheshwar is a clean green meadow with no human settlement. All you can do is camp. And you can also camp around the Madhmaheshwar temple.
Rates are, as of June 2017, which is peak-season time:
Ransi – 500 for 2 people
Gaundhar, Bantoli, Upper Bantoli, Khatra Khal and Nanu – 100 per 1 person
Madhmaheshwar – 100-150 per person
This is the gist of it. If you have any further queries, feel free to leave a comment below or contact me through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Stay safe, travel responsibly!