Char Dham Yatra, Uttarakhand
- Region: Uttarakhand, India.
- Tour activity type: Group Tour.
- Group size: Minimum 6 People per Group.
- Duration: 9 nights / 10 days.
- Difficulty level: Easy, Medium.
- Best time to travel: Apr to October.
- The trip begins and ends at: Haridwar.
- Maximum altitude gain: 3, 553 meters / 11, 657 feet.
- Type of accommodations: Hotel / Guest House / Tent.
The Char Dham Yatra or Chardham Yatra Uttarakhand is the most religious, respected, famous, and also the most undertaken yatra in India. Several lakhs of devotees opt for this yatra and perform it religiously every year. The Hindus of the country believe that visiting all the four ‘Dhams’ or the ‘abodes of god’ will get them salvation. The four sites included in the yatra are Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. All of these are a part of Uttarakhand.
Here, it is essential to mention that the traditional Chardham Yatra and Chardham Yatra Uttarakhand are different for two reasons:
While the traditional Chardham Yatra includes Badrinath, Puri, Rameswaram, and Dwarka, Uttarakhand Char Dham Yatra covers Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath – the pious Dhams in Uttarakhand only.
The beginning of the traditional Chardham Yatra dates to the 8th Century (attributed to Adi Guru Shankaracharya) while the name of Uttarakhand’s Char Dham Yatra was started by locales of Uttarakhand in the 1900s.
The trip starts and ends at Haridwar. It is a beautiful amalgamation of a spiritual and natural tour. While you do get to visit the famous temples and other places of worship, you get to enjoy the most scenic locations en route. It is an ultimate opportunity to experience nature closely and learn about a number of local cultures and several mythological facts that have strong roots in the Hindu religion.
An overview of the tour
The trip will start from Haridwar, the land of River Ganga. The first stop is Barkot and it goes via Mussoorie where the pilgrims get a chance to visit the famous Kempty Falls. Then comes the visit to Yamunotri. Reaching there via trek is a wonderful option for those looking to add some adventure to their trip. Others can hire a Horse.
With a short stay at Uttarkashi, you can visit the famous Vishwanath Temple there together with several others. Enjoy another scenic ride to reach Gangotri and also take a holy dip in the ‘Garam Kund’ en route. Take the much-awaited holy dip in the ‘Bhagirathi’ and be a part of the aarti and puja ceremony that is held at the mandir in the evening. On our onward journey, we move forward to Guptkashi and visit the famous Ardhanarishwar Temple there.
Then to reach Kedarnath, you can either hire a helicopter or trek the distance. Visit the temple and get a chance to be a part of the very famous ‘Abhishek’ of Kedarnath Shiva. We move ahead to Badrinath from Guptkashi. Besides visiting the temple and taking the holy dip in the Tap Kund, there is a lot more than you can do there since there are several places of mythological interest within the 3 km radius of Badrinathji.
We reach Rishikesh via either Rudraprayag or Kirtinagar. Rishikesh is the land of sages and Yoga and there is so much that you can do here. The trip concludes once the pilgrims are transferred to either the Haridwar Railway Station or Dehradun Airport.
Chardham Yatra—10 days trip.
The 10 days trip of Char Dham Yatra organized by us at Divine Kailash is the most comfortable and convenient package you will come across. It has been designed keeping in mind the comfort of individuals of all age groups. It does not just include decent accommodations and convenient transport facilities but also the amenities that are offered during the yatra.
Distance covered: 210 KMs.
Duration: 7 to 8 hrs.
Altitude: 1352 meters.
You will be picked up from Haridwar railway station or Dehradun railway station or airport as the case may be. We will drive to Barkot via Mussoorie and visit the famous Kempty Falls en route. Get back to the drive to Barkot and check into the hotel on arrival. The rest of the day is at leisure. Relax and stay overnight at Barkot.
Weather at Barkot: The summers are pleasant with the temperatures that range from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius while winters are cool and have cold nights. The temperatures during winters can range from 10 degrees to 5 degrees Celsius.
Distance Covered: 36 KMS drive and 5 KMS trek (one side).
Altitude: 3, 291 meters.
The day starts early in the morning with drive to Jankichatti or Phoolchatti. The 6 km trek to Yamunotri starts from this point. You can choose to either walk the stretch of 6 km trek or hire a Horse or Doli (cost not included in the package). The trek is a beautiful passageway that passes through a lush green valley covered in a variety of flora ranging from Rhododendrons, conifers, cacti, and different varieties of Himalayan shrubs. It is an experience that must not be missed. Trek back to Barkot and rest in the hotel.
Distance Covered: 90 KMs.
Duration: 4 hrs.
Altitude: 1, 352 meters.
On day 4, drive to Uttarkashi and visit the famous Vishwanath Temple and others there. Check into a hotel, have the day at leisure and stay overnight at Uttarkashi.
Weather at Uttarkashi: During the summers the days are hot and the nights are pleasant and the temperature ranges from 30 to 35 degrees Celsius. The winters are cold here, temperature drops to 2 degrees Celsius.
Distance covered: 100 KMs.
Duration: 3 to 4 hrs.
Altitude: 3, 048 meters.
Early in the morning, start driving to Gangotri and stop at Gangnani en route to take a holy dip at Garam Kund. Continue driving to Gangotri via the beautiful Harsil Valley that is known for its natural beauty and majestic views laced with impressive mountains and towering Deodar trees. On arrival at Gangotri, take the much awaited holy dip in the River Ganges which is named ‘Bhagirathi’ at the point of its origin. Be a part of the Pooja and enjoy the darshan. Before returning to Uttarkashi, take some time to enjoy the natural surroundings and have some time at leisure. Stay overnight at Uttarkashi.
Distance covered: 220 KMs.
Duration: 8 to 9 hrs.
Altitude: 1, 319 meters.
Starting from Uttarkashi drive straight to Guptkashi via Lambgaon on the route, you will see Mandakini River at Tilwara. You will drive along the river and reach Guptkashi. Once you arrive at Guptkashi, check into the hotel, visit the famous Ardh Narishwar temple and stay overnight at the hotel.
Distance covered: 30 KMs by road and 19 KMs by trek.
After the morning breakfast leave for Kedarnath, enjoy darshan and pooja, return to your hotel and stay overnight at Kedarnath. You can either choose to trek, pony ride, or take a helicopter ride.
By Trek: In the morning the driver will pick you up from the hotel and drop you at Sonprayag. From here you can take a local jeep to Gaurikund and start the trek to Kedarnath. Follow the same route to get back to Sonprayag the next day. Network and parking issues in the area can make it a little complicated to contact the driver to get back to the hotel. Be prepared to hire a new taxi, if required.
By Helicopter: The driver will pick you up from the hotel and take you to the helipad that is pre-booked. He will also take you back to the hotel from the same point when you return after the darshan. If you are planning to return via trek, inform your driver about the same.
Distance covered: 30 KMs (19 KMs trek).
Duration: 1 hour by road.
The day starts real early since we have to be at the temple at 4:45 A.M. to be a part of the ‘Abhishek’ for Kedarnath Shiva. Once at the temple, you can have darshan to your heart’s content from going inside the ‘Garbha Griha’ to touching the idol to submitting yourself to the deity, you can do everything at this hour. After you have completed your darshan at the temple, trek down to Sonprayag, drive to Guptkashi, check into a hotel and stay there overnight.
Distance covered: 215 KMs.
Duration: 7 hrs.
Altitude: 3133 meters.
After the morning breakfast, we start driving for Badrinath and on arrival, check into a hotel. Before having darshan of Badrivishal and attending the evening aarti, everyone needs to take a holy bath in the ‘Tapt Kund’ which is actually a natural spring. There is special significance of Brahamakapal in relation to ‘Pitrus’ or Pinddan Shraddh of ancestors. After the main visit to the temple, the pilgrims can spend time visiting other places. There are several other interesting places of visit within the three kilometre radius of Badrinathji such as Matamoorti, Vyas Gufa, Bhimkund, Charanpaduka and the ‘Mukh’ or the source of River Saraswati.
Here is what they are all about:
Tapt Kund: It is a natural thermal spring where it is customary for the devotees to take a holy dip before they enter the temple. It is situated on the banks of River Alaknanda.
Mana Village: It is the last Indian village before the Tibet border starts and it is inhabited by an Indo-Mongolian Tribe.
Vyas Gufa: As the name suggests, it is a rock cave near the Mana Village and it is believed that it is here that Rishi Ved Vyas composed the holy Mahabharata.
Vasundhara: Vasundhara means ‘Water’. It is a mesmerizing and magnificent waterfall, 5 KMS from Badrinath.
Bhim Pul: Bhim Pul is actually a massive rock that forms a natural bridge over the famous Saraswati River. It is a spectacular view to watch the roaring river thundering and passing across the narrow passage under the rock. It is believed that the rock was placed here by Bhim, one of the Pandavas and hence the name Bhim Pul.
Weather at Badrinath: The temperatures at Badrinath can vary from 18 degrees Celsius to a minimum of 8 degrees Celsius. This leaves the place cold most of the year round. The winters are chilly and accompanied by snowfall making the climatic conditions quite extreme. The temperature at this time of the year can go down to minus 5 degree Celsius. Woolen clothes are necessary at Badrinath, irrespective of the time of the year you are visiting.
Distance covered: 160 KMs to Rudraprayag; 200 KMS to Kirtinagar.
You can start your day at leisure and choose to visit the temple again, have darshan and visit the places around. Later in the day, you can drive back to either Rudraprayag or Kirtinagar, both via Joshimath. On coming here, check-in to the hotel and stay there overnight.
Distance: 160 KMs from Rudraprayag and 135 KMs from Kirtinagar.
Duration: 5 hrs from Rudraprayag and 4 Hrs from Kirtinagar.
The pilgrims will be driven to Rishikesh which is a heavenly town in the laps of Shivalik Range. It is popularly known as a ‘land of sages’ or a spiritual town where people from across the world travel to find inner peace or solace. You can spend time visiting popular ashrams or yoga centres or try adventure fun in the form of white-water rafting.
From here, the pilgrims will be transferred either to Haridwar Railway station or to Dehradun Airport and the tour concludes there.