Char Dham Yatra Of Uttarakhand– A journey to Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath – is referred to as the most sacred Hindu pilgrimage in India, nestled amid the majestic Himalayas of Uttarakhand.The four pilgrimage centers have been the epicentre of holy activities since decades, and hold special significance in Hindu religion and a visit to these pilgrimage centers is famously known as Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand.
Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand
Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand comprises of four pilgrimage centers –
- Yamunotri- The source of River Yamuna and seat of Goddess Yamuna
- Gangotri- The source of River Ganga and sacred seat of Goddess Ganga
- Kedarnath- Where a form of Lord Shiva is worshiped as the highest and most important of the twelve Jyotirlinga.
- Badrinath- The abode of God Vishnu. Kedarnath is the most sacred pilgrimage centers among all char dhams.
Experience mysticism, spirituality and divinity as you embark on memorable Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand. The holy sites hold importance in Hindu religion, where pilgrims from around the world visit in aspiration of liberating from their sins and attaining salvation with the holy blessings of the Almighty.
The Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand commemorates the Hindu tradition of parikrama, initiating from left to right, starting from Yamunotri to Gangotri to Kedarnath and finally, Badrinath. We present to you a detailed guide of Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand.
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Char Dham Yatra Opening Dates 2019Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand remains closed for 6 months during winter season due to heavy snowfall, which makes all the places inaccessible to commute. The Char Dham Yatra Opening Dates 2019 are as under :
- Gangotri Temple: 7-May-2019 to 29-October-2019.
- Yamunotri Temple: 7-May-2019 to 27-October-2019.
- Kedarnath Temple: 9-May-2019 to 29-October-2019.
- Badrinath Temple: 9-May-2019 to 29-October-2019.
Route Map of Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand
According to Hindu tradition, Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand should commence from the west to the east, beginning from Yamunotri, then to Gangotri, and finally to Kedarnath and Badrinath.
Suggested Route Plan For Char Dham Yatra Of Uttarakhand
Haridwar – Rishikesh – Deo Prayag – Tehri – Dharasu – Yamunotri – Uttarkashi – Gangotri – Gaurikund – Kedarnath – Joshimath – Badrinath.
Char Dham Yatra Shrine Information
YamunotriThe holy Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand commences with Yamunotri, the source of River Yamuna and the sacred abode of Goddess Yamuna. It is located at a height of 3293 meter above sea level in Uttarkashi District, nestled amid picturesque vistas and splendor of snow-capped mountains. To reach Yamunotri, one has to reach Hanuman Chatti by driving from Barkot or Dharasu, a distance of 30 km. From there one can either trek to Yamunotri Temple or hire a local jeep to reach Janki Chatti, which reduces trekking time up to 8 km. Trekking from Janki Chatti is around 6 km and may take about 3-4 hours each way. One can either walk or hire a palanquin or pony. Trekking to Yamunotri is dominated by dense forests, rugged peaks and snow, which makes weather condition extremely harsh. There are small side Dhabas where you can enjoy tea and snacks.
The Yamunotri Temple was constructed by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal in honor of Goddess Yamuna. The deity is built of black marble. Devotees cook rice and potatoes, packed in a cloth, in the hot water of holy springs in the region and take this back as Prasad.
Yamunotri Temple Timings: 6:00 am to 8:00 pm; Aarti timing: 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Places to see in Yamunotri: Yamunotri Temple, Surya Kund, Divya Shila, and Janki Chatti.
How to reach Yamunotri: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport, located at a distance of 210 km, and is well-connected to Delhi. From the airport, one can avail taxis to reach Hanuman Chatti. Helicopter service is also available now from Dehradun.
Rishikesh (175 km) and Dehradun (200 km) are the nearest railway stations to Yamunotri. Hanuman Chatti is well-accessible from the railway stations via buses and taxis. Taxis and buses are also available from other major destinations like Tehri, Uttarkashi, Barkot, and Garhwal.
Distance from major cities: Delhi (438 km), Rishikesh (200 km), Haridwar (225 km), Dehradun (175 km), and Uttarkashi (91 km).
Hotels in Yamunotri: Aditya Palace (Rs 3000 onwards), Barkot Chardham Camp (Rs 1800 onwards), Camp Veda (Rs 4000 onwards), Atithi Niwas (Rs 2000 onwards), and GMVN Tourist Rest House in Hanuman Chatti and Janki Chatti.
GangotriGangotri is located at a height of 3048 meters above sea level, beautifully nestled on the banks of River Bhagirathi. It is the most important and highest temple dedicated to Goddess Ganga. The holy pilgrimage center offers breathtaking beauty of snow-capped mountain ranges, glimmering Bhagirathi River and rugged terrains. The Gangotri Temple was built during early 18th century by Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa. The holy water of River Ganges is carried further in Char Dham Yatra to offer to Lord Shiva. According to Hindu traditions, the holy water has nectar, which will soothe Lord Shiva’s throat, which had gulped the poison.
Gangotri Temple timings: 6:15 am to 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm to 9:30 pm.
Places to see in Gangotri: Gangotri Temple, Gaumukh Glacier, Tapovan, Bhairon Ghati, and natural rock Shivling submerged in water.
How to reach Gangotri: Jolly Grant Airport, located 250 km from Gangotri, is the nearest airport, well-connected to Delhi. From the airport, reach Gangotri via hired taxi or bus. Chopper services can also be availed from Dehradun.
The nearest railway station is Rishikesh, 234 km from Gangotri. Buses and taxis are available from Rishikesh railway station, Uttarkashi, and Tehri Garhwal.
Distance from major cities: Delhi (471 km), Uttarkashi (93 km), Rishikesh (234 km), Haridwar (259 km), and Dehradun (281 km).
Hotels in Gangotri: Harsil Char Dham Camp (Rs 1800 onwards), Himalaya (Rs 600 onwards), Harsil Retreat (Rs 6000 onwards), Shiv Parivar Resort (Rs 2000 onwards), and GMVN tourist rest house.
KedarnathPerched at an altitude of 3584 meters above sea level, Kedarnath is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in India. Situated near the Mandakini River, Kedarnath Temple is nestled amid imposing snow clad mountain ranges and scenic vistas. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, and the most important one. Extreme weather condition and rugged terrain makes Kedarnath inaccessible during winter when it remains closed for six months from December to March.
To reach Kedarnath, one has to drive to Gauri Kund from Guptkashi. Trekking starts from Gauri Kund. One can either walk or hire a pony or palanquin to reach Kedarnath.
Kedarnath Temple timings: The temple remains closed only from 3 pm to 5 pm. Before 3 pm, devotees can touch the idol and pay homage to ghee. After 5 pm, the idol is dressed as Emperor, and devotees can only get darshan of the deity.
Places to see in Kedarnath: Kedarnath Temple, Gauri Kund (14 km), Shankaracharya Samadhi, and Vasuki Tal (7 km).
How to visit: The nearest airport, Jolly Grant Airport, is located 238 km from Kedarnath. The airport is connected to Gauri Kund via taxi service. From Gauri Kund, one can trek or hire a pony or doli to reach Kedarnath.
Rishikesh is the nearest railhead, located 216 km before Kedarnath on National Highway 58. Taxis and buses are readily available from Rishikesh to Gauri Kund. Bus and taxi service is also available from Haridwar, Dehradun, Tehri, Uttarkashi, Chamoli, etc.
Distance from major cities: Delhi (446 km), Dehradun (257 km), Rishikesh (215 km), Haridwar (241 km), and Tehri Garhwal (170 km).
Hotels in Kedarnath: New Himachal House (Rs 2500 onwards), Priyadarshini Syalsaur (Rs 1400 onwards), Bhopal Bhawan, Guptkashi Char Dham (Rs 1800 onwards), and GMVN tourist rest house.
BadrinathBadrinath is the most important pilgrimage center of Char Dham Yatra, located in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand at an elevation of 3133 meter above sea level. The quaint Badrinath town is nestled amid Nar and Naryana mountain ranges with the majestic Nilkantha peak as an idyllic backdrop. It is situated on the banks of River Alakananda. Badrinath Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is one of the 108 Divya Desams or holy shrines of Vaishnava sect.
Badrinath Temple timings: 4:30 am to 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Places to see in Badrinath: Badrinath Temple, Tapt Kund, Brahma Kapal, Charanpaduka, Mata Murti Temple, Bheem Pul, Narad Kund, Panch Dharas and Panch Shilas.
How to reach: Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest airport, located 314 km from Badrinath. There are taxis available from the airport to Badrinath. The nearest railhead is Rishikesh, 295 km from Badrinath. Taxi and bus service is easily available from Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun, Pauri, Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Srinagar, etc.
Distance from major cities: Delhi (535 km), Pauri (221 km), Rishikesh (295 km), Dehradun (346 km), Haridwar (320 km), and Devprayag (224 km).
Hotels in Badrinath: Joshimath Char Dham Camp (Rs 1800 onwards), SS International (Rs 799 onwards), Narayan Palace (Rs 3500 onwards), Sarovar Portico (Rs 4500 onwards), Jagirdar Guest House (Rs 1200 onwards, and GMVN Badrinath Yatri Niwas.
Chardham Yatra by HelicopterHelicopter services is available From Dehradun to Yamunotri and Gangotri. From Dehradun, take a 45-minute flight to Kharsali, the beginning point for the trek to Yamunotri. After pooja and sightseeing at Yamunotri, one can stay for a night at Kharsali or fly same day to Harsil, a journey of 20 minutes. From Harsil, the local jeep is available to drive you to Gangotri, 26 km away.
Char Dham Yatra By Helicopter can be undertaken from Dehradun. There are several charter companies operating Chardham Yatra by Helicopter from Sahastradhara helipad in Dehradun.Waytoindia.com also offers packages for Chardham Yatra By Helicopter on very reasonable rates).
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Travel Tips on Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand
- Since Char Dham Yatra encompasses trekking at an altitude of 14,000 feet, make sure you are mentally and physically fit for the journey.
- One month prior to the Yatra, it is recommended to make important bookings such as hotel and helicopter service, if avail.
- Carry a first-aid kit, sunscreen lotion, and mosquito repellent.
- Eat food that is cooked, fried or boiled. Use only bottled water.
- Do not litter. Throw garbage only in dustbins provided in every place.
- Carry woolens, raincoat, blankets, sleeping bags, water-proof shoes with solid grip, torch, and other traveling essentials.
- Hire only registered porter or pony walas in every location.
- Do not take shortcuts on the route.
- Keep your belongings safe. Carry emergency contact number with you.
Important SuggestionFor Travellers
- Do not carry heavy luggage with you.
- Those who have any breathing problems or cardiac problems should consult their doctors before proceeding on this Yatra. Being a high altitude area, there is a lack of Oxygen, you are advised to carry a small amount of Camphor with you in a handkerchief and keep inhaling the camphor fumes while climbing/trekking.
- Carry raincoat as the weather is the most unpredictable in the area.
- Do not forget to pack your medicines, if any. The cities in the area are very small and medicine shops in the area may not be selling your medicine.