Adorned with majestic Himalayan Mountain Peaks as throne, decorated with pristine vibes and Oak trees, sanctifying vibes with spouting rivers Ganga & Yamuna, glorifying with cluster of pilgrimage sites. Yes, you are in Adobe of Gods, Uttarakhand. In a beautiful state, visit to four sacred shrines at one go is named as Chardham Tour of Uttarakhand or Chota Char Dham. Don’t get puzzled with the main Char Dhams which are located in four directions of India. Rameshwaram in South, Jagannath Puri in East, Dwarkadheesh in West and Badrinath in East.
Introduction of Char Dhams of Uttarakhand
Chota Char Dham Yatra comprises of yatra to four most sacred shrines nestled amidst sprawling state of Uttarakhand. The four shrines are Yamunotri, Gangotri, Badrinath & Kedarnath. With darshan at Badrinath Dham, you will cover one Dhams of Bada Char Dham. Due to best connectivity and pilgrim importance, people visit all these shrines including Badrinath Dham to attain Moksha. It is one of the most visited and popular pilgrimage in India. The great Hindu philosopher Adi Shankarcharya had gathered together all four pilgrimage places into a spiritual circuit around the 8th century and it became a tradition by followers for generations.
Char Dham Yatra commences from May to October with final dates announced on auspicious day of Akshay Tritiya. All four Dhams has different opening & closing dates as per geographical and climate diversity. Unlike to this, you can go to main Char Dham Tour throughout the year. In this Complete Guide of Chardham Yatra in Uttarakhand, we will brief about timings, best route, travel plans, transportations, food, weather and best places to visit on the Chardham Tour.
Let’s Get Started!
Best Time to Visit Char Dham Yatra
As the Char Dham’s door get open in month of May and remain open till November, the best time to travel is May to June and Mid-August to November keeping dates in mind. Month of July is generally avoidable due to heavy monsoons and weather effects. October and November are very colder, so you have to prepare accordingly. To enjoy the best of Uttarakhand charm, May & June are perfect for darshan and sightseeing. If you want to avoid rush, choose the months after August.
Opening and Closing Dates of Chardham Yatra 2022
How to Reach Char Dham Destinations
The famous Gateway to Char Dham is Haridwar- A city of Temple, ashrams and tranquillity. From any city of India, you can arrive Haridwar with all transport modes.
The nearest Airport is Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun. Take a flight for here and then go ahead with further travel plan form Dehradun or Haridwar. Even you can travel to Chardham By Helicopter from Dehradun easily.
Know more: Chardham yatra packages by Helicopter
Major cities of Uttarakhand as Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun, Kotdwar, Pathankot are well connected with Indian Railways network. You can book a char Dham Yatra package with travel agency form Haridwar or Dehradun or just book a taxi to arrive all the destinations.
Form Nearby cities as Delhi, Haridwar, Agra, Mathura etc, you can hire a bus for end-to end Tour from your desired location. The Bus tour package can be all inclusive or custom as per your requirements.
Why Char Dham Yatra is so important in Hindu Pilgrimage?
The first dham of Yatra is Yamunotri Dham named after Goddess Yamuna which is said to be cleanse all the sins with one Holy dip. Gangotri Dham is birthplaces of River Ganga said to be came from heaven directly at this place. Kedarnath Dham also revered as one of the twelve Jyotirlingas od Lord Shiva is situated in the banks of Mandakini River. Badrinath Dham is adobe of Shri Vishnu and situated on the banks of Alaknanda River stands beautifully on Garhwal River.
Also Read: Enroute places to visit on Char Dham Tour
Explore more about all Four Dhams
Before beginning the journey, let’s explore more about all the four Dhams in detail.
Adobe of Goddess Yamuna, Yamunotri Dham is nestled amid stunning landscapes in the great Himalayas at height of 3293 mts with icy peaks, glaciers and hot springs. Being the beginning point of Char Dham Pilgrim Tour, it attracts thousands of devotees every year. To reach the Temple, Janki Chatti acts as base camp from where pilgrims have to trek for about 3 km. It generally tales 3 hours to reach the Temple, but you can also choose between walk or pony/palanquin to trek. Yamuna is the daughter of Sun God & sister of Yama. The main deity of the temple is made up of Black Marble.
As per beliefs of devotees and Hindi Mythology, it is said to be raw rice get cooked in hot springs of Yamunotri and that is the prasad of this Holy place. Nearby attractions from Yamunotri are Kharsali, Surya Kund, Divya Shila, Janki Chatti, Saptrishi Kund Lake etc. The Yamunotri Temple opens on auspicious day of Akshay Tritiya and closes on Yama Dwitiya.
An initial point of several high-altitude treks, Gangotri Dham is dedicated to Goddess Ganga. Offering divine atmosphere with stunning vistas all around, The Temple is arrived from Uttarkashi. As per mythological belief, origin of River Ganga is Gaumukh at the Gangotri Glacier. Lord Shiva has gifted King Bhagirathi as penance but with fast flow of Ganga, The Earth would get overwhelmed, so Lord Shiva locked it in her hair(jata) and then releases with slow movement on Earth. After originating from Gaumukh, the river is known as Bhagirathi. Ganga river is very sacred and worshipped in various places. Starting from Haridwar, you can attain Ganga Aarti at Har Ki Pauri.
People carry the auspicious water from the river and carry it with them as blessing and used in Puja rituals. Most famous attractions near Gangotri are Kedartal, Tapovan, Bhairon Ghati, Gauri Kund & Pandava Gufa. The Gangotri Temple opens on auspicious day of Akshay Tritiya and closes on Diwali eve.
The adobe of Lord Shiva and one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India, Kedarnath Temple is located on the bank of Mandakini River near Chorabari Glacier at elevation of 3580 mts. Witness the most scenic views amidst snow-capped mountains in cold climate of May & June. After massive flood of 2013 in the region, many new developments are going in area to enhance security from natural disasters. Base for Kedarnath Trek is either Sonprayag or Sitapur.
The Temple has exquisite architecture and built of grey stone slabs which are so string that high stream of flood not able to destroy the Temple. Pilgrims can witness the Kedarnath peak, Kedar Dome and other Himalayan peaks at the backdrop of the Temple. As per historical tales, at the time of Epic Mahabharata, Pandavas was feeling guilty after defeating Kauravas and came in feet of Lord Shiva for redemeption. Then Lord Shiva appear and dived inti ground, leaving humo at Kedarnath and other four places. All these five places are also called as Panch Kedar.
Nearby attractions from Kedarnath Dham are Sonprayag, Mount, Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi, Sumeru parbat, Mayali Pass and Vasuli Taal. Adventure lovers enhance the Fun with trekking, camping and rock climbing in the area. The Kedarnath Temple opens couple days after auspicious day of Akshay Tritiya and closes on Yama Dwitiya.
For Vaishnav Dharm followers, Badrinath is important holy shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Badrinath Dham is situated at an elevation of 3415 mts in the Chamoli district, Uttarakhand. Located on the banks of Alaknanda River and nestled in Garhwal Himalayas, The Dham offers scenic views surrounded by thick forest and snow-clad mountains.
The Dham opens few days after Akshay Tritiya & Closing dates of the temple get decided on Vijaya Dashmi that usually falls in month of November. Nearby Attractions from Badrinath Dham are Vasudhara Falls, Satopanth Tal, Hemkund Sahib, Bheem Pul, Mana Village, Vyas Gufa & must visit Tapt Kunds. As per Hindu Mythological belief, Lord Shiva meditated here for thousand of years while Goddess Laxmi provided shadow to her husband in the form a Badri tree.
10 Days Travel itinerary of Char Dham yatra from Haridwar
Here is the detailed Travel Itinerary of 10 Days Chardham Road Trip from Haridwar that can be completed with any means of transport.
Day 1: Haridwar to Phholchatti Via Barkot
Travel towards Barkot from Haridwar that takes approx. 10 hours and explore the little hamlet. Enjoy the enroute sights and mesmerising peaks of Bandar Punch that gives freshness in ambience.
Day 2: Phholchatti- Yamunotri- Barkot
Begin your journey to the first Dham early morning. It will include 8 Km drive & 7 Km Trek to reach Yamunotri Temple. Usually trekking takes 5 hours which can be covered also with Pony hiring. After Darshan & visit nearby attractions, return back on the same way.
Day 3: Barkot- Harsil
Drive towards Harsil from Barkot. You will first arrive at Uttarkashi, visit Vishwanath Temple, Shakti Temple, natural thermal water spring at Gangnani. After lunch and sightseeing, drive to Harsil and stay overnight.
Day 4: Harsil- Gangotri- Uttarkashi
Depart from Harsil by early morning and reach Gangotri in approx. 1.5 hours. Have Holy Dip in river Ganges and darshan, veneration at Temple followed by visiting nearby attractions. Post sighseeing, depart for Uttarkashi and stay overnight.
Day 5: Uttarkashi to Guptkashi
Arrive Guptkashi from Uttarkashi through New Tehri. Guptkashi is sacred place where Lord Shiva proposed Goddess Parvati for marriage is glorious with main attractions of Vishwanath Temple, Ardhnarishwar Temple & Manikarnika Kund. Visit Temples in the evening and stay overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Guptkashi to Kedarnath via Gaurikund
The 6th Day of CharDham Yatra will include travelling by road of approx. 35 Km and then trekking of 17 km. Gaurikund being base point for trek to Kedarnath will take 3 hours to arrive from Guptkashi. You can also choose to travel on a pony or hire a doli (palanquin). The trek time will be approx. 7 hours to arrive the Kedarnath Temple. You can watch the evening aarti at the Kedarnath temple and rest for the night.
Day 7: Kedarnath to Tilwara via Gaurikund
Get amazing views of snow-capped mountains behind Kdearnath temple by early morning. Have prayers and rituals at the Temple and then trek back to Gaurikund. Post lunch, drive towards Tilwara and stay overnight.
Day 8: Tilwara to Joshimath
Have a scenic drive from Tilwara to Joshimath which takes approx. 5 hours to cover 170 Km distance. Spend 1 hour in lap of nature with beautiful attractions all around. Post Lunch, continue the drive for Badrinath. Post arrival, check in hotel and attend the evening aarti. Saty overnight at hotel.
Day 9: Badrinath-Joshimath
Offer your prayers at Badrinath Temple and take a holy dip in Kund. Can explore nearby attractions as Mana Village, Vyas Gufa. Can custom the trip with visiting Auli after arrival at Joshimath in afternoon.
Day 10: Joshimath to Haridwar
From Badrinath to Haridwar, there are several routes in which Joshimath to Haridwar via Kaleshwar & Kaudiyala is very famous route.
Chardham Yatra Travel tips for best preparation
- Confirm the opening & closing Dates of all the four shrines from authentic source.
- Before booking Char Dham yatra Package, must ensure all inclusions & exclusions.
- Follow the guidelines mentioned of entering into Temples
- Carry heavy woollen clothes as temperature remains low and sudden snowfall or rain can make the weather chillier.
- Ensure your health check ups as at some point of Mountains, you can feel lack of oxygen.
- Carry all the necessary medicines, equipment as torch, etc with you.
- Pack snacks with you as you may not get the enough restrooms enroute.
- Don’t consume Alcohol or non-veg products.
- If heading for trekking, start the preparatory exercise before the yatra dates.
- If planning in rush time, ensure the hotel bookings and transportation in advance.
- Have some cash in hand as you may not find ATMs everywhere.
Best Chardham Yatra Package from Delhi
Worthy CharDham Tour
The most significant yatra of Char Dham can be covered through various routes and custom ways. The Char Dham journey equals to experience fantasy that may feel long, arduous but it’s rewarding. For hassle-free yatra, must know about all the trip details and plan earlier for where you want to take stops. We hope we have compiled the worthy information of trip in detail. In case certain things are missed or you want to add some valuable insights, write to us.