A helpful Guide to
Char Dham Yatra
Char Dham Yatra is a pilgrimage travel to four sacred sites Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamnotri and Gangotri. Char Dham Yatra is one of the most popular travel amongst Hindu devotees and it sets the blessed visitor on the path of Moksha, salvation.
Its popularity is growing every year due to the beauty and majestic views of the Mighty Himalayas.
The picturesque mountains, large valleys, dense forest and the high altitude region gives an opportunity to breathe fresh air and experience the beauty of these less travelled destinations.
For so many years, people have started the Char Dham Yatra from Haridwar, as it means Hari-ka-dwar or The Gateway to the Gods.
This guide is made considering Haridwar as base for the travel, which can be completed in 10-11 days by road. It can be completed in a shorter duration with the helicopter services available now.
Day 01: Arrive at Haridwar and stay at our Hotel
Our hotel is located at Subhash Ghat,Har Ki Pauri, Haridwar and we are serving guests since 1990. You can learn more about us in our homepage.
Your religious tour of Char Dham would start with a happy note when you arrive at Haridwar, book rooms for your family from our reservation system.
Day 2 – Haridwar to Barkot (220kms/7hr)
Starting our journey, we will head to Barkot via Dehradun and Mussorie with a optional stopover at the famous Kempty falls. Barkot is a very popular destination in Uttarkashi District, Garhwal division and is situated at an elevation of 1200 m.
Day 03: Barkot – Yamunotri – Uttarkashi (136 kms drive & then Trekking)
Driving to Hanuman Chatti and then hiring local jeeps for Janki Chatti (it will reduce our trek around 7-8 kms) and then finally we will trek to Yamnotri (6kms).
Horse ride / Hand carriage are also optional during the trek.
Maharani Gularia of Jaipur built the temple in the 19th Century. It was rebuild twice after being destroyed.
The temple has a shrine dedicated to Goddess Yamuna but the actual source of the river is located litte ahead.
Two thermal springs, Surya kund and Gauri kund are point of attraction and the source of hot water.
Now we will return to Hanuman Chatti and then back to Barkot, as the accomodation options here are limited.
After checking out from our hotel at Barkot, we will proceed to Uttarakashi to visit Vishwanath temple. Uttarakashi is situated at the bank of river Bhagirathi at an altitude of 1158 m. The temple of Lord Vishwanath is located here where a massive iron trident is erected.
Day 04: Uttarkashi – Gangotri – Uttarkashi ( Around 100kms/3hr each side)
The temple was constructed by the Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa in the 18th Century and is situated on the banks of Bhagirathi. According to popular Hindu legend, it was here that Goddess Ganga descended when Lord Shiva released the mighty river from the locks of his hair.
Submerged Shivling: Submerged in the river, this natural rock Shivling is the place where, according to mythology Lord Shiva sat when he received the Ganga in his matted lock. It is visible in winter months when water level decreases.
Day 05: Uttarkashi – Rudra Prayag ( Around 190kms/9hr)
Starting early, we will drive to Rudraprayag.
Rudraprayag is the confluence of two Rivers Mandakini and Alaknanda.
It is said that Narad ji was blessed by Lord Shiva in this place and appeared in Rudra avatar.
Rudraprayag is one of panch prayags (five confluences of Alaknanda River). It is blessed with nature’s bounty, the climate of which depends upon the height of the region.
Day 06: Rudra Prayag – Guptkashi – Kedarnath – Badrinath – (Helicopter) – Guptakasi – Rudra Prayag
Kedarnath ji shrine is one of the 12 jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva and is a scenic spot situated against the backdrop of the majestic Kedarnath range.
Kedar is another name of Lord Shiva, the protector and the destroyer. According to legend, the Pandavas after having won over the Kauravas in the Kurukshetra war, felt guilty for killing their own brothers and sought the blessings of Lord Shiva for redemption.
He eluded them repeatedly and while fleeing took refuge at Kedarnath in the form of a bull. On being followed he dived into the ground, leaving his hump on the surface. The remaining portions of Lord Shiva appeared at four other places and are worshipped there as his manifestations.
The arms appeared at Tungnath, the face at Rudranath, the belly at Madhmaheshwar and his locks (hair) with head at Kalpeshwar. Kedarnath and the four above-mentioned shrines are treated as Panch Kedar.
The temple is not directly accessible by road and can be reached by trek from Gaurikund. This temple is highest among 12 Jyotirlingas.
Badrinath ji is one of the most celebrated holy town of our country and is situated at an elevation of 3300 meters.
It is guarded by two mountain ranges known as Nar & Narayan with the Neelkanth Peak giving a splendid backdrop.
This view is my favourite out of all Char Dhams.
It is located on the banks of the river Alaknanda and several mountaineering expeditions takes place here.
Day 07: Rudra Prayag – Rishikesh ( Around 165kms/7hr) – Haridwar (25kms/1hr)
After completing Darshan of Char Dhams, we will drive back to Haridwar via Rishikesh.
Rishikesh is a town on the bank of Ganga and is surrounded by Shivalik range of the Himalayas on three sides and is only 25 kms from Haridwar.
Day 08: Stay at Haridwar in our Hotel
Char Dham Yatra is very tiring, so it is a good idea to stay back in Haridwar.
Rejuvenate by taking a holy dip in River Ganga, recharge yourself with the hearty meals and delicious food and stroll around the narrow lanes and vibrant bazaars.
Then the next day, return back to your place with full energy.