A helpful Char Dham Yatra Guide for travel in 2020
The Char Dham Yatra is a pilgrimage consisting of four sacred sites at Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamnotri and Gangotri. Char Dham Yatra is one of the most popular Hindu pilgrimage amongst Hindu devotees and is believed to set the blessed visitor on the path of Moksha, salvation. The growing popularity is also to witness 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, rightly so , as it means Hari-ka-dwar or The Gateway to the Gods. The guide below has also been drafted considering Haridwar as base for the Char Dham Yatra, which can be completed in 10-11 days by road. It can be completed in a shorter duration with the helicopter services available now as we have tried to describe below.
Also note that some people go to Do Dham yatra and some times Badrinath ji only, so this Yatra can be customized.
Darshan . Blessings . Divine . Nature
Day 01: Stay at Haridwar Hotel Teerth
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
Day 2- Haridwar-Barkot (220kms/7hr)
Today, we will start from Haridwar 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. Night stay can be planned at Barkot for travelling Yamnotri next day which is only 50kms.
Day 03: Barkot – Yamunotri – Uttarkashi (136kms drive & Trekking is involved too)
We will drive to Hanuman Chatti and will hire local jeeps to drive to Janki Chatti (it will reduce our trek upto 8kms) and then finally we will trek to Yamnotri (6kms). Horse ride / Hand carriage are also optional to take. After taking bath in Jamuna bai kund’s warm water, we will offer pooja to the Divya Shila and then we will visit/perform Darshan of pious Yamunaji.
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 which supplies hot water all year around.
Now we will return to Hanumanchatti 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 1158m. The temple of Lord Vishwanath is located here where a massive iron trident is erected. The other important temples here are Ekadash Rudra, Bhairav, Gyaneshwar and Goddess Kuteti Devi.
Day 04: Uttarkashi – Gangotri – Uttarkashi ( Around 100kms/3hr each side)
Today we will travel to Gangotri (3048 mts) via Harsil, it has splendid views of Bhagirathi River and the Himalayas. Then we will return to Uttarkashi after Darshan for night stay.
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. Gangotri has the charm to attract people from all over with its overwhelming beauty. The striking presence of the snow-clad mountains in the vicinity and the pure crystal clear water of the Ganges flowing around add to the sanctity of the place.
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). Rudraprayag is blessed with nature’s bounty, the climate of which depends upon the height of the region. Rudranath, Chamunda Devi and Koteshwar Temple are places to see near Rudraprayag.
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 being not directly accessible by road can to be reached by trek from Gaurikund. This temple is highest among 12 Jyotirlingas. After Darshan we will come back to Rudra Prayag.
Badrinath one of the ‘Four Dhams’ is one of the most celebrated pilgrimage spots of the country and is situated at an elevation of 3,133 meters, guarded on either side by the two mountain ranges known as Nar & Narayan with the towering Neelkanth Peak providing a splendid backdrop.
It is located on the banks of the river Alaknanda and is also a getaway to several mountaineering expeditions.
The mountains around Badrinath ji are mentioned in our epic Mahabharata when the pandavas were said to have expired one by one.
Day 07: Rudra Prayag – Rishikesh ( Around 165kms/7hr) – Haridwar (25kms/1hr)
After Darshan of Char Dham, we will drive to Haridwar for night stay via Rishikesh Rishikesh is a town on the bank of Ganga and is surrounded by Shivalik range of the Himalayas on three sides. Laxman Jhulla, Ram Jhulla, Triveni Ghat, Bharat Mandir, Shivananda Ashram and Parmarth Ashram are places worth visiting in Rishikesh.
Day 08: Stay at Haridwar in our Hotel
Char Dham Yatra is very tiring, so always 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. Return to your place with full energy.
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, learn more about us in our