Char Dham Yatra in Himalayas
Yamunotri, Gangotri, Shri Kedarnath & Badrinath
There are four Abodes in Himalayas collectively referred as “Chota Char Dham of India” and popular as “Char Dham Yatra” which includes four holy shrines of Hindus: Badrinath , Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. All of these temples are situated within the Garwhal region of Uttarakhand state in North India. Among four scared sites Kedarnath is dedicated to Lord Shiva while Badrinath is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. On the other hand, Yamunotri and Gangotri are dedicated to Goddess Ganga and Yamuna rivers respectively. In Hindu religion, the Char Dham Yatra have a great importance, and it is considered that every Hindu should do Char Dham Yatra at least once in a lifetime.
Day 01: Haridwar / Dehradun – Mussoorie – Barkot:
Morning Arrival at Dehradun or Haridwar & drive to Barkot (180 Kms, 06 Hrs Drive). On the way, stop at Mussoorie. Mussoorie- known as “The Queen of the Mountains” is a famous British mountain resort. In clear weather, the Mussoorie ranges offer views of the valley of Dehradun (the state capital of Uttarakhand) and the snow peaks of the Great Himalayan Range. The next stop is Hanuman-Chatti, a small village famous for cave temples located near the village. On this day, the road goes along the river Yamuna.
On Arrive at Barkot, Check at Camp/ Hotel. Barkot: Situated at an elevation of 1,220 meters above sea level, Barkot is one of the popular destinations situated in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, located in the higher Himalayan ranges. Overnight at Camp / Hotel.
Day-02: Barkot – Yamunotri – Barkot:
After breakfast, drive to Yamunotri (50 Kms Drive & 6 Kms Trek, one way) Janki-chatti (“chatti” – stop on the way of pilgrims) by jeep. Here begins the track for Yamunotri Temple, which is 6 Kms per side, you have an option to either walk or hire Pony or by Doli at your own cost.
A winding mountain trail leads to Yamunotri, the source of the river Yamuna and the dwelling place of the goddess of the same name. The Yamuna River is the second largest after the Ganges in India.
In Yamunotri, you can take part in worship in the temple. You can walk along the trail, or ride a pony (for an additional fee). Visit the temple and the sacred thermal springs. The most famous thermal lake is named after the sun god – Surya Kund. Later back to Camp/ Hotel. Overnight at Camp / Hotel.
Day 03: Barkot – Uttarkashi:
After Breakfast, Check out from the Hotel, & leave for Uttarkashi (80 KMs, 2.5 Hrs Drive), on arrival, check in at Hotel. Later visit the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. According to legend, the first temple on this site was founded by Parashurama. Overnight at Camp / Hotel.
Day 04: Uttarkashi – Gangotri- Uttarkashi:
After breakfast proceed for day excursion to Gangotri (100 Kms, 3 Hrs Drive, one way), On the way, explore the Harshil valley and the hot springs in Ganganani. Geographically, the most sacred river of the Ganges of the Indians begins where the three sacred mountain streams merge – Alaknanda, Mandakini and Bhagirath. They all originate in the glaciers of the Garhwal Himalayas. This place is called “Gomukh” (cow face). 19 km from Gomukha downstream is the village of Gangotri, where the statue of Ganga Devi lives in the temple. Gangotri is located in the area of cedar forests. This uniquely beautiful place is of paramount importance and holiness for Hindus.
Gangotri: The shrine of Gangotri is situated at an elevation of 3200 m surrounded by deodars and pines. The original temple was constructed by the Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa. Every year people from all around the world visit this shrine. A number of Ashrams and Dharamshalas are located on the other side of the river. It is believed that Raja Bhagirath used to worship Shiva on a slab of rock “Bhagirath Shila” situated near the temple. Submerged in the river there is a natural Shivling where, according to mythology, Lord Shiva sat when he received the Goddess Ganga in his matted locks. A days trek takes one to Gomukh, the source of the mighty Ganges. Overnight at Camp / Hotel.
Day 05: Uttarkashi – Guptkashi:
After Breakfast drive to Guptakashi (200 Kms, 7 Hrs Drive), On Arrive Check in at Hotel / Camp.
Guptakashi (“hidden Kashi”) – A temple city with beautiful views of the snowy peaks, located in the Garhwal Himalayas, is one of the most important and beautiful centers of pilgrimage. It is believed that the Pandavas after the Battle of Kuruksetra, described in the Mahabharata, wanted to atone for Shiva for fratricide. He wanted to avoid meeting them at Kashi and went to Guptakashi in the form of a bull, Nandi. Bhima exposed the deity, and the brothers tried to grab the bull by the tail and paws, but he disappeared into the cave to return to five different forms of Shiva. This disappearance gave the name of the city. Overnight at Camp / Hotel.
Day 06: Guptkashi – Kedarnath:
After Early breakfast leave to Kedarnath by trek (18Kms, one way) or Helicopter.
By Trek: Early morning, Drive to Sonprayag Parking then cover 02 Kms to Gaurikund (Starting point for Trek) by using Local Transport & Trek to Kedarnath.
By Helicopter: Early morning at 6:30 report to helipad, Fly to Kedarnath, Check in at Hotel.
Later visit Temple for performing Pooja and Darshan. Kedarnath Temple The 1000 years old temple with a carved exterior is located in a courtyard protected by Nandi bull. This spot has great significance in the legendary Mahabharata epic. Inside the main sanctum is one of the 12 naturally formed ‘Jyotirlingas’ of India. The temple has carved shapes of the Pandavas, and Lord Shiva. Overnight at Camp / Hotel.
DAY 07: Kedarnath – Guptkashi:
After breakfast and Darshan check out & down trek to Gaurikund & Later drive to Guptkashi, Check in at Hotel & overnight stay.
By Helicopter: Early morning at 6:30 report to helipad & fly down to Guptkashi and later you will be transfer to hotel. Overnight at Camp / Hotel.
Day 08: Guptkashi – Badrinath:
After breakfast drive to Badrinath (190 Kms, 7 Hrs Drive). On Arrive Check in at Hotel.
Badrinath is a village located at an altitude of 3133 m, protected by the mountains of Nara and Narayana on the bank of the Alakananda River. The place of appearance and the abode of Nara-Narayana, which, along with Gangotri, Yamunotri and Kedarnath, is revered as one of the four Garvale shrines.
The name of the temple “Badrinath” is associated with the ancient tradition, according to which, Lord Vishnu performed austerity in this place. In order to save her husband from the scorching rays of the sun, the goddess Lakshmi took the form of a tree of Vishala-Badari (Great Fig tree), hiding the god under the shade of the branches. Satisfied with the devotion of a consort, Lord Vishnu said that from now on this place would bear her name. The gates of the temple are open only six months a year. This is due to extreme weather conditions in the Himalayas. At the entrance to the temple are the sacred hot springs. Those interested can visit the village of Manna – located on the Indo-Tibetan border and Vasudhara Falls. Overnight at Camp / Hotel.
Day 9: Badrinath – Joshimath – Karanprayag – Rudraprayag:
After breakfast and bath in the Tapt kund visit & Darshan of Badrivishal, drive to Rudraprayag (170 Kms, 6 Hrs Drive).
Rudrapryag – The city stands at the confluence of two great sacred rivers – Mandakini and Mahaalaknanda. The first originates from the icy snow over Kedarnath, and the second from the heights of the Himalayas due to Badrinath. Both are sacred to the Hindus; at the confluence they give rise to the sacred Alaknanda River. Overnight at Camp / Hotel.
Day 10: Rudrapryag –Devpryag- Rishikesh – Dehradun / Haridwar Drop:
After breakfast & Drive to Dehradun airport / Railway Station (165 Kms, 5 Hrs Drive), En-route visit Devprayag. Devprayag – the place of the confluence of two sacred rivers: Baghirati and Alaknanda. In this place of confluence the great Ganges originates, here she finds her name, Visit the ancient temple on the banks of the sacred river Ganges.
After visit, we continue our journey to Dehradun / Haridwar Drop for back home.