Char Dham Yatra is one of the holiest pilgrimages in the world. The four temples involved in this yatra are Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. It is also known as Chota Char Dham Yatra. Apart from these, there is another Char Dham which was established by Adi Shankaracharya. These include four holy pilgrimage sites in four different corners of the country, namely Badrinath in Uttarakhand, Dwarka in Gujarat, Puri in Orissa and Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.
All the holy places of Chhota Char Dham Yatra are dedicated to different deities. Kedarnath Dham is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Badrinath Dham is dedicated to Lord Badri or Vishnu. Gangotri Dham is dedicated to Mata Ganga and Yamunotri to Mata Yamuna.
If you are planning for this holy pilgrimage and looking for complete information about it, then you are at the right place. Here, we have compiled important information, which will help you plan a trip and delve into the important details.
Religious Significance of Chardham Yatra
These holy places exist amidst the lofty peaks of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand. In Hinduism, attainment of salvation is considered the destination of life. And it is believed that Char Dham Yatra takes you one step closer to fulfilling this goal.
Chardham Yatra has a lot of religious significance in Hinduism. It has been believed that every Hindu should visit this pilgrimage at least once in his lifetime. It is believed that Chardham Yatra opens the doors of salvation by washing away the sins of life. And it is said that when a pilgrim finishes the Chardham Yatra, he attains complete peace of mind. Every year lakhs of devotees from all over the world visit this place.
Important Tips About Char Dham Yatra
These holy sites are located in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand. Traditionally, the journey is done from west to east. Thus, it starts from Yamunotri, then ends at Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. Here is essential information that will help you while planning a trip:
- The journey can start from Delhi, Haridwar, Rishikesh or Dehradun as per your convenience.
- Biometric registration of Char Dham Yatra is mandatory.
- Carry essential documents like Aadhar Card, Voter ID Card, PAN Card, Driving License, or Passport with you on the journey.
- The camping facilities at Swiss Cottages are available near the shrine and are well equipped with basic amenities. Deluxe and budget accommodations are also available.
- Char Dham Yatra by Helicopter is also available for the pilgrims. Offline and online booking facility is available. For those who are unable to walk, palanquins, horses and pithus are also available.
- Don’t forget to bring a warm jacket, gloves, sweater, wool socks and raincoat during the trip.
- Wear comfortable shoes with good grip while traveling.
How to Reach Char Dham?
Chardham Yatra starts from either Haridwar or Dehradun. There are two ways to start the journey – by road and by helicopter. Here is brief information on how to reach the holy sites:
Char Dham by Road:- Char Dham Yatra can be started from Haridwar, Delhi, Rishikesh and Dehradun. Haridwar railway station is the nearest railway station from these holy places. Haridwar is connected to Delhi and other major cities through road and rail network. State transport and private buses are available to these holy pilgrimage sites. Taxis are also available from Haridwar, Rishikesh, and Dehradun.
Route of Char Dham Yatra by Road: Haridwar – Rishikesh – Barkot – Janki Chatti – Yamunotri – Uttarkashi – Harsil – Gangotri – Ghansali – Augustmuni – Guptkashi – Kedarnath – Chamoli Gopeshwar – Govind Ghat – Badrinath – Joshimath – Rishikesh – Haridwar.
Char Dham by Helicopter:- Helicopter service is available from Sahastradhara Helipad, Dehradun to Char Dham. Helicopter service is from Dehradun to Kharsali, which is about 6 km from Yamunotri temple. Harsil Helipad is the nearest helipad to Gangotri Temple, which is located 25 km away from the temple. Helipads of Badrinath and Kedarnath Dham are also located near the temple.
Helicopter Route: – Dehradun (Sahastradhara Helipad) – Yamunotri (Kharsali Helipad) – Gangotri (Harsil Helipad) – Guptkashi Helipad – Kedarnath Helipad – Guptkashi – Badrinath – Dehradun.
Best Time to Visit Char Dham Yatra Uttarakhand
The best time for Char Dham Yatra is from April to June and September to October. The weather is pleasant in these months which makes the journey comfortable and enjoyable. The weather is nice during summer. It is advisable to avoid travel during the monsoon season as the region receives heavy rains, due to which there are chances of landslides and floods in some areas. In the winter season, the region receives heavy snowfall due to which the temples remain closed for almost six months. In winter the idols of Kedarnath are shifted to Omkareshwar temple of Ukhimath and the idols of Badrinath are shifted to Joshimath. Devotees can go there and have darshan.
Where are the Char Dhams Located?
The Char Dham Yatra involves four holy places, which are located in the lap of the Garhwal Himalayas in Uttarakhand.
1. Yamunotri Dham
The source of river Yamuna, Yamunotri is situated at an altitude of 3293 meters above sea level in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. Yamunotri Temple is surrounded by Himalayan glaciers and thermal springs. According to Hindu mythology, Yamuna is the sister of Yama, the god of death. It is believed that taking a bath in the Yamuna brings peace. Dehradun is located at a distance of 182 km from here and Haridwar is 226 km away.
Yamunotri Temple Opening & Closing Date – April/May to November
Darshan Timings – Yamunotri Temple opens for devotees around 7 am in the morning. Closes in the period between 1 pm to 4 pm. The closing time of Yamunotri temple is 8 PM. Dehradun is located at a distance of 182 km from here and Haridwar is 226 km away.
Places to visit around the temple: Jankichatti, Surya Kund, Shani Dev Temple, Saptarishi Kund
2. Gangotri Dham
This temple is dedicated to Goddess Ganga. According to Hindu mythology, Gangotri Dham is the place where the river Ganges descended from heaven when Lord Shiva released her from his hair. Situated at an altitude of 3042 meters above sea level, Gangotri is situated in Uttarkashi district. From here Haridwar is 285 km and Dehradun is 240 km.
Gangotri Temple Opening Date April/May to November
Darshan Timings – Worship at Gangotri Temple starts with Aarti at 4:00 AM and ends with Shayan Aarti at 7:00 PM. The temple opens for darshan of pilgrims at 6:00 am. In the afternoon it closes from 2:00 to 3:00.
Places to visit around the temple: Bhagirath Shila, Bhairav Ghati, Gaumukh, Surya Kund, Submerged Shivling.
3. Kedarnath Dham
This Dham is situated in the lap of Himalayas in Rudraprayag district at an altitude of 3553 meters above sea level. Kedarnath Dham is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Not only is it one of the most important pilgrimages of Chardham Yatra, but this ancient temple is also considered as one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. In addition, Kedarnath, Kalpeshwar, Tungnath, Madmaheshwar and Rudranath temples together make up the Panch Kedar. It is 254 km from Dehradun and 125 km from Haridwar.
Kedarnath Temple Opening Date – April/May to November
Darshan Timings – The puja ritual at Kedarnath temple starts with Maha Abhishek Aarti at 4:00 AM and ends with Shayan Aarti at 7:00 PM. The temple opens for darshan of pilgrims at 6:00 am. In the afternoon it is closed for two hours from 3:00 to 5:00.
Places to visit around the temple: Gaurikund, Bhairav Nath Temple, Tungnath, Chandrashila Trek, Vasuki Tal, Trijugi Narayan.
4. Badrinath Dham
Situated between the Nar and Narayan mountain ranges, Badrinath Dham is situated at an altitude of 3300 meters above sea level. It is located in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Badrinath Dham is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, who is considered to be the protector and protector of the divine Hindu trinity (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva). Apart from these important reasons, Badrinath Dham is considered important in the Chardham Yatra because it is the place where Adi Shankaracharya attained salvation, thus, attaining his freedom from the process of reincarnation. Distance from Kedarnath is 218 km and it is 316 km from Haridwar. Badrinath is located at 334 km from Dehradun.
Badrinath Temple Opening Date – April/May to November
Darshan Timings – The daily rituals in the temple begin with Maha Abhishek and Abhishek Pooja at around 4:30 and end with Shayan Aarti at around 9:00 PM. The temple opens to the general public at 7:00 am and closes in the afternoon between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm.
Places to visit around the temple: Tapt Kund, Charan Paduka, Vyas Gufa, Ganesh Gufa, Bhim Pul, Pandukeshwar, Yogdhyan Badri Temple, Mana Village, Satopanth Lake.
When does Char Dham Yatra start and Close?
The journey to Gangotri and Yamunotri temple starts from Akshaya Tritiya. The starting date of Kedarnath Yatra is fixed on Shivratri and the date of opening of the doors of Badrinath temple is fixed on Basant Panchami. The Chardham Yatra starts in April-May and closes around Diwali in October-November every year.
How and Where to do Char Dham Yatra Online Registration?
Registration is mandatory for Char Dham Yatra which is also available on the official website of Char Dham Yatra. Offline travel registration is available at various places like Haridwar Railway Station, Rishikesh Bus Stand, Janki Chatti, Guptkashi, Gangotri, Phata, Sonprayag, Kedarnath, Govindghat, and Uttarkashi. The documents required for registration are photo identity cards such as Aadhar Card, Voter ID Card and Passport.
What Things to Take with During the Trip?
- Always carry a kit of essential medicines for cold, cough and fever.
- Also, carry Band-Aids and an antiseptic ointment.
- Use sunscreen to prevent sunburn. Wear a hat and goggles if you are traveling in the sun.
- Carry woolen clothing such as body warmers, sweaters, jackets, hats, socks, and gloves.
- Carry a windcheater, raincoat, and umbrella to protect yourself from the rain.
- Carry water proof shoes and a waterproof bag.
- Carry a battery-powered torch and enough batteries.
- Keep water and dry fruits for the way too.
- Keep important documents like tickets, identity proof, and money in a handy waterproof bag.
You now have all the necessary information related to the Char Dham Yatra. Now you can plan a spiritual journey to these holy sites. You can also take in the natural beauty as well.
For the Yatra queries you can call at +91 9958647371 or Email: email@example.com