About Char Dham Yatra
India being the land of multiple religions is home to a number of pilgrimage and yatras where people from different parts of the world come to visit these spiritual landmarks. Char Dham yatra is one of the most highly revered Hindu pilgrimages in the world where people from far and wide make the pilgrimage to the portals of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri in Uttarakhand. Established by Adi Shankaracharya devotees and pilgrims go on this journey with an aim of achieving salvation. The Char Dham Yatra of 2023 is set to commence from May 6th with the dham portals opening for Darshan on the holy eve of Akshaya Tritiya.
Best Time to Go on Char Dham Yatra
Since all the Char Dham portals are situated on high altitudes of the Garhwal Himalayas, it experiences a constant cold weather condition. The most ideal to visit would be when the gates are opened for Darshan and lasts till the beginning of monsoon months which are April / May to July. The months of September to November are also considered to be an ideal time to visit the Dham sites; however it would get increasingly cold by the end of the year.
Remember that visiting char Dham shrines during the winter months is an extremely risky business since the entire region remains prone to heavy and unexpected torrential rains and landslides. Helicopter services are suspended during the monsoon months.
Here is an Ideal Char Dham Itinerary for 10 Days
Day 1: Beginning of the Yatra
On the first day of your holy journey, you will be going on a completely thrilling expedition of Char Dham portals. Your journey will actually commence on your arrival at Barkot which will take you around 7 hours to reach from Haridwar. You will be staying overnight at Barkot.
Day 2: Trekking to Yamunotri
You will be leaving for Janki Chatti early in the morning which will be a journey of almost 2 hours to the very first destination of your Char Dham Yatra, Yamunotri. After reaching you will be trekking your way through Hanuman Chatti and Phool Chatti which will be a journey of almost 6 kms. The entire route is extremely beautiful and filled with pure views of the natural Himalayan beauty. On your arrival to the shrine, you will firstly take a holy dip in the natural thermal water of Garam Kund and then head on for your Darshan at the shrine of Yamunotri. Some of the popular attractions of Yamunotri are – Surya Kund and Divya Shila. Finally, you will be making your way back to Barkot from Janki Chatti in the same day.
Day 3: Make Your Way to Uttarkashi
Your next destination as per tradition is to head for your next shrine of Gangotri Dham. You will be making your way to Uttarkashi which is situated at a distance of 4 hours from Barkot. En route you can visit various attractions like – Prakateshwar Caves. Once you reach Uttarkashi you can also visit an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishwanath. You will be staying the night at Uttarkashi where you can also avail some cheap and budget accommodation stay options.
Day 4: Visit to Gangotri Dham and Back
You will be going your way up to Gangotri Dham which is situated at a distance of almost 3 hours. You will be performing your puja and Darshan rituals there after taking a holy dip in the sacred river that flows past this temple. You will be making your way back to Uttarkashi the same day.
Day 5: Set Your Base Camp at Guptkashi
On this day you will be heading for Kedarnath Dham. This leg of the journey is divided into two different parts which is done to avoid the overwhelming fatigue that the pilgrims may suffer. You will be driven from Uttarkashi to Guptkashi which is situated at a distance of 10 kms. On your arrival and after getting yourself checked in you will be staying the night at Guptkashi.
Day 6: Trekking up to Kedarnath Dham
The next day you will be covering the final leg of your Kedarnath Dham journey. You will be making your way up to Kedarnath Dham which is situated at a mere distance of 22 kms. After completing your Darshan and other puja rituals at the main Dham shrine you will be making your way back to the vicinity of the temple. You will be spending the night in close proximity to the temple.
Day 7: Leave for Rudraprayag
After going for your early morning Darshan Yatra at Kedarnath you will be trekking your way back to the last road head of Kedarnath i.e Gaurikund. Once you make your way back to Gaurikund your trip to Rudraprayag will commence which is situated at a distance of almost 5 hours. This holy town is situated right on the confluence of River Mandakini and Alaknanda. You can avail some cheap and budget hotel stays here.
Day 8: Making Your Way to Badrinath Dham
Early in the morning, you will be making your way for Badrinath Dham from Rudraprayag where you will be covering a distance of almost 5.5 hours. Before visiting the temple you will be taking a holy dip in the water of Tapt Kund. You will also be able visit a number of other sightseeing attractions around Badrinath like – Mana village, Bhim Pul, Vyas Gufa etc. You will also be spending your night here in Badrinath where you will also be able to avail some pocket-friendly accommodation options.
Day 9: Make Your Journey Back to Rudraprayag
You will be making your way back to Rudraprayag which is located at a distance of 5 hours of driving distance. On reaching back you will be staying in Rudraprayag and exploring some nearby tourist attractions like – Augustmuni, Koteshwar Mahadev temple, Sonprayag and so much more.
Day 10: Rudraprayag to Rishikesh
You will be making your way back from Rudraprayag to Rishikesh which will be covered at a distance of almost 5 hours. This will mark the end of your journey leaving you with a lifetime worth of memories and a new outlook towards life.