Char Dham’, the most sacred pilgrimage circuit, the circuit of mythologies, the circuit that cossets four abodes of God; you can simply go on defining these two words in different and beautiful ways.
This pilgrimage was initiated by sage Adi Shankaracharya, a great Hindu intellectual and reformer. The sage started this holy journey in the 8th century with the motive of reviving the Hindu religion, and certainly the four destinations were perfect to serve his purpose. Yamunotri (the abode of Shakti Yamuna), Gangotri (the abode of Shakti Ganga), Kedarnath (the abode of Lord Shiva) and Badrinath (the abode of Lord Vishnu) are the four holy places embracing the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayas, Uttarakhand.
It is believed that by visiting this pious circuit, all the sins of the devotees are forgiven; are washed off. Since ages, this belief is so prominent that the Char Dham Yatra is considered as a must for every human. Further, it is not just that people come here for getting salvation; they visit these holy sites so as to attain enlightenment, to experience serenity and spirituality.
Considered the holiest of the four important shrines. The town is at an altitude of 3,133 m. above sea level, situated on the left bank of river Alaknanda and exactly between the two mountains Nara and Narayan and the shadow of Nilkantha peak. The shrine is dedicated to Vishnu the preserver and protector of Hindu Divine Trinity.
The Kedarnath shrine, one of the 12 jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, Kedar is another name of Lord Shiva, the protector and the destroyer. According to legend, the Pandavas after having won over the Kaurava in the Kurukshetra war, felt guilty of having killed 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 Shrine of Gangotri situated at an elevation of 3200 m above sea level amidst captivating surroundings along the right bank of Bhagirathi is 100 km from Uttarkashi. The temples opening is preceded by a special Puja of Ganga both inside the temple as well as on the river bank.
The Source of Yamunotri River and the seat of Godess Yamuna,it is the westernmost shrine in the Garhwal Himalayas,The main attraction at Yamunotri is the temple devoted to the Goddess Yamuna and the holy thermal springs at Janki Chatti. The temple of Yamuna, on the left bank of the Yamuna, was constructed by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal. The deity is made of black marble. The Yamuna, like the Ganges, has been elavated to the status of a divine mother for the Hindus and has been held responsible for nurturing and developing the Indian civilization.
Chardham Yatra (11 Nights/12 Days)
Day 1 Rishikesh
- Arrive at Rishikesh. On arrival check-in at the hotel. Evening free for Ganga Aarti & possible sightseeing. Overnight stay.
Day 2 Rishikesh – Barkot (220kms/7-8hr)
- Drive to Barkot via Dehradun & Mussoorie. En-route visit Kempty Fall On arrival check-in Hotel / Swiss Tents. Overnight stay at Barkot.
Day 3 Barkot – Yamunotri – Barkot (35kms drive & 6kms Trek [one side])
- After an early breakfast proceed to Yamunotri, drive up to Jankichatti / Phoolchatti then trek start from here to Yamunotri (6kms). Either by walk or by horse or by Doli at own cost. Here anyone can cook rice by packing it in a cloth and dipping it in the hot water of the hot kund. Pilgrims take this cooked rice home as “Prasad”. Here near the temple “Pooja” can be offered to Divya Shila. After taking bath in Jamunabai Kund’s warm water and having “Darshan” of pious “Yamunaji” returning to Jankichatti. Later drive back to Barkot. Overnight stay at Barkot.
Day 4 Barkot – Uttarkashi (100kms / 4hr)
- After breakfast transfer to Uttarkashi. On arrival check in Hotel / Swiss Tents. Evening visit Vishwanath Temple. Overnight stay at Uttrakashi.
Day 5 Uttarkashi – Gangotri – Uttarkashi (100kms / 4hrs each side)
- After an early breakfast proceed to Gangotri (3048 mts), en-route enjoy picturesque Harsil village, Bhagirathi River and the most magnificent view of the Himalayas. After Gangotri Darshan return to Uttarkashi. Overnight stay at Uttrakashi.
Day 6 Uttarkashi – Guptkashi (220kms/8-9hr)
- After an early breakfast transfer to Guptkashi. En-route visits the Heritage City of Tehri Submerged in to the Mighty eater of Holy Ganga due to construction of Tehri Dam. On arrival check in Hotel / Swiss Tents. Overnight stay at Guptkashi.
Day 7 Guptakashi – Kedarnath (32 kms Drive, 14 kms trek)
- In the morning drive to Gaurikund (32 km from one side). Upon arrival, you will have to walk through a zigzag route. En-route the lunch is scheduled at Rambara. Post lunch continue trekking towards the Kedarnath Temple. On arrival, check into a hotel or tourist bungalow. Freshen up and visit the Kedarnath Temple. Pay homage at the holy shrine and then in the evening visit the Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi, located just behind the temple. Return back to the hotel for an overnight stay.
Day 8 Kedarnath – Pipalkoti (14 Kms trek 145 kms Drive)
- Trek down to Gaurikund in the morning, and on arrival drive towards Pipalkoti. By evening you will check into a hotel at Pipalkoti. Relax and enjoy an overnight stay in the hotel.
Day 9 Pipalkoti – Badrinath (72 kms)
- In the morning, post breakfast drive to Shri Badrinath Ji. There are various temples that will fall in the way like the Narsingh Temple and Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi. Visit these shrines for attaining peace of mind and then continue the drive to Badrinath. Upon arrival, check into a hotel. Later, take a holy dip in the Tapt Kund, followed by a visit to the main temple. In the late afternoon, visit the Mana Village, the last village before the Tibetan border, Bheem Pul, Byas Cave & Ganesha Cave. Drive back to Badrinath and in the evening you can visit the shrine for Aarti Darshan. Later, enjoy an overnight stay in the hotel.
Day 10 Badrinath – Rudraprayag (160 kms)
- If you want to see the Holy bath of the Sri Badrinath then wake up early in the morning by 03:30 am and enjoy the beautiful sight.
After breakfast drive to Rudraprayag via Joshimath, Chamoli, Nanda Prayag and Karna Prayag. On arrival, check in to a hotel and have a comfortable overnight stay.
Day 11 Rudraprayag – Rishikesh (135 Kms 7 hrs)
- In the morning drive to Rishikesh via Srinagar and Devprayag. Devprayag is the confluence of holy rivers Alaknanda and Bhagirathi; after meeting at this place, these two holy water bodies unite together to form the Ganges. Once arrived at Rishikesh, check into a hotel. Later visit the Laxman Jhula, followed by an overnight stay in the hotel.
Day 12: Rishikesh
- In the morning after breakfast, drive for onward destination. Tour ends.
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