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Char Dham Yatra Trail


The Char Dham Trailchar-dham-yatra
A Pilgrimage to Four Holy Shrines in the Himalayas. A 11 night 12 day TIME SAVER tour to Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamnotri

Day 01: DELHI – HARIDWAR

In the morning we’ll drive to Haridwar (230 kms – 6 to 7 hrs journey). On the way, stop for lunch at a restaurant on the highway. On arrival at Haridwar, check in to your Hotel. In the evening, proceed to Har ki Pauri to enjoy Ganga Aarti on the banks of Ganges.

Overnight stay at haridwar

Haridwar is one of the seven holy cities of Hinduism. Legend has it that Vishnu’s footprint was found on the bank of the holy river, giving it its sanctity. Situated at the base of the Siwalik Hills, Haridwar is where the River Ganges passes through its last gorge and begins a 2,000km journey across the plains of India to the Bay of Bengal.

Day 02: HARIDWAR – BARKOT

This morning depart for Barkot, located on the foot of yamunotri (205 kms – 6 to 7 hrs)). Drive via Mussoorie and visit Kempt Falls on the way. On arrival at Barkot, check-in to your hotel/camp. Rest of the day is free to relax and store your energy for the Pahad (hiII) Vatra of Yamunotri the next day.

Overnight stay at Barkot

Day 03: BARKOT – YAMUNOTRI – BARKOT
After breakfast, depart for Hanumanchatti (40 kms), then 8 km by locaI jeeps till JankiChatti. Here you will begin the First Pahad Vatra of Yamunotri (5 kames trek). You can hire a Doli or a horse, for your trek (Cost Not Included). The trek passes through lush green valley, a profusion of conifers, rhododendrons, cacti and several species of Himalayan shrubs.

Yamunotri (altitude 3,291 m), the western most shrine of the Char Dhams, is dominated by Banderpunch (6,361 m). Yamunotri is the source of the river Jamuna, the twin sister of Varna, the Lord of Death. Anyone who bathes in her waters is said to be spared a tortuous death. Yamuna is also the daughter of Surya the Sun. The actual source of the river originates from Champasar Glacier 1 km a head of the shrine, at an altitude of 4,321 mts. Pilgrims do not frequent the source of the river as it is not easily accessible.

After performing pooja, take holy dip in Yamuna River and take the same route back to Barkot, for overnight stay in hotel/camp.
Overnight stay at Barkot

Day 04: BARKOT – UTTARKASHI
In the morning, drive (85 kms – 3 hrs journey) to reach Uttarkashi. Check in into the hotel. Uttarkashi is situated on the banks of river Bhagirathi and is famous for its historical monuments, Temples & Ashrams.

In the evening, Visit the famous Vishwanath Temple.
Overnight stay at Uttarkashi

Day 05: UTTARKASH – GANGOTRI – UTTARKASHI

Early morning drive to Gangotri. Nestled in the magnificent Garhwal Himalayas, Gangotri is set at an altitude of 3048 mts. Upon arrival at Gangotri take a holy dip in the sacred river Ganges which is also called Bhagirathi at its origin Visit the Gangotri Temple. The 18th century’s temple dedicated to Goddess Ganga is located near a sacred stone where King Bhagirathi worshipped Lord Shiva. Ganga is believed to have touched earth at this spot. The temple is an exquisite 20 ft. high structure made of white granite. Late afternoon drive back to Uttarkashi for dinner

Overnight stay at Uttarkashi

Day 06: UTTARKASHI – RUDRAPRAYAG

Early morning after breakfast check out from the hotel and depart for Rudraprayag via, Tehri Dam. Upon arrival at Rudraprayag check in at the hotel. Overnight at Rudraprayag.

The small town, Rudraprayag, is situated at the holy confluence of river Alaknanda and river Mandakini. The presence of two separate routes for Badrinath and Kedarnath Dham from Rudraprayag render great importance to the place.

Overnight stay at Rudraprayag

Day 07: RUDRAPRAYAG – KEDARNATH

Early morning check out from the hotel and depart for Gaurikund (76 kms) from where, you will start your 14 kms trek to Kedarnath. You can hire a Doli or a horse, for your trek (Cost Not Included). Gaurikund is a cute little village bustling with activity. You can see mules and horses everywhere used by pilgrims who cannot trek. Mandakini, one of the main tributaries of the Ganges originates at Kedarnath and flows through Gaurikund. With rare flowers and streams on the Kedarnath route, you are just walking from one picture postcard to another. Trudging with you are pilgrims chanting “Jai Bholenath.” Sometimes the mist would envelop the mountains and slowly lift away, revealing a shiny blinding-white peak that threatens to rupture the skies.

The path is almost ethereal, and unlike many other so-called holy places, one does feel some ancient divinity residing in this frigid dreamscape. Probably there is a reason why they call it the abode of the gods. You’ll take a break at Ramabada, which is exactly half way into the trek, for some respite and hot cups of tea. Start again for the final lap towards Kedarnath. The higher you go, the sights that you get to see, are just mind-blowing. The snowy Kedar range grows bigger as you walk towards it.

People coming downhill start greeting you with encouraging words like ‘U are almost there’ .. ‘Keep walking’ .. Etc.
Finally you’re almost there. Only a few steps to climb. The temple is now in sight. You forget the arduous climb and a feeling of joy overwhelms you. On reaching Kedarnath, you will be checked into your hotel. Those who are energetic enough might want to have darshan of Kedarnath temple in the evening. One of the holiest Hindu pilgrim sites dedicated to Lord Shiva, Kedarnath Temple is perched at an altitude of 3,584 meters amidst towering snow-clad Himalayan peaks on the head of river Mandakini. The original temple is said to have been built by the Pandavas to atone for their sins procured during the Kurukshetra war of Mahabharata. The present temple was reconstructed by Adi Sankaracharya in the 8th century. One of the 12 Shiva-Jyotirlingas resides in this temple. Inside the temple there is an irregular, three-faced linga, representing the hump of Lord Shiva when he took the form of a bull.

Pilgrims are allowed to touch the linga, perform worship, abhishek (bathe), and massage the linga with ghee. There are deities of goddess Parvati and Ganesh in front of the main altar door. Outside the second door are Lord Krishna, the five Pandavas, their wife Draupadi, and their mother, Kunti. In the temple is a Lakshmi-Narayana deity, which was installed by Adi Sankaracharya.

Overnight stay at KEDARNATH

Day 08: KEDARNATH – RUDRAPRAYAG

You get up before dawn and after taking bath you are at the temple by 5:45 am for the ‘Abhishek’ to Kedarnath Shiva. Everyone can go inside Garbha Griha and touch the idol. You can also prostrate with your head touching the deity etc. After darshan and puja you come out of the temple and return to the hotel for breakfast. Checking out of the hotel, you’ll start the return trek of 14 kms from Kedarnath to Gauri kund by about 8:30 am. On reaching Gaurikund by about 2 pm drive back to Rudraprayag in the vehicles that have been waiting for you.

Overnight stay at Rudraprayag

Day 09: RUDRAPRAYAG – JOSHIMATH – BADRINATH

This morning, after an early breakfast, you check out of the hotel at 7.30 am and drive to Badrinath (165 kms – 6 to 7 hrs) via Joshi math. After driving through some wonderful ghat road and probablya couple of landslides you arrive at Badrinath by 2:30 p.m. Check into the hotel. After some rest and refreshments you are all set to go to Badrinath Temple for darshan in the evening. But first you have to go to Tapt Kund (Hot Spring), take bath and then go to the temple.
Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple of Shri Badrinath ji is 15 meters in height, built in the form of a cone with a small cupola of a gilt bull and spire.

Legend dates the temple prior to the Vedic age, though the present temple is believed to have been established by Adi Shankaracharya, the 8th century A.D., and Hindu reformist. The temple has been renovated several times due to earlier damages by avaIanches and looks modern now with a colorful “Singh Dwara” or the main entrance gate.
The temple has three parts – Garbha Griha (the sanctum sanctorum), Darshan Mandap (for pooja) and Shobha Mandap (for devotees to assemble). There are 15 idols in the temple complex. Finely sculpted in black stone, the Badrinath (Vishnu) image is a meter high. Other images include those of Laxmi (Vishnu’s consort), Garurh (Vishnu’s mount), Shiva, Parvati, Ganesh etc. After darshan, return back to the hotel or visit the town and shop around.

Overnight stay at Badrinath.

Day 10: BADRINATH – JOSHIMATH – RUDRAPRAYAG

This morning, after an early morning darshan once again, you drive back to Rudraprayag.

Overnight stay at Rudraprayag

Day 11: RUDRAPRAYAG – RISHIKESH

Early morning, after breakfast, you drive downhill to Rishikesh a spiritual city and the Yoga capital of the world. On reaching Rishikesh you’ll be transferred to your hotel for overnight stay. In India, certain cities are particularly renowned and revered for the spiritual essence bestowed on them by virtue of being home to one or more of the Hindu Gods and wise sages. Such places often become pilgrim destinations, visited by yogis and seekers who travel from around the world to bathe in their sacred glow. Rishikesh is certainly one such place.

In the evening, you’ll be taken to Parmarth Ashram to participate in the Ganga aarti on the banks of Ganges. Rest of the evening free to experience this fascinating town on your own.

Overnight in Rishikesh.

Day 12: RISHIKESH – HARIDWAR – DELHI

Early morning, after breakfast, you are on your last lap of this journey. Drive back to finish location stopping enroute for a couple of hours at Haridwar to take a ritual bath at Har ki Pauri on the banks of Ganges.

Drive back to Delhi and chandigarh.