Know All About CharDham Yatra: How To Reach, Best Time To Visit

CharDham Yatra

The CharDham Yatra refers to a spiritual pilgrimage to four holy Hindu temples located in the Indian Himalayas – Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. It is one of the most popular pilgrimages in India.

In this post, we will tell you all about these four spiritual dhams like how to reach there, when to go, where to stay, and so on.

So, lets start with the Yamunotri dham.

Yamunotri Temple 

This temple sits at an altitude of 3,235m and is dedicated to the goddess Yamuna. It requires a trek of about 5kms from the town of Hanuman Chatti to reach the temple. Yamunotri temple opening date 2024 is 10 May 2024

The hot springs near the temple are an attraction where devotees cook rice to offer at the temple. The raw nature and difficult terrain adds to the adventure.

Gangotri Temple

Located at an altitude of 3,100m along the banks of Bhagirathi river, the Gangotri temple is dedicated to goddess Ganga. The scenic views of the snow-capped Himalayas and the submerged Shivlinga near the temple are major highlights. However, there isn’t much to do beyond the temple visit. Gangotri temple opening date 2024 is 10 May 2024.

Kedarnath Temple

Situated majestically against the backdrop of Keadardome mountains, at an altitude of 3,583m, this temple hosts one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. The scenic trek to the temple itself is an experience to cherish. Due to heavy snowfall, the temple remains closed during winter months. Kedarnath opening date 2024 is 10 May 2024 so what are you looking for book your cab in advance to get exciting offers.

Badrinath Temple

Located at an altitude of 3,133m along the banks of Alaknanda River, this temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The hot water spring behind the temple is excellent for a dip. One can also visit the nearby holy places like Panch Prayag, Hanuman Chatti, Bhim Pul etc. Badrinath opening date 2024 is 12 May 2024.

Best Time To Visit Char Dham

The best time to go for the CharDham Yatra is in the months between April and November. Here’s a breakdown of the ideal times for visiting each of the four pilgrimage sites:

Yamunotri Temple: Open from the beginning of May to mid-November. The peak season is May and June when the weather is pleasant and ideal for trekking. Avoid July-September due to monsoon season.

Gangotri Temple: April to November is the suitable time for visiting Gangotri before the heavy winter snow. April-June is ideal with pleasant weather. Avoid monsoons from July-mid September.

Kedarnath Temple: Opens in end of April or early May once the winter snow has started clearing. May to October is a good time before it closes by November. Avoid monsoons from July-mid September.

Badrinath Temple: The temple remains open from early May to the first week of November. May to June and September to October are good for avoiding monsoon rains. Heavy snow makes it inaccessible in the winter.

So, the optimal CharDham Yatra season that allows you to cover all four temples without hassles of snow or rainfall is in the months of May to June and again from mid September until November before the temples close down.

The period from April end until June is perfect for avoiding harsh weather conditions while still being able to complete the Chardham circuit at a leisurely pace. September-October is also ideal, though some places start shutting down towards November. Avoid monsoon period in July-August due to risk of landslides and heavy rainfall.

Where To Stay During Char Dham Yatra?

Here are some of the best places to stay during your CharDham Yatra:

Gangotri: GMVN Tourist Bungalow or Guest House are budget-friendly options located close to the Gangotri temple. Hotel Jahanvi Resort and Hotel Gangaputra are mid-range options with nice views.

Yamunotri: GMVN Tourist Bungalow in Hanuman Chatti is a good economical place to stay. Sayarth Hotel and Resort and Hotel Mount View Yamunotri provide decent mid-range accommodation with good amenities.

Kedarnath: GMVN and GMVN Enclosures provide simple accommodation closest to the temple. The Rajmahal Hotel and Shivalik Valley Resorts offer budget rooms at fair prices.

Badrinath: Budget options like Saraswati Bhawan and the GMVN Tourist Bungalow are located near the temple. Hotel Snow Crest and Hotel Dwarikesh offer a comfortable stay.

Haridwar/Rishikesh: Gateway Resort Ganga and Divine Resort are conveniently located to begin your yatra. Great Value rooms and Hotel Devmaya offer economical stays options before the trek.

Ideally, stay near the temple towns for easy access. Check online in advance for availability, especially during peak seasons. Carry some warm clothing as the region can get quite cold. Avoid going too budget and compromise on hygiene or safety.

How To Reach CharDham Yatra?

Here are the most convenient ways to reach CharDham Yatra:

By Air: It is the easiest way to reaching anywhere.  You can also reach CharDhram by air. Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport to reach CharDham Yatra. It connects with Delhi and other major cities. From Dehradun you can take a bus or taxi to Haridwar or Rishikesh.

By Train: It is the cheapest way to get anywhere. Apart from this, it is also comfortable. Haridwar railway junction is the nearest major railhead serving entry points for CharDham Yatra. Many trains connect Haridwar to Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and other metro cities. Rishikesh also has a small railway station.

By Road: Many state-run and private buses frequently ply between Haridwar/Rishikesh and places like Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag, Guptkashi, etc. Road connectivity is very good through national highways. You can also hire cars or taxis.

Once You Arrive: Typically one starts the CharDham Yatra from either Haridwar or Rishikesh. From here, the route to the four dhams passes through places like Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag, Guptakashi, before reaching the individual temple sites.

For Yamunotri and Gangotri routes, you can take buses or shared cabs up to Hanuman Chatti or Gangnani and then trek or take dolis/porters to reach the temples. For Kedarnath and Badrinath, buses and taxis go right up to the temple sites.

So, you can reach CharDham by air, train or road and then use either buses, taxis or trek to access Chardham temples. Book connecting travel and stays in advance for a smooth trip!

How To Do Char Dham Yatra Registration?

Here are the steps to do CharDham Yatra registration:

Biometric Registration: This is mandatory for all pilgrims. You can register at designated centers in Rishikesh, Haridwar or the ghat offices at the start of treks to the four dhams. Carry a valid ID proof. Get your pictures and biometrics captured.

Obtain Yatra Permit: At the time of registration, you will be issued a yatra permit card/slip. This will have your registration number and contain important details and guidelines. Carry this permit with you always during the yatra.

Get Medical Fitness Certificate: Those above the age of 50 years need to get a medical certificate confirming you are fit for the arduous high-altitude trek.

Apply for Group Insurance: The Uttarakhand Tourism board offers compulsory insurance for all pilgrims to cover any accidents or emergencies. You can apply for this at registration centers for a minimal fee. Keep the receipt.

Book Heli Services: If planning to use helicopter services at any stage, book them after registration by providing your pilgrim ID details. Limited seats available so book 1-2 months in advance.

Make sure you carefully follow all guidelines, rules and regulations to avoid any hassles during the CharDham Yatra. Carry all documents always and ensure proper acclimatization and fitness levels before embarking on the pilgrimage.

How To Do CharDham Yatra By Helicopter?

Here are the key steps to do CharDham Yatra by helicopter:

Registration: Get your CharDham Yatra registration done at designated centers. Provide ID proof and get your pilgrim slip along with a unique registration number.

Route Plan: Decide which dhams you wish to visit and chart out a route plan – whether you want to do a multi-stop helicopter tour or fly to a specific temple site.

Helicopter Booking: Use your registration number and pilgrim ID slip to book helicopter tickets in advance through Uttarakhand tourism website or authorized travel agents. Specify routes and dates.

Prepare Paperwork: Carry a valid photo ID proof, health fitness certificate (for those above 50 years) and yatra permit for check-in at the helicopter boarding. Keep proper paperwork ready.

Reach Airport: Report at least an hour before the scheduled helicopter departure time at the nearest airport like Dehradun, Phata or Gauchar.

Security Checks: Undergo mandatory baggage screening and identity checks before being allowed to board the helicopter. Remove shoes and sharp objects.

Enjoy Aerial Ride: Sit back and soak in the outstanding aerial views of Himalayan peaks and landscapes on your helicopter tour of Chardham.

Strictly follow baggage weight limits, arrival times and other instructions provided. Carry motion sickness medicines if required. Have a safe and pleasant helicopter pilgrimage!

Important Instructions For CharDham Yatra

Here are some of the most important instructions to keep in mind for CharDham Yatra:

Carry Valid ID and Permit: Do remember to carry your valid photo ID proof as well as the pilgrim slip or permit with your registration details at all times.

Proper Clothing: Ensure you have adequate warm clothing, walking shoes, gloves, sunglasses etc. as the region can have extreme cold and heat during the yatra.

Take things slow: Allow sufficient time for acclimatization at each stop. Do not rush from one place to another or climb too quickly to avoid altitude sickness.

Stay Hydrated: Due to hilly terrain and temperature fluctuations, it is critical that you stay sufficiently hydrated by drinking water, juices etc at frequent intervals.

Respect Eco-system: Do not litter or pollute the fragile Himalayan eco-system in any way during the pilgrimage. Follow cleanliness guidelines.

Check on Health: Keep a check on your blood pressure levels and health conditions. Consult nearest medical facilities if feeling unwell due to high altitude or any underlying illnesses.

Avoid Unnecessary Risks: Do not venture out alone, step into restricted areas or click selfies at dangerous edges/waterfalls that risk your safety just for the sake of adventure.

Following these simple but very important instructions will help ensure you have a safe, smooth and spiritually fulfilling CharDham Yatra in the Himalayas!

The CharDham Yatra takes anywhere from 9 days to 2 weeks depending on one’s itinerary and which destinations they cover. While being a spiritual journey, it also offers a sense of adventure, raw natural beauty and magnificent mountain views. An experience to remember!

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