For every devout Hindu, the pilgrimage to Chardham is a highly-anticipated trip that they should embark on at least once in their lifetime. Following a specific itinerary, visitors should not overlook any places of significant religious importance along the journey. To help you make the most of your Chota Char Dham Yatra, we've compiled a list of essential destinations you must visit.
The Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand is one of the most well-known and popular trips that every devout Hindu should undertake. The trek through the rugged terrain of Garhwal Himalayas is also a delight for adventure enthusiasts.
Here's a comprehensive travel plan to follow if you're planning a Char Dham Yatra.
Ideally, your journey should begin in Haridwar, which is 230 kilometers from Delhi. You can reach Haridwar from Delhi airport or railway station by car. The drive takes around six hours. Stop at a roadside dhaba for lunch. Khatauli offers numerous options for lunch on the way to Haridwar.
In the evening, witness the Aarti at Har Ki Pauri Ghat in Haridwar. The evening Aarti is a surreal sight when priests offer homage to Goddess Ganga, the Sun, and Lord Shiva. The stunning display of numerous lighted diyas enhances the beauty of the place.
Other significant attractions in Haridwar include Mansa and Chandi Devi Temple, Anandamayi Ashram, Vaishno Devi Temple, and more.
Begin your day by performing Surya Pranam, a prayer to the sun god, at Saptarshi Ghat during sunrise. Afterward, embark on a journey towards Barkot via Dehradun and Missouri. As you travel through the winding, mountainous paths, take in the stunning vistas of the valley. Make a stop at Kempty Falls for a while before resuming your journey.
Make your way to the sacred Yamunotri Dham. Take a local jeep to Janki Chatti and then commence your six-kilometer trek to the holy shrine of Yamunotri. As you trek, relish the serene beauty of the mountains. Before offering your prayers to the Goddess, take a dip in the sacred waters of the Kund. Before entering the main temple, devotees also offer prayers to Divya Shila, a holy rock. Many pilgrims boil rice in the warm waters of the Kund, a hot water spring.
Nestled 10 kilometers away from the Yamunotri temple, the Saptrishi Kund is adorned with the rare Himalayan Brahma Kamal flower. This Kund is named after the seven great Rishis who performed penance and yoga here. The lake is situated in a remote area, and a travel guide is required to find it. The mesmerizing view of the Kund makes it a must-visit place during the Chardham yatra.
Located near Surya Kund, the Divya Shilla is a robust rock pillar. It has mythological significance, and visitors pay homage to this pillar before entering the Yamunotri temple.
The Jalmagna Shivling is believed to be the spot where Lord Shiva held the River Ganga in his matted locks before flowing. During summers, the sea level rises too much and the Shivling gets half-submerged inside the clear water. For a unique experience, the Jalmagna Shivling is a must-visit destination during the Chardham yatra.
Gangotri National Park
The Gangotri National Park is one of India's most popular high-altitude wildlife sanctuaries, located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. It is the third-largest wildlife sanctuary in the state, with its habitat consisting of alpine meadows, glaciers, and coniferous forests. This national park is home to a vast collection of flora and fauna, and the Gurmukh glaciers, the origin place of the river Ganga, is a major attraction. If you're planning a visit to this beautiful town, there are various accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences.
On this day, visit the second of the Char Dhams, the Gangotri Dham. Depart from Uttarkashi by car. Halt by the Gangnani hot water spring to offer prayers and then head towards Gangotri. Another attraction here is the famous submerged Shivling. Return to your hotel in Uttarkashi after visiting Gangotri.
On the fourth day, head to Uttarkashi. The quaint and colorful town, standing at a height of 1158 meters, is an attraction in itself. Other important places to visit include the Vishwanath Temple, Kuteti Devi ki Mandir, Bhairav Temple, and more.
Gandhi Sarovar/Chorabari Tal
Gandhi Sarovar is a small lake situated 4 km away from the Kedarnath temple, with crystal clear water. It is named after Mahatma Gandhi, who has his ashes immersed here. According to legends, Lord Shiva imparted his knowledge of yoga to the Saptarishis at this place. The trek to Gandhi Sarovar is beautiful and comfortable, passing through grassy fields and the beautiful Madhu Ganga waterfall. It offers a beautiful view of the snow-covered Himalayas and is a wonderful destination to visit during the Chardham yatra.
Situated 5 km away from the Kedarnath temple, the Vasuki Tal is a fantastic trekking destination for adventure lovers. The crystal clear glimmering melting water from the nearby mountains drains into this lake, offering a stunning view. The lake is named after its shape, which resembles the snake Vasuki coiled around the neck of Lord Shiva. The Chaukhamba peaks can be seen from Vasuki Tal.
Built over the Saraswati river, the Bheem Pul is located in the Mana village, the last village of India. It is named after one of the Pandava brothers, Bheem, who built the bridge for his wife Draupadi, who was unable to cross the river. Bheem filled the gap with the help of mountain rock, making this bridge. Bheem Pul is one of the prime tourist locations near Badrinath and is an unusual destination to visit during the Chardham Yatra.
A visit to Vasudhara Falls is a must for those seeking a truly spiritual experience in Badrinath. This stunning waterfall cascades down an incredible 400 feet and can be visited from the second week of May until October or November. If you're in search of adventure during your spiritual yatra, the 9-km trek to Vasudhara Falls is a must-try. The falls offer a breathtaking view of the majestic mountains and is located just 9 km from the temple.
Valley of Flowers
Nestled near the Badrinath Temple, the Valley of Flowers is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Chardham yatra by helicopter in 2023. This picturesque valley is best visited during the summer months, from May to July, and some visitors also venture to Hemkund Sahib from here. The Valley of Flowers is a true gem and one of the most beautiful places to visit on the Chardham yatra.