Destinations Covered in Char Dham Yatra (Uttarakhand):
Haridwar, Barkot, Yamunotri, Uttarkashi, Gangotri, Guptkashi, Kedarnath, Gaurikund, Chopta, Badrinath, Joshimath, Auli.
- Haridwar: Haridwar is the gateway to the Char Dham Yatra (The pilgrimage to the four most important Hindu pilgrimage destinations in the state of Uttarakhand). Haridwar is also home to the famous Kumbh Mela held every twelve years, during which millions of visitors arrive in this important temple town for one of the largest religious gatherings in the world. Haridwar is situated on the banks of the holy river Ganges and is a major religious and spiritual destination in India. You may like to take a holy dip in the river Ganges at any of the numerous Ghats on the bank of river Ganges before you start your Char Dham Yatra. Another must-do activity in the temple city is to view the Ganga Aarati, held every evening during which devotional prayers are held for the river Ganges, as per the ancient Hindu religious traditions !!
- Mussoorie: Mussoorie, often called Queen of the Hills, is one of the most popular hill stations in India. Located in the mountain state of Uttarakhand, around 290 kilometers away from the national capital Delhi and around 35 kilometers from the state capital Dehradun, Mussoorie is famous for its pleasant weather, lush green hills, and panoramic view of the Garhwal Himalayan range. One can have a very clear view on several Himalayan peaks from Mussoorie, including Bandarpponch, Gangotri, Chaukhambha, Neelkantha, and several other snow-capped peaks. It is also an important cultural and educational hub, located on a horseshoe ridge, overlooking the capital city of Dehradun. The holy river of Ganga is visible from one end of the ridge and the river Yamuna from another end. The romantic and magical hill station on the Himalayan foothills is also a major hub of adventure activities.
- Barkot: Barkot is one of the major tourist destinations for Char Dham Yatra. Situated in the Uttarkashi district of Uttrakhand, the sleepy town is around 50 kilometers from Yamunotri, one of the Dhams (Pilgrimage Destinations) of Uttarakhand. Barkot offers a mesmerising view of Banderpoonch and other major Himalayan peaks in the greater Himalayas. Besides religious tourism, the mountain town is a major trekking destination and also famous for its handicrafts and apple orchards.
- Yamunotri: Yamunotri is the traditional starting point of Char Dham Yatra, being the westernmost shrine among all four Dhams of Uttrakhand. Yamunotri is an important pilgrim destination and highly revered in the Hindu religion being the origin of the sacred river Yamuna. Situated at an altitude of 3293 meters, Yamunotri is situated at the lowest altitude among all four Dhams. Yamunotri is not completely accessible by road and one has to take a trek of almost six kilometers from Janki Chatti to Yamunotri shrine. The Himalayan views on the trek to Yamunotri are directly from postcard complete with a view of snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and high altitude lakes. The actual origin of the river Yamuna is however not at Yamunotri shrine but around 18 kilometers from the shrine at the Saptrishi Kund, a small glacial lake fed by Champasar glacier of the Bandarpoonch peak in the Greater Himalayas.
- Uttarkashi: Uttarkashi is an important pilgrimage and tourist destination in the state of Uttrakhand. The city is situated at an altitude of 1158 meters above sea level and is in close proximity to the two important Hindu pilgrimage shrines of Yamunotri and Gangotri under Char Dham Yatra of Uttrakhand. Uttarkashi is situated on the banks of the holy river Ganges and is also known as the city of temples, as it is home to several important Hindu temples. Some of the important temples which are most popular in Uttarkashi are Vishwanath temple, Parshuram, Annapurna, Dattatrya, Bhairav, and Laksheswar temples. Uttarkashi is also an important destination for adventure tourism like skiing, rafting, and trekking.
- Gangotri: Gangotri is one of the most important destinations of Hindu pilgrimage from ancient ages. The shrine of Gangotri, situated at around 3100 meters above sea level, is one of the four destinations of Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand. Gangotri is traditionally believed as the origin of the holy river the Ganges, however, the actual origin of the holy river, Gaumukh, lies around 18 kilometers from the Gangotri shrine. The river Ganges originates from the Gangotri glacier and is known as the river Bhagirathi at the point of its origin. The shrine situated in the Uttarkashi district of Uttrakhand offers some of the most stunning sceneries of snow-clad Himalayan peaks.
- Guptkashi: Guptkashi is an important religious town situated in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, at an altitude of 1319 meters above sea level. The town, located on a ridge on Mandakini River Valley, is home to some of the most significant and ancient Hindu temples including the temples of Vishwanath and Ardhnarishwar. Guptkashi is situated around 47 kilometers before the Kedarnath shrine and the town of Gaurikund from where the 18-kilometer trek to Kedarnath shrine starts is situated around 34 kilometers ahead of Guptkashi.
- Kedarnath: Kedarnath is one of the most revered Hindu shrines and one of the Dhams under the Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand. Kedarnath is an ancient temple built by Adi Shankaracharya and the main temple is more than a thousand years old. It is situated amidst the stunning snow-capped Himalayan peaks in the Rudraprayag District. Situated at an altitude of 3583 meters above sea level the shrine is located at the highest altitude among all the four shrines under Char Dham Yatra. The shrine is not connected to the road and one needs to take an 18 kilometers trek, starting from the town of Gaurikund, to reach the Kedarnath shrine. It is situated near the origin of the holy river Mandakini in the Garhwal Himalayas. Behind the shrine, there are several majestic Himalayan peaks including Kedarnath peak (6,940 meters), Kedar Dome (6,831 meters), and many other snow-capped peaks.
- Gaurikund: Gaurikund is the base camp for the Kedarnath trek, situated at an altitude of 1,982 meters in the district of Rudraprayag. The town, situated in the Garhwal Himalaya is named after Gauri, wife of Lord Shiva, who did her penance here to win Shiva as her husband. It is also the place where Shiva finally accepted the proposal of Gauri. The village is famous for hot water springs and a temple dedicated to Goddess Gauri.
- Chopta: Chopta is a hill station located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, situated at an altitude of 2680 meters from the sea level. Chopta offers some of the most stunning views of major Himalayan peaks including Nanda Devi, Trishul and Choukambha, and many more. It is famous for its serene ambiance and multitude of options available for adventure activities. It is a hub of adventure activities like trekking, skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing, bird watching, and also a major center for wellness tourism including yoga and meditation tours. Chopta is also the base for Tungnath and Chandrashila trek. Chopta is one of the hidden jewels of Uttarakhand.
- Badrinath: Badrinath is not only one of the major Dhams of Char Dhams of Uttarakhand, but also a Dham of the original Char Dhams under Hindu tradition, with Jagannath Puri, Rameshwaram, and Dwarka being the other three Dhams. Situated between the Nar and Narayan mountain ranges in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, Badrinath is a major Hindu pilgrimage destination in South Asia. Located at an altitude of 3515 meters it offers a mesmerising view of Neelkunth peak. The temple was re-established as a major Hindu pilgrimage site by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th
- Joshimath: Joshimath, also known as Jyotirmath, is one of the four original Matha, established by Adi Shankaracharya. Located in the Greater Himalayas, at an altitude of 1875 meters from sea level, in Chamoli district of Uttrakhand, the town is the base camp for many major tourist attractions including Badrinath shrine, Hemkund Sahib, and Valley of Flowers National Park. It is also a hub of different types of adventure activities including trekking, rock climbing, skiing, bird watching, and many more. It is connected to the major ski destination of Auli through the highest cable car in Asia. The other major attractions in Joshimath are Kalpavriksha and Narsing temple.
- Auli: Auli is renowned for its fascinating ski resorts and stunning panoramic view of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks. Located at an altitude of 2,800 meters in the district of Chamoli in the mountain state of Uttrakhand, it has become a major tourist attraction because of its slopes which offers skiing opportunities to both the professional and amateur skiers. It is connected to the major township of Joshimath through a 4-kilometer long high altitude cable car.
The Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand (also known as Chota Char Dham Yatra), is a major Hindu pilgrimage circuit to four pilgrimage destinations in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand. The circuit consists of four important Hindu pilgrimage destinations or abodes, i.e. Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath.
Badrinath is not only one of the major Dhams under Char Dhams of Uttarakhand, but also a Dham (abode) of the original larger Char Dhams under Hindu tradition, with Jagannath Puri, Rameshwaram, and Dwarka being the other three Dhams.
All of these pilgrimage sites are nestled amongst the higher Himalayan Mountains, with an average altitude between 3000 meters to 3500 meters above sea level.
The pilgrimage traditionally begins from the West and ends in the East, thus Yamunotri becomes the first Dham to commence the pilgrimage, proceeds to Gangotri, and Kedarnath and ends at Badrinath, Badrinath Dham being the easternmost destination.
Each of these four shrines is devoted to a specific Hindu deity. The reigning deity of the Yamunotri shrine is Goddess Yamuna, while the deity for Gangotri is Goddess Ganga. Kedarnath shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the fourth shrine of Badrinath is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
We combine the spiritual journey with visits to two of the hidden jewels of Uttrakhand (Chopta and Auli) to add and complete the overall experience of Char Dham Yatra.
Highlights of the tour:
- All 4 major Hindu Pilgrimage Dhams of Uttarakhand (Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath)
- Visit Chopta, the hidden jewel of Uttarakhand
- Visit Auli , the major ski resorts in India
- Experience the highest cable car in Asia connecting Joshimath to Auli
- Experience more than 11 tourist destinations with altitude range of 600 metres to more than 3500 metres .
- Experience pilgrimage destinations covering the foothills of Himalaya to Shivalik range and gradually moving into higher Himalayas and even Trans-Himalayas .