A Journey to Heaven and Back – Chardham, Uttarakhand
In Hinduism, Char Dham Yatra is the most auspicious and holy journey undertaken by devotees. Here we have discussed Char Dham of Uttarakhand.
Best time to visit Char Dham Yatra
Indeed, the holy visits have no specific time; you can go whenever your heart calls but it is not a fact that every time is good time for Chardhamyatra. The best time for Chardham Yatra is summer, from April to June. This is an ideal time to visit Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.
If you visit the temples at this time, you will witness how nature is beautifully decorated with various flowers blooming everywhere on the mountains. As the temples in Chardham are located at higher altitudes, summer comes a little late here, i.e., until the end of April. The temple’s monsoon season from June to September is not a recommended time to visit as landslides and floods are common during the monsoon. Due to zero degree darshan is stopped after Diwali.
Where to start
Haridwar is where Chardham Yatra pilgrims begin their journey. It is the starting point of the holy journey to the holy shrines. From Hardwar, pilgrims visit Yamunotri and from there go to Gangotri, followed by Kedarnath and finally end the holy journey after reaching Badrinath Dham.
Yamunotri Temple is a Char Dham of India and is located in Uttarakhand at an altitude of 3291 meters above sea level. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna and also has an idol of Goddess Yamuna made of black marble and decorated with garlands of flowers. The Yamunotri Temple was built by Garhwal Naresh Pratap Shah in the 18th century but was damaged.
Gangotri temple religiously holy temple for Hinduism. The temple is located in the hinterland of Gangotri town, Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. The holy temple offers a view of the natural beauty of the breathtaking Himalayas and the purest river Ganges. According to Hindu mythology, the pure river Ganga was released by Lord Shiva from its locks.
Kedarnath is located near the Mandakini river. The temple offers an incredible view as it stands in the middle of a wide plateau and is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. The temple was originally built by the Pandavas and is one of the 12 jyotirlingas, and Kedarnath is the holiest shrine among them. Due to extreme weather during winter, Kedarnath remains closed from November to end of April.
Badrinath Temple is located in Uttarakhand and is the last shrine of Chardham; pilgrims visit in the state of Uttarakhand. The holy temple is especially dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the dual form of Lord Vishnu-Nar Narayana. According to Hindu legends, the Badrinath temple was originally established by AdiShankaracharya and was renovated many times after its establishment. Like the Kedarnath temple, the Badrinath temple also remains open during winter from November to April.
Char Dham Yatra by Helicopter
They also provide Chardham yatra helicopter service. The holy yatra starts from Dehradun and covers all the four Dhamas of Uttarakhand. All you need is to reach the Government Helipad on Sahasradhara Road in Dehradun.
The scheduled times of the helicopter are specified in advance to the pilgrims. Before the trip, the pilot and ground staff of the helicopter service will explain to the passengers the whole journey and what to expect from the air tour and some other information. Finally the flight departs for Kharsali.
Char Dham Yatra Travel Tips
Pilgrims going for ChardhamYatra should start their preparatory exercises at least a month before going for the holy yatra. They would also benefit from a brisk walk of 3-4 km a day. Breathing exercises would help them combat the less oxygen-rich places at higher altitudes.
Drinking water should also be avoided unless it is a sealed bottle. Boiled, fried or any cooked food is safer for pilgrims than raw food. A basic emergency kit containing medicine and first aid items is also recommended when traveling.
Char Dham Yatra: Packing List
While traveling for the Char Dham Yatra, pilgrims must carry certain items as they will need them on their journey. The first thing you must have is woolen clothes and a blanket as the temperature is much lower in these areas throughout the year.
Also carry a raincoat, umbrella, torch and canvas shoes. Some gadgets like cameras, mobile charger, power bank are also something you cannot afford to forget. Towel, water bottles, first aid kit, comb are also some item packs for your holy journey.
Dos and Don’ts in Char Dham Yatra
What to do
- At high altitudes, eat only cooked foods.
- Heavy and sufficient woolen clothing and blankets are required.
- Carry dry foods such as cookies, nuts, chocolates or canned goods. Water bottles are also important along with plates and spoons.
Not to do
- Surge on steep inclines
- Do not use places where warning signs are posted to relax. Jewelry should be avoided while traveling.
- Alcohol is prohibited.
Culture And People
People are closely related to culture. People here are very religious and are mostly associated with religious services.
Many religious events associated with river Ganga like aarti, Kumbh Mela are religiously performed with many preparations and everyone gets involved in it.
How to reach Char Dhaam Yatra
Getting to Char Dham Yatra places in India is not a very difficult task, even for a single person. The nearest railway station is Dehradun. It is a well-connected city. One can also travel up to Haridwar to reach Char Dham in India. This was a brief guide to Char DhamYatra. I hope the Char Dham guide was helpful.