Guide to Char Dham Yatra – Everything You Need To Know

This guide to Char Dham Yatra consists of few tips and advice on visiting the four famous Hindu religious sites in the state of Uttarakhand. These sites are Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. Settled amidst the majestic Himalayas, these beautiful sites are the centre of religious activities for Hindus in India. It is believed that the auspicious Yatra should be undertaken from the west to the east. Therefore, the Char Dham Yatra commences from Yamunotri to Gangotri to Kedarnath and ends at Badrinath.

All the four sites in mentioned in this guide to Char Dham Yatra are dedicated to a certain divine. The two temples, Yamunotri and Gangotri are devoted to Goddesses Yamuna and Ganga respectively. While the other two, Kedarnath and Badrinath are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu respectively. Furthermore, devotees also visit Hemkund Sahib in the nearby locale. Pilgrims visit all these sites in the desire of washing away all their sins and to accomplish salvation by the blessings of Lord Shiva and Vishnu.

Before starting your journey, you need to be prepared to undergo physical and mental hassle on the Himalayan roads. It has easy access but still it is one of the most challenging journeys especially during monsoon season. But, the picturesque and serene beauty of the mountains provides strength to the travellers, moving towards the destination.

How to Prepare for the Yatra?

Char Dham Yatra is the most celebrated journey in the vicinity of the toilsome valleys of the Himalaya. The Yatra is considered as one of the toughest treks in India as it involves visiting the holy shrines through the difficult and rugged terrains, bumpy mountain roads, walking in high altitudes and crossing rivers. Despite its tough routes, this is the most famous journey. Devotees consider themselves fortunate enough to visit the holy sites at least once in their lifetime.

Covering the tough routes during Char Dham Yatra is quite inspiring and challenging but before starting the sacred journey, it is very important to prepare yourself properly in advance; else the whole trip may become very hectic. It can be possible that your ignorance may cause you serious sickness after the long and tough Yatra. Certainly, you need to start preparing yourself at least 1 to 2 months prior to commencing the Yatra. You have to do regular exercising to ensure that you are physically fit. Also, if you suffer from problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiac disease and other such problems, you must consult a doctor and take proper prior medication and treatment.

When to Visit Char Dham?

After a freezing winter, spring and summer are pleasing in the state of Uttarakhand, with the valleys covered with great varieties of flora and fauna. Situated at a higher altitude, summer starts a little late here, around the last week of April and lasts until June, which is the best time for Char Dham Yatra. These months are suitable to visit Gangotri and Yamunotri. Being at high altitude, it is advised to carry warm clothes during this time because it gets very cold in the morning and evening. Do not forget to carry a basic medical kit for common illness like cold, headache, fever, cold, stomach ache, etc.

Winters starts from the end of October and lasts till March. Due to heavy snowfall and below zero degree temperature, the Yatra is restricted during Diwali. All the four temples open their gates for pilgrims in spring.

Monsoons approach around the end of June and continue till September. Heavy rain, flooding and landslide are very normal during this time of the season and therefore travelling is not advisable.
Another ideal time to visit Char Dham is from the end of the September to November. This pre-winter season is perfect to enjoy the lush greenery after a great monsoon.

How to Reach Char Dham?

It is fairly easy to reach the spiritual cities of Char Dham. The cities are well-connected via air, road and rail.

By Air: Dehradun Airport, also known as Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest airport to the Char Dham. Small private plans and helicopters are also allowed to make a landing at the airport.

By Train: The closest railway stations from Char Dham are Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun and Kotdwar. Buses, taxis and private cabs are easily available from these stations.

By Road: The well-connected network of roads makes it possible to easily reach Char Dham. Taxis and other transportation services are available on a regular basis.

guide to char dham yatra - kedharnath

By Shaq774 at en.wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia Source at wikipedia) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Tips to Keep in Mind Before Commencing Char Dham Yatra

As per our guide to Char Dham Yatra, the first and most important thing to keep in mind is to avoid visiting any of the four sites during the monsoon season due to the threat of landslides and floods in Uttarakhand.

When travelling by car, make sure that the driver is skilled enough to drive on rocky roads. Ensure that he drives carefully and not too fast. There are several danger points on the way to these temples where little error from the driver could cause the massive accident.

The temperature in the high altitude keeps fluctuating, therefore, it is advisable to get time to time weather update. It will help you plan your journey in a better way.

While visiting the sacred sites, shrines and temples, remember to cover your head and remove shoes.

Carry woollen clothes, a blanket, an umbrella, raincoat and canvas shoes to protect yourself from extreme cold.

Keep a medical kit handy with painkillers, cough lozenges, antibiotics, Iodine, Antiseptic cream, and medicines for cold and fever.

Prefer drinking packaged mineral water to keep yourself safe and also, drink enough fluid to keep hydrated throughout the journey.

Besides all the above-mentioned tips, the most important thing to keep in mind is to have a strong determination so that you would be able to complete your Char Dham Yatra without any problems as well as easily reach at the high altitudes of the sacred Himalayas.

We hope this guide to Char Dham Yatra will help you to make your journey hassle-free. For more information on guide to Char Dham Yatra, you can get in touch with us and we will be happy to serve you.

Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala

Karthik Reddy has been traveling around the world since completing his M.B.A in 2012. He is passionate about photography, trying out new food, meeting new people, experiencing different cultures and explore places solo.

11 Responses

  1. Atul Rana says:

    i belong from uttarakhand. Thankyou so much for giving us such kind of information. Helped a lot. Very nice article. carry on.. All the Best.

  2. susmita kapoor says:

    wow..thanks for sharing…

  3. Amitabh says:

    Thanks for sharing this great information about Char Dham Yatra

  4. Pallavi Nalla says:

    Nice and really helpful article to everyone… thanks for sharing.

  5. Radhas says:

    I too visited the CharDham recently. Not only its soothing to the eyes but also to the souls.

  6. GeorgieJessica says:

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  7. Dhruti says:

    learned a lot from the article. thanks for sharing such a great post.

  8. i Media Solutions says:

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  9. Semon Sehal says:

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  10. rekha says:

    Unlike most blogs, your blog is a guide to travelers planning a trip. Thank for the wonderful information!

  11. D Kumar says:

    Very nice blo for informative purpose, pics are also excellent.

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