Chardham In India is not the only pilgrimage place, it is what Indians believe in. The Indians are seekers and throughout their entire life, they seek Moksh or Mukti, free from the cycle of birth and death. It is believed in India that any holy soul who pays his offering at these Chardham is eligible to find moksha. The Chardham destinations are Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath of Uttarakhand. So, what are you looking for? Book Char Dham yatra package and enjoy some refreshing moments between the snow-clad Himalayas.
This article will help you to know
- The cost calculation of Chardham yatra,
- The best itinerary to follow,
- Things need to take care of your trip to the northern destination of India.
The northern region tourist place Utrakhand is basically divided into two main regions: Kumaon & Garhwal.
Nainital & Almora are parts of the Kumaon region. The Kumaon region is one of the most remote, sparsely populated and underdeveloped in India, that includes the Himalayan mountain range. The region has scenic views of the Himalaya ranges. The snow-peaked mountains are what create the boundaries of this region. Not many travellers visit this remote land, so this land is still aloof from the crowd and pollution.
Char-Dhams of Uttarakhand is located in the Garhwal region. The popular region is famous for its tourist places that are rich in landscapes, serenity and natural vegetation. The holiday destination like, Dehradun, Mussoorie, Lansdowne are quite popular among locals and international travellers. But in this article, we will talk about the Chardham, how we can plan the itinerary and the cost calculation of the entire expenses on this trip.
Itinerary for Char Dham
The Uttarakhand Char-Dham yatra can be done in 10 days or in a month. But, trying to complete the Char-Dham yatra in 10 days can be very tiring.
How you can finish this yatra in 10 days?
Plan your trip in 2 different segments. you should divide this yatra into two parts.
Choose Yamunotri & Gangotri Dhams as your initial destination to visit Kedarnath and Badrinath Dhams for later visits.
Commute till Janki Chatti with any vehicle and beyond that, trek for about 5kms on the steep slopes. It takes approximately 30 minutes to cover one kilometer and you will take almost two and a half or three hours to reach there. For kids, there is pithuu (porter) facility available & for the elderly, there is a doli (palanquin) facility to assist senior citizens in climbing the steep mountain. A lot of yatries (pilgrims) also hire ponies to ride the way. The temple is built on a belief that on that spot Goddess Yamuna appeared on earth for the welfare of humankind, after the deep meditation and worship of Jai Muni.
The vehicle parking is about 1 to 1.5kms away from the main temple. If you have heavy luggage, you might need to hire a porter to reach the Guest House. This place also has a great story behind it. According to Hindu mythology, King Bhagirath came to this place and performed some rituals and puja to impress MA Ganga for whooping 5,500 years. Pleased by his offering Ma Ganga granted his wish. But knowing her forceful nature she asked who would tolerate her powerful flow when she reached the earth.
To a solution, she chooses Mahayogi (Great Saint) Lord Bholenath or Lord Shiva as the only man who could handle the powerful flow of Ma Ganga. On hearing this King then prayed for Shiva to come. When Shiva came on earth he recited the mantra” har har gange” as calling to her after placing his feet steadily on two mountains. It was then that Ma Ganga started from the heavens above and landed on the forehead of Lord Bholenath.
The Gaumukh Trek for one night and two days is recommended for travellers who are fit and up for the adventure. On a daily basis, the authorities allow about 150 pilgrims to undertake the Gaumukh Yatra. It would be an adventurous journey with a little risk of land sliding, snowfall or simple slip due to moist land. Please take permission in advance to enjoy it.
For the Kedarnath Yatra, you need to start your trek from Sonprayag. If you are compatible to walk and continue your journey with minimal breaks, you can reach from Sonprayag to Kedarnath Dham in about 5 hours. Some might take 10 hours to trek from Sonprayag to Kedarnath Dham if they enjoy the views in between the route. If you want to return from Kedarnath Dham the same day, it would be better to hire a helicopter service. It will cost you between Rs. 6,000 and Rs. 7,000. For the night stay in Kedarnath Dham, the local property is a better choice. Though, you will need to book your accommodation in advance.
According to the belief any person, who, at least once, visits Kedarnath mandir and view the place with his own eyes is freed of the cycle of life and death. Another story is that two incarnations of Lord Vishnu, Nar & Narayan, also meditated at this place to please Lord Mahadev. And when he appeared before them they asked him to stay for the welfare of the world and mankind. According to Hindu granths lord shiva resides in this area in the form of a Jyotirlingam.
You can take your vehicle right up to the parking point of the temple. Badrinath Dham is one of the four main Dhams as per Hindu beliefs. This place has the statue of Lord Vishnu which was self sculptured by him. In the medieval period, Buddhism was on the rise in this region so the statue was removed from here and put into the Narad Kund (pond). Adi Guru Sankaracharya dreamt of the statue of Lord Vishnu in the Narad Kund.And he took Lord Vishnu’s statue and re-established it inside the temple.
On a trekking route of 9-10kms, you can visit Gobind Dham and Shri Hemkunt Sahib. It is a high difficulty level trekking route.
Best Time to Travel
During the first few days or weeks from the dates on which these Dhams are open to the public, these places are quite crowded with pilgrims. After that, the monsoon season begins which needs to be avoided. The best time to travel on Chardham is September month.
Cost Of Chardham
- If you want to travel in an economical manner, you should take a bus from Haridwar or Rishikesh. You can easily get a bus from any place in between. The buses run in every alternate hour. The stays are cheap and comfortable
- You will find double-occupancy rooms within a range of Rs. 700-Rs. 2000 easily.
- You can hire a vehicle like Swift Dzire, at a cost of Rs. 3500-Rs. 3800 per day charge, or Innova.
- Since September is the off-season for this yatra route, the travel cost comes down considerably.
- The cost of refreshments and meals will be around 400-500 per day.
- The helicopter ride at Chardham yatra will cost you between Rs. 6,000 and Rs. 7,000.
The cost calculation of this yatra as a solo traveller, is approximate, at a cost of Rs. 15,000 -Rs 21,000 for a 10-12 days. Or we can say more than 1000 rs per day for one Yatri.
Things To Do During Chardham Yatra.
- Explore Garhwali food like Mandua ki roti (Ragi flour flatbread), Rajma, Aloo (potato) ki Thechwani (crushed and seasoned), Chainsoo and Bhatwan.
- Experience the village life and their hospitality in the region.
- Watch folk dance performances.
To gather all these experiences, you need to have ample time.
- Don’t forget to carry an umbrella and a raincoat with you.
- On the Chardham yatra route, try to begin your day’s journey at an early hour.
- You will get cold weather in the mountains, do carry woollens with you.
- While travelling in the mountains, make sure to avoid any kind of oily food.
- Carry your Aadhaar Card with you for the biometric registration that will take place at many places en-route.
- If this is your first time at high altitude, it would be better, especially for Gaumukh Yatra and Shri Hemkunt Sahib yatra, to carry a portable oxygen cylinder with you. You can easily purchase an oxygen cylinder for yourself from any other medical shop.
- Carry a BSNL SIM card with you, for better reception.
There are some moments in this journey, which are bound to register in your mind forever. Overall, this whole journey is spiritually satisfying! At many places en route, for some moments, you will find yourself becoming speechless. To enjoy this experience, you must, at least once in your lifetime, embark upon this Char-Dham yatra.