CHAR DHAAM YATRA

16999

THIS PACKAGE INCLUDES TOUR OF FOLLOWING PLACES:-

1. Haridwar ( Char Point Darshan )
2. Rishikesh (Char Point Darshan )
3. Gangotri Darshan
4. Jamotri Darshan
5. Kedarnath Darshan
6. Badrinath Darshan

Char Dhaam Yatra :- Haridwar represents the location where devas imprinted their footprints, according to the Hindu mythology. It is therefore considered one of the most holy towns in the land. Haridwar is situated on the banks of the Ganga River in Uttarakhand State, literally meaning ‘the Gateway to God.’

Legend has it that Prince Bhagirath, King Sagar’s grand-grandfather, undertook his penance at this place during Satya Yuga to rescue the hearts of his ancestry, whom Saint Kapil had condemned to death. The Ganga River, in response to his plea, sprang from the hair of Lord Shiva to save the Suryavanshis.

Samudra Manthan’s tale shows that Haridwar is one of the four places where Garuda unintentionally dropped Amrit. After every 12 years, a holy Kumbh Mela is conducted here for the assembly of millions of pilgrims coming in to dive into the Holy River. Har ki Pauri, which means “Lord’s footprints,” is the city’s most holy spa since it commemorates the location where Amrit’s droplets fell. The bath is called the Brahma Kund.

The religious city of Haridwar also serves as the entry to the “Char Dham,” one of the Hindus’ most important pilgrimages.

There’s also a large variety of nice Haridwar resorts and hotels where guests may experience home comfort.

HARIDWAR

For an unforgettable vacation to Haridwar (Char Dhaam Yatra), the holiday packages for mangaldarshanyatra are a good choice for you. The Mangaldarshanyatra is the most suitable for every sort of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai or Bangalore travellers on a bespoke Haridwar vacation. Explore over 27 Haridwar travel packages with great discounts & offers. Experienced excursions and activities included in the Haridwar tour packages of Mangaldarshanyatra are the key tourist spots in Haridwar. Whether it is a short journey or lengthy route, a peaceful stay or an adventurous holiday, Mangaldarshanyatra offers you the perfect Haridwar tour. Want to pamper yourself? Don’t forget to check out our Haridwar luxury tour packages that give you the greatest hotels and accommodation to relax on your holidays in Haridwar. If you want to learn more about Haridwar, Haridwar (Char Dhaam Yatra), how to get to Haridwar, how to do things in Haridwar, etc.

Har Ki Pauri has a lot of devotees to a holy bath and adore on the Ganges River during the holidays in Haridwar. When visiting Haridwar, the sacred Ghat is presented to goddess Ganga throughout the night, and a delightful Aarti is offered. Bhimgoda is known for its mythology related to the Pandavas and located just a kilometre away from Har Ki Pauri. Most travel packages in Haridwar give the temples in and around the city the highest attention. Some of the prominent temples that merit visitors on the Haridwar trip, are the Mansa Devi Temple, Bharat Mata Mandi and Chandi Devi Temple and Daksh Temple.On a vacation in Haridwar, Neel Dharam Pakshi Vihar (3.5 km) visits a range of bird species including migrating birds. Holiday packages of Haridwar include surrounding sites such as Shivling Parad (2 km), Sati kund (4 km), Ashram Sapt Rishi (7 km) and Kaliyar Piran (20 km). You may also visit Rishikesh, a sacred city around 26 kilometres from Haridwar. Nature enthusiasts may visit the Rajaji National Park on Haridwar Indian travels in order to view a rich and diverse fauna. On budget and intermediate hotels, you may stay in ashrams for low-cost vacations in Haridwar.

RISHIKESH

Also known as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’, Rishikesh is one of the most loved travel destinations in India. With the availability of several Rishikesh tour packages, it has become much easier for people from all across the world to visit this beautiful destination. Nestled amongst the majestic foothills of the Himalayan Shivaliks, Rishikesh lies in the state of Uttarakhand and serves as a year-round attraction for all the adventure junkies with Rishikesh camping and rafting packages and for seekers of spiritual healing.

Because of its breath-taking beauty and cosy weather, Rishikesh serves as the perfect mini-honeymoon destination as well. You can find several affordable Rishikesh packages for couples at Veena World which will let you get acquainted with this natural haven. Rishikesh is also touted as being the “adventure capital of India” because of the innumerable adventure sports and activities it has to offer. You can find a lot of Rishikesh adventure tour packages that are specially curated for an adventurous trip. The city, with its exquisite scenery, attracts many travelers into its embrace. A Rishikesh tour package is also a great way to begin your journey to some of the most famous char Dhaam pilgrimages in India, namely Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, Char Dham Yatra, and Yamunotri, as Rishikesh serves as the gateway to these holy sites.

GANGOTRI

Gangotri, situated in the district of Uttarkashi, is one of the four destinations of the char Dhaam pilgrimage circuit in Uttarakhand. It lies on the banks of the River Bhagirathi at a height of 3100 m above sea level. The topography of Gangotri is characteristic of rugged terrains, snow-capped mountains and the River Bhagirathi, which combine to form a truly breathtaking view.

The town is an ideal holiday spot for people who want enjoy a brief and quiet time in the arms of mountains along with offering prayers to the Almighty.

Gangotri has great significance in Hindu mythology as it is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva was seated when he received the Ganga in his locks. The town is frequented by several devotees, who are willing to pay homage to Goddess Ganga, one of the holiest and revered deities of Hindus. The place is home to a natural Shivling as well that is visible only during winters.

People often come here to visit the Gaumukh glacier, which is the source of the Bhagirathi River. This site is extremely popular among adventure lovers as it offers a great trekking experience amidst scenic surroundings.

YAMUNOTRI

The source of River Yamuna, Yamunotri is also one of the four sites of Char Dhaam pilgrimage. Yamunotri is located at a height of 3293 mts above sea level and located in Uttarkashi district. It is surrounded by mountains on all sides and lies in close proximity of the Indo-China border. It is known for offering peace and tranquillity to its visitors. 

The Bandarpunch Mountain is at a height of 6315 mts and lies north of Yamunotri. Yamunotri is at a distance of 236 km from Rishikesh, 21 km from Sanya Chatti 278 km from Dehradun, and 176 km from Chamba.

KEDARNATH

Kedarnath: An overview
Located in the Himalayas close to the Chorabari Glacier, the source of the Mandakini River, and flanked by snow-capped mountains, Kedarnath possesses one of the most breathtaking addresses of the Char Dhaam Temples. At 11,755 foot above sea level, Gaurikund, the nearest road head to Kedarnath is about 14 kilometre away. The turbulent waters of the flash flood of 2013 together with the rocks sliding down from cliff faces, destroyed much of the village surrounding the temple. The gigantic boulder that tumbled down from the hill and stopped short of the temple, taking the onslaught of the floods and the avalanche and preventing it from reaching the temple, is as much revered as the stone hump inside the shrine. For Kedarnath packages, make sure it includes a nice long visit to the Kedarnath temple.

Kedarnath location
About 223 kilometre from Rishikesh in Uttarakhand, the township of Kedarnath lies on a vacant stretch of land on the banks of the Mandakini. Kedarnath tour packages are extremely popular because of its dramatic location, the encompassing Himalayan scenery, the lush meadows, lending it a wonderful pilgrimage and trekking possibilities. Skirting the Kedarnath Temple from behind is the soaring Kedarnath peak at 22,769 foot above sea level while the Kedar Dome is at 22,411 foot above the sea level.

Kedarnath weather and temple closing months
The Kedarnath Temple remains closed all winter owing to heavy snowfall. In the six months of its closing period, between November and April, the palanquin along with the festival idol of Kedarnath is shifted to Ukhimath near Guptakashi. The priests and other residents of the temple move to nearby villages during this period. Plan a Kedarnath trip keeping in mind that it has a monsoon-influenced subarctic climate with very mild and rain-filled summer and extremely harsh, snowy winter.

Kedarnath’s mythological connection
According to the epic Mahabharata, the Pandavas after defeating Dhritarashtra, were remorseful and sought mercy of the lord for killing their family members, for despite being their enemies, they were their family members. Lord Shiva refused to grant forgiveness, but Pandavas were so resolute in their will for seeking forgiveness that Shiva in the guise of a bull went to the ground in order to elude them, and in a rush left his hump in Kedarnath just close to the source of the holy Mandakini River, a spot marked by a brilliant 8th century stone temple by Guru Shankara. The remaining parts of the bull’s body are worshiped at the other four Panch Kedar shrines, those being, the bull’s face at Rudranath, the arms at Tunganath, the hair at Kalpeshwar and navel at Madmaheshwar.

Kedarnath as a Hindu pilgrimage
Overlooked by the ice, rock and snow of the Chorbari Glacier out of which River Mandakini originates, Kedarnath Temple has one of the most dramatic settings of Hindu pilgrim sites. It is the third holy Char Dhaam site and one of the twelve Jyotirlingas that brings Hindu pilgrims to the Himalayas in the summer months. Compared to the barren, desolate landscapes of the valleys in western Garhwal, the Kedarnath area is a absolute treat to the eyes with its plunging gorges, lush apple orchards and terraced hill slopes. You can get to Kedarnath over a 14 kilometre trail from Gaurikund, the nearest road head. Kedarnath also serves as a great base for short hikes such as the one to the picturesque Vasuki Tal lake.

Devastation of Kedarnath
In June 2013, Kedarnath became an epicentre of the worst Himalayan disasters in the country. In the peak tourist season, Kedarnath continued to receive rains for five continuous days followed by a cloudburst over the summit of Kedar Dome making the Chorabari Glacier, about 4 kilometre to the north of Kedarnath, burst, leading to the subsequent flooding of the Mandakini River. Kedarnath was destroyed as a result of this flash-flood which went downstream all the way to Rishikesh, with houses, hotels and buildings getting washed away by the tumbling debris, several of them being illegal constructions on the delicate riverbanks. Thousands of people were dead as a result of this Himalayan tsunami, major trekking trails were washed off. Though since then new trekking routes have come up and Kedarnath has gradually returned to normality.

 

Places to visit in Kedarnath

On the eastern part of the Kedarnath town is the Bhairava Temple, Lord Bhairava, the presiding deity is believed to protect the temple in the winter months when the site is abandoned. Only 6 kilometre upstream from Kedarnath is the Chorabari Tal, also called the Gandhi Sarovar.

Sonprayag: About 20 kilometre from Kedarnath, Sonprayag is a religious site en route to Kedarnath Dham. Sonprayag lies at the picturesque confluence of the Mandakini and Basuki Rivers.

Gaurikund: Gaurikund is the last road head to Kedarnath from where begins the trek to the Kedarnath Temple. Gaurikund is know for the Gaurikund Temple which according to legend is the spot where Goddess Parvati did penance to win over Lord Shiva’s heart.

 

Things to do in Kedarnath

Kedarnath is filled with several fascinating treks. Some of these include:

Gandhi Sarovar or Chorabari Tal trek: By the main bridge before the town is a paved pathway that crosses the Mandakini River to the left and ends just 4 kilometre north at the Chorabari Glacier. It is about a two hour trek. At the edge of which lies the Chorabari Tal, a little lake also known as Gandhi Sarovar, since Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes were scattered here. This is the source of the Mandakini River, just about 800 metres ahead of the lake, spilling out of a pile of earth and stones on extremely perilous ground.

Bhairava Temple trek: The ancient shrine of Lord Bhairava is visible from the Kedarnath Temple and is less than a kilometre east of Kedarnath town. The place is connected by another path, well-marked, running diagonally along the hill and is surrounded by prayer flags. Near to the site is a cliff called Bhairava Jhamp,a site from which many fanatical devotees used to leap to their deaths in hope of attaining nirvana.

Vasuki Tal trek: It is better to hire a guide to do this trek since the path is longer and even more difficult. The path leads from a place close to the GMVN Tourist Bungalow and takes you all the way to Vasuki Tal at an elevation of 13,566 foot, about 9 kilometre away. It takes anywhere between 4 to 5 hours to complete this trek. Surrounded by the frosted peaks of Chaukhamba, the waters of this pristine lake reflect the quiet mountain valley and its white surroundings.

Chopta-Tunganath-Chandrashila trek: The Chopta-Tunganath-Chandrashila trek is among the most popular treks in the Garhwal region. It is a mild trek, about 4.5 kilometre long beginning in the little village of Chopta. The trek gives you incredible views of the Tunganath Temple, considered the highest Shiva shrine in the world. Further on, from Chandrashila, you can behold views of the mighty Himalayan peaks such as Trishul, Nanda Devi, and Chaukhamba among others.

Madhyamaheshwar Temple trek: This moderate 16 kilometre long trek to Madhyamaheshwar starts at the Ransi village and is quite easy up to Bantoli, but post that the remainder of the way to Madhyamaheshwar is a steep climb. Madhyamaheshwar, also called the Second Kedar, is blessed with lush meadows backed by snow-capped Himalayan peaks, shepherd huts, traditional village homes and in their midst the ancient Madhyamaheshwar temple, boasting a classic North Indian architectural style.

Kalpeshwar Temple trek: About 7001 foot above sea level close to the Urgam Valley in Chamoli District, you can reach Kalpeshwar over a easy 11 kilometre trek from Helang. Kalpeshwar is among the last temple on the Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit to remain open through the year.

Rudranath Temple trek: This 20 kilometre trek to the Rudranath Temple begins at the Sagar village, about 3 kilometre from Gopeshwar. The setting of the trail is very dramatic and passes through dense jungles, hanging gorges which open up breathtaking views of the Nanda Devi, Nanda Ghunti and Trishul peaks. On arriving there, you can enjoy the riverside views of Vaitrani.

Anusuya Devi Mandir trek: You can reach the Anusuya Devi Mandir located in the town of Gopeshwar over a quick 5 kilometre trek from Mandal village. In case you wish to go further to the ashram of Atri Muni, the husband of goddess Anusuya Devi, you need to trek 2 kilometre further.

Deori Tal trek: Close to the little hamlet of Chopta are the emerald green waters of the Deori Tal. Located at an elevation of 24,753 foot, you can get to the lake over a 3 kilometre uphill trek from the Sari Village. Deori Tal is also a great site for overnight camping.

 

Accommodation in Kedarnath

You can stay at the GMVN Tourist Bungalow in Kedarnath located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. You can reach it after a 14 kilometre trek from Gaurikund. The guesthouse has comfortable rooms, doctor on call, hot water supply, attached bathroom and restaurant. Some of the room categories include Dormitory, Economy Room and Family Suite. The guesthouse remains closed in the winter owing to heavy snowfall in the area. Usually those visiting Kedarnath spend the night at one of the many hotels in Rudraprayag or Sitapur. These hotels come with clean and hygienic accommodation with all modern amenities, some even have restaurants, and you can easily hire a taxi to go to Kedarnath from there which is about 50 kilometre away. Some hotels you can consider for your stay include Hotel Mandakini on Badrinath Road, Kedar River Retreat in Rampur, Rudraprayag, Samrat Resort on Badrinath Road in Rudraprayag to name just a few.

 

Best time to visit Kedarnath

A spiritual destination laced with adventure, a trip to Uttarakhand is almost incomplete if you do not make a visit to Kedarnath known for one of the holiest Char Dhaam shrines, the Kedarnath Temple. Kedarnath is mostly visited for its temple which stays shut in the winter months owing to the extremely harsh temperatures when snowfall is a norm. Kedarnath is best visited in the summer months between April and June when the cold is not bitter and the days are pleasant to cool. The monsoon remains the most treacherous season when showers from heavy downpours to thin drizzles are the order of the day. The sheer beauty of the landscape, what with its location high up in the Himalayan range makes Kedarnath one of the most dramatic settings for a Char Dhaam shrine. The temple opens its doors to devotees in the summer which incidentally is also the best climate to visit Kedarnath.

Summer in Kedarnath (April to June)
This is the best time to visit Kedarnath, also the time when the temple opens during the year. The temperature at this time stays between 15 to 30 degree Celsius. A gentle breeze blows down from the mountains through the day, while the cold descends at night. This is the ideal time to visit sites like Kedarnath Temple, Panch Kedar and Chota Char Dhaam.

Monsoon in Kedarnath (July to September)
The rains make Kedarnath treacherous, though the region doesn’t receive too much rainfall through the year, but when it rains, it pours down rather heavily, leading to landslides and possible roadblocks. It is best to avoid visiting Kedarnath in this season.

Winter in Kedarnath (October to March)
A Himalayan winter is freezing cold when temperatures drop to sub-zero levels. Kedarnath is bone-chilling cold in this weather and not at all ideal if you have a trek in mind. Besides, the famed Kedarnath Temple remains shut through the entire season. While the landscape takes on a life of its own and looks spectacular, but it can really be a test of your endurance if you plan to venture out at this time of the year. Though the days are sunny, but there is an icy wind always waiting to catch up on you.

Festivals in Kedarnath

Badri Kedar Festival: The Badri Kedar Festival in June is one of the highlights of Kedarnath, bringing in pilgrims from all over the country who come to witness this vibrant summer festival. The whole of Kedarnath is done up with festoons and flags and the temple at its heart reverberates with a festive spirit. Since the temple stays open only in the summer, this festival receives a massive gathering when one can witness the culture and traditions of Uttarakhand. The festivities last for eight days when artists such as dancers, painters, singers, and craftsmen from every part of the country land in Kedarnath and showcase their craft. The festival offers a great insight into the history, customs, and tradition of the Himalayan state.

Diwali: Diwali like the rest of the country is celebrated with great pomp in Kedarnath. The little town is decorated with thousands of lamps, with flower splashed across every cranny. Char Dhaam Pilgrims come to visit the Kedarnath Temple at this time of the year to experience its majestic setting and how it comes alive with tiny yellow lamps. Framed against breathtaking snow-frosted peaks, it is an other-wordly experience to watch the lights come on and take away the darkness as chants and hymns to the rhythm of chiming bells fill the air. The great saint Adi Shankaracharya is believed to have breathed his last in Kedarnath. His samadhi is just behind the main Kedarnath Temple. Every year before the closing day of the temple, a samadhi puja is performed on the spot and pilgrims from all parts of the country throng Kedarnath to attend this celebration. After the puja inside the Shankaracharya Samadhi, the sanctum of the main temple closes for winter and the presiding deity is moved to Ukhimath, where the rituals continue to happen.

 

How to reach Kedarnath


Trek to Kedarnath: The former six-hour trek to Kedarnath from Gaurikund going through Rambara and Garur Chatti was washed away by the flash-floods of 2013. Since then a new route spanning 14 kilometre from Gaurikund was constructed by the Indian Army and Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) members. This trek goes up through Jangal Chatti, about 4 kilometre away, Chhoti Linchuli and Badi Linchuli then crosses the Mandakini River before heading to the south face of the Kedarnath peak. There is another alternate route going up from Sonprayag, about 5 kilometre short of Gaurikund and then goes up to Kedarnath through Gomkara, Dev Vishnu and Dhumgajgiri.

By air: The Jolly Grant Airport of Dehradun is the nearest civil airhead to Kedarnath. It is about 250 kilometre from Kedarnath, while the airport is connected to major Indian cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. There is a decent flight frequency from all these cities, and once you reach Jolly Grant, you can hire a bus or a cab to take you to Kedarnath, Gaurikund to be more precise, owing to it being the nearest road head, about 14 kilometre away from Kedarnath.

By road: From New Delhi you can take a bus to Dehradun, which is about 250 kilometre away. These buses can be availed from Anand Vihar Bus Terminus or Kashmere Gate Bus Terminus, the two major interstate bus depots running regular bus service to Dehradun. From Dehradun, you need to further take a bus to Kedarnath. You can pick from Volvo AC sleeper and semi-sleeper buses apart from non-AC sleeper and seater buses. You also head to Haridwar and take a bus to Kedarnath. From Haridwar, Kedarnath is about 125 kilometre, and the buses take about 5 hours to get you to Gaurikund, the nearest road head.

By rail: The Haridwar Railway Station is the nearest railhead to Kedarnath. Haridwar gets trains from the main metros of the country such as Kolkata, New Delhi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Varanasi to name a few. Jan Shatabdi Express, Shatabdi Express, Mussoorie Express and AC Special Express are some of the popular trains on the route. From Haridwar Railway Station, you can further hire a bus or a taxi to Gaurikund, and from there on do the trek to Kedarnath.

BADRINATH

Situated amidst picturesque mountain ranges of Nar and Narayana in the Garhwal Hills, Badrinath is considered to be the most important of all the four Hindu pilgrimage centres, referred to as Char Dhaam. Located on the left bank of river Alaknanda, at a height of 3133 m above sea level, it is often termed as Tapobhumi – a land for meditation and penance as well as Bhubaikunth – the heaven on earth.

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu performed an intense penance here. It is believed that His consort Goddess Lakshmi, on seeing the Lord doing penance in the open, transformed Herself into a badri tree to protect Him from harsh sun.

There are several other important pilgrimage sites en route, such as Deo Prayag, Rudraprayag and Karnaprayag. Besides being the holy abode of Lord Vishnu, it is a place of breathtaking natural beauty that never fails to mesmerise visitors. Badrinath also provides its visitors the perfect opportunity to indulge in numerous exciting adventure activities.

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