Chardham Yatra

Char Dham Yatra 2021

Devbhoomi Uttarakhand is home to several holy cities and venerated shrines and temples. The Char Dham in Uttarakhand is considered to be Chota Chardham. Chardham is located in the majestic Himalayas towards the north in the state of Uttarakhand. The Himalayas give the four abodes a mystical aura.

The devotees after visiting Haridwar and Rishikesh go for Char Dham Yatra that is a set of four pilgrimage sites- Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. The yatra is very arduous as roads do not reach up to the shrines so pilgrims have to trek long distances which are sometimes an uphill trek that makes it all the more difficult and breath-taking. Every year several devotees visit Uttarakhand.

The shrines of Yamunotri and Gangotri are devoted to Goddesses Yamuna and Ganga respectively whereas Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines are devoted to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu respectively. Hindus have a strong belief that visiting these holy sites helps one achieve moksha/ salvation. The aptest time to visit is from April to June. The Himalayan climate is unpredictable hence it is advised to carefully research the best time to visit Char Dham before undertaking the arduous journey. People who can manage treacherous terrain, trekking, palanquin, or pony rides are best for them but if not then one can go for a helicopter service for Chardham yatra for a comfortable journey. 

Why people go on Chardham Yatra

Hindu devotees in million make a sacred pilgrimage to the Chardham with the sole intention to cleanse their souls by asking forgiveness for their sins. People want to go on a Char Dham Yatra at least once during one’s lifetime for spiritual upliftment and to attain freedom from the cycle of life and death. People also want to attain peace and prosperity in their life and thus undertake Chardham Yatra to acquire the divine blessings of the four sacred deities who have mythological powers to heal and betow moksha to the pilgrims offering prayers.

As the Chota Char Dham is set in the majestical Himalayas that have a mystical aura about them hence the four abodes beckon the devotees to it.

The mythology of Chardham Yatra

Adi Shankracharya, the Indian philosopher and an exponent of Advaita Vedanta gave the concept of Chardham that every Hindu has a desire to visit at least once in one’s lifetime. Hindus believe that one can attain salvation by visiting Chardham. Of the circuits, the Chardham in the Himalayas of Uttarakhand is the one that is called Chota Chardham that requires one to visit sequentially by starting from Yamunotri and going on to Gangotri, Kedarnath, and finally ending one’s pilgrimage by visiting Badrinath. Yamunotri Dham is the place where the river Yamuna has its source. Legend has it that Yamraj, the brother of Yamuna bestowed a holy boon to her on the auspicious day of Bhai Dooj that whosoever will take a dip in the Yamuna river at Yamunotri Dham will attain salvation and will thus have freed oneself from being taken to Yamlok.

Yamunotri temple seats Goddess Yamuna and is located at a 5km trek from Jankichatti. It is situated on the bank of the holy river Yamuna. Gomukh, the source of the holy river Ganga is located in Gangotri Glacier at a trekking distance of 19km from Gangotri town.

The narrative from Hindu mythology goes back to ages ago when king Sagar’s 60000 sons were converted to ashes by the sage Kapil who was disturbed by them during his meditation. He also cursed them that their souls shall attain salvation only when their ashes were immersed in the heavenly river Ganga. Many years later the grandson of King Sagar, King Bhagirath sat in deep penance to please Goddess Ganga for many years.

Finally, the holy Ganga descended from heaven with a ferocious speed that was contained by Lord Shiva on his luscious looks and then released the holy Ganga in the realm of the earth at Gangotri from where it flowed to dissolve the sins of the 60000 sons of King Sagar and their souls attained salvation and ever since Hindus immerse the ashes of the mortal remains of their departed in the holy river Ganga.   

Kedarnath temple is in the Kedarkhand region of the state of Uttarakhand. The temple is located at a height of 3583 m and can only be reached by an uphill trek of around 22km. Kedarnath temple has one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. As per the mythological account, Nara-Narayana requested Lord Shiva to reside here, to which he agreed. Legend says that Pandavas, on the advice of sage Vyasa came here to ask forgiveness for killing their kith and kins in the Kurukshetra war.

Lord Shiva thought otherwise and turned into a bull and camouflaged himself among the cattle, but on being recognized by Pandavas, sank himself into the ground going head-first. It was Bhima who caught him by the tail forcing lord shiva to appear before them and forgive them. Pandavas then built the temple at Kedarnath.

Badrinath Dham temple is located in the northern part of India and is the only temple among the Chota Chardham pilgrim sites that is surrounded by snow-clad mountains and is situated at a height of 3300m. Badrinath Dham area is referred to as Badrikaashram in the ancient Hindu scriptures and holy Bhagavata Puran mentions lord Vishnu undergoing penance here in his incarnation as Nara and Narayan, since time immemorial for the wellbeing of all living forms of the Universe.

Another narrative from Hindu mythology states that Lord Vishnu sat meditating in the forest full of Badri bushes. To shelter meditating Lord Vishnu from the sweltering heat of the sun Goddess Luxmi stood next to him providing shade and with time Goddess Lakshmi turned into Badri Vishal herself and Lord Vishnu became the Badrinath. Padma Purana mentions the area in and around Badri Dham as replete with spiritual treasure.

Chardham Yatra by helicopter

Chardham Yatra by helicopter is the easiest and fastest way to pay a visit to the entire pilgrimage in a short time. Whereas trekking can take a day or two for the devotees to reach. A helicopter tour for 4 Dham is ideal for those who have a shortage of time and for those also who are facing health issues and are not able to perform pilgrimage relatively quickly. Some helicopter services both private and the public are available for Chardham yatra in Uttarakhand that offers ample Char Dham Yatra. One can go for Charter planes available for Kedarnath and Badrinath Yatra. Pilgrims according to their choice can choose to visit only Kedarnath or Badrinath by a charter. The helicopter operates from Sahastradhara, Dehradun helipad every morning for Chardham, and returns to the city every evening.

The Chardham Yatra starts from the Sahastradhara helipad at Dehradun from where you will leave for Yamunotri. After reaching Yamunotri(Kharsali) you will be transferred to the hotel. After reaching the hotel you will be having your breakfast and then leave for Yamunotri which is a good 5km trek. One can opt for Palki or Pony to reach for darshan.

On the second day in the morning you will be leaving from Kharsali helipad, Yamunotri, and land at Harsil Helipad, Gangotri-also labeled as mini Switzerland of India. You will then be transferred to the hotel and will be having your breakfast. After this, you will head towards the Gangotri temple. You will surely be going to enjoy the picturesque views of this place.

On the morning of the third day, you will leave from Harsil Helipad, Gangotri to Kedarnath helipad (base camp). After landing at Guptkashi/ phata helipad from Gangotri after changing the helicopter you will be heading towards Kedarnath which is almost 10 minutes away from Guptkashi. Here you will get a view of the astonishing beauty of the Himalayas, serene nature pretty sky, mountains all covered with snow. The beauty will surely be going to mesmerize you. This beautiful sight makes Kedarnath the most heritage among all the Dhams. You will be heading towards Jal Abhishek and VIP darshan at Kedarnath temple. After Darshan, you will be taken to the hotel booked at Guptkashi and then you will be leaving for Kedarnath helipad to Guptkashi helipad.

On the morning of the fourth day of Chardham yatra, you will leave from the Kedarnath helipad and land at Badrinath helipad. There you will be witnessing the picturesque views of the Himalayas. You will be directly taken to the hotel where you will have your breakfast or lunch. After relaxing you will leave for the VIP darshan of Badri Narayan temple. After Darshan at Badrinath, you will pay a visit to some Chardham Yatra places- Mana village and Vishnu Sahasranamam path in the evening.

On day five in the morning, you will leave from Badrinath Helipad to land at Dehradun helipad with a memorable experience. This fantastic tour of Chardham Yatra by helicopter will provide you some good memories for a lifetime.

When does Chardham Yatra start

The four pilgrimage sites- Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath are holy pilgrimage sites and are open only for six months. The dates are generally declared by the Char Dham committee, Kedar-Badri Mandir Samiti before the holy day of Akshaya Tritiya or Adha Teej. The Yamunotri and Gangotri temple opens on the day of Akshaya Tritiya every year followed by the portal opening of Kedarnath and Badrinath temple after a couple of days. The Yamunotri and Kedarnath Dham closes on Yama Dwitiya Bhai Dhook whereas Gangotri Dham closes on the day of Diwali and the Badrinath temple closes on the day of Vijay Dashmi. The holy shrines of Chardham open every year with the arrival of summers in April-May and close with the starting of winter months- Oct-Nov.

Chardham Yatra 2021 Opening Dates

Gangotri Dham -      14th May                                                 Yamunotri Dham -  14th May

Kedarnath Dham -    17th May                                                Badrnath Dham -     18th May

How to reach Chardham

The apt place to start the spiritual journey is from the holy city Haridwar. It is considered to be the doorway of spirituality. Haridwar is the base for Chardham, Haridwar is well-connected to Delhi and some other major cities of India by road and by rail. Jolly Grant airport is at a distance of about 55kms from Haridwar. To make a journey simplified Chardham helicopter service is being majorly used by the pilgrims which start from Dehradun city.  

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Chardham Yatra Packages

Yamunotri Dham Package From Haridwar

2 Nights/3 Days

  Transportation          Meal  
  Sight-Seeing         Accommodation  

Starting From

5,500 / Per Person

Yamunotri Tour Package From Delhi

4 Nights/5 Days

  Transportation          Meal  
  Sight-Seeing         Accommodation  

Starting From

9,500 / Per Person

Teen Dham Tour Package from Delhi

8 nights/9 days

  Transportation          Meal  
  Sight-Seeing         Accommodation  

Starting From

20,500 / Per Person

Teen Dham Package From Haridwar

6 nights /7 days

  Transportation          Meal  
  Sight-Seeing         Accommodation  

Starting From

15,500 / Per Person

Badrinath Tour Package From Delhi

4 Nights/5 Days

  Transportation          Meal  
  Sight-Seeing         Accommodation  

Starting From

12,000 / Per Person

Kedarnath Tour Package From Haridwar

2 Nights/3 Days

  Transportation          Meal  
  Sight-Seeing         Accommodation  

Starting From

6,500 / Per Person

Kedarnath Package From Delhi

4 Nights/5 Days

  Transportation          Meal  
  Sight-Seeing         Accommodation  

Starting From

10,500 / Per Person

Do Dham Tour Package From Delhi

6 nights /7 days

  Transportation          Meal  
  Sight-Seeing         Accommodation  

Starting From

14,500 / Per Person

Do Dham Package From Haridwar

4 Nights/5 Days

  Transportation          Meal  
  Sight-Seeing         Accommodation  

Starting From

11,000 / Per Person

Chardham Yatra Tour Package From Haridwar

8 nights/9 days

  Transportation          Meal  
  Sight-Seeing         Accommodation  

Starting From

19,000 / Per Person

Chardham Yatra Package From Delhi

10 nights/11 days

  Transportation          Meal  
  Sight-Seeing         Accommodation  

Starting From

21,000 / Per Person

Badrinath Tour Package From Haridwar

2 Nights/3 Days

  Transportation          Meal  
  Sight-Seeing         Accommodation  

Starting From

7,500 / Per Person

Kedarnath Group Tour from Haridwar

3 Night/4 Days

  Transportation          Meal  
  Sight-Seeing         Accommodation  

Starting From

4,999 / Per Person

Kedarnath Group Tour from Delhi

5 Night/6 Days

  Transportation          Meal  
  Sight-Seeing         Accommodation  

Starting From

8,500 / Per Person