What is Char Dham Yatra?
Char Dham Yatra is a tour of the four Hindu shrines namely Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. These shrines are located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. This yatra is also called Chota Char Dham Yatra. The holy river Yamuna originates from Yamunotri, Maa Ganga from Gangotri, Mandakani from Kedarnath and Alakhnanda, Saraswati from Badrinath ji. Kedarnath is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva in India which is considered to be the main places of worship of Lord Shiva.
The Char Dhams of India are Badrinath, Rameshwaram, Jagannath Puri and Dwarka which were founded by Adi Shankracharya. All Hindus aspire to go to these four shrines once in their lifetime.
What is the Importance of Char Dham Yatra?
It is believed that people can wash away their sins if they complete Char Dham Yatra and also attain Moksha.
What is the right order to cover Char Dham?
Hindus always do parikrama (rotation) in the clockwise direction that is from left to right. Hence Yamunotri is visited first, then Gangotri, third Kedarnath and last Badrinath. Badrinath is the place where one attains Moksha and hence we visit it at the end.
When Char Dham Temple Opens?
Gangotri and Yamunotri temples open every year on Akshay Tritiya which falls during the last week of April or in mid-May. The opening dates of Kedarnath ji are announced on Maha Shivratri day and Badrinath ji opening date is announced on Basant Panchami day.
Char Dham Yatra opening dates 2016
Akshay Tritya is on 09th May in 2016; hence char dham yatra 2016 will start from 8 May 2016 from Haridwar. Char dham Yatra from Delhi will start on 7 May 2016.
When Char Dham Temple Closes?
Every year Gangotri and Yamunotri Temples close on Diwali and Kedarnath ji on Bhaiduj. The closing date of Badrinath is announced on Vijaydashmi (Dushhera)
What is the duration of Char Dham Yatra?
The duration of Chardham yatra from Delhi is 11 nights/12 days and from Haridwar it is 09 Nights/10 days. However, if you cover Kedarnath by helicopter then you can save a day.
For which temples is trekking involved and how long does it take?
For Yamunotri vehicles go up to Jankichatti. Then you have to trek for 06 km to the Yamunotri temple. You can hire ponies, palkies and pitthus from Jankichatti.
After the June 2013 disaster, vehicles on the Kedarnath route go up to Sonprayag. From there you can hire sharing jeeps up to Gaurikund. From Gaurikund you have to trek for 16 km to reach Kedarnath. Earlier this trek was of 14 km. Normal healthy people take around 7-8 hrs to reach Kedarnath from Gaurikund. Or alternatively, you can also hire pony, palki or pitthus right from Sonprayag for Kedarnath
Motorable roads go directly up to Gangotri and Badrinath ji. You have to walk a few hundred meters from the vehicle parking area to the temples for darshan.
For which Char Dham temples helicopter facility is available?
Helicopter service (on per seat basis) is available only for Kedarnath yatra. There are 09 aviation companies operate helicopters for Kedarnath. The helipads are located at Guptkashi (30 km before Sonprayag), Phata (20 km before Sonprayag) and at Sitapur (05 km before Sonprayag). The duration of the flight is around 10 mins. You can return back either on the same day or the next day. The can accommodate 06 passengers at a time.
However, it is also possible to cover all the Char Dhams by Helicopter but you have to charter a helicopter. Each Helicopter can accommodate 04 passengers only. The duration of the trip is 01 Night/02 days from Dehradun.
Which type of hotels are available in the Char Dham sector?
Some people think that only ashrams, dharamshalas and lodge type of accommodation facility are available on the Chardham route, which is not true. There are several hotels of 3-star category, Luxury camps and Deluxe cottages available on this route. But there aren’t many hotels since Char Dham is open only for 06 months and the main season lasts only for 02 months. So it is advisable to book these hotels well in advance.