The sacred Char Dham Yatra starts from Haridwar with a scenic drive to Yamunotri. From there, we proceed to Uttarkashi, then to Gangotri, and further to Guptkashi. Next, we trek to Kedarnath for Lord Shiva's blessings before returning to Guptkashi. A drive to Badrinath follows, and finally, we conclude the 10-day journey in Haridwar.
Haridwar - Barkot - Yamunotri - Barkot - Uttarkashi - Gangotri - Guptkashi - Kedarnath - Badrinath - Rudraprayag - Haridwar
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Altitude (Barkot): 1220 m
Distance: 210 km | Duration: 7-8 hrs
Barkot is a town in the Uttarkashi district
The ride passes through Mussorie and Kempty Falls
It is recommended to have lunch near Kempty Falls as good restaurants are not available henceforth
You will arrive at Barkot in the evening
There are apple orchards and panoramic views of the snow-capped mountains of Bandar Poonch.
Altitude (Yamunotri): 3,293 m
Drive Distance: 36 km approx. (Barkot - Jankichatti/Phoolchatti)
Trek Distance: 6 km (Jankichatti/ Phoolchatti)
The trek is through a lush valley, dense conifers, rhododendrons, cacti, and numerous Himalayan shrubs.
Surya Kund - is one of several hot springs in the area.
Many pilgrims carry rice in a cloth and dip it in the hot water to get cooked rice.
The Divya Shila is a rock pillar worshipped before stepping into the temple.
After hot water dips and a peaceful mind, return to Barkot.
Altitude: 1352 m
Drive Distance: 90 km | Duration: 4 hr
Uttarkashi is the hub of adventures and spirituality
Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) is located in Uttarkashi
The town is considered comparable to Varanasi, which is also on the banks of the River Ganges.
One of the pious temples is the Vishwanath temple believed to be the oldest one. If you believe the literature of Skanda Purana, Uttarkashi is the home to Lord Shiva for Kaliyug.
It is also a part of the twelve Jyotirlingas.
Altitude: 3,048 m
Trekking Distance: 100 km
Second Dham after Yamunotri
Gangotri is by far one of the world’s most eminent religious destinations.
Along the way at Gangnani take the chance to bathe in the Garam Kund
The Ganga River here is also called Bhagirathi
The revered Gangotri Temple was built by the Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa in the 18th century
Another attraction is the submerged Shivling which comes into sight only in winter when the water level in winter has receded.
Around 100 yards from the Ganga Temple flows the river Kedar Ganga
There is also a Kedar Ganga River that you must visit
After a full day of exploration return back to Uttarkashi
Altitude: 1,319 m
Drive distance: 220 km | Duration: 8 to 9 hrs
The route is extremely tranquil through Moolgarh and Lambgaon
Guptkashi means hidden ‘Varanasi’ as per the Puranas.
Some people say that hereditary priests stay in GuptKashi in winter when the Kedarnath temple is closed.
Visit ArdhNarishwar Temple, it's stunning at night lights.
Stay in a hotel
Altitude: 3,553 m
Drive distance: 30 km
Trek distance: 16 km
It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva’
Kedar is the synonym name of Lord Shiva who is both protector and destroyer
Kedarnath is also part of the Panch Kedar Yatra
Trek Distance: 16 km
Drive Distance: 30 km | Duration: 1 hr
Visit the temple early morning by 4:45
Everyone can go inside the Garbha Griha and touch the idol
You can also prostrate with your head touching the deity, etc
After Temple Darshan trek down to Sonprayag
Drive to Guptkashi and check in at the hotel.
Altitude: 3,133 m
Drive Distance: 215 km | Duration: 7 hrs
Badrinath is the final stop of the Char Dham
You will take a 7-hour-long ride to Badrinath via Joshimath
Badrinath is protected by Nar and Narayan mountains sideways
This religious place is also filled with hot water springs of which Tapt and Narad kunds are popular.
Tapt Kund is on the Alakananda River banks and it is compulsory to bathe in this Kund before stepping into the Badrinath Temple.
Narad Kund is the pool where the Badrinath idol was discovered
Brahma Kapal - a platform where rituals for the deceased are performed.
Sheshnetra - it is a boulder 1.5 km away from Badrinath and has the impression of a snake.
Charan Paduka - another boulder 3 km away from Badrinath that has an impression of Vishnu’s footprint
Maha Murty - A shrine dedicated to the mother of Badrinath
Vasundhara - a waterfall, 5 km from Badrinath
Mana Village - near Badrinath, has attractions like Bhim Pul and Vyas Gufa
Bhim Pul - on the other side of Mana village, a massive rock believed to have been placed there by Bhim forming a natural bridge.
Vyas Gufa - A cave near Mana Village, this rock cave is where Ved Vyas is believed to have composed the Mahabharata and the Pauranic commentaries.
Distance: 160 km
Time to head back home after your Yatra
Usually, the devotees take a quick bath in Taptkund before starting the return journey
You can capture the tourist locations of Mana Village if you missed them yesterday
To Rudraprayag via Joshimath (Rudraprayag is a holy confluence of Alaknanda and Mandakini)
Joshimath is one of the four ‘Maths’ established by Adi Shankaracharya
Distance: 160 km | Duration: 5 hr
The final destination of the trip is Rishikesh or the place of Sages
As the saga says, Raibhya Rishi did his meditation and a god appeared using the name ‘Hrishikesh’.
Rishikesh has become extremely popular amongst youth and adventure seekers for rafting and bungee jumping.
Major attractions for sight-seeing are the Beatles Ashram, Triveni Ghat, Laxman Jhula, and Ram Jhula
Enjoy your night in the beautiful mountain town of Rishikesh