Char Dham Yatra is a holy sojourn to four sacred shrines that are located in Uttarakhand namely Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. To attain salvation or Moksha is believed to be the ultimate state of liberation in Hinduism and Chardham Yatra takes you one step closer to accomplish this goal. This is among the most revered pilgrimage circuits in the world. The holy shrines are nestled in the lap of the lofty peaks of Garhwal Himalayas in Uttarakhand.
Finally, the good news has come for the pilgrims who wish to embark on the holy sojourn of Char Dham Yatra 2021. The Uttarakhand High Court has lifted the stay from the Yatra and issued some COVID-19 guidelines for the devotees who are aiming to go for the Char Dham Yatra. The Char Dham Yatra is to begin from 18 September 2021 for devotees.
Here are the latest SOPs for Char Dham Yatra, which people are required to follow.
- Only fully vaccinated people with a mandatory COVID-19 negative report are allowed to embark on the holy yatra.
- It is mandatory to show the vaccination certificate along with the negative report issued by the ICMR authorized laboratory.
- Devotees are required to follow the strict COVID-19 protocols like social distancing and wearing masks.
- A limited number of pilgrims are allowed with the capping of 800 devotees at Kedarnath Dham, 1200 at Badrinath Dham, 600 at Gangotri, and 400 devotees at Yamunotri Dham in a day.
- Pilgrims are not permitted to take a holy bath in any of the springs around the temples.
These four religious sites are also known as Chota Char Dham as there is another holy circuit that comprises four pilgrimage sites, which was also established by Adi Shankracharya. This circuit is also called Char Dham and these shrines are located in four different locations of the country namely Badrinath in Uttarakhand, Dwarka in Gujarat, Puri in Orissa, and Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu.
The pilgrimage sites of Chota Char Dham are dedicated to different deities and have their major significance. Yamunotri Temple is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna, the daughter of Lord Sun and sister of Lord Yam and Lord Shani. However, Gangotri Dham is dedicated to Goddess Ganga. Kedarnath Dham is revered as one of the 12 Jyotirlingas and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Badrinath Dham is dedicated to Lord Badri or Vishnu. Every year millions of devotees flock to these holy shrines. They embark on the sacred sojourn to seek blessings and soak in the spiritual aura of these religious sites.
If you are planning this holy pilgrimage tour and looking for a complete guide of Char Dham Yatra along with the 6 days tour itinerary, then you are at the perfect place. You can choose the Chardham Yatra by helicopter to complete the journey in 6 days and seek blessings at all the four holy shrines. Here, we have compiled important information about the holy Yatra, which will help you to plan a tour and keep you updated with the significant details.
How to plan Char Dham Yatra?
The visit to Chardham requires special preparation as these holy sites are located in the lap of the Garhwal Himalayas where the weather remains cold throughout the year and for holy Yatra, there are some important requirements. Here is essential information which will help you to plan Char Dham Yatra:
- The biometric registration of Char Dham Yatra is compulsory.
- Carry photo identity proof such as Aadhar Card, Voter ID card, PAN Card, Driving License, or Passport. Make sure you will keep them handy.
- The accommodation facilities are available near all the four holy sites in Swiss Cottages, Deluxe hotel, and budget lodges. They are equipped with basic amenities and few can provide modern amenities as well. It is advisable to book your stay in advance as in the peak season, there are a few chances of getting good accommodation at a reasonable price.
- To reach the holy temples of Kedarnath and Yamunotri, you can hire a palki/palanquin, pony/ horse, and pithus from the Gaurikund and Janki Chatti respectively.
- It is advisable to carry warm jackets, gloves, sweaters, woolen socks, and raincoats during Yatra.
- Comfortable and sturdy shoes with good grip are highly recommendable.
- Make sure you will carry the necessary medicines including fever, cold cough, headache, and your prescribed medications.
- Pack a first aid kit with you, which consists of bandages, cotton, antiseptic cream, painkillers, and pain relievers.
Char Dham Yatra by Helicopter: Trip Plan – 6 Days Itinerary
Embark on the holy sojourn to the Char Dham to seek blessings. The pilgrimage sites are the divine abode of different deities, which is among the holiest destinations of Hindu pilgrimages. During the tour, you will get opportunities to attend Aarti and Pooja at the temples along with the other shrines.
Here is the detailed itinerary for Char Dham Yatra by helicopter
Day 1: Arrival in Dehradun
Your Char Dham Yatra starts with your arrival in Dehradun. Our tour representative will pick you up from the Dehradun airport or railway station and transfer you to the hotel. Complete the check in formalities and unwind. The rest of the time is at your leisure. You can explore the nearby places of the resort or relax in your room. You will be provided with the duffle bag so that you will carry the necessary items with you as your luggage won’t be carried in the chopper. Overnight stay at the hotel in Dehradun.
Day 2 Dehradun – Kharsali – Yamunotri Darshan – Kharsali
Complete the check out formalities at 6 am and proceed to the Sahastradhara helipad to board the helicopter for Kharsali. The chopper will take off at 7 am from Sahastradhara. At 7:30 am, you will reach the Kharsali helipad. You will have an assisted transfer to the hotel. Check in at the hotel and unwind. Have a delicious breakfast at the hotel and at 9 am, start your tour to Yamunotri. You can trek to the temple, which is 6 km from the base. Also, you can travel by pony/ palki. On arrival at Yamunotri Temple, seek blessings from Goddess Yamuna. After Darshan, visit hot springs at the temple, Yamuna Mata Temple, and Shani Temple.
Later, return to the hotel in Kharsali, enjoy dinner, and have a sound sleep.
Day 3: Kharsali – Harsil – Gangotri Dham – Harsil
Wake up early in the morning and complete the check out formalities from the hotel at 6:30 am. Head towards Kharsali heli-base to board the chopper. Fly to Harsil at 7:30 am and by 8 am you will reach Harsil, which is a beautiful valley located at the base of Gangotri Dham in Uttarakhand. On arrival at Harsil, you will have an assisted transfer to the hotel. Complete the check in formalities and relax for a while. Refuel yourself with a hearty breakfast at 9 am and then set off for Gangotri Dham.
Enjoy Darshan at Gangotri Temple and then return to Harsil. Visit other attractions in Harsil such as Bagodi Village, Mukhwa Village, a beautiful nature walk near Jhalla, and Shiv Temple. You can also enjoy a short trek to Chholmi village. After the sightseeing tour, return to the hotel in Harsil.
Day 4: Harsil – Sersi – Kedarnath Dham – Sersi
On the 4th day of the tour, wake up early in the morning and check out from the hotel at 7 am. Arrive at Harsil helipad to board a helicopter for Sersi. Fly from Harsil at 8 am and reach Sersi base in half an hour. On arrival in Sersi, you will have an assisted transfer to the hotel. Complete the check in formalities and freshen up. Enjoy breakfast around 10 am and head towards the helipad in Sersi to board a helicopter for Kedarnath Temple. Enjoy Darshan at Kedarnath Temple and seek blessings from Lord Shiva. Spend some time amidst serene environs and then head to the helipad for a return journey.
Later, visit other tourist attractions like Triyugi Narayan Temple, Kalimath Mandir, Gaurikund, and Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Guptkashi. Overnight stay in Sersi.
Day 5: Sersi – Badrinath
Have a scrumptious breakfast at 8 am and then complete the check out formalities from the hotel. Reach the Sersi helipad by 9 am to catch the flight for Badrinath. Board the chopper at 9:30 am from Sersi and you will arrive at Badrinath at 10 am. On arrival, you will have an assisted transfer to the hotel. Complete the check in formalities at the hotel and freshen up. In the afternoon, you will visit Badrinath Temple for darshan.
After your visit to Badrinath Dham, head towards other tourist places such as the hot spring at Badrinath Temple, Mana Village, and the local market. Later, in the evening visit the Badrinath Temple again to attend the Swaran Aarti/ Chandi Aarti. Overnight stay at the hotel in Badrinath.
Optional: Swaran Aarti/ Chandi Aarti (charges extra)
Day 6: Chardham Yatra Concludes
Wake up a beautiful day and savor a delicious meal. Complete the check out formalities at 9 am. Head towards the helipad at 10 am to board the flight. You will reach the Sahastradhara helipad at 11 am. Here, you will be escorted to the hotel in Dehradun from where you will collect your luggage from the cloakrooms. Afterward, you will have an assisted transfer to the airport or railway station for your onward journey.
Note: If you want a night stay in Dehradun on day 6, the same will be arranged at an extra cost. This change/ add-on to the itinerary must be informed to the travel agent at the time of booking.
How to reach Char Dham?
You can start Char Dham Yatra from Delhi, Haridwar, or Dehradun. There are two ways to undertake the Yatra – by road and by helicopter. If you are traveling by bus then you can start your sojourn from the national capital and if you choose Chardham Yatra by helicopter then you have to arrive at Dehradun to start the journey.
Here is a brief about how to reach the holy sites:
By Road: Char Dham Yatra package by road starts from Haridwar, Delhi, and Dehradun. This holy city is well-connected with the other major cities via road and rail networks. State transport and private buses ply to these holy pilgrimage sites. Taxis are also available easily from Haridwar and Rishikesh.
By Helicopter: Sahastradhara helipad, Dehradun is the base for the Chardham helicopter package. The helicopter service starts from Dehradun to Kharsali, which is about 6 km from Yamunotri Temple. Harsil helipad is the nearest base for Gangotri Temple, which is situated 25 km from the shrine. Badrinath and Kedarnath helipads are located near the temples within walking distances.
Where are the Char Dhams situated?
Char Dham Yatra comprises four holy shrines, which are located in the lap of Garhwal Himalayas in Uttarakhand. The location of pilgrimage sites are:
- Yamunotri Dham – Snuggled in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand at an altitude of 3,293 m above sea level, Yamunotri Dham is situated at a 182 km distance from Dehradun and 226 km away from Haridwar.
- Gangotri Dham – Perched at an altitude of 3,100 m above sea level, Gangotri Temple is situated in Uttarkashi district at a distance of 285 km from Haridwar and 240 km away from Dehradun.
- Kedarnath Dham – Located in the Rudra Himalayan Ranges near Mandakini River, Kedarnath is settled amidst the mountainscape of the Rudraprayag district. From Dehradun, Gangotri Temple is 254 km and from Haridwar, Kedarnath is around 125 km.
- Badrinath Dham – Snuggled between Nar and Narayan mountain ranges, Badrinath is situated in Chamoli district. The distance from Kedarnath is 218 km and from Haridwar, it is 316 km away. From Dehradun, Badrinath is 334 km.
Opening Dates of Char Dham Yatra
The yatra for Gangotri and Yamunotri shrine starts from Akshaya Tritiya i.e., on May 15. The opening date of the Kedarnath Temple decides on Shivaratri and this year it will open on May 17. Badrinath Temple will open on May 18. Char Dham Yatra starts in April/ May and closes in October/ November near Deepavali every year.
The temples open for six months and the rest of the year it remains closed due to harsh weather and heavy snowfall. In the winter season, the idol from Kedarnath Temples shifts to the Omkareshwar Temple in Ukhimath, and from Badrinath Temple, the idols shift to the Narasimha Temple in Joshimath. From Gangotri Temple, the idols shift to Mukhimath in Uttarkashi, and from Yamunotri Temple, the idols shift to Khushimath in Kharsali. The devotees can visit there to seek blessings.
Char Dham Yatra Online Registration
The registration for Char Dham Yatra is compulsory for devotees and there are two modes for this – online and offline. Chardham Yatra online booking is also available on the official website of Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board (UCDDMB). Offline Yatra registration is available at several locations such as Haridwar Railway station, Rishikesh Bus Stand, Janki Chatti, Guptkashi, Gangotri, Phata, Sonprayag, Kedarnath, Govindghat, and Uttarkashi.
If you are traveling by helicopter, then also you can register yourself for Yatra at Janki Chatti, Guptkashi, and Uttarkashi. The necessary documents required for registration are photo ID proof such as Aadhar Card, Voter ID Card, and Passport.
With all the information in your hand, you can plan a Char Dham Yatra and soak in the spiritual aura of these divine sites. Apart from this, admire the natural beauty and delight in the breathtaking views of these enchanting places.
Important points to remember During Char Dham Yatra
- The holy temples remain open from April to October and the rest of the year remains closed.
- Avoid traveling in the monsoon season, as the region experiences moderate to heavy rainfall due to which roads get blocked and helicopter services hinder.
- Carry heavy woolens in winters as the region experiences below zero degrees temperature. And, pack light woolens in summers as the temperature dips in the evening.
- Do not forget to carry sunscreen and sunglasses to avoid sunburn.
- Carry dry fruits, chocolates, chips, biscuits, and dry eatables.
- Carry a battery-operated torch, fully-charged power banks, and extra batteries for cameras.
- Only the BSNL network operates in the region.