Chardham Yatra in Uttarakhand is one of the most revered pilgrimage tour circuit in Northern India.
Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand includes representations from all three major Hindu sectarian traditions, with two Shakti (goddess) sites, (Yamunotri and Gangotri), one Shaiva site (Kedarnath), and one Vaishnava site (Badrinath).
Located as they are in the upper reaches of Himalayas, each year there is only a short window during which devotees could undertake the Chardham Yatra. That’s where the question that whether I should do the chardham yatra by helicopter or undertake the chardham yatra by road (trek).
A lot of factors have to be weighed in one can arrive at a conclusion as to which one is best for them; a yatra by road or by helicopter?
Let’s weigh in some pros and cons of both mode to help you decide which is best for you.
Chardham Yatra by Helicopter
After the natural calamity a few years back, helicopters have become a more popular choice when it comes to undertaking the chardham yatra. The entire pilgrimage could be completed in lesser time as you are picked and drop very close to the temple sites. At a few destinations, it takes short journeys on motorable roads or a short trek.
Pros of Chardham Yatra by Helicopter
- Shorter duration (helps a lot if you’re running on tight schedule)
- More safety (additional safety and hygiene plus cushioning from unexpected weather conditions)
- Go easy on elderlies (chardham yatra by helicopter offers most comfortable and quick rides for physically unwell and aged people)
- Panoramic view of undulating Himalayas (This is perhaps unbeatable experience and thrill of it is enough to go for this option if you can afford it)
- Additionaly, VIP darshans, SUV/sedan vehicles as well as private cooks and guides are also offered depending on the amount of money you are willing to spend. More luxurious options include deluxe tents along the route with mineral waters and hot water supply.
Chardham Yatra by Helicopter Cost (Package)
The cost of the chardham yatra by helicopter varies as per the itinerary duration as well as amenities and accommodations offered. At IHPL, chardham yatra package by helicopter 2020 starts from INR 1, 48,000 per person. Packages with longer durations costs more with prices going over INR 2, 00,000 per person for the entire chardham yatra circuit.
Cons of Chardham Yatra by helicopter
- Talking about cons of the helicopter package, sometimes, your strengths becomes your weakness. For a budget traveller, the cost of the helicopter package will sound too much of course. Yet the nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts will find the whirlwind chardham yatra by helicopter not that much suited to their sense of adventure.
- Also, traditionally, teerth yatras as per Hindu belief means that one has to actually toil and undertake the arduous journey to reach the holy places to actually attain salvation (Moksha). So for the purists, chardham yatra by helicopter might not sound that appealing.
Chardham Yatra by Road
As mentioned in the ancient Hindu scriptures, teerth yatra involves a long difficult journey to holy places (normally on foot/treks). In that sense, for the traditionalists a char dham yatra is when they actually do it by road (involves trekking).
Undertaking Chardham Yatra by by road has its own joys and benefits additional to the religious significance of the pilgrimage. Let us break it down for you further.
Pros of Chardham Yatra by Road
- It adheres to the traditional sense of teerth yatra as you actually undertake long, difficult journey to attain salvation (moksha).
- You actually commune with nature and literally experience the divine nature of Himalayas, as experienced and described by our sages
- When you travel along with other devotees, the positive vibes, the spiritual energy and the feeling of bhakti pervading the entire route is something beyond compare.
- It is said that path is more important than the destination. When you do the chardham yatra by road, you realize it for the fact for it is the trek along the route and the time spent among the company of other pilgrims, devotees that makes the yatra actually worth it.
- Finally, because if you believe the scriptures, it the right way to do it and definitely worth it!
Cons of Chardham Yatra by Road
- One of the main requirement for doing chardham yatra by road is that it requires physical fitness as the shrines are located in the upper reaches of Himalayas and weather conditions could get really harsh.
- Another major concern is the time. In this fast paced world, you may find yourself short on time as it may require more than a week to undertake the chardham pilgrimage by road.
- Weather can also play spoilsport when you are undertaking the yatra by road.
Cost of Chardham Yatra by Road
Depending upon the duration of chardham yatra package by road that you pick, the price may vary from INR 26,999 per person for 12 days package to well above 60-70K per person. The accommodation style and facilities offer vary as per rate that could include porter, pony, VIP darshan etc.
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