About Char Dham Yatra 2023
Home to several Gods and Goddesses, India offers a heavenly experience. Thus, the quest for the divine urges devotees to embark on a pilgrimage. The Chota Char Dham in Uttarakhand is no exception. Paving the way to salvation or Moksha, the holy sojourn enjoys great religious significance. Besides washing away all the sins, the Chardham Yatra takes you to the four sacred shrines, namely Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. Char Dham Yatra starts on 3rd May 2023, and the booking of the Char Dham tour packages is open. Indian Holiday will help you plan a customized Chardham tour according to your requirements.
The Chota Char Dham Yatra starts from Akshaya Tritiya in May and usually ends in October/November two days after Diwali. But the best time to visit the Char Dham Yatra is from May-June and September-October. Owing to heavy snowfall in winter and extreme rainfall in monsoon, it is difficult to complete the journey during these seasons. For Hindu devotees, traveling to these temples in India is considered auspicious and mandatory at least once in a lifetime. There are three major sects in Hinduism - Shaivism, Vaishnavism, and Shaktism. The Char Dham of India consists of three Vaishnava locations (Dwarka, Badrinath, and Puri, Rameshwaram).
The first landmark of the holy trek to Yamunotri Dham. A blissful abode of Goddess Yamuna, the shrine marks the origin point of the river. Nestled at a high altitude, Yamunotri temple remains open from May till October/November 2023, and the temple visiting time is 6 am – 8 pm. However, Yamunotri temple aarti's timings are 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm. The journey to Yamunotri starts from Janki Chatti, and during winters, the idol is shifted to Shani Dev Temple in Kharsali. Pilgrims can plan Ek Dham Yatra by paying homage at this shrine.
A holy seat of river Ganga, Gangotri is the second Dham en route the trek. Every year innumerable pilgrims embark on Gangotri Dham Yatra to seek the blessing of the goddess. Located near Gaumukh –originating point of the sacred river, the temple dates back to the 18th century. Gangotri temple doors are open in May and closed in October/November. Thereafter, Mukhimath Temple in Mukba becomes the winter seat of the goddess.
Enshrining one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, Kedarnath Temple is surrounded by awe-inspiring snow-covered mountains. Kedarnath Yatra starts from May till October/November. Temple visiting timing 4 am – 9 pm. Adi Shankaracharya, the founder of the Char Dham Yatra in India, attained salvation at Kedarnath only. Cradled between the Nar and Narayan peaks in the Rudraprayag district, the Kedarnath temple remains closed for six months a year. The idol then gets transferred to the Omkareshwar Temple in Ukhimath. The stunning scenery of the Mandakini River along the way keeps the spirits high! Along with Badrinath Dham, the sacred site completes the Do Dham Yatra.
Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the Badrinath Dham is an important site. Badrinath Yatra starts from May to October/November 2023, and temple visiting timing is 4 am – 9 pm usually. Besides being a part of a relatively smaller circuit of Hindu pilgrimage, the shrine is also included in the Char Dham Yatra. Adorning the Chamoli district, the shrine houses the idol of Lord Badrinarayan in a meditative posture. The idol is worshiped at Vasu Dev Temple in Joshimath for the whole winter season. Together with Kedarnath Temple and any one of the Gangotri or Yamunotri, the shrine completes the Teen Dham Yatra.
Reaching Char Dham Uttarakhand is a challenging expedition in itself. Luckily, Gangotri and Badrinath are easily accessible by vehicles. However, Kedarnath and Yamunotri command arduous trekking. For those, unable to undertake the enthralling trek can fly to Char Dham by helicopter. A multitude of camps, budget and luxury hotels, homestays and guest houses offer comfortable accommodation en route to Char Dhams in Uttarakhand. Overall, the Chota Dham Yatra in the Garhwal hills offers a blissful retreat.