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Char Dham Yatra

 
Explore most sacred Shrines of Hindu mythology at Devbhoomi Garhwal.
 
Duration :
12
Destinations :
Ex - Delhi - YAMUNOTRI - GANGOTRI - KEDARNATH - BADRINATH

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Haridwar in time to attend evening Ganga Arti at famous Har Ki Pauri. Transfers to the hotel and Meet & Assistance on Arrival. Dinner & Night stay.

Your host town is gateway of God; Haridwar means Gateway of Lord Vishnu and Hardwar, Gateway of Lord Shiva.


Sight of the Day –
Evening Arti at Har Ki Paudi -

This sacred Ghat was constructed by King Vikramaditya (1st century BC) in memory of his brother Bhrithari. It is believed that Bhrithari came to Haridwar and meditated on the banks of holy Ganga. When he died, his brother constructed a Ghat in his name, which later came to be known as Hari-Ki-Pauri. The most sacred ghat within Har-ki-Pauri is Brahmakund. The evening prayer at dusk (Aarti) offered to Goddess Ganga at Hari-Ki-Pairi (steps towards God Hari) is an enchanting experience for any visitor. A spectacle of sound and colour is seen when, after the ceremony, pilgrims float diyas (floral floats with lamps) and incense on the river, commemorating their deceased ancestors. Thousands of people from all round the world do make a point to attend this prayer on their visit to Hardwar. A majority of present ghats were largely developed in the 1800s.

Day 2 Haridwar / Janakichatti 216 kms / 08 hrs
In the morning leave for Ganga Snan. After breakfast leave for Barkot. En route lunch and drive through Kempty fall and Lakahamandal, Archeological Survey of India, (ASI) protected site (5kms from main road), visit the ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Post darshan drive to your onward destination Barkot. Dinner and night stay.

Today Route – Haridwar / Janakichatti 216 kms

Route Remark –
Mussorie – En route stopover for refreshments & washroom.

Today Sight -
Lakhamandal - is a large village on the banks of Yamuna, known for its temple ruins. The ruins at Lakhamandal give an indication that in the past it must have been a major temple town. Many believe that Lakhamandal is the same Lakhshagriha described in Mahabharata. Kaurava Prince Duryodhana had built a palace made of lac, in which he tried to burn the Pandavas alive. The villagers believe that there is a secret passage that emerges few kilometers downstream today in the center of the village there is a Temple dedicated to Bhagwati and Lord Shiva. In the temple complex stand two life size stone statues of Jay and Vijay. Perhaps they are the Dwarpals of a much older temple standing at the gates of heaven. But most of the villagers believe the statues to be that of Bhima and Arjuna.

Day 3

Janakichatti / Yamunotri / Janakichatti (5 kms/3hrs on foot one way)
Leave Jankichatti to trek for 05 kms on foot for Yamunotri. Here, one can cook rice by packing it in a cloth and dipping it in the hot water of the hot kund. Pilgrims take this cooked rice home as Prasad. Here near the temple Pooja can be offered to Divya Shila, after taking bath in Jamunabai Kund's warn water and having Darshan of pious Yamunaji return to Janakichatti. O/N Janakichatti.

Today Sight -
Yamunotri, First of The Chardham: Yamunotri temple is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. Yamunotri is the source of revered river Yamuna which originates from the Champasar Glacier lying 1 Km. Ahead of the shrine situated at an elevation of 3235 mts above sea level. The approach is extremely difficult and pilgrims therefore offer Pooja at the temple itself. Yamunotri was the home of an ancient sage Asit Muni.

Yamuna is the daughter of the Sun just like Yama who is considered his son. It is believed that Yama would not torment any person at the time of death who bathes in Yamuna, his sister

Surya Kund: There are a Number of thermal springs in the vicinity of the temple, which flows into numerous pools. The most important of these is Surya Kund.

Divya Shila: A rock pillar, worshipped before entering the Yamunotri Temple

Day 4

Janakichatti / Uttarkashi 150 Kms / 05 hrs
After breakfast leave for Uttarkashi. Arrive around Lunch time. Evening free for leisure & local attractions. Dinner & O/N stay Uttarkashi.

Route Remark – A short drive relatively, Dharasu is an ideal Tea – Break midway, the route does not have good washroom facility.

Today's Sight –
Uttarkashi - Uttarkashi is a small and beautiful town, situated between two rivers: Varuna and Ashi, whose water flow into the Bhagirathi from either side of the town. Elevated, at a height of 1588 metres, this little town is very similar to Kashi and Varanasi, in that it has the same kind of temples and ghats and likewise, a north or 'uttar' facing river. The major temple is the Vishwanath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Two other very important temples are located in the Chowk area. These are the Annapurna Temple and the Bhairav Temple. Once, it is said, there were 365 temples here. Hiuen Tsang referred to this place as Brahma Pura, while the Skanda Puran has recorded it as Varunavata. It is believed that in the second millennium of Kaliyug, Kashi will be submerged, and Uttarkashi will replace it as an important religious centre.

Other important sights –

Kuleti Devi Temple - Located on another bank, farther away from the town, this temple was constructed on a very old site, but appears to be new. Its priest, the latest from a family of priests spanning fourteen generations, tells an interesting story:

The Maharaja of Kota (in Rajasthan), lost a bag of money while on a pilgrimage to Gangotri. Thus, unable to meet the required expenses, he returned to Uttarkashi where he prayed for deliverance from his troubles at the Vishwanath.Temple, promising to marry off his only daughter to any suitable boy from the village, should his bag be found. The bag was found by the priest, inside the temple, and with all the money intact. The delighted Maharaja then requested the priest to arrange a suitable match for his daughter. In due course, the Rajkumari was married to a boy chosen by the priest of the Vishwanath Temple. But she was very unhappy because marriage would take her away from her family deity Kuteti Devi, whom she had always worshipped. So husband and wife together, prayed to the goddess to help them. Kuteti Devi appeared in their dreams and informed them that she would be present in their fields, in the shape of a stone. The Rajkumari and her husband, discovered 3 stones with a heavenly aroma, and the Kuteti Devi Temple was erected on the exact spot where these stones were found.

Day 5

Uttarkashi/ Harsil / Gangotri / Uttarkashi 100 Kms / 04-05 hrs
With packed breakfast & On Board Tea/ Coffee leave for Gangotri early in the morning. Enroute stopover at Gangnani, a hot water spring. Post offering prayers & pooja darshan, stop enroute at place of your choice for Lunch. Post lunch drive back to Uttarkashi, en route visit Gangnani. Overnight stay at Uttarkashi.

Route Remarks – Gangnani is the hot water spring & good stopover. Maggi & Tea/ Coffee have emerged as big food at this stopover. Ganganai offers good panoramic view.

Today's Sight -
Gangotri, IInd of Chardham: Gangotri temple is 18th Century temple dedicated to Goddess Ganga. It is located near a sacred stone where king Bhagirath worshipped Lord Shiva Ganga is believed to have touched earth at this spot. Accordingly to another legend, Pandavas performed the great "Deva Yagna" here to atone the death of their kinsmen in the epic battle of Mahabharata. The temple is an exquisite 20 ft. high structure made of white granite.

Gangnani: Further up on way to Gangotri, is the hot water spring at Gangnani, where one can have refreshing bath in the kund called Rishikund. There is a temple near the kund dedicated to the Sage Parashar, believed to be the father of Ved Vyas.

Day 6

Uttarkashi / Guptkashi, 211 kms/ 09 hrs
Leave very early in the morning for almost day long drive to Guptkashi. En route Breakfast at Charangikhal, the most beautiful & scenic drive of your journey so far. Continue your journey & be prepared to get late for your Lunch at Kirtinagar. On your drive after Charangi Khal, you would pass through Ganga giving way to Tehri Dam (The Electro Hydro Project). With bit of rest continue your journey to Guptkashi. Overnight stat at Guptkashi

Route Remarks – On this long day, Charangikhal & Kirtinagar would be two stopovers for Breakfast & Lunch respectively. Charangikhal is set up amongst beautiful forest & is the highest point en route. Our supervisor would assist in laying the breakfast here. Kirtinagar would be the stopover for Lunch.

Today's Sight –
Guptkashi - Guptkashi has a great importance quite like that of Kashi. The ancient Vishwanath temple, Ardhnareshwar temple and Manikarnik Kund, where the two streams of Ganga and Yamuna are believed to meet, are the main places of attraction in Guptkashi.

It is believed that after the battle of Mahabharata, the Pandavas wanted to meet Lord Shiva and seek his blessing. But Lord Shiva evaded from Guptkasi to Kedarnath as he did not want to meet the Pandavas, the reason being that although they had fought for the right cause, they were also responsible for destroying their own dynasty.

Guptkashi is situated at an elevation of 1319 mts. The one Stupa is situated in Nala which is quite close to Ukhimath. Some local people call it the grave of Rana Nal. 03 kms from Guptkashi, the remains of Ramgarh (in Ronitpur) still seem to echo the love between Lord Krishna's son Anniruddha and Vanasur's daughter Usha.

Day 7

Guptkashi / Kedarnath
Post your leisurely breakfast; leave by vehicle for Gaurikund and from their join other pilgrims for 14 kms trek of Kedarnath. On reaching Kedarnath, meet our representative at Kedarnath. Our representative would lead you to hotel & guide you through other logistics at these high altitude destinations. Evening darshan and Pooja at Kedarnath Temple. O/N stay at Kedarnath.

Route Remarks - Ideal stopover is at Rambara for Lunch, take a break at Garudchati to meet the sage, who lives here 12 months facing even extreme weather conditions.

Today's Sight –
Kedarnath Temple, IIIrd of Chardham: The present temple built in 8th Century A.D. by Adi Guru Shankaracharya lies adjacent to the site of an ancient temple built by Pandavas. The temple has a conical lingam - the main idol, a statue of Nandi - the celestial bull, a 'Garba Grah' for worship and a man dap for assemblies of pilgrims and visitors. The temple is more than 1000 years old.

Other Important Sights –
Shankaracharya Samadhi: The Samadhi of Adi Guru Shankaracharya is located just behind the Kedarnath temple. It is said that after establishing four sacred Dhams in India, he went into his Samadhi at an early age of 32 years. The lake fascinates the visitors.

Bhaironath temple: About half a kilometer away from Kedarnathji, a small temple is dedicated to Bhaironath. It is worshipped on the opening and closing day of Sri Kedarnath Shrine. Ii is believed that when Kedarnathji temple is closed. Bhaironathji protects this land from evil. 

Day 8

 Kedarnath / Guptkashi 14 kms trek / 38 kms Drive/3hrs
After breakfast begin your downward journey of 14 kms trek to Gaurikund and drives 38 km to reach Guptkashi. En route optional visit to Triyugi Narayan a sacred place (14km/1hrs extra from main road).O/N stay at Guptkashi.

Route Remarks – On your arrival at Gaurikund, you have an option of leaving for Triyugi Narayan
Today's Sight - Triyugi Narayan: About 14 kms, on the main road, Sonprayag a place where marriage of Lord Shiva & Parvati (Gauri). Lard Vaman Avtar Lord Vishnu) temple and Surya kund & Yagya Mandap.

Day 9

Guptkashi / Badrinath 200 kms / 08 hrs
Morning after breakfast drive for Badrinath. En-route visit Chopta beautiful medical forest and nice view of Himalayas Evening Darshan & Pooja at Badrinath temple. O/N stay at Badrinath.

Route Remarks – Once again, two en route stopovers are proposed namely, Birhi & Joshimath.

Today's Sight -
Badrinath, 4th Dham of Uttarakhand's Chardham & only original Chardham as proposed by Adi Guru Shankaracharya: Arti at Badrinath.

Cradled in the twin Mountain ranges of Nar and Narayan is the holiest of the four main shrines - Badrinath along the left bank of river Alaknanda with the towering Neelkantha Peaks as the splendid backdrop. Once the spot was carpeted with 'badris' or wild berries and hence was famous as Badri van. Legend has it, when the Ganga was requested to descend to earth to help suffering humanity; the earth was enable to withstand the force of its decent. Therefore the mighty Ganga was split into 12 holy channels. Alaknanda was one of them that later became the abode of Lord Vishnu or Badrinath.

Badrinath ji sightseeing;
Narad Kund: A recess in the river, near Tapt Kund, forming a pool from where the Badrinath idol was recovered.

Brahama Kapal: It is a flat platform a few yards north of the temple and on the bank of river Alaknanda. It is an important place for shhradh ceremony or offering of pinds to ensure a heavenly place for dead ancestors or manes. It is said that offering pind here, the manes are permanently enshrined in heaven and no more pinds are to be done elsewhere ever afterwards. Legends have it that when Shiva chopped of the fifth head of Brahma, it got stuck to his trident. Lastly with the blessing of Lord Vishnu at Badrivan, the head of Brahma fell down from the trident at this place & hence the name Brahma-Kapal (head).

Sheshnetra: It is a large block of stone between tow small seasonal lakes carrying an eye of "Sheshnag" The eye formation is quite natural, 1.5kms. away is a boulder having an impression of the legendary serpent, better known as the Sheshnag's eye, it is believed that the seshnag waits at this place patiently to accompany the lord on his reincarnation.

Mana Village: Inhabited by an Indo-Mongolian tribe, it is the last Indian village before Tibet. The women of the village offer Choli to the deity on closing day of the temple each year.

Bhim Pul: On the other side of Mana village, a massive rock forming a natural bridge, lies over the roaring Saraswati river. It presents a spectacular view of water thundering down through the narrow passage under the rock and is believed to have been placed there by Bhim, the second eldest among the five Pandava brothers.

Vyas Gufa (cave): Near Mana Village, this is a rock-cave where Ved Vyas is believed to have composed the Mahabharata and the pauranic commentaries.

Day 10

Badrinath /Joshimath/Kirtinagar, 198kms/07-08hrs

Route Remarks – Stopover at Birhi for enroute refreshment option, facility of washroom is available here.

Today's Sight –
Mana Village - Morning after breakfast drives 03 kms for last village of India is Mana Village and sightseeing visiting Vyas Gufa and Bhim Pul. Departure for Joshimath at 1100 am.

En route visit Vishnu Prayag which two river confluences Dhauli and Alaknanda River. Arrival Joshimath and visit Adi Guru Sankarcharya Math and after lunch proceed to Kirtinagar.

En route Karn Prayag (confluence of river Pindari and river Alaknanda) and Nandprayag (confluence of river Nandakini and Alaknanda River).O/N stay in Kirtinagar.

Inclusion

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