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Uttarakhand is a highly revered state known for many ancient temples and shrines. With rich history of Gods and Goddesses, many pilgrims visit to various destinations to pay respect to their revered Gods in order to receive their blessings. 

The revered Char Dham route is the most popular among all holy sites and is on the list of many devotees who wish to complete the journey once in their lifetime. 

Char Dham translates to four abodes and refers to four holiest pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand, which includes Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. This is also known as Chota Char Dham circuit as the bigger one includes four holy shrines in four corners of India. Chardham yatra is a journey to these four revered sites through a tough and laborious route that takes almost 10 to 12 days.  

Apart from the four stops of Chardham yatra, many visitors also combine Haridwar and Rishikesh to enjoy some activities like Rafting, Camping and Bungee Jumping.  

Four Sites of Chardham Pilgrimage Tour

Yamunotri Dham

Yamunotri Dham is the seat of Goddess Yamuna and the first stop of Chardham tour. Most of the Chardham tour packages start from Haridwar from where the journey to Yamunotri begins. At an altitude of 3291 metres, Yamunotri lies in Uttarkashi district.  

Yamunotri is the origin point of Yamuna River. The actual source and glacier is located at a height of 4421 metres above sea level and is 1 km above the temple. The origin source of Yamuna is tough to access by foot so pilgrims offer their respects at the temple itself. The temple was constructed in the 19th century by Rani Gularia of Jaipur. The temple remains open for the visitors between 1st week of May till Diwali. 

Saptarshi Kund, Surya Kund and Divya Shila are a few of the popular places to explore during your stay here.

Gangotri Dham

The seat of Goddess Ganga, Gangotri Dham, is located at a height of 3048 metres. Gangotri Dham is the second stop of Chardham tour. It is also located in Uttarkashi district. River Ganga originates from Gaumukh Glacier, which is 19 km away from Gangotri Temple. From here, the river flows as Bhagirathi up to Devprayag where she meets Alaknanda and enters the plains at the River Ganga. 

It takes a grueling trek to the source of River Ganga and many extend their Chardham tour package for this journey. Those who are old or unable to walk, pay their respects at the temple and proceed for the next destination. Gangotri Temple dates back to 19th century. It was constructed by Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa.  

The temple opens from 1st week of May and closes on the day of Diwali. Bhagirath Shila is another popular attraction here. It is believed that King Bhagirath prayed here so that Goddess Ganga could arrive on Earth. 

Submerged Shivling and Pandav Gufa are other important places that you can explore during your visit to Gangotri.  

Kedarnath Dham 

Kedarnath is an important place because of its importance in Hindu mythology. Kedarnath is located at a height of 3,553 metres in Rudraprayag District. It is a beautiful and scenic place often frequented by many tourists with or without Chardham packages. The temple town is located near the head of River Mandakini while overlooking gorgeous Himalayan peaks. Kedarnath is named after King Kedar who was a very powerful ruler in ancient times.  

According to legends, Nar & Narayana were two incarnations of Lord Vishnu who prayed in front of a Shivalingam in Badrikashraya of Bharat Khand. When Lord Shiva appeared to grant them a wish, they asked him to take up a permanent seat as a Jyotirlinga at Kedarnath. Lord Shiva granted them their wish and decided to stay there.  

Apart from Kedarnath Temple, other places of interest include, Gandhi Sarovar, Shankaracharya Samadhi, and Bhairon Temple. 

 

Badrinath Dham

Located in Chamoli district, Badrinath town is located at a height of 3,133 metres. It is close to Indo-Tibet border and the road leading to the temple town is considered one of the most treacherous ones in this region. 

The main deity of Badrinath Temple is Lord Vishnu who is worshiped in his Badrinarayan form. This Dham is also the part of Bada Chardham circuit that includes a month journey around all four corners of India.  

Badrinath is a very picturesque place that many travellers combine with their trip to Valley of Flowers and Hemkunt Sahib. Other popular spots worth visiting here are Mana Village which is the last human settlement of India before the border of Tibet begins, Neelkanth, Tapt Kund and Vasudhara Falls.  

How to visit Chardham 

Traveling to Chardham is easy. Roads connect all the four temple towns and there are frequent shared jeeps, buses and cars travelling around all destinations. One can also travel to all the temple towns on foot but it requires a painstakingly long and tiresome trek. There are mules and human careers present on the route that carry pilgrims to the destination. 

For those who are short on time, it is possible to complete their Chardham yatra by helicopter. 

Thomas Cook offers a number of travel packages for Chardham yatra. There are Chardham yatra packages available from Mumbai, Delhi, and many other cities. All the packages include the best hotels, comfortable vehicles and professional staff to make your travel experience memorable. For more details on packages for Chardham yatra 2019, contact their team of experts.

 

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