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Chardham Yatra Tour Package India

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Tour Durations : 13 Nights / 14 Days

The trail touches four of the great Hindu pilgrimage centres of Garhwal – Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badtinath. The temples of the Goddess Yamuna at Yamnotri and of the Goddess Ganga at Gangotri draw thousands of pilgrims each year. At Kedarnath the temple of Lord Kedar (Shiva) dates back to the 8th century AD. The Hindu shastras enjoin that no pilgrimage would be complete without a visit to Badrinath, the abode of Lord Vishnu. Along with Rameshwaram, Dwarka and Puri, Badirnath is one of the char dhams – the four holy cities in the four cardinal corners of India. The pilgrimages begin in the middle or end of May, when the temples are declared open, following a colourful ceremony with music and dancing.

Plan Your Tour

Day 01: Delhi To Haridwar

Arrive Haridwar by road or train from Delhi. Haridwar is located at the foot of the Shivalik hills on the banks of the holy Ganga. Known as Mayapuri in the Puranas, it is mentioned in the memoirs of the Chinese traveller Huien TSang. Legend has it that the ancestors of Raja Bharigarh were burnt at this holy spot by the curse of Sage Kapila. They were redeemed by the Raja’s penance, which brought the Ganga down from Lord Shiva’s locks. Millions of devotees flock to this temple ity annually to redeem themselves. The most sacred of the bathing ghats lining the river is Har-ki-Pauri. This is the venue of the Kumbha and Ardh Kumbha Melas, held every 12 and 6 years respectively, when hundreds of thousands of Hindu pilgrims, priests and sadhus gather.

You have time to visit various temples and take a snan (holy dip) in the Ganges. In the evening watch the beautiful aarti ceremony at Har Ki Pauri. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 02: At Rishikesh

After breakfast spend the day in Rishikesh, located some 24 km north of Haridwar on the right bank of the Ganga, surrounded on three sides by the Himalayan ranges. Legend has it that God revealed himself to Raibhaya Rishi as Hrishikesh, after long penance and this sacred spot was henceforth known as such. A renowned centre of Yoga discipline and learning, Rishikesh is dotted with shrines and ashrams. Some 5 km away is the famous temple of Laxman Jhoola, dedicated to Laxman, the brother of Lord Ram, where he is believed to have performed penance. Return to Haridwar for overnight at the hotel.

Day 03: Rishikesh To Hanuman Chatti

After breakfast depart on the 210-km drive to Hanuman Chatti. Overnight at a simple guesthouse.

Day 04: Hanuman Chatti To Yamunotri

After an early breakfast begin the 13-km trek to Yamunotri which lies at an altitude of 6,315 m in the Bandarpunchh mountain range. According to legend, it marks the area where the great Hindu sage Asit lived. He used to walk for miles every day to bathe in the Ganga. It is believed that the river changed its course to flow past Asit’s ashram, so that he was not put to undue trouble in his old age. Yamunotri temple, the Divyashila rock, Hanuman Chatti and the hot springs of Surya Kund are some of the sacred spots in this area.

The source of the Yamuna lies a further km ahead at an altitude of approximately 4,421m. Since the approach is extremely difficult, pilgrims usually offer obeisance at the temple itself. The present temple was constructed by Maharani Gularia of Jaipur in the 19th century. Return to Hanuman Chatti for overnight in a simple guesthouse.

Day 05: Hanuman Chatti To Gangotri Via Uttarkashi

After breakfast depart on the 191-km drive via the town of Uttarkashi to Gangotri. You get a good view of the Bhagirathi river as you drive up several hairpin bends.

Gangotri reverberates with chants and prayers of Hindu devotees from dawn to dusk. A boulder marks the spot where Raja Bhagirath beseeched the Goddess Ganga to descend to earth. An ancient temple dedicated to the goddess rises to over 3,200 m. The revered shrine of Gangotri, situated amidst sylvan surroundings, constitutes one of the most important pilgrimages for the devout Hindu. Overnight at a simple guesthouse.

Day 06: At Gangotri

Spend the day in Gangotri, the second of the major shrines in the Garhwal Himalaya. Visited by hundreds of thousands pilgrims every year, this 18th century temple constructed by Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa, is near the spot where the goddess Ganga is said to have first descended on earth from heaven, in answer to the prayers of King Bhagriath. Lord Shiva received her into his matted locks to break the great force of her fall. From there it emerged into many streams and the one which started from Gangotri was called Bhagirathi.

The Pandavas, it is said, came here to perform the great ‘Deva Yajna’ to atone for the death of their kinsmen in the epic battle of Mahabharat. The temple itself is situated on the right bank of the Bhagirathi.

From Gangotri one can trek 18 km to the Gaumukh glacier – the source of the Bhagirathi – where a dip in its icy waters is a must for pilgrims. Another place of importance is the temple of Bhairavanath at Bhaironghati, 10 km from Gangotri. Overnight at a simple guesthouse.

Day 07: Gangotri To Rishikesh

After breakfast depart on the 248-km drive via Uttarkashi to Rishikesh. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 08: Rishikesh To Gaurikund

After breakfast depart on the 215-km drive Gauirkund. The road goes through Deoprayag, the most important of the hill prayags, at the junction of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers. Where the rivers meet is a bathing ghat, artificially made into the shape of India, where pilgrims bathe. Continue on to Srinagar, the old capital of Tehri Garhwal, which was devastated when the Gohna Lake dam was destroyed by an earthquake in the mid-19th century. The next stretch to Rudraprayag, situated at the confluence of the Mandakini and Alaknanda rivers, is mostly through cultivated areas. The road then follows the Mandakini Valley, past the towns of Tilwara and Kund to Guptakashi, where Shiva proposed to Parvati. Stop at Sonprayag, a small village at the confluence of the Mandakini and Son Ganga rivers, to visit the Triyuginarayan Temple, where Shiva and Parvati were married, before ending the journey at Gaurikund. Overnight at a simple guesthouse.

Day 09: Trek To Kedarnath

After an early breakfast depart on the 14-km trek to Kedrnath, one of the twelve Jyotilingas of Lord Shiva. This beautiful temple looks up to the perpetual snowclad Himalayas and down to the flower-decked Mandakini valley. At the entrance is a huge statue of Nandi the Bull. The walls inside the temple are exquisitely carved with images. To the south is the temple of Bhairava, situated on top of a hill. Kedar is another name of Lord Shiva the protector and the destroyer. Shiva, is considered the embodiment of all passions-love, hatred, fear, death and mysticism which are expressed through his various forms.

There are more than 200 shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva in Chamoli district itself, the most important one is Sri Kedarnathji. Legend has it that the temple was build by the Pandavas to atone for their sins after the great Mahabharat war. Guilt-ridden at having killed their own brothers, they sought the blessings of Lord Shiva for redemption. He eluded them repeatedly and while fleeing took refuge at Sri Kedarnathji in the form of a bull. On being followed he dived into the ground, leaving his hump on the surface. The remaining portions of Lord Shiva appeared at four other places and are worshipped there as his manifestations; the arms appeared at Tungnath, the face at Rudranath, the belly at Madmaheshwar and his locks and head at Kalpeshwar. Sri Kedarnathji and these four shrines are treated as Panch Kedar. Return to Gaurikund for overnight in a simple guesthouse.

Day 10: Gaurikund To Joshimath

After an early breakfast depart on the 220-km drive to Joshimath, situated at the junction of two formally important trans-Himalayan trading routes. Joshimath offers beautiful views of Nanda Devi, Hathi and Ghori peaks. Overnight at a simple hotel.

Day 11: Joshimath To Badrinath

After an early breakfast depart for Badrinath situated at the confluence of the Rishi Ganga and the Alakananda rivers at an altitude of 3,122 m, in the lap of Nar-Narayan Parvat, with the towering Neelkanth (6,597m.), a pyramidal-shaped snowy peak towering in the background. This sanctified spot was once carpeted with wild berries of badri, which gave the place its name.

It has been said that “there were many sacred spots of pilgrimage in the heaven, earth and the other world but neither is there any equal to Badrinath nor shall there be one.” It is believed that to revive the lost prestige of Hinduism and to unite the country in one bond, Adi Guru Sri Shankaracharya built four pilgrimage centres in four corners of India. Among them were Badrikashram in the north, Rameshwaram in the south, Dwarkapuri in the west and Jagannath Puri in the east. Badrinath is considered to be amongst the most pious. Overnight at a simple guesthouse.

Day 12: At Badrinath

Spend the day at Badrinath. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Built by Adi Guru Shankaracharya the philosopher-saint of the 8th century, the temple has been renovated several times due to damage by avalanches. Its colourful singh dwara’or the main entrance gate gives it a new, modern look.

The temple is divided into three parts – the garbha griha or sanctum sanctorum, the darshan mandap where the rituals are conducted and the sabha mandap, where devotees assemble. The complex has 15 idols. Especially attractive is the one-metre high image of Sri Badrinathji, finely sculpted in black stone. It represents Lord Vishnu seated in a meditative pose.

Devotees take a holy dip in the natural thermal springs at Tapt Kund on the banks of the river Alaknanda, before entering the Sri Badrinathji Temple. The water of the Kund is believed to have medicinal properties. Some 5 km to the north is the tremendous waterfall of Vasudhara. Overnight at a simple guesthouse.

Day 13: Badrinath Haridwar

After an early breakfast depart on the 301-km drive to Haridwar. Overnight at a hotel

Day 14: Haridwar To Delhi

After breakfast depart for Delhi by road or train.

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Tour Package Updated on 2012-04-11 03:01:09. Request a FREE Quote Contact Us

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