Char Dham Yatra, Holiest Hindu Pilgrimage in Himalayas

Anil Kumar Rajput is well known in the travel trade since 1980. He has worked in India and abroad., a boxer, a rifle shooter and a Para jumper in his college days. As Boy Scout and NCC cadet attended camps at many places which developed his interest in traveling and to explore new places, trekking, he loves driving to adventurous places and photography. 

( Get Travel guidance from A.K. Rajput – 9810506646 )

Char Dham Yatra is the holiest of journey in Uttarakhand  Himalayas, the journey to this pilgrimage starts with the opening of the doors (Kapat) of four temples which are closed in the winters due to heavy snow. Every year the  date is announced on Shivratri for the opening of doors, the journey usually starts from May each year.

The Starting Point – Yamunotri

The journey is performed in a sequence, first visit is to Temple at Yamunotri dedicated to Godess River Yamuna, it is situated at an altitude of 10805 ft. The actual source is further ahead 1 Km, the Champasar Glacier on Kalind Mountain, it is very difficult to reach there, people offer the prayers at the temple situated at the foot hill.

The starting point of yatra, Yamunotri

One starts the journey from Rishikesh and travel full day passing through DharsuSayanachatti andBarkot, having beautiful view of snow capped Banderpunch Range. Reach Hanuman Chatti, where most of the hotels, guest houses and dharamshalas are situated. Next day one can travel 6 Kms by Jeeps/ SUVs upto Janki Chatti and the trek 5 Kms approx. to the Yamunotri Temple which is on the left bank of the river, there is a boiling hot water spring near the temple the “Surya Kund” where pilgrims dip potatoes and rice tied in cloth, so cooked rice is taken as prasad back home, “Gauri Kund” is where pilgrims take bath in warm water, near the kund is a Black stone rock the “Divya Shila“, Prayers are offered first here and then in the temple. Pilgrims return to hotel same day and take rest for the next day journey to the Gangotri.

The Next Step – Gangotri
To reach Gangotri we returned to Dharsu to reach Harsil a 250 Kms drive, good accommodations are available here, this small town is famous for natural beautyapple orchardstrekking routes to lakes and undiscovered stretches of grassy meadows.

Gangotri, The starting point of Holy River Ganges

One can reach Gangotri by road from here distance 23 Kms passing throuh pine forests and transport is available till the Temple dedicated to Goddess Ganga, on thebanks of River Bhagirathi, the glacier mouth is further ahead 18 kms trek, towards GaumukhThe Ganges is known as Bhagirathi here where it unites with Alaknanda at Devprayag to form Ganges. This temple is at a very picturesque location amidst high mountains and towards east is the Gaumukh Glacier. There is Bhagirath shila where King Bhagirath performed the tapasya to bring Ganga from the heavens to Earth, here water is ice cold and it is difficult to stay in water for even half a minute. This place is at a height of 3142 meters . Those who want to trek to Gaumukh can spend two more days, which needs clearance from the local authorities, the trek passes through Chirwasa and BhojwasaGaumukh is one of the Largest Glacier in the World, on the way one can find the Ibexes(Snow Goat) grazing on high mountains, the opening of glacier to from where it releases water to form Bhagirathi is a shape of Cows mouth which is why it is called Gaumukh. From here one can have a panaromic view of mountains Shivling (6540 meters), Meru (6660 meters) and Bhagirathi (6500 meters).

Continued in the next post…
Visit again for the next post: 
Kedarnath – Lord Shiva’s Abode & Badrinath – Final Destination of Yatra
 Subscribe to receive regular useful info & tips.