DAY 01: DELHI / DEHRADUN – HARIDWAR
Upon arriving at Dehradun or Delhi station or airport, you will be assisted and proceed to Haridwar. Upon arriving in Haridwar, transfer you to the hotel/resort. After freshening up, you can savor your spiritual and leisure time in this sacred city. In the evening, a visit to Har-ki-Pauri awaits, where you can witness the enchanting Ganga Aarti.
“To reach Haridwar, Dehradun Airport and Railway Station, approximately 50 kilometers or around just 1-hour drive time, serve as the nearest major transportation hub. However, Delhi Airport or Station, located around 210 kilometers or a 4 to 5-hour drive time”.
Haridwar, cradled at the foothills of the Shivaliks in the picturesque state of Uttarakhand, is a portal to spiritual enlightenment. This sacred city, one of Hinduism’s seven holiest places, bears a rich history. Originally known as Kapila, it’s now named “Door to Hari” or “Gateway to God”. The city is graced with ancient temples and ashrams, and it hosts the grand Kumbha Mela every 12 years. The mesmerizing ‘Aarti’ ceremony at sunset, accompanied by the floating lamps, is a deeply captivating ritual that enchants all who witness it.
DAY 02: HARIDWAR – GUPTKASHI
In the morning, we embark on a scenic drive to Guptkashi. En route, you’ll be treated to the beautiful sights. Upon arrival in Guptakashi, you will be transferred to your hotel or resort. After freshening up, in the evening, you can visit the Ardh Narishwar Temple, a deep spiritually significant site.
Guptkashi, often referred to as the “Hidden Benares,” has a deep-rooted connection to Hindu mythology. According to legend, when the Pandava brothers were in search of a divine encounter with Lord Shiva, they first found him concealed in Guptkashi. However, Shiva later moved further up the valley to Kedarnath, where he finally granted the Pandavas their wish. There are also more tangible connections between the two places – the hereditary pilgrimage priests of Kedarnath, known as Kedarnath pandas, reside in Guptkashi during the winter months. Additionally, when the Kedarnath temple closes for the winter season, the image of Kedarnath is brought through Guptkashi on its way to Ukhimath, where it remains for the winter.
Weather: During the summer, experiences generally hot weather with temperatures ranging from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius. However, the nights are pleasantly cool. In contrast, winters are very cold in this region.
DAY 03: GUPTKASHI – KEDARNATH
After a medical check-up, we proceeded to Gaurikund. From Gaurikund, the trek to Kedarnath at an altitude of over 3500 meters begins. You have the option to choose a Pony or Doli for the journey. It’s advisable to carry personal medicines, warm woolens, and essential toiletries. Upon reaching Kedarnath, you can visit the revered Sri Kedarnath Ji Temple, and your overnight stay will be in Kedarnath.
Sri Kedarnath Ji, the Kedarnath shrine, is a breathtaking location nestled against the backdrop of the majestic Kedarnath range. This sacred spot holds profound significance as one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. “Kedar” is another name for Lord Shiva, symbolizing both his role as the protector and the destroyer. According to legend, after emerging victorious in the Kurukshetra war against the Kauravas, the Pandavas were burdened by guilt for having fought and killed their own kin. In search of redemption, they sought the blessings of Lord Shiva. However, Shiva repeatedly eluded them. While trying to escape, he took refuge at Kedarnath in the form of a bull. The Pandavas pursued him, but he eventually dived into the ground, leaving his hump on the surface. The other parts of Lord Shiva’s divine form appeared in four different places, and they are venerated as his manifestations. His arms materialized at Tungnath, his face at Rudranath, his belly at Madhmaheshwar, and his locks, along with his head, are revered at Kalpeshwar. Kedarnath, along with the four aforementioned shrines, is collectively known as the Panch Kedar.
DAY 04: KEDARNATH – GUPTKASHI
Embark on a captivating morning visit to the Kedarnath Ji Temple, followed by an exhilarating trek to Gaurikund, and conclude the day with a scenic drive back to Gupt Kashi.
DAY 05: GUPTKASHI – BADRINATH
After Breakfast proceed to Badrinath via Joshimath, arriving at Badrinath where you will be transferred to your hotel or resort. After refreshing, head to the Sri Badrinath Temple for a visit, and in the evening, experience the divine serenity of the Sri Badrinath Temple’s enchanting Aarti ceremony.
Badrinath Ji, one of the ‘Four Dhams,’ is among the most revered pilgrimage destinations in the country. It is nestled at an elevation of 3,133 meters, flanked by the imposing mountain ranges known as Nar and Narayan, while the majestic Neelkanth Peak serves as a breathtaking backdrop. This sacred location was once blanketed with wild berries, earning it the name ‘Badri van,’ which translates to the ‘forest of berries.
Tapt Kund: Natural thermal springs on the bank of the river Alaknanda, where it is customary to bathe before entering the Badrinath temple.
Narad Kund: A recess in the river, near Tapt Kund, forming a pool from where the Badrinath idol was recovered.
Brahama Kapal: A flat platform on the bank of river Alaknanda. Hindus perform propitiating rites for their deceased ancestors.
Sheshnetra: 1.5 kms away is a boulder having an impression of the legendary serpent, better known as the Sheshnag’s eye.
Charanpaduka: 3 kms away is a beautiful meadow where the footprint of Lord Vishnu is seen on a boulder.
Mata Murty Temple: Devoted to the mother of Sri Badrinathji. Other important temples include Sesh Netra Temple, Urvashi Temple, and Charanpaduka.
Mana Village: Inhabited by an Indo-Mongolian tribe, it is the last Indian village before Tibet.
Vasundhara: As the name suggests, Vasundhara is a magnificent waterfall. This place is 5 kms from Badrinath, out of which 2 kms is motorable up to Mana.
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 Puranic commentaries.
DAY 06: BADRINATH – JOSHIMATH / RUDRAPRAYAG
In the early morning, pilgrims bathe in the purifying waters of Taptkund before having the Darshan of Badrivishal. Brahamakapal holds great significance for Pinddan Shraddh, a ritual of offering to ancestors (Pitrus). Additionally, there are several other fascinating sightseeing spots nearby, including Mana, Vyas Gufa, Maatamoorti, Charanpaduka, Bhimkund, and the ‘Mukh’ of the Saraswati River. All of these places are located within a three-kilometer radius of Badrinathjee. Afterward, the journey continues with a drive to Rudraprayag.
Joshimath is situated on the slopes above the confluence of the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers. Of the four ‘Maths’ established by Adi Shankaracharya, Joshimath is significant in the Badrinath to Joshimath route and has a temple installed for people to worship. The township boasts several temples, with the most important being the Nir Singh Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
DAY 07: RUDRAPRAYAG – RISHIKESH
After breakfast, drive to Rishikesh. Upon arrival, explore the attractions in Rishikesh, and in the evening, attend the mesmerizing Ganga Aarti at Parmarth Ashram.
Rishikesh, known as ‘The Gateway to the Himalayas,’ is located in the Himalayan foothills. It is named after Lord Vishnu, who appeared as Lord Hrishikesh. The town is also called Agni Tirth, a place where Lord Agni sought penance. The sacred Ganges flows through Rishikesh, and it is home to several ancient temples along its banks.
DAY 08: RISHIKESH – DEHRADUN / DELHI
After breakfast, proceed with a drive to Dehradun or the Delhi Station/Airport for your departure transfer.
“From Rishikesh, Dehradun Airport and Railway Station, approximately 45 kilometers or around just 1-hour drive time, serve as the nearest major transportation hub. However, Delhi International Airport is located around 230 kilometers or a 4 to 5-hour drive time”.
Experience a transformative journey where the tapestry of faith weaves seamlessly with the majestic Himalayan landscape. Each step draws you closer to profound serenity, where the divine presence is palpable. Embark on the Chardham Yatra, a transcendent fusion of spirituality, culture, and nature. Let your heart and soul unite in this timeless pilgrimage, and allow the Himalayas to whisper their ageless secrets, forging a lifelong bond with the divine.