June 13, 2024

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What’s the Best Route for Chardham Yatra by Road?

4 min read
Chardham-Yatra

Chardham Yatra by Road is a sacred pilgrimage in India that attracts a huge number of pilgrims from far and wide. They come to fulfill their spiritual desire to visit the four holy places of Uttarakhand – Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. For Hindus, this is an auspicious Yatra as it is a belief that completing this Yatra will offer you moksha or liberty from the cycle of life.

Nevertheless, the central question that is evolving in front of us is – which is the best route by road for Chardham Yatra? Here’s a detailed guide to help you plan your journey: 

The Beginning – Haridwar/Rishikesh

Usually, the pilgrimages arranged for Chardham start either from Haridwar or Rishikesh, as these two places are the largest terminals and lodging centers closest to the Chardham route. Haridwar, in addition, possesses one of the holiest names, the Ganges River, making it particularly important as a Pilgrimage site. 

Rishikesh comes alongside as if the latter is the spiritual part of the town, known for its ashrams and adventure tourism. Therefore deciding your journey starting point for a reason of accessibility and interest is now in your hands. If you are confused about the roads, you must consider booking Chardham Yatra package from Haridwar from a reputable traveler like LIH Travel.

Before you plan the Chardham Yatra by road trip, keep these things in mind:

Important Factors:

  1. Calculate the­ distance and travel time for route­s. Pick one that matches your schedule and pre­ferences.
  2. Know road conditions, e­specially during monsoon season, for landslides and roadblocks.
  3. Conside­r altitude and terrain if you have he­alth concerns.
  4. Many pilgrims value­ scenic Himalayan beauty. Sele­ct a picturesque route.
  5. Ensure­ chosen path provides accommodation, eate­ries, and medical facilities e­nroute.
  6. Book stay well in advance during the pe­ak period. Homestays and lodges are available­ but limited in certain areas.
  7. Be­ ready for hike­s to reach the Yamunotri and Kedarnath Dham.

First Stop – Yamunotri

Yamunotri, the last stop on the Godavari Yatra, is the source of the Yamuna River; it is the farthest west shrine on the tour. The 13 km-long trek from Jaan Ki Chatti to Yamunotri is picturesque. It includes hot water springs & glaciers en route. By road, it will be around a 6.5 hour ear long excursion of nearly 200 km from Rishikesh with the road through Dehradun, Mussoorie, Damta and Hanuman Chatti.

Second Stop – Gangotri

The glacier source of the River Ganga, which is another important religious place for Hindu devotees, is the next stop. A 2-hour drive from Gangnani to Gangotri takes place by passing through a lush green Harsil valley with valley meadows and pine forests, after Gangotri, which is located at about 255 km and takes about 8 hours journey via Uttarkashi, a major town and is well known for its high altitude architecture of temples in the Gothic style.

Third Stop – Kedarnath

The Char Dhams, among them the most remote one is Kedarnath and it is located on the lane of 16 km uphill from Gaurikund. The ancient temple of Kedarnath, dated to the 8th century, is located in the direst part of the Garhwal Himalayan range, its magnificently white mountain peaks being invaded by the snow-capped Kedar peak.

You need to reach the base camp of Kedarnath Dham, Gaurikund, as from there, you need to trek to the Kedarnath Dham. As you go, you can pay your respect to Ukhimath which is the winter half of Kedarnath temple.

Final Stop – Badrinath

Situated at the highest point in this town is the unassuming Badrinath Temple, which is dedicated to the Lord Vishnu. The holy town attracts nearly a million tourists between May and October during which the shrine remains open. 

Key Tips for Best Route Planning: Key Tips for Best Route Planning:

– Travel during April-June or September-November, which are the two best times of the year to miss roadblocks of monsoon.

– Take overnight halts at all Chardham’s destinations to acclimatize and soak in the silence.

– Have altitude sickness medicines with you to take if you are uneasy during the Yatra. Carry all necessary medications, weather clothing, first-aid supplies, and emergency contact details too.

– Drive with a map or GPS for road navigation to fix the network coverage instability problem.

– Scrutinize the affected routes in the process of widening particular roadways.

– Keep buffer days in case of bad weather delays. Also, always travel in groups and avoid traveling to remote areas or using shortcuts. 

– Traveling by a sturdy all-terrain vehicle designed for handling steep, narrow hill roads will be my preferred option.

Conclusion

So, in a nutshell, the ideal Chardham Yatra by road would be: (1) Gangotri – Uttarakhand – Yamunotri – Haridwar/Rishikesh – Kedarnath – Joshimath – Badrinath before turning to Gangotri or Yamunotri. This will be a complete circuit encompassing approximately 1,600 to 1,800 kilometers and will take about 12-14 days, which would provide ample rest. By planning ahead and prioritizing safety, pilgrims can embark on a transformative pilgrimage that leaves an indelible mark on their souls.

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