This journey, also known as Chota Char Dham, entails paying respect at four locations: Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. Every trip to this Dham is steeped in mythology and bears significant spiritual significance for followers. Some years ago, the location was not as accessible as it is now, but the Indian government worked tirelessly to make it so for pilgrims. Hindu worshippers believe that if they complete their Char Dham Yatra, they would be cleansed of all sins and bestowed with eternal prosperity and fortune.
Well, if you were to take this journey, then the following guide will be of immense help to our plans:
How to Reach Gangotri:
Gangotri, located at a height of 3,100 metres above sea level in the Uttarkashi district, is one of the most important pilgrim towns in Uttarakhand. This is the spot where Goddess Ganga is claimed to have dropped from Lord Shiva’s hair, located beside the sacred River Bhagirathi.
By Road: The holy town of Gangotri is well connected from within to several Uttarakhand states. You may easily catch a bus from Tehri, Mussoorie, and other nearby towns to Gangotri. There is reliable service of car rental in India from where you can travel to Gangotri via Harsil and Bhairon Ghati.
By Train: The nearest railway station is in Rishikesh, which is 250 kilometres away from Gangotri. When you arrive at the railway station, there will be several cabs ready for you to hire and take you to your destination.
By Air: The Jolly Grant domestic airport in Dehradun is 226 kilometres from Gangotri and serves regular flights from several important towns.
How to reach Yamunotri
Yamunotri is the major source of the Yamuna River, India’s second-biggest river and the second-most revered river after the Ganga. Pilgrims take a soak in the hot water springs located near the temple. Yamunotri may be reached by any of the following modes of transportation: plane, bus, or train. Pilgrims gather here to pay their respects to Goddess Yamuna and to demonstrate their unwavering faith, which pervades the ambience of Yamunotri.
By Road: The most popular route to Yamunotri continues via Dehradun and Barkot. If you take a bus from Haridwar or Rishikesh, the road to Yamunotri diverts away from the Dharasu bifurcation point. Yamunotri is incredibly well connected to some of the most important pilgrimage sites in the world, including Haridwar, Dehradun, Chamba, Tehri, Barkot, Hanuman Chatti, and Janki Chatti.
By Train: Train service is only available till Rishikesh, after which you must hire a cab, taxi, or bus to Yamunotri via Dharasu, Barkot, and Janki Chatti. If you choose a jeep ride, you will need to go from Hanuman Chatti to Phool Chatti, which is 5 kilometres away, and then from Phool Chatti to Janki Chatti on foot. An 8-kilometer hike from Jan ki Chatti will eventually bring you to Yamunotri’s main temple shrine.
By Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is 210 kilometres away, and there are frequent flights from Delhi to Yamunotri. Cabs from the airport cost approximately 4000.
How to reach Kedarnath Dham
Located about 3,583 metres above sea level and magnificently perched on the lap of the Himalayas, the sacred temple of Kedarnath, dedicated to Lord Shiva, attracts a large number of pilgrims throughout the open season. When the temple shutters for the winter, the presiding god is relocated to Ukhimath, where pilgrims may conveniently contact the Lord without impeding their holy trip.
By Road: For a road trip, your pilgrimage will begin in the holy town of Rishikesh, where you will board a bus bound for Gaurikund, the last motorable road leading to Kedarnath. There are several alternatives available, such as AC sleeper, non-AC sleeper, and Volvo AC, among others. Gaurikund is around 7 to 7.5 hours’ drive from Rishikesh. You would have to hike upwards from Gaurikund to the main Kedarnath dham shrine. You may also take advantage of a variety of cab services that travel between Dehradun and Kedarnath.
By Train: Kedarnath has no train stations, and the nearest one is at Rishikesh. This train station is linked to a large network of trains that pass through several of India’s biggest cities. Gaurikund is approximately 210 kilometres from Rishikesh and is accessible by road. When you get off the train at Rishikesh, there are a plethora of buses, cabs, and taxis that will take you to Gaurikund.
By Air: The nearest airport to Kedarnath is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is 239 kilometres away from the dham. The airport serves as a hub for commercial flights to and from major Indian cities like as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and others. When you arrive at Dehradun airport, you may take a bus or hire a cab to Gaurikund, from where you will have to hike to the main temple shrine of Kedarnath Dham.
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How to reach Badrinath
Badrinath, one of the most important pilgrimages in North India, is easily accessible by road or train. This holy site is in the Chamoli district. Badrinath is located on the banks of the Alaknanda River at an elevation of roughly 3300 metres. The temple is devoted to Lord Badri (Vishnu), whose shrine is closed owing to inclement weather throughout the winter. The temple’s deity is relocated to Joshimath, widely known as Lord Badri’s winter residence.
By Road: Badrinath is accessible by bus or cab from either Haridwar or Rishikesh, the two pilgrimage holy cities that serve as the starting point for the Chota Char Dham Yatra. The roads leading to Badrinath are well connected to the surrounding areas. After seeing some of the most popular tourist destinations like as Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, and Joshimath, you will arrive at Badrinath.
By Train: The nearest railway station is at Dehradun, which serves a variety of trains from important cities around India. When you get at the intersection, you have the choice of renting a taxi, cab, or taking the bus to Badrinath Dham, which is 317 kilometres away.
By Air: The closest airport to Badrinath is Dehradun’s Jolly Grant Airport, which is 317 kilometres distant from the main temple site. This is the closest domestic airport, from which you may take a cab or taxi to Badrinath.