How do I do the Chardham Yatra registration

Char Dham Yatra overview

After the snow clears on the Himalayan foothills in late April, Hindu pilgrims begin flocking to the four ancient temples known as Char Dham. Located high up in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, these temples mark the spiritual source of the four sacred rivers: the Yamuna (near Yamunotri), the Ganges (near Gangotri), the Mandakini (near Kedarnath) and the Alaknanda (near Badrinath) . Hindus the Char Dham consider the visit to be very cheap. Not only is it believed to wash away all sins, it will also ensure discharge from the cycle of birth and death. There are a number of options for walking on a Char Dham Yatra (Travel).

When can the Char Dham be visited?

The Char Dham is only open at certain times of the year from late April or early May to November. May and June is the peak pilgrimage period. The monsoon season (July to September) can be quite dangerous as the rain makes the route slippery.

How can the Char Dham be achieved?

A Char Dham Yatra is not easy. The pilgrims really need to earn the benefits given as only two of the temples (Badrinath and Gangotri) are accessible by vehicle. The remaining two (Yamunotri and Kedarnath) require treks. Kedarnath has the longest hike. It takes about 10 to 12 days to visit all temples. However, it is now possible to cover all temples by helicopter in two days.

To ensure the safety of pilgrims, a mandatory medical examination is required for those who have already been introduced to Kedarnath Temple. In addition, all pilgrims must complete biometric registration. This can be done online here. There will be regular weather updates provided along the route as well as telecommunications network, mobile medical facilities and a control room.

Where are the Char Dham located?

  • Badrinath and Gangotri - Both are directly accessible via the Straits of Haridwar, Rishikesh, Kotdwar and Dehradun.
  • Yamunotri - The trek starts from Janki Chatti, 225 kilometers (140 miles) from Rishikesh.
  • Kedarnath - The hike begins, stretching out from Gaurikund, 207 kilometers (130 miles) from Rishikesh.

Are there tour packages?

While it is not difficult to make your own travel arrangements for a Char Dham Yatra, there are plenty of Char Dham packages available as well. Two options are:

  • Government-run Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam organizes package tours by bus every year from May to November. There are many ways to see from just one temple to all four temples. It is possible to close the Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib too. Most tours depart from Rishikesh, but some leave from Delhi, depending on the itinerary. The shortest tour is four nights. The tours are charged from around 10,000 rupees per person. Some have shared accommodation and bathroom.

Do you prefer to go your own way and get more information?

The temples are usually visited in a clockwork direction, from west to east. This means that you should see them in the following order: Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, Badrinath. Haridwar or Rishikesh are the starting points for transportation.

What is the situation like after the 2013 flood in Kedarnath?

Significant repair and renovation work was carried out after the flash flood in Uttarakhand which caused extensive destruction and loss of life in the area around Kedarnath Temple. The work is still ongoing and includes new accommodation and sanitary facilities for the pilgrims. In addition, the damaged stretch of Kedarnath Temple Gaurikund has been restored and a helipad has been built. Preparations also included an early warning alert system to provide notification of any disasters at the Kedarnath facility yatra there route and around the lake. Details of the works are available here.

How to visit Badrinath Temple

Badrinath Temple is the most accessible and therefore most popular of the Char Dham. You will find these temples, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, surrounded by a rather messy village and shaded by the towering, snow-capped, Nilkantha peak.

When is Badrinath Temple open?

The opening date is decided by the priests of Basant Panchami in February, while the deadline is decided on Dussehra. Generally, the temple remains open for about 10 days after Diwali. In 2019 Badrinath will open on May 10th.

How can Badrinath Temple be reached?

We visit Gangotri Temple

The simple shrine of Gangotri Temple has special significance for Hindu pilgrims. It is considered to be one of the holiest places in India as it is viewed as the spiritual source of the ever powerful Ganges. Set amid rugged mountains and forest, Gangotri attracts nearly 300,000 pilgrims a year. Every evening around 8 p.m., a aarti (Worship with fire) held on the temple.

When is Gangotri Temple open?

Gangotri Temples open on an annually set day. This falls on Akshaya Tritiya (a happy day in the Hindu calendar), the last week of April or the first week of May. In 2019 Gangotri will open on May 7th The opportunity to take a traditional procession of the goddess Ganga back from her winter quarters at Mukhyamath temples in Mukhba village features 20 kilometers (12 miles) downstream. The temple closes on Diwali every year, and the goddess returns to Mukhyamath temple.

How can Gangotri Temple be reached?

Gangotri is most popular not reaching Rishikesh (12 hours away) via Uttarkashi (6 hours away). It is possible to take a bus or jeep to get there. Guesthouses and a GMVN Tourist Bungalow offer accommodation for those who want to stay.

Trekking to the actual source of the Ganges

If you don't mind a strenuous hike, you can actually go to where the gear goes from a glacier above Gangotri. The actual source is an ice cave called Gaumukh (meaning cow's mouth), 18 km (11 miles) up. Three days are required to complete the return trek, with around six hours of trekking a day. You can stay in a dormitory on a GMVN tourist bungalow on the way in Bhojbasa. It is about six hours from Gangotri and three hours from Gaumukh.

We visit Yamunotri Temple

The Yamunotri Temple is near the source of the Yamuna River, the second holiest river in India, which flows all the way down past the Taj Mahal. The temple is relatively undeveloped as it is the least visited of the Char Dham. However, there is a certain magic about experiencing the pure mountain air, running water, natural beauty, and avid followers. Pilgrims are also given a number of hot springs to enjoy near the temple.

When is Yamunotri Temple open?

The same as Gangotri temples, Yamunotri temples open every year on Akshaya Tritiya (a happy day in the Hindu calendar). It falls in the last week of April or the first week of May. The temple also closes for the Diwali season. On the day the temple opens, the goddess is carried from the nearby village of Kharsali (the Yamuna mother's home will be), installed in the temple, and duly returned when the temple is closed.

How can Yamunotri Temple be reached?

The route on the road is Haridwar / Rishikesh-Dehradun-Mussoorie-Naugaon-Barkot-Hanuman Chatti. The drive to Hanuman Chatti village, which is about 14 kilometers from Yamunotri Temple, takes about eight hours from Rishikesh and six hours from Mussoorie hill station. From there it is necessary to take a shared taxi (runs every few minutes) to Janki Chatti. Your hike starts there! It is only 5 kilometers (3 miles) to Yamunotri Temple, via Kharsali, but it is a very steep and and in some parts narrow climb. As a result, people typically take around two hours to cover the distance and it really helps if you have a locally available walking stick. If you don't find you want to go, there are mules and people to help carry you.

Basic Pensions and GMVN Tourist Bungalows offer accommodation in Yamunotri, Janki Chatti and Hanuman Chatti. If you stay in Yamunotri for the night, you will be able to experience the evening aarti (worship with fire) there.

Is it possible to see the actual source of the Yamuna River?

The origin of the Yamuna River is a frozen lake and glacier a kilometer above the temple. However, unless you have mountain skills, the climb is not recommended. It's a very difficult one.

We visit Kedarnath Temple

The most remote and sacred of Char Dham, although Kedarnath Temple takes effort to get, it still attracts more than 100,000 pilgrims a year. This is because it is considered to be the seat of Lord Shiva and the most important of the 12 Jyotirlingas (great lingas / Shiva Shrines) in India. It's an impressive temple too - perhaps the largest and most magnificent one in the Himalayas. Located high up in Shiva's territory, it takes up a glacial remnant from a long-melted glacier, in the Mandakini Valley.

When is Kedarnath Temple open?

The opening date is decided by the priests on Shivaratri at the end of February or beginning of March each year. In 2019 it is expected to open in the first week of May. The temple closes the day after Diwali every year.

How can Kedarnath Temple be reached?

The route to Kedarnath starts at off Rishikesh and heads in the same direction as to Badrinath, but branches off at Rudraprayag (with connections available). The destination is Gaurikund, 14 kilometers (9 miles) from Kedarnath. The whole trip from Rishikesh takes about 12 hours by bus or jeep. Then from Gaurikund, then it's a strenuous uphill hike to the temple. Expect it to take about six hours. The breathtaking scenery of the Mandakini River on the way helps though! Those who find themselves unable to walk decide to take a pony, which can reduce the duration of the hike by an hour. There are porters available to also carry luggage.

Alternatively, Kedranath Temple is also accessible by helicopter! Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd. (owned by the Government of India) provides services. A one-way trip takes only 15 minutes.

Where to sleep?

In terms of accommodations, basic GMVN Tourist Bungalows can be found in Gaurikund. After the devastating 2013 flash flood that destroyed the infrastructure around the temple, the government built tent colonies to accommodate pilgrims. New plumbing, including toilets and bathrooms, have been added along with communal kitchens.