How to Plan Char Dham Yatra (2024 Complete Guide)

How to Plan Char Dham Yatra

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Are you ready to embark on a journey of spiritual significance and breathtaking beauty? The Char Dham Yatra, encompassing the sacred sites of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath, offers pilgrims a chance to cleanse their souls and immerse themselves in the divine embrace of the Himalayas. In this guide, we’ll take you through each step of planning your Char Dham Yatra, from understanding the historical and religious significance of each site to practical tips for a smooth and fulfilling journey.

Understanding Chota Char Dhams:

  1. Yamunotri: Nestled in the pristine surroundings of the Garhwal Himalayas, Yamunotri is the source of the revered Yamuna River. Legend has it that a dip in the icy waters of Yamunotri absolves one of their sins and paves the way for spiritual liberation. The trek to Yamunotri involves a combination of road travel and a moderate trek, offering pilgrims a chance to connect with nature and their inner selves.
  2. Gangotri: As the birthplace of the mighty Ganges River, Gangotri holds a special place in the hearts of millions of Hindus. The temple dedicated to Goddess Ganga stands as a testament to the enduring power of faith and devotion. The journey to Gangotri involves traversing rugged terrain and witnessing the awe-inspiring beauty of the Gangotri Glacier, the source of the holy river.
  3. Kedarnath: Perched at an altitude of 3584 meters, Kedarnath is one of the holiest shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple, surrounded by snow-capped peaks and lush meadows, exudes an aura of tranquility and spirituality. Despite the challenges posed by the 2013 floods, Kedarnath continues to inspire pilgrims with its resilience and divine presence.
  4. Badrinath: The final stop on the Char Dham Yatra, Badrinath is revered as the abode of Lord Vishnu. The temple, with its intricate architecture and stunning natural backdrop, offers pilgrims a glimpse into the divine realm. The journey to Badrinath is not merely a physical pilgrimage but a spiritual odyssey that leaves an indelible mark on the soul.
How to Plan Char Dham Yatra (1)
How to Plan Char Dham Yatra (1)

Planning Your Char Dham Yatra:

Route and Itinerary:

  • Day 1: Delhi to Haridwar Start your journey from Delhi to Haridwar, covering 210 kilometers in approximately 6 hours. Spend the evening exploring the holy city and attending the mesmerizing Ganga Aarti at Har ki Pauri.
  • Day 2: Haridwar to Barkot Depart from Haridwar early in the morning and travel towards Barkot, a journey of about 10 hours covering 200 kilometers. En route, take in the scenic beauty and stop to admire the snow-capped peaks of Bandar Punch.
  • Day 3: Barkot, Yamunotri / Barkot Begin your day with an early breakfast and embark on the journey to Yamunotri. The 45-kilometer drive, followed by a 6-kilometer trek, will lead you to the sacred shrine of Yamunotri. After offering prayers, return to Barkot for the night.
  • Day 4: Barkot /Gangeotri Start your day early and embark on a 210-kilometer journey to Gangotri. Along the way, make a stop at Gangnani to experience the therapeutic hot water springs. Upon reaching Gangotri, visit the temple and immerse yourself in the divine aura of the Ganges.
  • Day 5: Gangotri /Uttarkashi After a leisurely morning in Gangotri, proceed to Uttarkashi, a journey of 95 kilometers taking approximately 4 hours. Explore the sacred town and visit temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and other deities.
  • Day 6: Uttarkashi / Sitapur Begin your day early and travel to Sitapur, covering a distance of 212 kilometers in about 10 hours. Situated near Gaurikund, Sitapur serves as a base for the trek to Kedarnath. Take time to visit the Triyuginarayan temple, known as the marriage place of Lord Shiva and Parvati.
  • Day 7: Sitapur / Gaurikund / Kedarnath Today, embark on a 32-kilometer drive followed by a 15-kilometer trek to reach Kedarnath. The journey will take approximately 9 hours. Spend the night camping near the sacred shrine of Kedarnath.
  • Day 8: Kedarnath / Rudraprayag After an early morning Darshan at Kedarnath, trek back to Gaurikund and then drive to Rudraprayag, covering a total distance of 75 kilometers. Explore the scenic beauty and spiritual significance of Rudraprayag.
  • Day 9: Rudraprayag / Badrinath Travel from Rudraprayag to Badrinath, a journey of 160 kilometers taking about 8 hours. Arrive in Badrinath in time for the evening Darshan and Pooja at the sacred temple.
  • Day 10: Badrinath / Birhi Enjoy a leisurely morning in Badrinath before departing for Birhi, a journey of 95 kilometers taking approximately 5 hours. Take in the breathtaking views and spiritual energy of the region.
  • Day 11: Birhi / Rishikesh After breakfast, travel to Rishikesh, covering a distance of 160 kilometers in about 7 hours. Explore the serene surroundings and iconic landmarks of Rishikesh.
  • Day 12: Rishikesh / Delhi Head back to Delhi, concluding your memorable Char Dham Yatra.

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Mode of Transportation:

  • Road Travel: Most of the journey can be undertaken via road, either in private vehicles or hired taxis.
  • Trekking: Certain stretches of the journey, especially towards the temples, require trekking.
  • Helicopter: Helicopter services are available for those seeking a faster and more convenient mode of transportation, particularly to Kedarnath and Badrinath.


  • Campsites: Due to the remote locations and limited infrastructure, campsites are the primary accommodation option near the temples.
  • Guesthouses: In some towns like Uttarkashi and Rudraprayag, guesthouses and budget hotels are available for pilgrims.

Pre-booking is advisable, especially during peak pilgrimage season.

Packing Essentials:

  • Layers of clothing for varying weather conditions
  • Sturdy footwear for trekking
  • Essential medications and first aid kit
  • Snacks and water bottles for the journey
  • Sunscreen, moisturizers, and other skincare products

Cultural Sensitivity:

  • Respect local customs and traditions, including dress codes and temple etiquette.
  • Avoid littering and maintain the sanctity of the pilgrimage sites.
  • Follow guidelines and instructions provided by local authorities and temple authorities.


The Char Dham Yatra is more than just a pilgrimage; it’s a transformative experience that nourishes the body, mind, and soul. As you traverse the sacred landscapes of the Himalayas, may you find solace in the embrace of the divine and strength in the journey itself. Prepare yourself for the adventure of a lifetime, and let the Char Dhams guide you on the path to spiritual enlightenment.

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