Package - CHARDHAM YATRA (11 Nights & 12 Days)

Package - CHARDHAM YATRA (11 Nights & 12 Days)

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One Expression around which all religions base their preaching. Peace of mind, body and soul. Since time immemorial both man and God have just one prayer - Shanti - for the living and the Departed. The Char Dham, also called the Deo Bhumi - The Adobe of the Gods - presents just the ambience where the Divine & the Sublime coexist.Once there, the sheer magnificence and the tranquil beauty so immerses you into a world of spirituality that you experience true peace and humility. Nature in all its splendour, at once huge and overwhelming and yet humble in its exquisite beauty - the pilgrimage to the Char Dhams is the experience that will stay with you and beyond. 
Day 1 : Delhi – Rishikesh : Drive 230 Kms. (7–8 hrs.)
Arrive at Delhi and transfer to Rishikesh by road, take lunch en-route at Marwari Bhoj. On arrival, check-in to hotel to relax. Free in the Evening. Dinner and overnight stay in hotel. 
Meals: Dinner
Day 2 : Rishikesh – Barkot : Drive 230 kms. (7-8 hrs.)
After breakfast visit Lakshman Jhoola and go for local sightseeing, take early lunch at hotel and drive 230 kms. via Mussoorie to reach Barkot in the evening, visiting “Kempty Falls” on the way. On arrival check-in to hotel. Dinner and overnight stay in hotel. A magnificent view of the eternal snow of Bandarpoonch peak can be seen from Barkot. 
Meals: Bed Tea, Breakfast,Lunch & Dinner
Day 3 : Day 03: Barkot – Yamunotri – Barkot : 
Drive 40 kms. till Hunuman Chatti, then 8 kms. by local jeeps till Janki Chatti and 5 kms. trek thereafter. After an early breakfast take packed lunch and drive up to Janki Chatti, then trek 5 Kms. one way through lush green valley, a profusion of conifers, rhododendrons, cacti and several species of Himalayan shrubs, to reach Yamunotri, perform pooja, take holy dip at Yamunotri and take the same route to come back to Barkot, for dinner and overnight stay in hotel. 
Meals: Bed Tea, Breakfast,Lunch & Dinner
Day 4 : Barkot – Uttarkashi : Drive 100 kms. (5–6 hrs.)
After a relaxed breakfast drive 100 Kms. to reach Uttarkashi. Check-in to hotel. Take Lunch, evening is free to explore locale. Uttarkashi is situated on the banks of river Bhagirathi and is famous for its historical monuments, Temples & Ashrams. Spend the rest of the day at leisure and local sight seeing. You may visit famous Vishwanath Temple and Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, where Ms Bachhendri Pal, the first Indian woman to reach Mount Everest, received her basic mountaineering training. Take dinner & overnight stay in hotel. 
Meals: Bed Tea, Breakfast,Lunch & Dinner
Day 5 : Uttarkashi – Gangotri – Uttarkashi : Drive 100 kms. one way (4 Hrs.)
After breakfast leave for Gangotri via Gangnani, Harsil and on arrival at Gangotri take a holy dip in the sacred river The Ganges, also called Bhagirathi at its origin. Perform Pooja and relax for sometime in the lovely surroundings. Drive back to Uttarkashi. Dinner and overnight stay in hotel 
Meals: Bed Tea, Breakfast,Lunch & Dinner
Day 6 : Uttarkashi – Guptkashi : Drive 235 kms. (9–10 hrs.)
After an early breakfast leave for the longest journey of the trip by road. Take late lunch en-route at Chamba. On the way see the heritage city of Tehri submerged in to the mighty waters of Holy River Ganges, due to the construction of Tehri Dam. Travel along the beautiful river MANDAKINI to reach Guptkashi, late in the evening. Guptakashi is a richly rewarding area of colour of imaginative scenery and incredible landscape. Visit Ardh Narishwar Temple. Dinner and overnight stay in hotel. 
Meals: Bed Tea, Breakfast,Lunch & Dinner
Day 7 : Guptkashi – Gaurikund – Kedarnath : Drive 37 kms. (2 hrs.), 14 kms. trek
After breakfast leave for Gaurikund (37 kms. drive one way). On arrival start your journey on the tough trek ahead to reach Kedarnath by late afternoon. On arrival check in to guest house. After freshening up and lunch perform Pooja and Darshan at the Shri Kedarnath ji. In the evening, visit Adi Shankaracharya samadhi at the back of the temple. Dinner and overnight stay in guest house. 
Meals: Bed Tea, Breakfast,Lunch & Dinner
Day 8 : Kedarnath – Gaurikund – Guptkashi/ Pipalkoti : 14 kms. trek, Drive 37/164 kms. 
After morning darshan Trek 15 kms. & drive 37 Kms to reach Guptakashi for lunch and then further drive 133 kms. to reach Pipalkoti. Pipalkoti is a busy town cradled in the lap of lush green mountains and terraced fields. Dinner and overnight stay in hotel. (Note: In case of delayed departures the stay will be at Guptakshi) 
Meals: Bed Tea, Breakfast,Lunch & Dinner
Day 9 : Guptkashi/Pipalkoti – Badrinath : Drive 85 kms. (3-4 hrs.) 
After breakfast leave for Badrinath . Enjoy the beautiful drive through the thick medicinal forest. Reach Badrinath by late afternoon. Take lunch, evening free for sightseeing, dinner and overnight stay in hotel. 
Meals: Bed Tea, Breakfast,Lunch & Dinner
Day 10 : Badrinath – Srinagar : Drive 200 kms. (7-8 hrs.)
After morning Arti and Poojaan breakfast at, drive to Mana the last Indian village before the Tibetan border and then drive 85 Kms. to reach Pipalkoti. Take lunch at Pipalkoti then drive further 115 Kms to reach Srinagar. Check into hotel, dinner and overnight stay in hotel. 
Meals: Bed Tea, Breakfast,Lunch & Dinner
Day 11 : Srinagar – Hardwar : Drive 125 kms.(5–6 hrs.)
After breakfast leave for Haridwar, if time permits visit Devprayag (The confluence of rivers Alaknanda and Bhagirathi), to become Ganga. Reach Haridwar in the afternoon. Check into hotel and take lunch. Visit Mansadevi and Chandidevi temple through Ropeway, attend Ganga Arti at Har ki Pauri, dinner and overnight stay in hotel. 
Meals: Bed Tea, Breakfast,Lunch & Dinner
Day 12 : Hardwar – Delhi : Drive 205 kms.(7–8 hrs.)
After breakfast leave for Delhi. Take lunch en-route at Marwari Bhoj. Tour ends on arrival in Delhi, with the happy memories of the Chardham to cherish. 
Meals: Breakfast
High up in a deep cleft on the western face of the Banderpoonch Peak is Yamunotri, traditionally the first destination on the Char Dham Yatra. The picturesque journey to Yamunotri is along the River Yamuna itself. The main temple here is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna, who is represented by a black marble idol. The other deity is a white image of Goddess Ganga. Just outside the main temple is the Divya Shila, a dark rock from which springs a stream of very hot water. This is a most holy area, the origin of the Yamuna, and pilgrims offer puja here before going to the temple. Technically, the cold stream source of the river is on the Champasar Glacier, near Saptarishi Kund, a trek of 1 km above the shrine, beyond Yamunotri. But, at 14,500 ft above sea level, across very difficult terrain, it is not accessible to the average yatri.  
According to legend, Surya Dev, the Sun God, married Sandhya, daughter of Vishwakarma. They had twins, Yama and Yamuna. But Sandhya could not bear the fierce heat of the Sun. She created her clone, Chhaya, and begged her to take her place. Without telling anyone the truth, Sangya then left Surya Dev’s home. Chhaya agreed to keep the secret but said she would reveal the truth if ever Surya Dev punished her by pulling her hair. One day, the child Yama tried to strike Chhaya with his leg. An affronted Chhaya cursed him that his leg would rot and fall off.  Surya Dev was very surprised and angered by the severity of the curse, that too from a mother against her own child. In anger, he pulled her hair. Chhaya then revealed that she was not his true wife, and only a stepmother to Yama and Yamuna. It is said that Yamuna came down to earth and did severe penance to save her brother from the effects of the curse and succeeded in her efforts. Yama, the god of death, then offered her a boon. She asked that her devotees be protected from akaalmrityu (untimely death). It is believed that a bath in the holy waters of Yamu­notri will protect the devotee from an untimely death and lead to the attainment of moksha. It is believed that the hot spring at Divya Shila is the blessing of Surya Dev for his daugh­ter; the tank next to the Divya Shila is named after him.
Pilgrims take a holy dip in the hot waters of the Taptkund next to the main temple in Yamunotri, which gets its water from the Suryakund nearby. There are separate bathing tanks and enclosures for men and women. Then puja is offered at the Divya Shila. This is of great signif­icance, and is done before visiting the main temple. After this, a small offering of rice and potatoes is cooked in the Suryakund. This is offered to the deity in the main temple, and returned to the pilgrim as prasad. Pilgrims carry water from Yamu­notri to offer it to Krishna in their homes during Janmashtami or on other special occasions related to Krishna. It is believed that Yamuna was one of Lord Krishna’s eight queens.
The shrine of Gangotri overlooks the thundering River Bhagirathi and is set in the middle of rugged mountains and deodar forests at 9,980 ft above sea level. Gangotri is the spiritual source of India’s holiest river, the Ganga. Here, Ganga is known as Bhagirathi, named after the ancient king Bhagirath, who performed penance to bring her down from the heavens. It is believed that bathing in her waters brings deliverance from sins com­mit­ted in the present and past births. The actual source of the river is the ice cave of Gaumukh (see page 791).
According to legend, a Suryavanshi king Sagar decided to perform the Ashwamedh Yagna (horse sacrifice). His 60,000 sons conquered the territories that the horse crossed. Indra felt threatened by their success. He stole the horse and tied it in Kapil Muni’s ashram. Sagar’s sons followed the horse into the ashram and were disrespectful to the seer, who cursed them. All 60,000 of them were turned into ashes. The king beseeched the seer for forgiveness, but the curse could not be reversed. However, Kapil Muni suggested that if the holy Ganga, the river of heaven, were to come down to the earth, the touch of her waters would ensure the deliverance of the princes. Many descendants of Sagar failed in their efforts to bring the holy Ganga to earth, until Bhagirath was born. He persevered in his prayers until Ganga agreed to come down to the earth from the heavens. But such was her power that her descent was sure to cause havoc. Thus Bha­gi­rath prayed to Lord Shiva, who agreed to contain Ganga in his locks, from where he released a few drops of her celes­tial waters. The river thus flowed on earth, cleansing all that was impure in her path and delivering the sons of Sagar from their curse.
The northernmost Jyotirlinga, tradition­ally the third stop in the Char Dham Yatra, after Yamunotri and Gangotri, is located at 11,746 ft above sea level, close to the source of the holy River Mandakini. The experience of offering holy water from Gangotri, to he who held the holy Ganga in his locks, can only be described as divine. From Gaurikund, the roadhead, Kedarnath is a 14-km trek northwards, which can be negotiated on foot, or on ponies or palanquins hoisted by four men. The trek to Kedarnath is along the River Mandakini. It is an uplifting experience to walk by stark mountain faces, snow peaks, spectacular waters, flowers and floating clouds.  The trek is a steady ascent along a stone paved path in large parts through a thick forest of Himalayan oak, rhodo­dendrons and a profusion of ferns. It is steep until Garuda Chatti (about 10 km from Gaurikund) after which the path levels out until you reach Kedarnath. On a clear day, about 2 km out of Gaurikund, one can spot the snow-covered Sumeru Peak — the spectacular backdrop of the Kedarnath temple — in all its majesty.
According to the Vayu Purana, Vishnu as Narayan came down to the earth for the good of mankind. He landed at Badrinath, which was then the abode of Shiva. On Narayan’s request, Shiva accepted Kedar as his permanent abode. Kedarnath is also part of the Panch Kedar Yatra.
Against the backdrop of the Neelkanth Peak, nestled between the Nara and Narayana mountains, by the banks of the River Alaknanda, at an altitude of 10,276 ft above sea level, is Badrinath. According to legend, Lord Vishnu himself meditated here, while his consort Lakshmi took the form of a berry (badri) tree to offer him shade. Although the berry tree is not seen anymore, the name Badrinarayan stayed. Narad, his main devotee, also stayed here.
Another charming legend associated with the Badrinath Temple is that of the Ghanta Karn, a devout bhakt of Shiva who hung huge bells over his ears so that he would not have to hear the name of any other god, including Vishnu. After severe penance, when Shiva offered him a boon, he asked for salvation. Shiva, knowing of Ghanta Karn’s partiality and wanting him to accept Vishnu’s divinity as well, told him that only Vishnu could grant him salvation. Saddened, because he did not expect Vishnu to give him anything after his stated antagonism, Ghanta Karn nevertheless immersed himself completely in Vishnu’s worship. The lord, who is known to love his devotees, blessed Ghanta Karn and offered him a place at his temple in Badrinath, making him the lokpal (guardian deity) of the region.


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