The Chardham Yatra is one of the most revered and spiritually significant pilgrimages for Hindus. Consisting of four sacred sites – Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath – the journey is both physically demanding and spiritually uplifting. Starting from Haridwar, a city considered the gateway to the gods, the Chardham Yatra promises an experience of a lifetime.

Day 1: Haridwar to Barkot

  • Distance: 220 km
  • Travel Time: 7-8 hours
  • Highlights: Haridwar, Mussoorie, Kempty Falls

Begin your journey from Haridwar early in the morning. The drive to Barkot passes through picturesque landscapes and includes a stopover at Mussoorie, the Queen of Hills. Don’t miss the refreshing Kempty Falls. Arrive in Barkot by evening, check into your hotel, and rest for the night.

Day 2: Barkot to Yamunotri and back to Barkot

  • Distance: 36 km drive + 6 km trek (one way)
  • Travel Time: 1 hour drive + 3-4 hours trek
  • Highlights: Yamunotri Temple, Surya Kund, Divya Shila

After an early breakfast, drive to Jankichatti/Phoolchatti. From here, begin your trek to Yamunotri. You can hire a pony or a palanquin if necessary. At Yamunotri, visit the temple dedicated to Goddess Yamuna, take a holy dip in the hot springs at Surya Kund, and offer prayers at Divya Shila. Return to Barkot by evening.

Day 3: Barkot to Uttarkashi

  • Distance: 100 km
  • Travel Time: 4-5 hours
  • Highlights: Vishwanath Temple, Uttarkashi

Drive to Uttarkashi after breakfast. The town is known for its historical temples and ashrams. Visit the Vishwanath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, and explore the local markets. Check into your hotel and relax.

Day 4: Uttarkashi to Gangotri and back to Uttarkashi

  • Distance: 100 km (one way)
  • Travel Time: 4-5 hours
  • Highlights: Gangotri Temple, Bhagirath Shila, Pandava Gufa

Start early and drive to Gangotri, the origin of the River Ganges. En route, enjoy the stunning views of the Himalayas and the Bhagirathi River. At Gangotri, visit the temple dedicated to Goddess Ganga, take a dip in the sacred river, and explore nearby sites like Bhagirath Shila and Pandava Gufa. Return to Uttarkashi by evening.

Day 5: Uttarkashi to Guptkashi

  • Distance: 220 km
  • Travel Time: 8-9 hours
  • Highlights: Scenic drive, Rudraprayag

The journey from Uttarkashi to Guptkashi is long but scenic. You’ll pass through Rudraprayag, where the Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers meet. Arrive in Guptkashi by evening, check into your hotel, and prepare for the Kedarnath trek the next day.

Day 6: Guptkashi to Kedarnath

  • Distance: 30 km drive + 16 km trek
  • Travel Time: 1 hour drive + 6-7 hours trek
  • Highlights: Kedarnath Temple

Drive to Gaurikund in the morning, the starting point of the Kedarnath trek. The trek is challenging, so ensure you’re well-prepared. Upon reaching Kedarnath, visit the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. Overnight stay in Kedarnath.

Day 7: Kedarnath to Guptkashi

  • Distance: 16 km trek + 30 km drive
  • Travel Time: 6-7 hours trek + 1 hour drive
  • Highlights: Kedarnath Temple

After morning prayers at the Kedarnath temple, trek back to Gaurikund. Drive to Guptkashi and rest for the night.

Day 8: Guptkashi to Badrinath

  • Distance: 185 km
  • Travel Time: 7-8 hours
  • Highlights: Joshimath, Vishnuprayag

Drive to Badrinath, with a stopover at Joshimath. Visit the Narsingh Temple and Shankaracharya Math. Upon arrival in Badrinath, check into your hotel and relax.

Day 9: Badrinath to Rudraprayag

  • Distance: 160 km
  • Travel Time: 6-7 hours
  • Highlights: Badrinath Temple, Mana Village

Visit the Badrinath Temple early in the morning, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Explore nearby attractions such as Mana Village, Vyas Gufa, and Bhim Pul. After the temple visit, drive to Rudraprayag for an overnight stay.

Day 10: Rudraprayag to Haridwar

  • Distance: 160 km
  • Travel Time: 6-7 hours
  • Highlights: Rishikesh, Laxman Jhula

On the final day, drive back to Haridwar. En route, visit Rishikesh and see the famous Laxman Jhula and Ram Jhula. Arrive in Haridwar by evening, marking the end of your Chardham Yatra.

Tips for the Chardham Yatra

  1. Physical Fitness: The Yatra involves significant trekking and high altitudes. Ensure you are physically fit and acclimatize properly.
  2. Packing Essentials: Carry warm clothing, comfortable trekking shoes, raincoats, first-aid kits, and necessary medications.
  3. Travel Permits: Ensure all required permits and registrations are completed before starting the journey.
  4. Local Cuisine: Try local delicacies but be cautious about food hygiene to avoid any health issues.
  5. Respect Local Customs: Be respectful of local traditions, especially in the temples and holy sites.

Embarking on the Chardham Yatra from Haridwar is a transformative experience, offering a blend of adventure, spirituality, and breathtaking natural beauty. Whether you seek spiritual solace or a challenging adventure, this journey promises to leave an indelible mark on your soul.