Uttarakhand, also known as Devbhoomi or the Land of Gods, is home to numerous temples and welcomes devotees all year round. Among the countless religious sites and circuits that devotees visit in Uttarakhand, one of the most prominent is the Char Dham Yatra. This Yatra or pilgrimage is a tour of four holy sites - Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath – nestled high up in the Himalayas. In Hindi, 'char' means four and 'dham' refers to religious destinations.
The high-altitude shrines remain shut for around six months every year, opening in summers (April or May) and closing with the onset of winter (October or November). It is believed that one should complete the Char Dham Yatra in a clockwise direction. Hence, the pilgrimage starts from Yamunotri, proceeds towards Gangotri, onto Kedarnath, and finally ends at Badrinath. The journey can be completed by road or by air (helicopter services are available). Some devotees even do a Do Dham Yatra or a pilgrimage to two shrines - Kedarnath and Badrinath.
The Yamunotri temple, lodged in a narrow gorge close to the source of River Yamuna (the second-most sacred Indian river after River Ganga) in Uttarkashi district, is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. The district of Uttarkashi is also home to Gangotri dedicated to Goddess Ganga, the most sacred of all Indian rivers. Located in the Rudraprayag district lies Kedarnath, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Badrinath, home to the sacred Badrinarayan Temple, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Char Dham Yatra is as divine as it is arduous but fulfills the soul!
Char Dham, one of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimages in the world, covers the four holy sites of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. This year, the Uttarakhand Government has outlined several measures to make the Yatra smooth and successful for all.
It is important for the devotees to register themselves before travelling to Chardham Yatra and Hemkund Sahib. To ensure a smooth journey, the Uttarakhand government has set up a capping to the number of daily travellers.
Therefore, we request you to kindly check the validity on the portal and complete the registration before travelling at registrationandtouristcare.uk.gov.in
The Holy Shrines in the Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand are located at high altitudes. Traveling to all these shrines may expose the pilgrims to extreme cold, low humidity, increased ultraviolet radiation and reduced air and oxygen pressure.
In light of the above, the following is advised for a comfortable and safe Yatra:
All pilgrims should proceed for Yatra after a thorough health check-up.
People with pre-existing illnesses should carry adequate supplies of prescribed medicines along with prescriptions and contact details of their respective physicians.
Senior Citizens, people with comorbidities, and those who had suffered from COVID 19 in the past should consider postponing or not undertaking the pilgrimage.
The travel itinerary should include at least one day’s rest before reaching the final pilgrimage site.
Please carry adequate quantities of woollen/ warm clothes.
Patients suffering from Heart Diseases, Respiratory ailments, Diabetes, and Hypertension should be extra cautious while undertaking travel to high altitudes.
In case you notice symptoms that include headache, dizziness, drowsiness, chest tightness, nausea, vomiting, coughing, fast breathing, and increased heart rate, please seek medical attention immediately or contact the 104 and 108 helplines for assistance.
Avoid consumption of alcohol and other drugs and refrain from smoking.
For the protection of skin from sunlight, sunscreen with SPF 50 may be used.
Sun Glasses may also be used to protect eyes from UV rays.
Keep yourself well hydrated and avoid travelling on empty stomach.
Take frequent breaks during trekking/walking.
Avoid strenuous exercise at high altitude.
In case of emergencies, Helpline numbers [108 – National Ambulance
Service and 104- Uttarakhand Health Helpline] can be contacted.
Travel Tips for the Mountain Routes in Uttarakhand
- It is mandatory to get your vehicle(s) registered.
- The driver should keep a list of all the passengers sitting in the vehicle.
- Give way to vehicles going uphill on mountain roads first.
- The driver should keep all the valid documents of the vehicle, keep an extra stepney.
- Before travelling, you must get the green card from the transport office.
- Be sure to honk on the turns in the mountain roads.
- While parking the vehicle, usage of the hand brake is a must. Parking should be done at the designated place only.
- Carry proof or scanned QR code with you.
- Do not drive on mountain roads before 4 am and after 10 pm.
- Do not overtake on the road turns.
- Do not drink and drive.
- Do not travel sitting on the top of the vehicle.
- Do not litter dirty clothes and polybags.
- Do not use private vehicles for commercial purposes.