Every year in April-May, the valleys and mountains of the Devbhoomi Uttarakhand get alive when the Chardham Yatra started. Chota Char Dham Yatra is the most popular spiritual visit in India. Millions and thousands of people visit every year to worship their ideal. Chardham means - The four adobes, and they are Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. Every year with the great amid chanting of Vedic hymns or mantras, the gates of holy shrines open in the presence of thousands of devotees, and for the next six months, the doors remain open for every devotee who comes to get the darshan of their idol. In this Chardham travel guide, we are going to share every necessary Char Dham Yatra details that can be beneficial in your yatra like - Chardham Opening/closing dates, the best time to visit Char Dham yatra, the best Char Dham Yatra route, nearby places, how to reach, etc.
Why Chota Chardham Yatra is so Popular -
As per Hindu mythology, if a person once in his lifetime, does the Chardham Yatra, he gets liberated from all the sins that he had done in his past and attains Moksha or salvation after death. This strong belief drives thousands of pilgrims from all around the world to the Chardham Yatra.
The other reason is - In earlier days, Children take their parents on Chardham yatra and it was said that nothing is more religiously pious than taking your parents on the Chardham pilgrimage. So people take their parents to Chardham Yatra to fulfilling their parent's wishes.
And another reason is - these four shrines are in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand that is famous for the bewitching mountains surrounded by a thick layer of snow and an attractive atmosphere.
How Chardham opening & Closing dates decide -
Unlike the original Chardham, Chota Char Dham is located in remote areas of the Uttarakhand hills. In winter all the Dham receives high snowfall which makes the place inaccessible. That’s why in winters the Dham gets closed and the idols are transferred to their winter’s seat. Every year Chardham Yatra's opening dates decide by the priests on auspicious occasions. Such as Kedarnath opening dates will decide on Mahashivratri, Badrinath opening dates will be declared on Basant Panchmi, and Gangotri - Yamunotri Dham opens on or after Akshay Tritya every year.
Similarly, all the shrines are closed with the chanting of Vedic hymns and rituals on auspicious occasions. Generally, the Yamunotri Dham & Kedarnath Dham closed on the occasion of Bhaiya Dooj, and Gangotri Dham closed on the Govardhan Puja. The closing dates of Badrinath Dham are decided by the Badrinath-Kedarnath committee on the day of Vijayadashami.
Char Dham Yatra Opening Dates 2021
The opening dates of Chardham 2021 yet not declared but, because Akshaya Tritiya will be on 14 May so we can assume that, Chardham Yatra 2021 would start around 14 May to 20th May. Exact opening dates will be shared soon on BizareXpedition.
Chardham Opening Dates 2021 (Tentative)*
17 May 2021
6 Nov 2021*
18 May 2021
10 Nov 2021*
15 May 2021
5 Nov 2021*
Not many people are aware of the fact that Chardham yatra follows a fixed sequence. Chardham Yatra always starts from the Yamunotri Dham, then Gangotri next is Kedarnath and ends on Badrinath Dham.
1. Yamunotri Dham
Yamunotri Dham is the Dham where devotees visit first in their Chardham Yatra. This Dham is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna who is the daughter of the Sun and the twin sister of Yama(Yamraj). The temple is situated on the bank of river Yamuna which is gushing out from the Kalind Parvat. According to legends - Once on the day of Bhaiya dooj, Yamraj promised to Goddess Yamuna that whoever takes a dip in the river will not be taken to Yamlok and will thus attain salvation. And I think this is the reason that Yamunotri Dham visits first in all four Dhams. People believe that a bath in the sanctified waters of Yamuna is said to cleanse all sins and protect from an untimely and painful death. In Winters when the place is inaccessible at that time the temple gets closed and the idol of Goddess Yamuna is brought down to Kharsali village of Uttarkashi and kept in the Shani dev Temple for next six months.
Altitude - 10,804 ft. Best Time - May-June & Sept-Nov Darshan Timing - 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM Places to visit - Divya Shila, Surya Kund, Saptrishi Kund. How to reach - You have to first reach Jankichatti which is in the district of Uttarkashi and have to trek 5-6 km to reach Yamunotri Dham. Travel Route - Rishikesh ---> Narendranagar (16km) ---> Chamab (46 km) ---> Brahmkhal (15 km) ---> Barkot (40 km) ---> SayanaChatti (27 km) ---> HanumanChatti (6 km) ---> PhoolChatti (5 km) ---> JankiChatti (3 km) ---> Yamunotri (6 km)
2. Gangotri Dham
Gangotri Dham is the next point in Chardham Yatra after Yamunotri. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Ganga which is located on the bank of river Bhagirathi in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. Ganga river is the most sacred and longest river in India. Gaumukh glacier is the real source of river Ganga/Bhagirathi which is at a distance of 19 km from the Gangotri Temple. It is said that Gangotri Dham was the place where Goddess Ganga first descended from heaven after the 1000 years of penance by Bhagirath.
According to legends, Goddess Ganga was ready to come on earth but its intensity was such that the entire earth could have got submerged under its waters. To save the earth, Lord Shiva holds the river Ganga in his locks(Jatta) and released river Ganga in the form of the stream which came on earth and is known as the Bhagirathi River. On the confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi river, the Ganga river got its name. In winters, the idol of Goddess Ganga brought down to the Mukhba village in the town of Harsil and stayed there for the next six months.