The Char Dham By Helicopter
Day 01: DELHI - HARIDWAR
In the morning we’ll drive to Haridwar (230 kms – 6 to 7 hrs journey). On the way, stop for lunch at a restaurant on the highway. On arrival at Haridwar, check in to your Hotel. In the evening, proceed to Har ki Pauri to enjoy Ganga Aarti on the banks of Ganges. Haridwar is one of the seven holy cities of Hinduism. Legend has it that Vishnu’s footprint was found on the bank of the holy river, giving it its sanctity. Situated at the base of the Siwalik Hills, Haridwar is where the River Ganges passes through its last gorge and begins a 2,000km journey across the plains of India to the Bay of Bengal.
Overnight stay at Haridwar
Day 02: HARIDWAR - BARKOT
This morning depart for Barkot, located on the foot of Yamunotri (205 kms – 6 to 7 hrs)). Drive via Mussoorie and visit Kempty Falls on the way. On arrival at Barkot, check-in to your hotel/camp. Rest of the day is free to relax and store your energy for the Pahad (hill) Yatra of Yamunotri the next day
Overnight stay at Barkot
Day 03: BARKOT - YAMUNOTRI - BARKOT
After breakfast, depart for Hanumanchatti (40 kms), then 8 km by local jeeps till Janki Chatti. Here you will begin the First Pahad Vatra of Yamunotri (5 kms trek). You can hire a Doli or a horse, for your trek (Cost Not Included).
The trek passes through lush green valley, a profusion of conifers, rhododendrons, cacti and several species of Himalayan shrubs.
Yamunotri (altitude 3,291 m), the western most shrine of the Char Dhams, is dominated by Banderpunch (6,361 m). Yamunotri is the source of the river Jamuna, the twin sister of Yama, the Lord of Death. Anyone who bathes in her waters is said to be spared a tortuous death. Yamuna is also the daughter of Surya the Sun. The actual source of the river originates from Champasar Glacier 1 km ahead of the shrine; at an altitude of 4,321 mts. Pilgrims do not frequent the source of the river as it is not easily accessible.
After performing pooja, take holy dip in Yamuna River and take the same route back to Barkot.
Overnight stay at Barkot
Day 04: BARKOT - UTTARKASHI
In the morning, drive (85 kms – 3 hrs journey) to reach Uttarkashi. Check in into the hotel. Uttarkashi is situated on the banks of river Bhagirathi and is famous for its historical monuments, Temples & Ashrams. In the evening, Visit the famous Vishwanath Temple.
Overnight stay at Uttarkashi
Day 05: UTTARKASH - GANGOTRI - UTTARKASHI
Early morning drive to Gangotri. Nestled in the magnificent Garhwal Himalayas, Gangotri is set at an altitude of 3048 mts. Upon arrival at Gangotri take a holy dip in the sacred river Ganges which is also called Bhagirathi at its origin
Visit the Gangotri Temple. The 18th century’s temple dedicated to Goddess Ganga is located near a sacred stone where King Bhagirath worshipped Lord Shiva. Ganga is believed to have touched earth at this spot. The temple is an exquisite 20 ft. high structure made of white granite. Late afternoon drive back to Uttarkashi for dinner
Overnight Stay at Uttarkashi
Day 06: UTTARKASHI - RUDRAPRAYAG
Early morning after breakfast check out from the hotel and depart for Rudraprayag via, Tehri Dam. Upon arrival at Rudraprayag check in at the hotel.
Overnight stay at Rudraprayag
Day 07: Rudraprayag – Kedarnath - Rudraprayag
Early morning you will drive to Phata village to board a helicopter that will fly you straight to Kedarnath (Flight expenses extra as applicable at the time of boarding). A real time saver
On reaching Kedarnath, visit the temple for darshan of the resident deity. One of the holiest Hindu pilgrim sites dedicated to Lord Shiva, Kedarnath Temple is perched at an altitude of 3,584 meters a midst towering snow-clad Himalayan peaks on the head of river Mandakini. The original temple is said to have been built by the Pandavas to atone for their sins procured during the Kurukshetra war of Mahabharata.
The present temple was reconstructed by Adi Sankaracharya in the 8th century. One of the 12 Shiva-Jyotirlingas resides in this temple. Inside the temple there is an irregular, three-faced linga, representing the hump of Lord Shiva when he took the form of a bull. There are deities of goddess Parvati and Ganesh in front of the main altar door. Outside the second door are Lord Krishna, the five Pandavas, their wife Draupadi, and their mother, Kunti.
After darshan, you will fly back to Phata and proceed to Rudra prayag. On the way you will visit Guptkashi, which is an important stop on the traditional pilgrim route. Legend has it that when Pandava brothers were searching for Shiva, the latter first concealed himself in Guptkashi, but later fled from them further up the valley to Kedarnath, where Pandavas finally got their wish. After visiting Guptkashi, you will return to Rudraprayag
Overnight stay at Ruraprayag
Day 08: RUDRAPRAYAG - BADRINATH
This morning, after an early breakfast, you check out of the hotel at 7.30 am and drive to Badrinath (165 kms – 6 to 7 hrs) via Joshi math. After driving through some wonderful ghat road and probably couple of landslides you arrive at Badrinath by 2:30 pm. Check into the hotel. After some rest and refreshments you are all set to go to Badrinath Temple for darshan in the evening. But first you have to go to Tapt Kund (Hot Spring), take bath and then go to the temple. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple of Shri Badrinathji is 15 meters in height, built in the form of a cone with a small cupola of a gilt bull and spire.
Legend dates the temple prior to the Vedic age, though the present temple is believed to have been established by Adi Shankaracharya, the 8th century A.D., and Hindu reformist. The temple has been renovated several times due to earlier damages by avalanches and looks modern now with a colorful “Singh Dwara” or the main entrance gate. The temple has three parts – Garbha Griha (the sanctum sanctorum), Darshan Mandap (for pooja’s) and Shobha Mandap (for devotees to assemble). There are 15 idols in the temple complex. Finely sculpted in black stone, the Badrinath (Vishnu) image is a meter high.
Other images include those of Laxmi Rishikesh is certainly one such town. (Vishnu’s consort), Garurh (Vishnu’s mount), Shiva, Parvati, Ganesh etc. After darshan, return back to the hotel or visit the town and shop around.
Overnight stay at Badrinath
Day 09: BADRINATH - RUDRAPRAYAG
This morning, after an early morning darshan once again, you drive back to Rudraprayag.
Overnight stay at Rudraprayag.
Day 10: RUDRAPRAYAG - RISHIKESH
Early morning, after breakfast, you drive downhill to Rishikesh a spiritual city and the Yoga capital of the world. On reaching Rishikesh you’ll be transferred to your hotel for overnight stay
In India, certain cities are particularly renowned and revered for the spiritual essence bestowed on them by virtue of being home to one or more of the Hindu Gods and wise sages. Such places often become pilgrim destinations, visited by yogis and seekers who travel from around the world to bathe in their sacred glow.
In the evening, you’ll be taken tp Parmarth Ashram to participate in the Ganga Aarti on the banks of Ganges. Rest of the evening frees to experience this fascinating town on your own.
Overnight stay at Rishikesh
Day 11: RISHIKESH - HARIDWAR - DELHI
Early morning, after breakfast, you a re on you r last lap of this journey. Drive back to Delhi (260 kms – 7 to 8 hrs) stopping enroute for a couple of hours at Haridwar to take a ritual bath at Har ki Pauri on the banks of Ganges.
After ritual bath spend some time in city and then drive back to Delhi