Chardham yatra from Delhi

How to Plan Your Char Dham Yatra from Delhi

For Hindus, starting the Char Dham Yatra is a pilgrimage with great spiritual significance. This pilgrimage, which begins in Delhi and travels to the four holy sites of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath, requires careful planning and preparation. You can plan a seamless and spiritually enlightening Char Dham Yatra from Delhi with the aid of this detailed guide.

Understanding the Char Dham Yatra

The Char Dham Yatra is a pilgrimage to the four holy shrines located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. These shrines are believed to bestow spiritual salvation (moksha) upon those who visit them. The journey typically begins from Delhi, owing to its excellent connectivity and infrastructure.

The Four Sacred Shrines

  1. Yamunotri: The source of the River Yamuna and the seat of Goddess Yamuna.
  2. Gangotri: The origin of the Ganges River and dedicated to Goddess Ganga.
  3. Kedarnath: One of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva.
  4. Badrinath: Dedicated to Lord Vishnu and part of the larger Bada Char Dham circuit.

Planning Your Itinerary

Day 1: Delhi to Haridwar

  • Distance: Approximately 220 km
  • Travel Time: 5-6 hours by road
  • Activities: Begin your spiritual journey with an early morning departure from Delhi. On reaching Haridwar, attend the evening Ganga Aarti at Har Ki Pauri, a profound spiritual experience.

Day 2: Haridwar to Barkot

  • Distance: Approximately 220 km
  • Travel Time: 7-8 hours by road
  • Activities: Drive to Barkot via Mussoorie. En route, visit Kempty Falls. Barkot serves as the base for the Yamunotri trek.

Day 3: Barkot to Yamunotri and Back

  • Distance: 36 km drive + 6 km trek (one way)
  • Travel Time: 1.5 hours drive + 3-4 hours trek
  • Activities: Drive to Janki Chatti and then trek to Yamunotri. Perform rituals at the Yamunotri temple and take a holy dip in the hot springs. Trek back to Janki Chatti and return to Barkot.

Day 4: Barkot to Uttarkashi

  • Distance: Approximately 100 km
  • Travel Time: 4-5 hours by road
  • Activities: Travel to Uttarkashi, visit the Vishwanath Temple and Shakti Temple. Uttarkashi is your base for the Gangotri visit.

Day 5: Uttarkashi to Gangotri and Back

  • Distance: Approximately 100 km (one way)
  • Travel Time: 3-4 hours by road
  • Activities: Drive to Gangotri. Take a holy dip in the sacred Bhagirathi River and perform puja at the Gangotri temple. Return to Uttarkashi by evening.

Day 6: Uttarkashi to Guptkashi

  • Distance: Approximately 200 km
  • Travel Time: 8-9 hours by road
  • Activities: Drive through scenic landscapes to reach Guptkashi. Visit the Ardh Narishwar Temple.

Day 7: Guptkashi to Kedarnath

  • Distance: 32 km drive + 16 km trek
  • Travel Time: 1 hour drive + 6-7 hours trek
  • Activities: Drive to Gaurikund and then trek to Kedarnath. Visit the Kedarnath temple, one of the most revered shrines of Lord Shiva. Overnight stay in Kedarnath.

Day 8: Kedarnath to Guptkashi

  • Distance: 16 km trek + 32 km drive
  • Travel Time: 6-7 hours trek + 1 hour drive
  • Activities: Trek back to Gaurikund and drive to Guptkashi for an overnight stay.

Day 9: Guptkashi to Badrinath

  • Distance: Approximately 180 km
  • Travel Time: 7-8 hours by road
  • Activities: Drive to Badrinath via Joshimath. Visit the Badrinath temple and take a dip in the Tapt Kund.

Day 10: Badrinath to Rudraprayag

  • Distance: Approximately 160 km
  • Travel Time: 6-7 hours by road
  • Activities: Visit nearby attractions like Mana Village, Vyas Gufa, and Ganesh Gufa. Drive to Rudraprayag for an overnight stay.

Day 11: Rudraprayag to Rishikesh

  • Distance: Approximately 140 km
  • Travel Time: 5-6 hours by road
  • Activities: Drive to Rishikesh. Visit the Triveni Ghat, Lakshman Jhula, and Ram Jhula. Attend the evening Ganga Aarti.

Day 12: Rishikesh to Delhi

  • Distance: Approximately 230 km
  • Travel Time: 5-6 hours by road
  • Activities: Return to Delhi with a heart full of spiritual memories and divine blessings.

Preparing for the Journey

Physical Fitness

The Char Dham Yatra involves extensive trekking, particularly to Yamunotri and Kedarnath. It is advisable to undertake regular physical exercise, including walking and breathing exercises, to build stamina and endurance.

Clothing and Essentials

  • Clothing: Pack warm clothing, including thermal wear, sweaters, jackets, and woolen socks, as temperatures can drop significantly, especially at higher altitudes.
  • Footwear: Sturdy, comfortable trekking shoes are essential.
  • Medical Kit: Carry essential medications, including those for altitude sickness, headaches, and digestive issues. A first-aid kit is crucial.

Documentation and Permits

Ensure you have all necessary identification documents, including a government-issued ID. Obtain any required permits for trekking and visiting specific regions.

Accommodation and Food

  • Accommodation: Book accommodations in advance, especially during peak pilgrimage seasons. Options range from budget lodges to luxury hotels.
  • Food: Most dhams have vegetarian food options. It is advisable to carry dry snacks and bottled water for the journey.

Safety Tips

  • Weather Conditions: Check weather forecasts before departure and be prepared for sudden weather changes.
  • Travel Insurance: Consider purchasing travel insurance to cover emergencies, including health and travel disruptions.
  • Local Guidance: Hiring a local guide can provide valuable insights into the pilgrimage and ensure a safe journey.


The Char Dham Yatra from Delhi is more than a pilgrimage; it is a journey of self-discovery and spiritual awakening. By planning meticulously and preparing adequately, you can ensure a safe, comfortable, and spiritually fulfilling experience. This sacred journey through the majestic Himalayas not only brings you closer to divinity but also offers an unparalleled opportunity to witness the serene beauty of India’s spiritual heartland.

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