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Is the Chardham Yatra Safe? Must-Know Facts About the Char Dham Yatra

The Char Dham Yatra is one of the most sacred pilgrimages for Hindus. But is the Char Dham Yatra safe? How risky is the Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand? If you also plan to go on with the Char Dham Yatra, keep the following points in mind:

The yatra visits Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. Kedarnath and Yamunotri are the most challenging. This article explains how difficult the Char Dham Yatra is. Also, read about things to keep in mind before going on the Chardham Yatra.

The Sanskrit word Char Dham literally means ‘Four Shrines‘. It can also be interpreted as being correlated with the four directions.

How risky is the Char Dham Yatra?

If you are wondering, is the Char Dham Yatra safe? Well, definitely, it is safe with a few precautions. However, it is a little risky for a few reasons. Only particular periods of the year, from late April or early May to November, are the Char Dham open.

The busiest time for pilgrimage is between May and June. It may be rather risky since the highway becomes slick from July to September during the rainy season.

The holy shrines of Uttarakhand’s Char Dham Yatra are at a high altitude. Hence, the pilgrims may be exposed to extremely low humidity. They may also face high UV radiation, low air and oxygen pressure and extreme cold.

These hiking trails have an elevation. As people continue to walk, they become unaware of the sudden drop in oxygen levels. People who don’t get adequate rest continue to move while complaining of dizziness. For this reason, it’s important to take a decent break every few km of hiking during the Chardham Yatra.

Must-Know Facts About the Chardham Yatra

Religious elements are a well-known aspect of the holy Chardham Yatra. The pilgrims visit the holy sites of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. Hindus attach great significance to each of these places.

People from all over the world make a point of participating in this spiritual journey. The Chardham Yatra is only available for a brief period of 6 months. It is said that completing this circle will bring moksha or salvation.

Since this sacred trip is so old, many mysteries surround these holy temples. Here are some interesting Chardham-related facts:

The Architectural Miracle of Kedarnath Temple

Built using large mountain rocks, the Kedarnath temple has been incredibly robust. They used these rocks in a manner that helped the temple stand still for all these years.

Did you know that Kedarnath temple was completely covered in snow for 400 years?

Yes, it was during a mini-ice age when Rudraprayag was fully snow-covered. Moreover, when there was a disastrous cloudburst flood in Uttarakhand, the Kedarnath temple did not get a bit of damage. This was back in 2013 when the flood destroyed everything in Kedarnath.

The Pandavas Stayed in Gangotri

On their route to Kailash, Draupadi, Pandavas and others have travelled via Gangotri. Before continuing on their journey, they stopped here to rest and meditate for a few days. During their stay in Gangotri, Pandav Gufa serves as a marker for their habitation.

The sadhu (saint), who now resides there, painted murals of gods and goddesses on the cave’s interior walls. The cave is adjacent to Suraj Kund. The cave’s entrance is quite small. But the interior is huge and inhabitable, making it a possible rest stop.

Bhagirathi Shila

Dedicated to King Bhagirath, this rock formation is just behind the Gangotri temple. He came here to carry out his penance. He also begged Goddess Ganga to leave her realm in heaven and enter our world. So that the spirits of his ancestors might atone for their sins.

Bhagirathi Shila is directly next to the raging Alaknanda River. Even today, people come here to perform pind daan for their departed ancestors. Pind Daan is one of the most revered and holy deeds to do for deceased family members.

Inaccessible Yamuna River

The Yamuna River originates from the Champasar Glacier. It is 1 km away from the Yamunotri temple. The route is absolutely impossible to access. The confined width and pathways with huge rocks make it impossible to access the route.

Hence, at the earliest access point of the Yamuna River, the Yamunotri temple resides. To this day, the Champasar glacier is still unexplored due to its biological and physical characteristics.

The Original Badrivishal

As per some writings, Adi Shankaracharya took the idol of the Lord from Alaknanda. He put the idol in the Garud cave. This cave had hot springs, which are currently famous as “Tapt Kund“. Here, Adi Shankaracharya constructed a tiny shrine to the Lord. Later, the ruler of Garhwal relocated it to its present place. He constructed a fresh, larger temple.

The Original Char Dham Of India

The Char Dham of Uttarakhand is well-known as “Chhota Char Dham“. However, the original Char Dham of India are Badrinath, Dwarka, Rameshwaram and Puri

Most Indians find it challenging to travel and visit all seven of these shrines. This is mainly due to their distance from one another. The “Chota Char Dham Yatra” is therefore chosen by the vast majority of Hindus. This pilgrimage visits all four of Uttarakhand’s shrines. 

The Chardham Yatra Route Map

The best char dham route map
The best Char Dham route map

Must Know Things About the Char Dham Yatra

Here are some important details of the Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand:

  • It is only possible to visit these Char Dhams for six months out of the year. These months are from March to May and from September to November.
  • The Char Dham is annually visited by more than a million people from India and other countries.
  • The Central Government and the Government of Uttarakhand are constructing better roadways. Moreover, they are enhancing healthcare facilities and increasing other amenities needed by pilgrims. The government is updating infrastructure such as roads, trains and air connectivity.
  • Helicopter tours to the four sites in Uttarakhand are now available.  Several renowned tourist agencies offer this service.
  • The Karnataka government offers subsidies. They are offering it to those who are the state’s economically less fortunate groups.
  • Obtain a Char Dham Yatra pilgrimage ID card. The registered pilgrims receive this ID card from the Uttarakhand government. This guarantees you will have access to the government in an emergency.
  • Before the Char Dham Yatra, you should do some practice walking for extended periods. This will help you to have enough energy. Especially to travel the distances between the shrines and the vehicle drop-off locations.
  • Check yourself out for any respiratory and heart-related conditions. Tourists with health issues frequently aren’t allowed for the Char Dham Yatra.

FAQs’

1. What precautions should be taken during the Char Dham yatra?

Here are some of the precautions to keep in mind before your Char Dham Yatra:
Plan well in advance
Pack light
Be prepared for altitude and changes in weather
Hire a local guide
Be as flexible as you can
Respect the culture and people
Keep basic medicines with you
Stay hydrated

2. What safety measures have to be implemented during the Char Dham yatra?

It’s a good idea to adapt to the environment before starting the trek. Given that the Chardham Yatra is a holy pilgrimage. It’s crucial to respect regional culture and traditions. This includes not littering, removing your shoes before entering temples, and dressing modestly.

3. Who is the protector of Char Dham?

In Uttarakhand, Dhari Devi is the protector and guardian of the Char Dhams. According to a narrative, the idol of Dhari Devi was washed away by rivers. It was smacked against a rock in the distant past.

4. Is the Chardham Yatra safe and easy?

The Char Dham yatra is difficult. Only two of the temples (Badrinath and Gangotri) are accessible by car. Hence, pilgrims must work very hard to get the blessings. Yamunotri and Kedarnath are the other two, and both need hikes to reach them.

5. Is a medical checkup necessary for the Kedarnath trip?

Yes. Every Yatri needs to carry a medical certificate while visiting the Kedarnath Temple. The medical certificate is given to the pilgrims after the completion of a medical examination.

6. What are some of the best Char Dham hotels?

If you are planning to visit Char Dham this year, you will find some of the best hotels in Char Dham locations on our website. Check out our Char Dham hotels here.

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