Are you planning your journey to Chardham? Then this guide will be very useful while travelling. The Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand is one of the most amazing and anticipated journeys. Those who are about to start the journey soon find it hard to control their excitement. Let’s take a look at the places to visit in Chardham.
The Chardham route usually begins in Haridwar or Rishikesh. The first place to be visited on the Chardham Yatra is Yamunotri (6 km trek), followed by Gangotri, then Kedarnath Trek(16 km) and finally the journey to Badrinath.
Places to Visit in Chardham
1. Places to Visit in Yamunotri
You must include these stunning locations on your list of places to visit during the Chardham Yatra.
1. Robber’s Cave Dehradun
It is also known as Guchhupani Robber’s Cave and is about 8 km from Dehradun.
The cave is nearly 600 metres long, with a spring flowing through and waterfalls at some spots.
It is believed robbers used to hide here in the days gone by.
- Timings: 7 AM to 6 PM
- Entry: Rs.25
2. Sahastradhara Waterfall Dehradun
This is a waterfall and spring further on about 24 km from Dehradun. It is a peaceful and beautiful place to relax for a while. The water here is known to have medicinal value.
3. Kempty Falls Mussoorie
It is a beautiful waterfall about 14 km from Mussoorie and a very popular destination for tourists.
Boating facilities are available at the nearby Mussoorie Lake.
Timings are around Sunrise to Sunset.
It is 25 km from Barkot and 75 km from Dehradun. There is an ancient Shiva temple here.
It’s believed that after Duryodhana set fire to their Lakshagraha (House of Lac), the Pandavas took shelter in an adjacent cave.
5. Hanuman Chatti Yamunotri
Hanuman Chatti is 36 km from Barkot and 9 km from Janki Chatti. There is a small Hanuman mandir here.
Hanuman Chatti is a base for many mountaineering expeditions.
6. Janki Chatti Yamunotri
This is where the motorable road ends and the 6 km trek to Yamunotri starts.
There is a hot water spring here where you can get rid of tiredness and fatigue by bathing in the kund.
7. Yamunotri Temple
This is where the main temple is located, where puja and prasad are offered to Mata Yamunotri.
A silver murti of the goddess is enshrined in the sanctum.
8. Surya Kund Yamunotri
This is a natural hot spring near the Yamunotri temple. Devotees bathe here before darshan.
They also cook rice and potatoes in boiling hot water, which is offered in the temple and taken home as Prasad.
9. Divya Shila Yamunotri
This is a natural rock pillar near the temple. According to tradition, devotees first pray here before entering the temple. It is a sacred place.
10. Champasar Glacier Yamunotri
This is the actual origin of the Yamuna River and is located about 3 km further up from the Yamunotri temple. It is a steep and difficult trek, so not all people can go.
From Yamunotri, the route to Gangotri goes via Barkot and Uttarkashi.
2. Places to Visit in Uttarkashi
1. Prakteshwar Mahadev Uttarkashi
This is a natural cave about 36 km from Barkot and around 45 km from Uttarkashi. It has a limestone formation resembling Shivling.
Many pilgrims who are travelling to Gangotri visit this place, which is around a hundred steps high.
2. Vishwanath Temple Uttarkashi
This ancient temple in Uttarkashi has a Swayambhu Shivling enshrined in the sanctum.
It also has the Murti of Parvati Mata, Ganeshji and Rishi Markandeya. Legend says Lord Shiva appeared here to save Rishi Markandeya from Yama.
3. Shakti Temple Uttarkashi
Opposite the Vishwanath temple, the Shakti temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga.
Devotees come for blessings and to see the heavy trident of Maa Durga, which was used to kill demons.
3. Places to Visit En-route Uttarkashi to Gangotri
The 100-kilometer trip from Uttarkashi to Gangotri passes through beautiful towns and amazing scenery.
1. Gangnani Uttarkashi
Gangnani is 47 km from Uttarkashi and this beautiful village lies with a hot water spring known as Rishikund Teerth.
Most of the people heading to Gangotri stop here to bathe in the hot spring.
From Uttarkashi, around 78 km this gem of a hill station surrounding with the charm of unspoilt nature is a favourite stop for travellers on the way to Gangotri.
A 7 km walk takes you to Sattal, a group of seven lakes surrounded by beautiful mountain views.
From Harsil, about 2 km is another picturesque village, Dharali, known for its apple orchards and panoramic views of the Himalayas.
Many pilgrims visit this ancient Shiva temple on their way to Gangotri.
4. Mukhba village
The temple in this pretty little village is home to Maa Ganga during the winter months when the Gangotri temple is closed.
Pine trees, wooden huts, rhododendrons and countless other flowering plants can be seen all around, as if out of a fairy tale.
5. Bhairon Ghati Gangotri
This valley is located on the confluence of the Bhagirathi and Jat Ganga rivers, 10 km before Gangotri.
Many pilgrims on the Chardham yatra visit this historic Bhairon temple.
4. Places to Visit in Gangotri
1. Surya Kund Gangotri
The Surya kund is a sacred kund dedicated to Surya Dev. Devotees unfailingly come here to pay their respects to the Sun God. It is near the Gangotri temple.
2. Bhagirath Shila Gangotri
This is said to be the place where King Bhagirath prayed to Maa Ganga for the salvation of his ancestors. This, too, is not far from the temple.
3. Pandava Gufa Gangotri
This is about 1 km from the Gangotri temple. The Pandavas are believed to have stayed and prayed here in this cave while on their way to heaven.
On the way to Tapovan and Gaumukh Glacier, this beautiful town is located approximately 14 km from Gangotri. People visit this place on foot, as there is no motorable road.
This place is also known as Bhojwasa and it is famous for its trek and camping site.
5. Gaumukh Glacier
Gaumukh Glacier is the place, which is the real origin of the Ganga River and is also accessible by trekking 18 km.
The glacier lies on the slopes of the Chaukhamba range and is about 30 km long. It is a place of celestial beauty.
6. Submerged (Jalmagna) Shivling Kalp Kedar Temple
A Shivling in Gangotri that remains submerged in the Bhagirathi River and is visible only in winter. This is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva received Maa Ganga in his Jata.
This temple is known as Kalp Kedar Temple, located in Gangotri.
5. Places to Visit in Gangotri to Kedarnath
The route from Gangotri to Kedarnath goes via Uttarkashi, Guptkashi and Sonprayag.
1. Agastya Muni
About 172 km from Uttarkashi, this is where the great sage Agastya Muni meditated and established his Gurukul.
Many visitors visit the Agasteshwar temple, which is devoted to Agastya Muni.
This is around 30 km before Sonprayag and 25 km from Agustyamuni. Lord Shiva was hiding here from the Pandavas. An important place is the Vishwanath Temple.
It was attacked by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and the original Shivling of the Kashi Vishwanath temple was brought. It is also the spot for Manikarnika Kund and the Ardhnarishwar temple.
A small, picturesque town situated at the confluence of the Vasuki and Mandakini rivers.
Sonprayag is known for the Triyuginarayan temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, which is nearby.
It is believed Lord Shiva married Parvati Mata here, in the presence of Lord Vishnu.
Ukhimath is a small town located about 16 km from Guptkashi. The Murtis and puja from Kedarnath and Madhyamaheshwar are moved to the Omkareshwar temple here during the winter months.
The Madhyamaheshwar temple in Mansuna is a 24 km trek from Ukhimath.
Chopta is a beautiful region of evergreen forests and rolling meadows.
This place is about 24 km from Ukhimath and is a part of the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary.
This is one of the most idyllic and peaceful areas in the Garhwal region.
This is where the motorable road ends and the 16 km trek to Kedarnath begins.
Pilgrims bathe in the hot spring and pray to Gauri Maa before proceeding to Kedarnath.
Ponies and palanquin services are available here for the climb to Kedarnath.
6. Places to Visit in Kedarnath
1. Bhairav Temple Kedarnath
A short distance from the Kedarnath temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Bhairavnath.
Lord Bhairavnath is the guardian deity of Kedarnath town during the winter months when the town is covered with snow.
2. Vasuki Tal Kedarnath
A sacred lake where Lord Vishnu is believed to have bathed in the days of the past.
The lake is 8 km from Kedarnath and can be reached by a challenging trek.
This beautiful place is a must add this to your places to visit in Chardham yatra.
3. Rudra Meditation Cave
This is a facility run by the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam and offers caves to stay in and meditate in.
The cave room has all the modern comforts of a good hotel.
4. Shankaracharya Samadhi
This is the structure built on the spot where Adi Shankaracharya is believed to have achieved the ultimate eternal position.
7. Places to Visit Enroute Kedarnath to Badrinath
This is a town of great significance, about 41 km before Badrinath. The Murti and Puja of Badrinath Temple are moved to Narsinh Temple during the winter months.
Adi Shankaracharya established a Math here, which is known as Shankaracharya Math.
There are two temples within the Math Complex. Joshimath is also the base for the trek to Hemkund Sahib and the Valley of Flowers.
2. Hanuman Chatti Badrinath
There is an ancient Hanuman temple here. It is believed that all the wishes of a true devotee will be granted.
This is also the place where Lord Hanuman is said to have dented Bheem’s ego.
3. Pandukeshwar Badrinath
Pandukeshwar is located 23 km from Joshimath and is famous for its Yog Dhyan Badri Mandir, believed to be as old as the Badrinath temple.
One of the ‘Sapta Badri’, the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu in ‘Dhyan Mudra’ or meditative posture.
8. Places to Visit in Badrinath
1. Tapt Kund Badrinath
Near the Badrinath temple, this hot water spring contains medicinal properties. Pilgrims take a dip here before entering the temple.
2. Narad Kund Badrinath
Near Tapt Kund, It is believed Sage Narad authored the “Narad Bhakti Sutra” here.
Adi Shankaracharya discovered the idol of Lord Vishnu at this place, which was installed in the temple.
3. Mana Village
This is the location of Vyas Gufa and a Ganesh temple. It is here that Vyasji took the help of Lord Ganesh while composing the Mahabharat.
4. Bheem Pul
This naturally formed rock bridge lies near Mana Village, where it is believed that Bheem made it by placing a huge stone across the river.
One must add this to your places to visit in Chardham yatra.
5. Saraswati River
As it is known, the Saraswati River vanished thousands of years ago.
A small stream flowing from the mountains near Mana village merges with the Alaknanda 1 km ahead and is believed to be the lost Saraswati River.
6. Vasudhara Falls
This wonderful place is 6 km from Mana village and one can reach it by trekking. You can see beautiful scenes of the glaciers and peaks from here.
9. Places to Visit in Badrinath to Rishikesh
1. Dhari Devi temple
Dhari Devi Temple is located on the banks of the Alaknanda and about 133 km from Joshimath.
It has great significance and it is believed the goddess changes her appearance from girl to woman to old lady during the day.
For staying, you will get several places to stay while travelling to Chardham. For a better and hassle-free journey, it is advisable to book your journey through YatraDham.org, which provides you with the best places to stay in Dharamshala as well as hotels across India.
Have you visited Chardham? If not, I hope this post on places to visit in Chardham inspires you to go soon! Feel free to share any queries regarding this. Thank You!