Choti Chaar Dham Yatra, Uttarakhand

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Photo of Choti Chaar Dham Yatra, Uttarakhand by Abhay Gupta

4 Dhams of Uttarakhand are very sacred and almost everyone wishes to visit them. They are also called the Choti chaar dham yatra of India. The Chaar Dhaams of Uttarakhand are-

1.) Yamunotri (~10860ft)

2.) Gangotri (~10230ft)

3.) Kedarnath (~11755ft)

4.) Badrinath (~10230ft)

Many times I have seen people getting into a doubt of how Choti Chaar Dhaam Yatra can be done optimally. Either they do not have proper itinerary or information.

Here I would like to share an optimized itinerary of Choti Chaar Dhaam Yatra which can be done in 10 days.

The sequence is Yamunotri - Gangotri - Kedarnath - Badrinath.

Day 0:

Board a bus / train from Delhi to Dehradun. You can board the bus from ISBT Kashmere Gate . If you are planning to go by train then make sure to take Nanda Devi Express only and never book Mussoorie Express as it is 90% late.

Photo of Kashmere Gate, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Abhay Gupta
Day 1

Reach ISBT dehradun by 4AM and take a cab / auto to "Pahadi Bus stop" near Dehradun Railway Station.

Board the early morning bus (preferably 5AM bus) from Dehradun "pahadi" bus stand to Barkot (135km, approx 4-4.5hrs bus journey) and reach Barkot by ~9AM.

Photo of Barkot, Uttarakhand, India by Abhay Gupta

From Barkot, board a share cab/ private cab till "Janki Chatti" (45km, ~2hours), you'll reach Janki Chatti by probably 12PM. Rest at Janki Chatti for today, many lodges / guest rooms are available here at a nominal price.

Photo of Janki Chatti, Uttarakhand, India by Abhay Gupta
Day 2

From Janki Chatti (2521m), Yamunotri temple is about 5km (Altitude: 3246m). Start early in the morning, you can do this in like 2-2.5hrs depending upon your capacity or may hire a porter. There are many other temples near Yamunotri shrine.

Photo of Yamunotri Temple, Barkot - Yamunotri Road, Banas, Uttarakhand, India by Abhay Gupta

From Yamunotri, trek down the same day, consider that if you start by like 4AM from Janki Chatti then consider that maximum by 11:30AM you'll be back at Janki Chatti. From Janki Chatti, take a cab and get down to Barkot (~2 hours). From Barkot, board a bus/share cab to Uttarkashi (~80km, 3hours). Rest at Uttarkashi.

Photo of Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, India by Abhay Gupta
Day 3

From Uttarkashi, there are ample of share taxis to Gangotri (~100km, 3 - 4 hours). You will be able to visit the temple the same day. Stay at Gangotri or Harsil and enjoy the day with their local delicacies, maggi and tea. Enjoy the beautiful sunset at Harsil/Gangotri.

Photo of Gangotri, Uttarakhand, India by Abhay Gupta
Day 4

Board a share cab and come down to Uttarkashi (100km, ~3-4 hours). From Uttarkashi, take a share cab till Rishikesh (~170km, 6-6:30hrs). Rest and enjoy Rishikesh.

Photo of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Abhay Gupta
Day 5

Board the first bus to Sonprayag from Rishikesh (~212km, ~8hrs). From Sonprayag, several share taxis are available till Gaurikund (~7km). You may either take a share cab or go by foot (depending on your capacity). Rest and enjoy at Gaurikund.

Photo of Gaurikund, Uttarakhand, India by Abhay Gupta
Day 6

Trek to Kedarnath from Gaurikund is a 16km trek, start as early as possible (Trek from Gaurikund starts at 4 AM till 1 PM, after 1 PM you are not allowed to trek to Kedarnath from Gaurikund). It's a 16km trek and can be done in a day. Gaurikund is at an altitude of 1985m and Kedarnath at 3543m, there's in an altitude rise of 1558m (5141ft).

The route is Gaurikund - Jungle Chatti (4km) - Bheembali (3km) - Linchauli (4km) - Kedarnath base camp (4km) - Kedarnath temple (1km).

Photo of Kedarnath, Uttarakhand, India by Abhay Gupta

If you are damn fit then you can do this in a day or else there is a very high possibility of AMS. Keep your pace slow, drink ample amount of water and take black coffee or green tea to keep yourself fit, hydrated and motivated. You can also take ponies to reach Kedarnath. Reach Kedarnath, hire a room and stay there, attend evening prayer and enjoy the scenic beauty.

Day 7

Attend the morning aarti and start descending. Descending would be easier and you can easily descend in like about 6 hours. You can also take ponies to come down.

So lets say that you started descending at about 5:30AM, you should probably reach down by 11:30AM or max 12PM. Let's say you reach by 12 PM, take share cab and reach Sonprayag.

From Sonprayag take a bus or cab till Rudraprayag (~75km, ~4 hours). Get a room and rest here.

Photo of Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand, India by Abhay Gupta
Day 8

Start early, board any bus coming from Rishikesh to Badrinath (~160km, 5:30 - 6hours). Let's say you reach Badrinath by 2 PM. Visit the holy shrine, take a dip in the hot springs and rest for the day.

Photo of Badrinath, Uttarakhand, India by Abhay Gupta
Day 9

You must visit Mana village (4km from Badrinath shrine which is said to be the last Indian village in that area). Enjoy Mana (free from hustle bustle). You may roam in Mana and visit Bhhempul, Vyas gufa, ganesh gufa and other places. Enjoy the place, relax and chill and leave for Joshimath by lunch (12-12:30 PM).

Photo of Mana, Uttarakhand, India by Abhay Gupta

Joshimath is roughly about ~50km from Badrinath ( 2.5 - 3hours). Rest and enjoy the place.

Photo of Joshimath, Uttarakhand, India by Abhay Gupta
Day 10

Start early, board the bus to Rishikesh (255km, ~ 8:30 - 9Hours).

Photo of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Abhay Gupta

Altitude Chart-

Photo of Choti Chaar Dham Yatra, Uttarakhand by Abhay Gupta

Do keep atleast 2-3 buffer days in hand in case of any emergency.

Hopefully this itinerary makes it up to your expectation.

Approximate costing per person should not be more than INR 13,000 (In case you are not using ponies and luxury bus)

This is an approximation

Photo of Choti Chaar Dham Yatra, Uttarakhand by Abhay Gupta

In case of any query, do comment.

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