Travel & Sports

Published on March 23rd, 2024 | by Lucy Jones


How to Plan for Chardham Yatra of Uttarakhand

The Chardham Yatra, which encompasses four sacred sites nestled in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, India, holds immense spiritual significance for Hindus. Planning for this journey requires careful attention to detail to ensure a seamless and fulfilling experience. This guide will delve into the intricacies of preparing for the Chardham Yatra, covering everything from crafting the itinerary to essential tips for making the pilgrimage memorable.

History and Significance

The Chardham Yatra, also known as the Char Dham Yatra, traces its roots back to ancient Hindu scriptures and epics. It involves visiting four sacred sites: Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath, each associated with different deities in Hindu mythology. According to Hindu beliefs, embarking on this pilgrimage cleanses one’s soul of sins and leads to spiritual enlightenment. It is considered a sacred duty for devout Hindus to visit these sites to seek blessings from the deities and attain spiritual fulfillment.


While the Chardham Yatra is spiritually rewarding, it also presents several challenges for pilgrims. These challenges include traversing rugged terrain, facing unpredictable weather conditions such as heavy rainfall and snowfall, dealing with limited infrastructure in remote locations, and the risk of altitude sickness due to the high elevation of the sites. Despite these challenges, the spiritual rewards and cultural significance of the Chardham Yatra continue to attract millions of pilgrims each year.

Opening and Closing Dates of Yatra 2024

The Chardham Yatra typically opens in late April or early May and concludes around October or November, with specific dates varying each year based on Hindu religious calendars and auspicious timings. In 2024, the projected opening dates for the Chardham sites are as follows:

  • Yamunotri: May 10, 2024
  • Gangotri: May 10, 2024
  • Kedarnath: May 14, 2024
  • Badrinath: May 16, 2024

Closing dates usually coincide with Diwali, the festival of lights, which falls in October or November.

Weather Conditions and Best Time to Visit

The weather in the Chardham region varies greatly, with summers being mild and pleasant, while winters are harsh and snowy. The best time to visit is during the summer months (May to June) and early autumn (September to October) when the weather is favorable for travel and the pilgrimage sites are accessible.

How to Reach

The nearest airport to the Chardham circuit is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. From there, pilgrims can hire taxis or use public transportation to reach the starting point of the yatra. Alternatively, one can travel by train to Rishikesh or Haridwar and continue the journey by road.

Chardham Route Map

The traditional Chardham Yatra route starts from Yamunotri, then proceeds to Gangotri, followed by Kedarnath, and culminates at Badrinath. Pilgrims can follow this route clockwise or anti-clockwise, depending on their preference and convenience. 


It’s advisable to plan for a minimum of 10-14 days to complete the entire circuit, allowing for sufficient time for darshan and rest.

  • Day 1: Rishikesh to Barkot
  • Day 2: Barkot to Yamunotri and back
  • Day 3: Barkot to Uttarkashi
  • Day 4: Uttarkashi to Gangotri and back
  • Day 5: Uttarkashi to Guptkashi
  • Day 6: Guptkashi to Kedarnath and back
  • Day 7: Guptkashi to Joshimath
  • Day 8: Joshimath to Badrinath and back
  • Day 9: Joshimath to Rishikesh
  • Day 10: Departure

Places to Stay During the Yatra

Accommodation options along the Chardham route range from budget guesthouses to luxury hotels and ashrams, catering to various preferences and budgets of pilgrims. Booking accommodations in advance is advisable, particularly during peak pilgrimage seasons, to ensure availability and to avoid any last-minute hassles. For more information on Chardham Yatra accommodation options, it’s prudent to research and plan ahead to secure suitable lodging arrangements.

Places to Visit during Chardham

Apart from the main pilgrimage sites, there are several other attractions worth visiting during the Chardham Yatra, including scenic valleys, hot springs, and ancient temples. Some notable places include Hanuman Chatti, Devprayag, Guptkashi, and Mana Village.

Cost of Chardham Yatra

The cost of the Chardham Yatra can vary depending on factors such as mode of transportation, accommodation preferences, and additional expenses for food and miscellaneous items. Pilgrims are advised to budget accordingly and factor in extra expenses for emergencies.

Travel Tips for Chardham Yatra

  • Prioritize health and safety: Carry essential medications, stay hydrated, and acclimatize to high altitudes gradually.
  • Dress appropriately: Pack warm clothing, rain gear, sturdy footwear, and religious attire for temple visits.
  • Respect local customs: Follow temple etiquette, refrain from littering, and be mindful of cultural sensitivities.
  • Stay informed: Keep track of weather updates, road conditions, and any travel advisories issued by authorities.
  • Seek guidance: Consult experienced travelers, tour guides, or local residents for insider tips and advice.


Q: Is the Chardham Yatra suitable for elderly or physically challenged individuals?

A: While the Chardham Yatra can be challenging, accommodations and facilities are available to cater to the needs of elderly and differently-abled pilgrims.

Q: Are there medical facilities available along the Chardham route?

A: Yes, medical facilities are available at various points along the route, including clinics, hospitals, and emergency response services.

Q: Can I undertake the Chardham Yatra independently, or should I join a guided tour?

A: Both options are feasible, depending on your preferences and level of comfort. Guided tours offer convenience and assistance, while independent travel allows for greater flexibility and exploration.

In conclusion, the Chardham Yatra is not just a physical journey but a spiritual odyssey that requires careful planning, determination, and devotion. By following this comprehensive guide and heeding the provided tips, pilgrims can embark on a transformative pilgrimage experience to the sacred abodes of the Chardham.


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