Tucked amidst the gorgeous Himalayas, Chardham Yatra in Uttarakhand is one of the most divine journeys where devotees from far around the world flock to seek the blessings of the deities. Devbhoomi is the rather apt name for Uttarakhand, for its panoramic landscapes that are gracefully complemented by the ancient religious sites strewn across the steep terrains. Apart from attaining spiritual experiences you also get to witness the unraveled beauty of the Himalayan Mountains, gorgeously flowing rivers, lush green valleys, etc. Scrumptious food and the pleasant weather are surely going to put you in super refreshing mood to revel some amazing moments with your family and friends. However, most of the people who embark on this spiritual journey only plan to visit Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri but there is a lot more to explore on this tour. Keep scrolling down the pages if you are excited and curious to know about more interesting places to explore on your Chardham Yatra.
The base point of Chardham Yatra, Haridwar welcomes a huge influx of tourists as the devotees preferring train or bus to cover the pilgrimage sites of this holy circuit come to Haridwar first and then move towards Rishikesh for their onward journey. Har Ki Pauri, the landmark of this hill city located on the banks of river Ganges, where people from far around the country flock to perform the rituals for the peace of souls of their ancestors. Devotees coming here have an unflinching faith in their mind that taking a holy dip into this pious river cleanses away all your sins and most importantly, it is a place where you can participate in the Ganga Aarti that is held every evening.
What Else To Explore?
- Mansa Devi Temple: One of the most preferred and hugely visited religious sites in Haridwar; Mansa Devi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Mansa. Nestled on the shores of river Ganga the temple is accessible via ropeway as well as on foot. There is a sacred tree grown inside the temple premise where the devotees tie a thread to the branch of the tree and pray for the fulfillment of their wishes.
- Chandi Devi Temple: Nestled on the top of the gorgeous Neel Parvat, Chandi Devi Temple is another sacred site in the city that attracts thousands of pilgrims. It is believed to be a Siddhi Peetha hence, devotees from different cities flock here to pray for their wishes.
The starting point of Chardham Yatra and many travelers start their journey from this beautiful city but before you move straightaway to your further destinations just spend some time to explore the glory of Rishikesh. One who visits this hill city gets to witness the incredible views of the gorgeous Himalayas, lush green valleys, and much more. From here, the devotees proceed towards Uttarkashi to continue their drive to Yamunotri, the first stopover of Chardham circuit.
What Else To Explore?
- Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula, the two iron suspension bridges are the major highlights of this place.
- Trimbakeshwar Temple, a 13 storied huge and imposing Shiva Temple attracts travelers towards itself and one has to cross the Lakshman Jhula Bridge to pay offerings to the deity.
- Your trip to Rishikesh is said incomplete if you don’t visit Triveni Ghat where the three holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati meet with each other. Take a dip at this holy confluence and wash away all our committed sins. Also, wait till it gets dusk and Maha Aarti gets underway in which hundreds of devotees take part every day.
03. Yamunotri Dham
One of the most acclaimed pilgrimages of Hinduism; Yamunotri is dedicated to River Yamuna where taking a dip into this holy river absolves all your committed sins and grants salvation from the cycle of birth and death. Being nestled at a huge altitude, the region witnesses inconsistent and unfavorable climatic condition hence, the shrine is opened for only 6 months and then for the rest 6 months, it gets closed and the idol of the goddess is shifted to another shrine. One who visits here doesn’t only witness the immense spiritual vibes but also get to enjoy the mesmerizing views of the surroundings.
What Else To Discover?
- Surya Kund: The most striking attraction of Yamunotri Dham where devotees take bath before entering inside the temple. The water of this Kund remains hot even during the winter months when the surrounding mountains are covered with thick sheets of snow.
- Divya Shila: Situated closer to the Surya Kund, Divya Shila is a gorgeous rock pillar where the devotees where the devotees find pleasure in climbing the massive embankment. The journey is however quite tiresome but is pretty rewarding with the serene and tranquil environment.
- Ganga Aarti: The morning Aarti starts at 6:30 am and continues till 7:30 am and then in the evening the Aarti takes place from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm.
04. Gangotri Dham
A small yet beautiful town nestled on the banks of River Bhagirathi, Gangotri Dham is a pilgrimage nestled at a height of 3100 meters above the sea level. The destination is encircled by the spectacular views of the Himalayas and the evening Ganga Aarti is the most appealing feature of this pilgrimage in which thousands of devotees take part. The temple is believed to have been constructed in the 18th century and since then devotees come to this place to take holy dip into River Ganga to wash away their sins.
What Else To Explore?
- Shakti Temple: Devoted to Goddess Ganga and after completing the puja rituals one can drive towards Gangnani, a thermal spring.
- Gaumukh Glacier: However, not everybody can explore this place as one needs to be physically fit to cover the 18 km long trekking trail.
- Just after covering a distance of 1 km from Gangotri Temple you will get to see the gorgeous Suryakund waterfalls.
05. Kedarnath Dham
Kedarnath falls third on the spiritual journey of Chardham Yatra where millions of devotees flock every year to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. It happens to be one of the most eminent destinations of Shiva worshippers as it is believed to be one of the 12 revered Jyotirlingas in India. Located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, this Shiva shrine is not only popular for its immense spirituality, and the panoramic landscapes of the surroundings, enchanting meadows, and dense green forests. According to Hindu mythology, it is said that once Pandavas were burdened with the guilt of doing fratricide and hence they performed deep penance to please the deity but Lord Shiva didn’t want to forgive them so easily, so he transformed himself into a bull and hid from them.
What Else To Explore?
- Gaurikund: The base point of the trekking trail to reach Kedarnath Temple, Gaurikund is believed to be the same place where Goddess Parvati meditated to please Lord Shiva for marriage. As per the rituals of Kedarnath Dham, the devotees willing to do the philosophy of Lord Shiva have to take holy dip into this thermal water spring before they enter into this holy shrine.
- Vasuki Tal: A high glacial lake nestled at an altitude of 14200 feet above the sea level, Vasuki Tal is another must-visit place near Kedarnath Dham. Here one can spot the rarely found Brahma Kamal and a few other Himalayan flowers blooming all around this placid lake.
- Triyuginarayan Temple: Situated in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, Triyuginarayan Temple is a well-known Hindu pilgrimage that attracts thousands of devotees flocking from different nooks and corners of the country to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva and to witness the panoramic views of the surroundings studded with snow-clad mountains.
06. Badrinath Dham
Tucked among the two gorgeous mountain ranges Nar and Narayan, Badrinath is one of the most divine journeys where Vishnu worshippers from all across the globe flock to seek the blessings of this supreme deity. The destination is rewarded with natural beauty, undulating peaks, mesmerizing scenic vistas, and the hallowed ponds and these all make it an enriching place for the travelers seeking for peace and pleasure. This beautiful hill station is established at a huge elevation of almost 3200 meters above the sea level. Likewise other sacred shrines of the circuit, Badrinath also holds interesting mythologies that are associated with its origin. Earlier, people used to reach the shrine on barefoot but from last few years with the innovation of Chardham Yatra by Helicopter services, the accessibility to this pilgrimage has been made easier.
What Else To Explore Here?
- Tapt Kund: Believed to be the spiritual home of Lord Agni, Tapt Kund is the hot thermal spring where pilgrims visit to take bath. Hindus have a belief that this hot water bath makes them free from all the sins they have committed in their entire life and also offers you a refreshing experience to all the travelers coming from different places of the country.
- Vasudhara Waterfalls: Just 4km away from the town, Vasudhara Falls is gracefully encircled by the lush green valleys and the undulating lofty peaks that entertain and allure the travelers a lot on their vacations in Badrinath. Although a quite challenging and physical taxing to reach, this glimmering waterfall entertains the tourists with its salubrious and favorable weather and magical charm.
- Brahma Kapal: Established on the shores of River Alaknanda, Brahma Kapal holds a legendary tale that states it was the same site where Lord Shiva alleviated himself for the curse of slaughtering Brahma. From here one can also move towards the pious Charanpaduka and the Mala Murthy Temple situated at a walking distance from here.
Believed to be a safe haven en-route Yamunotri, Barkot is as serene as even your silence is understood. This beautiful hill town is nestled beautifully at a huge altitude of 1220 meters above the sea level where you will be warmly welcomed by the red-cheeked kids having a beautiful and pleasing smile on their face. On reaching this beautiful hill city, one can have a glimpse on the magnificent Bandarpoonch Peak and several other massive peaks of the Himalayan ranges. The city also offers you a perfect platform to get enthralled with the adventure activities like covering the trekking excursions, hence, if you are tired and bored with the same schedule of your city life and want to escape away from this life then take out a few moments to explore this undisturbed hill station.
What Else To Explore?
- Adventure enthusiasts can take part in activities like white water rafting in Yamuna River, rock climbing, mountain climbing, and can cover the trekking trails to add some more fun and excitement to your spiritual trip.
- Take out some time to visit the apple orchards of Barkot where you can have some fresh fruits and the chirping of birds make your orchard trip more exciting and alluring.
Tucked at an elevation of 1300 meters above the sea level, Chamoli is bedecked on the holy shores of River Alaknanda. This magnificent city offers the promising views of the alpine hills, nature, dense forests, and the rumbling creeks and these altogether make it a must-visit destination en-route Chardham Yatra. However, every single place in Uttarakhand is scenic and eye-catching where you can spot fascinating and captivating natural beauty along with serenity and spirituality. Also, the locals of this hill station are so attached to their roots so that you can have a glimpse of their admiring culture, traditions, and artifacts in their day to day life. It happens to be one of the best places to enjoy a relaxing and refreshing weekend amidst the gorgeous Himalayas.
The list of the places that you get to discover en-rover Chardham Yatra doesn’t end here as there is a plethora of exciting places but we could compile only a few of them in this article but if you are excited to know about more such places then do follow us and share this post with your family and friends. Do share this post as an appreciation to us and write your feedback about this post in the comment box below.