Dham Yatra means a pilgrimage to holy places. It is a religious practice followed by Hindus across India. The most famous is the annual pilgrimage to two sacred Hindu shrines in the Uttarakhand state of India. These include Badrinath (the abode of Lord Vishnu) and Kedarnath (where Shiva resides).
Referred to as ‘Do Dhama’ where ‘Do’ means ‘two’ and ‘Dharma’ means ‘Pilgrimages .’They are undertaken from April through November every year. Visiting these pilgrims is considered the way to achieve salvation.
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About Badrinath Dham Yatra
The Badrinath Temple is one of the most sacred Hindu temples in India. It is located at an altitude of 3,715 m (12,192 ft) above sea level and on a hillock overlooking the Kedarnath Valley. Adi Shankaracharya built the temple in *the century AD. Many saints have visited the temple, including Ramananda Maharshi, Swami Vivekanand, Sri Aurobindo, and Paramahansa Yogananda.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi Devi. The main deity is called Badri Narayan or Badrinath. He is also known as Shri Badrinathji Maharaj Ji.
About Kedarnath Yatra in India
Kedarnath is a holy place of Hinduism. It is located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttrakhand and is considered one of the most sacred places for Hindus. The temple of Lord Shiva is situated here. This temple was built by Pandavas during their exile period. Kedarnath is referred to as the abode of Lord Shiva.
Gaurikund is the last motorable road to Kedarnath, and then a trek starts along the Himalayas to reach Kedarnath. It is worth noting that the Kedarnath is also one of the significant temples among the 275 temples of Paadal Petra Sthalams and an important one among the Panch Kedar temples.
As Kedarnath is known for its extreme climatic conditions, the best time to visit Kedarnath is Summer (from April – June), when the temperature varies between 15-30 degrees Celsius. Counted among the twelve jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, Kedarnath is nearly 1200 years old.
How to do Char Dham Yatra?
Char Dham yatra by Road is the traditional way to reach it, but it involves a lot of time and effort. The easiest and safest way to reach Kedarnath is by Helicopter. It is a one-day expedition that takes you safely to the holy site of Badrinath and Kedarnath.
Beginning from Shastradhara Helipad (Dehradun), the Helicopter takes you to the Sersi Helipad in Guptakashi to board another helicopter to reach Kedarnath. You will get the helipad situated just 400 m away from Kedarnath to begin your spiritual sojourn.
After seeking the blessings from the Kedarnath temple, you will head to Guptakashi to board the helicopter. You will reach Badrinath and then proceed to the darshan in Badrinath temple. After completing Darshan at Badrinath, you will again board the chopper for Sahastradhara, and your blissful journey of Chardham will end here.
Tips to Visit the Do Dham Yatra
Avoid visiting Kedarnath during the summer (June to August), when there is heavy rainfall. During these times, the road from Rishikesh to Badrinath becomes highly slippery due to frequent landslides and flooding.
1) Carry your light winter clothes even if you’re visiting during summer.
2) Always bring an umbrella and raincoat along with your rain boots.
3) If you want to stay warm during winter in the Himalayas, wear a woolen hat, a scarf, gloves, and boots. You may need to bring a sweater too if it gets freezing.
4) Next, this is an essential tip. Start preparing yourself for the journey by doing some preparatory exercise before you leave.
5) Cold creams, lotions, and sunscreens are a necessity. You should always carry medical kits with painkillers, anti-colds, and muscle creams.
6) You need to be prepared for any eventuality. So, always keep some snacks handy.
7) Bring a flashlight, extra batteries for the cameras, and fully charged portable chargers.
Only BSNL has mobile phone service in the Kedarnāth area.
8) If you want to avoid paying high prices for accommodation, book your hotel rooms well in advance. During peak season, the city sees a lot of visitors, so there may be limited availability at short notice.