Char Dham Yatra is one of the most spiritual awakenings and soulful pilgrimages in India. Completing the circuit of Dham Yatra by offering prayers at the temples of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri will grant the devotees and pilgrims freedom from the karmic cycle of birth and rebirth, or in simple words, Moksha. Hindus make it a point to go on this pilgrimage once in a lifetime.
However, Char Dham Yatra is not easy, due to its location on the extreme, remote and high-altitude hills of the Garhwal Himalayas. The devotees going on this pilgrimage need some level of fitness and prep work prior to the commencement of the journey. One of the most important factors in determining a successful Char Dham Trip is to know when is the best time to visit Char Dham.
The Char Dham Temples open up for pilgrims from the onset of summer and remain open till the onset of the winter season. It is very important for the pilgrims to chalk out the right to visit mainly because these temples are located in a very fragile and sensitive zone.
Looking to head out on a successful Char Dham venture? Here is everything you need to know about the best time to visit:
Best Time to Visit Char Dham
The best time to go for Char Dham Yatra will be during the early spring and summer months or the time when the gates of the temple open up for Darshan. The best months to go for Char Dham Yatra last from May to early July. During this time the weather remains clear, free from any unexpected weather change, like floods or landslides and the surroundings also look extremely scenic. Although the weather remains clear throughout the said months it is always best to first check the weather predictions in case of some uncertainty. No matter when you decide to go, it is best to carry a good amount of winter clothes like jackets, sweaters and mufflers along mainly because as the sun sets the temperature dips drastically.
Summer in Char Dham
Summer time in Char Dham temples is a treat for the soul. As April approaches the snow in the regions melts away and the sleepy hamlet springs to life and color. While April to June is the best time to visit Kedarnath and Badrinath temple on the other hand Gangotri and Yamunotri Dham temples lie at higher altitudes the best time to visit these temples starts from the end of April and goes on till the early end of June. Along with some good quality winter / woollen clothes, it is advisable for you to carry a well-stocked medicine kit containing fever medication, cough medicine, anti-headache medicine and other such medication.
Monsoon in Char Dham
Monsoon arrives in the entire Garhwal region by the end of June and continues on till the end of September. This is not the preferred time to travel not only to Char Dham but anywhere on the hills. Not only does the temperature dip, but the entire region also remains susceptible to unexpected landslides and flooding situations. Cars and buses also stand a chance of skidding off due to slippery slopes. However, many pilgrims choose the Char Dham Yatra by Helicopter in order to complete the journey easily, safely and quickly without exposing themselves too much to the uncertain weather conditions. Another window for the best time to visit Char Dham is just after the monsoon months that goes on from the end of September to mid-November.
Winter in Char Dham
The end of November marks the beginning of the harsh, cold and chilling winter season in Char Dham. If the cold weather is not a problem for you then the late monsoon to the winter months right before the closing of the Dham gates is just the time for you. As per the Hindu calendar the temples of Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath shut down after Diwali only to open up the following year during the holy eve of Akshay Tritiya. After the closing of the gates, the entire region gets submerged inconsistent snowfall making visiting there inhospitable and impossible for regular pilgrim goers. The temperature remains up to the subzero levels.
Prior to heading out for Char Dham Yatra, you should definitely keep in mind that the region is rocky, steep and rugged and requires a lot of planning and physical strength. Also, keep in mind that the Himalayas are very unpredictable and the weather conditions keep fluctuating without any prior notice. So it’s best to always pack important things that you think you may be needing. It is vital for every pilgrim to know when it is the best time to visit Char Dham prior to undertaking this challenging and arduous journey. Other than that, for a more comfortable journey, it is best to pick out a helicopter service for Char Dham Yatra to ensure a safe, secure and quick Darshan Yatra.