When it comes to spiritual and religious travel India has set the bar really high. The entire nation is crisis-crossed with pilgrimages covering all the 4 crucial points of spiritual interest. Speaking of pilgrimages, the first and foremost yatra that comes to mind is the Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand. This journey takes you on a trip to the 4 holy temples of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri located in the scenic Garhwal Himalayas.
Planning a Char Dham Tour Package, then there are some important transportation things to keep in mind. The easiest way to reach the temples is to choose a helicopter trip that commences from the Sahastradhara helipad in Dehradun. Most pilgrims who choose to go for the Dham Yatra by Road start their journey from Haridwar or Rishikesh.
For more information here is How to Reach Char Dham Yatra via Road, Helicopter and Train.
How to Reach Kedarnath
By Road – Kedarnath is very well connected through a network of roads to numerous nearby cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Nagpur and even Bangalore. If you are travelling to Kedarnath by road from Delhi then you should know that there is a bus travelling to Haridwar from Delhi every half an hour. From here on there are numerous buses, taxis and private vehicles available and it takes about 6 hours to reach.
If you are travelling by your car or own vehicle then you have to make sure that your car has a very good level of ground clearance as there are many loose rocks strewn all over the road.
All the taxis and private cars are stopped at Sonprayag which is just 5 kms below Gaurikund, and it is the gate to Kedarnath.
From Sonprayag people decide to hitch a ride in jeeps that would drop you off at Gaurikund.
Road Route to Kedarnath: Rishikesh – Devprayag – Srinagar – Rudraprayag – Tilwara – Augustmuni – Guptkashi – Phata – Rampur – Sonprayag – Gaurikund – Jungle Chatti – Bheembali – Linchauli – Kedarnath Base Camp – Kedarnath.
By Train – The closest railway station to Kedarnath is situated in Rishikesh and Haridwar is located at a distance of 215 and 241 kms respectively. Rishikesh is not connected through fast trains and Kotdwar caters to very few trains. Haridwar railway station is better connected to places like New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Amritsar as well as Howrah.
There are several taxi services, car rental services as well as public and private buses available that connect Haridwar further to Kedarnath.
By Helicopter – The journey to Kedarnath starts from the Sahastradhara helipad in Dehradun and there are numerous helicopter companies offering this service. The helicopter will drop off the passengers at one of the many helipads present in Kedarnath like Phata, Sitapur, Sersi, Gaurikund, etc. as per government directives, the passengers will then be transferred to a different government chopper that will further transfer the passengers to the Kedarnath Helipad which is located just 500 meters away from the main temple.
How to Reach Badrinath
By Road – Badrinath is one of the easiest Dham to reach in the Chota Char Dham Yatra circuit. The road leading up to the temple is well made and properly maintained. The roads connect Badrinath to various nearby places like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun and other such major and minor towns. Reaching Rishikesh is the first step towards Badrinath and from here on the roads are well accessible to Badri Vishal. People can take their private vehicles to Badrinath with ease. If you are thinking about travelling to Badrinath after Kedarnath then there are direct bus services available from Gaurikund to Badrinath.
Road Route to Badrinath: Haridwar – Rishikesh – Devprayag – Srinagar – Rudraprayag – Gauchar – Gopeshwar – Nandprayag – Gopeshwar – Pipalkoti – Joshimath – Hanuman Chatti – Badrinath
By Train – The closest railway station to Badrinath is situated in Ramnagar which is 154 kms away while the other nearest railway station is located in Kotdwar which is 146 kms away. There are numerous bus services and private car rental and taxi services are easily available from the railway station. Depending on your budget you can choose any type of bus or car service that you like.
By Helicopter – The Char Dham helicopter service that commences from the Sahastradhara helipad in Dehradun also offers the Ek Dham helicopter service to Badrinath. From this helipad, the passengers will be taken to the Badrinath helipad which is located just a km away from the main temple of Badri Vishal. From here people can easily walk up to the temple entrance from the helipad.
How to Reach Yamunotri
By Road – The main temple of Yamunotri Dham is not directly connected to any roadway. In order to reach Yamunotri, the journey will commence from Rishikesh and up to Hanuman Chatti which is also the base point for the route to Yamunotri. Hanuman Chatti is just 14 kms away from the main temple of Yamunotri. From this point on a grueling and challenging trek will take place on a very narrow route that seems to be hanging off the Mountain Side. If you are not fond of trekking or walking for that long of an uphill trek you can always hire an alternate way of getting there like ponies, palkis, or horses. All the buses, taxis and private cars will be required to be parked at the parking lot in Hanuman Chatti.
Road Route to Yamunotri: Rishikesh – Narendranagar – Barkot – Sayanachatti – Hanuman Chatti – Phool Chatti – Janki Chatti – Yamunotri
By Train – The nearest railway station to Yamunotri is located just 172 kms away from the main temple of Yamunotri which is the Dehradun railway station. This is much preferred than the Rishikesh railway station which is about 200 kms away from the Dham. These 2 railway stations offer great connectivity to most of the nearby and far away towns and cities of India.
By Helicopter – Sahastradhara helipad is the place from where the helicopter services to Yamunotri Dham commences. You can either book a Char Dham Yatra by Helicopter or just go for Ek Dham Yatra by Helicopter to Yamunotri. The helipad closest to Yamunotri is the Kharsali helipad and it is just 6 kms away from the main temple of Yamunotri. People prefer to go for taxi services or pony services to reach the main gateway entrance to the temple.
How to Reach Gangotri
By Road – There are several bus services connecting Gangotri to various nearby places like Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Delhi as well as other towns and cities of Uttarakhand. There is a direct state bus service available from Badrinath to Gangotri if you plan on travelling to Gangotri right after visiting Badri Vishal. There are several taxi services and car rental options available from Rishikesh to reach Gangotri. It is another one of the most easily reachable Dham temples in the Chota Char Dham Yatra circuit since it does not require any grueling trekking or hiking uphill. The entrance of the temple is located right on the road making it easier for the pilgrims to approach it. Taxis service or taking your personal car is the best bet here for you.
By Train – The closest railway station to Gangotri is located at a distance of 114 kms which is the Dehradun railway station. You can also avail any train service at Haridwar or Rishikesh and after deboarding there you can easily hire a taxi or a cab to reach Gangotri Dham temple.
By Helicopter – Just like in the case of any other Chota Char Dham Yatra by Helicopter the helicopter yatra to Gangotri also starts from the Sahastradhara helipad in Dehradun. In order to reach Gangotri Temple, you will be dropped off at the Harsil helipad which is located 25 kms away from the main temple entrance. While picking out a package for a helicopter journey to Gangotri by helicopter, people also get a taxi service connecting the Harsil helipad to Gangotri temple.