The History and Legend of Chardham!

Introduction To Chardham Yatra

The literal meaning of Chardham Is Four Heavenly Abodes. This is what precisely Chardham Yatra is all about – visiting the four most pious places of Hinduism where the four high-order Gods of Hinduism are said to be residing. The Chardham Yatra is completed in the state of Uttarakhand, with the devotees visiting the Kedarnath Temple, Badrinath Temple, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. When all these temples are visited in one go, the complete tour is called the Chhota Chardham Yatra. Each of these holy places has a legendary history and a sense of mysticism around it. Till the Indo-China war, only sages and people who had completely devoted themselves to religion used to do this Yatra because of the strenuous, risk, and the terrain factor involved in it. But post-war, the Government of India has taken huge steps to build advanced connectivity and infrastructure at these temples so that people from all backgrounds can complete the Chardham Yatra. It is said that completing the Chardham Yatra at least once in a lifetime helps that individual to attain salvation. There are several Delhi to Chardham Yatra by car packages that help devotees in completing this holy trip in a comfortable and safe way.

History and Legend of Yamunotri

Yamunotri is the first abode of God which is to be completed during the Chardham Yatra. The Yamuna, which is the second most pious river of India, initiates itself from Yamunotri, which is based in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. For years, it is believed that taking a dip in this holy water helps in eradicating all the sins performed by a human and saves him from an unnatural and untimely form of death. Along with the idol of Goddess Yamunotri, an idol of Goddess Gangotri too is worshipped in the Yamunotri Dham. The Yamunotri Dham was built in the year 1839 by King Naresh Shah of the Tehri Empire. There are a lot of natural hot spring wells in the compound of the temple where devotees boil rice and potatoes which are considered to be the holy offering from the Goddess’s temple. When you take a Chardham Yatra package by car from Delhi, your first halt is always the Yamunotri Dham.

As the legend goes, Yamuna is considered to be the daughter of Lord Surya (Sun Lord) and also the twin sister of the Lord of Death – Yama. It is believed that saint Asit Muni, who resided in the Himalayas, used to bathe both in the Ganga as well as the river Yamuna. With time, his old age didn’t allow him to travel to Gangotri and thus as a blessing to the devotee, Goddess Ganga started a new stream which is now called as Yamuna. The origin of the river Yamuna is known as the Yamunotri Dham.

History and Legend of Gangotri

The second Dham on Chardham is the Gangotri Dham, where Goddess Ganga resides. It is believed that Goddess Ganga had to come down to earth from her heavenly abode in order to wipe away all the sins of mankind. The most pious river of India, Ganga, originates at a stop called Gaumakh which is on the Gangotri Glacier situated at an approximate distance of 20 kilometers from the base village of Gangotri. Like Yamunotri, even Gangotri is situated in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. The Gurkha General, Amar Singh Thappa built the Gangotri temple for the first time in the 19th century.

As the legend says, once the King of Seas, Lord Sagar had started an Ashwamedh ritual in which he had sent his 60,000 sons along with a fine horse. During the journey, the horse lost its way and was later found at Saint Kapila’s ashram. In a fit of rage, all the 60,000 sons entered Saint Kapila’s ashram, where the sage was in a very deep state of meditation. Having disturbed his meditation, in a single go, Saint Kapila turned all the 60,000 sons into ashes. Later when Sage Kapila calmed down, he requested Anushman to pray to Goddess Ganga to attain salvation for his generation before, in which he failed. Continuing the legacy, Bhagirath continued the meditation. Goddess Ganga was extremely pleased with Bhagirath and agreed to come down to Earth to give salvation to the 60,000 sons of Lord Sagar. It is said that Lord Shiva tied the river Ganga in his dreadlocks to prevent the earth from getting totally wiped out because of the force of Ganga’s water.

History and Legend of Kedarnath

The third Dham to be traveled in the Chardham Yatra Package from Delhi by car is the Temple of Kedarnath. It can easily be distinguished as the most inaccessible temple of the Chardham Yatra. Mythologically, the five Pandava brothers built the temple of Kedarnath which was given a retouch-up by sage Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th Century. The whole temple is built in a grey stone and is considered to be an architectural marvel along with divine blessings as it is still standing strong after so many centuries in the harsh terrain climate of its location.

As the mythological story goes, the five Pandava brothers were in search of Lord Shiva to seek his blessings and make them sin-free from all the bad acts they had done during the Mahabharata War. But Lord Shiva didn’t give in to their request so easily. Thus, Lord Shiva transformed himself into a bull and went to the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. But the Pandava brothers found him there. In a reaction to this, Lord Shiva in the disguise of a bull jumped into the ground and emerged from various places with different parts, namely – the hump at Kedarnath, the hair at Kalpeshwar, the arms at Tunganath, the face at Rudranath, and the navel at Madhya-Maheshwar. Together the Pandavas built five temples at these spots which are collectively known as Panch-Kedar.

History and Legend of Badrinath

Badrinath is known to be one of the holiest temples to visit according to the Hindu religion. The visit to this temple is depicted in both the Chardham Yatra, as well as, the Chhota Chardham Yatra. It is also considered to be one of the 108 most pious spots of Hinduism. Like the temple Kedarnath, the idol of Lord Badri (Lord Vishnu) was found by the holy sage Adi Shankaracharya in the Alaknanda River, and to safeguard the idol he kept it in a cave at Tapt Kund. This idol was recovered in the 16th century by a Garhwal Emperor and the first Badrinath Temple was erected there. Due to natural calamities, the Badrinath temple is demolished but re-erected a number of times. Geographically, the Badrinath temple is in between the mountains Nar and Narayan. The Neelkanth Mountain in the background just leads to the addition of the serene beauty of the Badrinath Temple.

As the legend goes, Lord Vishnu used to lead a glorious life which was pinpointed by a holy sage, after which to eradicate this sin, Lord Vishnu went in a state of meditation at the location where the Badrinath Temple is built. As a duty of a wife, Goddess Laxmi, transformed herself into a berry tree to prevent any distraction to the penance of Lord Vishnu from the natural factors like sun and snow.


Is the Chardham Yatra difficult to complete?

An absolute yes! As a matter of fact, all the tour package organizers warn all the tourists and devotees beforehand about the difficulty in completing the Chardham Yatra. It is mythologically believed that you can complete the Chardham Yatra only if your faith in the Divine Power is real. The road conditions, climate, terrain, and landslides every now and then prove it to be a difficult task for the Chardham Yatra to be completed.

What is the total distance covered in the entire Chardham Yatra from Delhi?

On average a total distance of 2000 kilometers is covered during the entire tour of Chardham Yatra from Delhi. Out of these 2000 kilometers, roughly, 1500 kilometers are to be completed in the mountains. Also, the average speed of travel by car is not more than 20 to 25 km/hour. It is always advisable to keep a few buffer days when on the Chardham Yatra so that if you face any kind of breakdown or natural calamity, you have the luxury of falling back on the buffer days.

What are the documents I need to carry while on the Chardham Yatra?

Because of the Covid 19 restrictions, nowadays you have to book your temple visit timings in advance. Thus, to get entry into the temple premises, you ought to carry a photo and address identification proof like Aadhar Card or Passport.

Are there any tour packages available to complete the Chardham Yatra?

Yes! There are tour packages available to complete the whole Chardham Yatra from Delhi. The advantage of traveling with tour packages is that you have a set itinerary and you have an expert and experienced guide always at hand throughout the tour.

Which is the best period to complete the Chardham Yatra?

The months from April to November are considered to be the best months to travel for Chardham Yatra because of the favorable climate. For the rest of the 6 months of the year, the Chardham Yatra is kept shut by the Government due to harsh weather conditions.

Delhi to Chardham Yatra by Car Chardham Yatra From Haridwar Do Dham Yatra From Delhi Do Dham Yatra From Haridwar
Tempo Traveller Starting From TT Video View Details
7 Seater Tempo Traveller Rs 10000 Per day 7 Seater TT 7 Seater TT Details
9 Seater Tempo Traveller Rs 11000 Per day 9 Seater TT 9 Seater TT Details
12 Seater Tempo Traveller Rs 11000 Per day 12 Seater TT 12 Seater TT Details
15 Seater Tempo Traveller Rs 13500 Per day 15 Seater TT 15 Seater TT Details
16 Seater Tempo Traveller Rs 14000 Per day 16 Seater TT 16 Seater TT Details
18 Seater Tempo Traveller Rs 16500 Per day 18 Seater TT 18 Seater TT Details
20 Seater Tempo Traveller Rs 20500 Per day 20 Seater TT 20 Seater TT Details
Delhi to Chardham Yatra Taxi Fare
Person Vehicle Type Car Rates
04 Sedan (Tata Indigo / Swift Dzire) ₹5000/- per day
06 Innova, Xylo, Tavera ₹6700/- per day
08 Tempo Traveller 12 (Seater) ₹10500/- per day
14 Tempo Traveller 14 (Seater) ₹11500/- per day
16 Tempo Traveller 16 (Seater) ₹11800/- per day
Haridwar to Chardham Yatra Taxi Fare
Person Vehicle Type Car Rates
04 Sedan (Tata Indigo / Swift Dzire) ₹4700/- per day
06 Innova, Xylo, Tavera ₹6400/- per day
08 Tempo Traveller 12 (Seater) ₹11200/- per day
14 Tempo Traveller 14 (Seater) ₹11200/- per day
16 Tempo Traveller 16 (Seater) ₹11200/- per day
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