A pious pilgrimage is what everyone craves for, once in their lifetime. Be it for devotion, adventure or exploration. Char Dham yatra is a serene and tranquillising experience; it soothes our mind, body and soul. The Char Dham Yatra in India can be pretty hectic with the four temples situated in four different pockets of the country. Hence, people often choose to complete a Chota Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand.
Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri and Gangotri are the four religious places in the Char Dham Yatra. Peeping from the hilltop, the temples are located in the middle of Himalayan valleys and rivers that purify your mind of all the distractions.
While this pilgrimage allures both Indian and foreign tourists and pilgrims on board, it is necessary to have prior knowledge about Char Dham and the travel measures to streamline your course of the journey. So this blog brings to you some of the best travel tips for Char Dham Yatra that’ll help you plan your trip accordingly.
Travel Tips for Char Dham Yatra
Below are some of the best travel tips for Char Dham Yatra that will ease your journey and make it worthwhile:
Start Early, Plan Smart
Plan your trip at least a month ahead of travelling. Do your fair share of research on the guidelines and advisory about the Char Dham. Keep note of the time that’ll best suit you to travel. Usually, people prefer to travel during May or September, tending to the summer or autumn season, respectively.
Plan your trip according to your suitability and the condition that helps your health the most while travelling. Keep in mind the weather and check all the required boxes of requisites before the trip. Prepare your body beforehand to trek through the hilly roads. Exercise your mind and breathing to adjust to the high-altitude area.
Register and Book
Contact your nearest travel agencies to learn about the different Char Dham Yatra packages. Register for the one that includes all the necessary facilities. Book early to stay on the safer side and fill in all your details correctly and carefully. The government checks upon various details often before granting you permission for the trip. Hence be completely honest while filling in the forms.
Book your flight/bus/helicopter tickets beforehand to avoid a last-minute rush!
This trip is going to be one towards the high altitudes, and hence you should keep in mind the elevation, steep bends and curves, sudden slants and peaks. All of these can make you feel nauseous or out of breath. The Kedarnath, being on the topmost height of the four, is located about 3,583 m (11,755 ft) above the sea level in the Himalayas.
It is necessary to keep medicines handy, just in case you need them. Never say never. You may not have had motion or altitude sickness ever before, but you can’t predict how your body reacts to such sudden changes in its atmosphere.
Have Documents Handy
You may need to verify your documents at different check posts throughout your journey. The Char Dham Yatra is surely pious but also is popular, making it an attacker’s favourite in case they plan to harm. Therefore the government keeps track of the pilgrims and checks all the security arrangements from time to time.
Carry 2-3 copies along with your original documents with you so that you don’t have to act in a hurry or you don’t miss out on something.
Drink Clean, Drink Plenty
One major reason people fall sick during the pilgrimage is the consumption of unclean water or dehydration. A trip to the altitudes demands your body to stay hydrated at all points of time. If your body lacks water, you might easily fall prey to dehydration and further infections. So drink plenty of water throughout the trip.
You should strictly avoid drinking water from any roadside stall, hotel, or water stream. Prefer drinking mineral/bottled water. If you can’t access mineral water, then boil your water before drinking. Make sure you drink plenty amount of clean water.
Carry Food for Emergency
Carry packeted food items (such as chocolates, cookies, brownies, wafers, energy bars etc.) and dry fruits (i.e. cashews, walnuts, raisins etc.). Your trip will mostly last for a fortnight or less, and at times, you might need to take small breaks and stop at places with no immediate food availability. Packaged food items will keep you entertained and energised. Especially the dry fruits and energy bars will instantly help you gain some proteins and carbs to fight fatigue over the journey.
Also, carry ORS and glucose supplements that’ll prove beneficial in case of any emergency.
Keep Local Help
Since you’re to travel in Uttarakhand for 10-12 days for your trip, it is always advisable to keep local help with you. A local buddy will not only help you with your travelling guidelines but also will accommodate you to learn their culture and heritage more vividly and up close.
You can even hire a local guide while visiting different places.
A local help will also help you explore the famous restaurants, food, and hidden travel spots making your trip memorable and conducive.
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Count on Cash and Chargers
Though UPI is available and works finely in most places yet you can’t risk it. High altitude places often face network and internet connectivity issues. It will be an embarrassing situation if you don’t have any money to pay at a restaurant. Carry loose Indian currency of different denominations so that you can pay hassle-free.
Keep in mind to take chargers and power banks with you while travelling. No matter how much charge is left in your electronic gadget, be it – a laptop, mobile phone or tablet, you should have your power banks fully charged just in case you get stuck in the middle of something.
Consent Before Camera
Photography is usually restricted to most pilgrimages. Since religious places carry sacred sentiments, it is highly advisable to ask for consent before capturing someone or something out there. Also, adhere to the rules in places where photography is strictly prohibited. Do not hurt anyone’s religious sentiments or breach any law, as it is a punishable offence.
You might have to pay a fine or go to jail if you fail to stick to the rules enforced by the temple community and local authorities. While it is also true that there are many beautiful places that you’ll come across on your journey where you can freely capture the serene spread before your eyes. So keep your camera and extra batteries with you 😉
Avoid Alcohol and Non-Veg
Pilgrimage comes with added revered and religious emotions. Char Dham Yatra relates to Hindu sentiments, and on this pilgrimage, the consumption of alcohol and non-veg is often prohibited. Hence no matter what causes you to set forth for the pilgrimage – your devotion or your keen interest in adventures – you should respect the protocols that are set centuries ago that carry religious legacy along with them.
The aforementioned tips for Char Dham Yatra will facilitate and ease your way through your trip to Uttarakhand. Calling you from the hood of the Himalayas, the temples are surely worth a visit, at least once in a lifetime. The calm air will settle your thoughts, and you’ll return with a bunch of adventurous and pious memories that you’ll treasure forever in your heart.
Now the government and the tourism of Uttarakhand have eased the process for you by compiling all the details for the pilgrims. Do visit the Char Dham and soak in the sanctity and sanity that it offers to you!
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