As the Colder days descend, the Gods from the holy Chardhams come down to their winter homes where they reside for six whole months. During this time the deities from all the four dhams are worshipped at the Yamuna Mandir (Kharsali village), the Ganga Mandir (Mukhba village), The Onkareshwar Temple (Ukhimath) and the Narshing Temple (Joshimath).
Joshimath: is the winter seat of Badrinath Temple, where the idol is placed at Vasudev Temple. Joshimath is already popular being the Gateway to Auli, Valley of Flowers, Badrinath and Niti Valley.
Mukhba: is a small village in the town of Harsil, located on the Banks of River Bhagirathi, on the way to the pilgrimage of Gangotri. It popular due to the fact that the idol of Goddess Ganga is brought down to Mukhba from the shrine of Gangotri in the Upper Himalayas and kept here throughout the winters as Gangotri becomes inaccessible due to heavy Snowfall.
Chardham in Winters 11 Days / 10 Nights tour :
Chota Chardham- Kharsali (Yamunotri), – Mukhba (Gangotri), Ukhimath (Kedarnath) & Pandukeshwar (Badrinath)
Day 1: Haridwar : Arrival Haridwar by road / Train / by Air. Check in at your hotel followed by lunch. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the city on your own. Evening Ganga Arti at Har Ki Pauri. Dinner & Overnight at hotel in Haridwar. (L. D)
Day 2: Haridwar – Barkot (185Kms/7hrs) : After breakfast, we proceed to Barkot. En-route enjoys delicious lunch at wayside restaurant. Barkot is a place of great scenic beauty with spectacular views of snow-capped mountains all around. A magnificent view of the eternal snow peaks of Bandar punch can be seen from here. Dinner and overnight at Hotel in Barkot. (B.L.D)
Day 3: Barkot – Kharsali – Barkot (30Kms/2hrs) : The beginning point of Chardham Yatra is Yamunotri which lies at an 3293 meters from the sea level, there is a good road till Janki Chatti, a kilometer away across the River Yamuna there is a village called Khushimath (Kharsali) which is a second home for Maa Yamuna in winters. The main idol of Maa Yamuna or Yamunotri is kept at Lord Shani Dev temple at Kharsali which lies at 2675 metres from the sea level, till the winter ends.
Maa Yamuna, The daughter of the Sun God (Surya) and consciousness Chhaya (the shadow) she has one sister Sangya, brother Shani Dev, Yamraj and Gangotri are also called her cousin and sister. Every year Maa Yamuna returns back to Kharsali on the “Bhai Dooj” or “Yam Dwetiya” two days after Dipawali, to meet her brother Yamraj.
Who built this temple here at Kharsali, an inscription on stone on its wall could not be translated till now; local believes that it is constructed by the Pandavas. It looks more like a fort, it is a stone and wooden four story structure. The main structure is constructed in a way by using stones, wood the Urad dal or Vigna mungo is used as a part of mortar to fix the stones together. It has faced the mighty earthquakes and floods with no damage to the building since immortal time. One can climb up through a narrow stairs, the main Bronze idol of Lord Shani Dev is kept here along with the Chaaya (the Shadow), the Sangya (the conciseness) and the Nag Devta, there are two urns one big and one small are kept and no one touches them because of any unforeseen danger to self or family, there is a belief that these Urns change their position themselves on Purnima (Full moon night) and Amawasya (Dark night) the Yamuna Idol is kept during the winters on the first floor.
After early breakfast, we will proceed to Hanuman chatti via Syanachatti (5 Kms. Before Hanumanchatti). From here local taxis are available for Jankichatti. From Jankichatti we drive for another 1 kilometer to reach Kharsali village. We will visit the Lord Shani Dev temple at Kharsali, wherein main idol of Goddess Yamuna or Yamunotri is kept after Deewali poojan (Festival on Lights) in winters. It’s called another home of Goddess Yamuna in winters. The devotee can get a rare chance to visit the shrine and to see the common rituals performed by the devotees. We return to Barkot in the evening. Dinner and Overnight at the hotel in Barkot.
Day 4: Barkot – Harsil (151 Kms, 6-7hrs) : After breakfast, we will proceed to Harsil – one the most beautiful valleys in the World. En-route we will stop at Gangnani for hot water spring dip. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Harsil. (B.L.D)
Day 5: Harsil – Mukhba – Uttarkashi (90 Kms ) : MUKHBA is the village up the ridge on the other side of the river from Dharali. This is the winter abode of the Goddess Ganga from the temple at Gangotri. The Gangotri Temple River holds a lot of religious and spiritual significance in the Hindu religion. The temple is a 20ft high and made up of white granite. It is situated on the left bank of the Ganges River. It closes on the first day of Kartik (Oct – Nov) and re-opens in Vaishakh (Apr – May) every year.
The idol of Goddess Ganga is transferred from (Markdandata Temple) in the Mukhba Village to the holy Temple. Mukhyamath temple in Mukhba village is the winter home of river goddess Ganga.
There is also a submerged Shivaling here. The Shivling can be seen when the water level goes down in the month of January and is regarded as a sacred spot where the Goddess Ganga first touched ground. The rich culture of the people of Mukhba is reflected into the various forms of art and craft created by the locals in the town. The people here are indulged into several kinds of handicraft making, wood carving and painting. The people are very kind hearted and adhere to their traditional rituals and traditions.
After breakfast, we proceed to Mukhba Village for Ganga darshan. On arrival perform pooja and relax in the lovely surrounding. In the afternoon return back to Harsil for Lunch. Post Lunch proceed for Uttarkashi. Dinner and overnight at the Hotel, Uttarkashi. (B.L.D)
Day 6: Uttarkashi– Guptakashi ( 212 Kms/ 8-9 Hrs ) : After early breakfast, we will proceed to Guptakashi (230 Kms) Lunch in route. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Guptakashi. (B.L.D).
There are two routes from Harsil to Guptakashi.
Route 1- Strictly for smaller vehicles. Tempo Traveler can take this route (212 Kms/8 Hrs) : Uttarkashi-Chaurangikhal-Lumbgaon-Peepaldali-Kirtinagar-Srinagar-Rudraprayag-Aagastmuni-Chandrawali- Guptakashi
Route 2- For all the vehicles ( 280 Kms/ 10 Hrs) : Uttarkashi- Dharasu-Chinialisod-Chamba-Zero Point( vis Bhagirathi Puarm)-Gadolia-Maletha- Kirtinagar- Srinagar-Rudraprayag-Aagastmuni-Chandrawali- Guptakashi
Day 7: Guptakashi – Uhkimath – Guptakashi (20 Kms drive- 1 hr) : Ukhimath is a pilgrimage site in Rudraprayag district, Uttarakhand. It is at an elevation of 1311 metres and at a distance of 41 km from Rudraprayag. During the winters, the idols from Kedarnath temple and Madhyamaheshwar are brought to Ukhimath and worshipped there for six months. Wedding of Usha (Daughter of Vanasur) and Anirudh (Grandson of Lord Krishna) was solemnized here. By name of Usha this place was named as Ushamath, now known as Ukhimath. King Mandhata penances Lord Shiva here. During winter the Utsav Doli of Lord Kedarnath is brought from Kedarnath to this place. Winter puja of Lord Kedarnath and year round puja of Lord Omkareshwar is performed here. This temple is situated at Ukhimath which is at a distance of 41 km from Rudraprayag
After breakfast around 1000 hrs, we drive to Ukhimath (20 Kms/01 hrs). Upon arrival we will have the holy darshan of Kedarnath ji at Ukhimath temple followed by Aarti & pooja, after which we will visit the nearby picturesque places, i.e. Madhyamaheshwar (Second Kedar), Tungnath ji (Third Kedar) and Deoria Tal (Natural fresh water lake) etc. After the holy darshan drive to Guptakashi. Dinner and overnight stay. (B.L.D)
Option & extention : From Ukhimath we can proceed to a beautiful & remote hill village Sari. Dinner and overnight stay at a lodge in Sari village. Next morning a days trek for the most stunning Himalayan snow covered peaks view short trek to Deoriatal (Lake).
Day 8: Guptakashi – Joshimath by Chopta (141 Kms / 5-6 Hrs) : After breakfast, we proceed to Joshimath (141 Kms / 5-6 hrs), one of the most beautiful sites on the whole trip. Enjoy the beautiful drive through medicinal forest. On arrival in check in to your Chardham camp. Evening is free for you to explore Joshimath on your own. Dinner and overnight at at the Hotel Joshimath. (B.L.D)
Day 9: Joshimath – Pandukeshwar – Joshimath (18 Kms drive one way/ 1.5 Hrs) : Pandukeshwar is located at the mid way of Joshimath and Badrinath. Situated at the distance of 18 kms from Joshimath. A scared place located enroute to abode of Lord Vishnu Badrinath at an elevation of 1829 m.
This place is also known as Yogadhayana Badri. It is a winter seat of of Sri Badrinath the Udhwa, there are two temples, the other one is the Vasudeva temple from here all the rituals are performed and when the summer comes the main idol of Udhwa is carried in a procession to the Sri Badrinath dham
This village holds very important place in the legends of Mahabharata. It was established by the king Pandu who had two wife Kunti and Madri, while hunting King Pandu killed a male deer in mating, these deers were actually a Rishi Kindama ( sage ) and his wife, the Rishi Kindama before breathed last cursed Pandu that whenever he will approach a women with a desire to make love he will also die , King Pandu after reaching home narrated the story to his two wives and denounced his kingdom, handed it over to his blind brother Dhrishtrastra , Pandu never wanted to die childless and expressed his desire to Kunti , she informed him about a boon which she had from Rishi Durwasa and used it to be mother of Yudhistar by lord Dharma , Bhim by lord Vayu and Arjun by lord Vishnu,then she the taught Madri who had twins Nakul and Sehdev by lord Ashwin Kumars , thus the Pandvas were born here.
After breakfast, we proceed to Pandukeshwar. On arrival take holy Darshan and spend time visiting Govind Ghat. We return to Joshimath in the evening. Dinner and overnight at Joshimath. (B.L.D)
Day 10: Joshimath – Rishikesh (260 Kms/8 hrs) : After breakfast, we proceed to Rishikesh (260 Kms/ 8 hrs). Rest of the day will be at leisure. Dinner and overnight at Rishikesh. (B & D)
Day 11: Rishikesh : After a leisurely breakfast, free time to pack your luggage and memories and depart for onward destination.