Pilgrimage Tours in Uttarakhand
Char Dham of Uttarakhand are believed to open gateway to heaven for the pilgrims. Taking dip in the Har-ki-pauri (steps of lord Shiva), entering through Haridwar (gateway to lord Vishnu), reaching to the Kedarnath(temple of lord Shiva) and Badrinath (temple of lord Vishnu) is a lifetime desire of every Hindu devotee. While in a pilgrimage tour, Panch Kedar (five forms of lord Shiva), Panch Badri (five forms of lord Vishnu), Panch Prayag (five confluences of sacred Ganga), Hemkund Sahib, Haridwar and Ganga ghats, Rishikesh are some of the places you won’t want to miss not just as they are in route but what they hold is not elsewhere.
Sacred water of Yamuna from Yamunotri and Ganga from Gangotri are taken home by Char Dham pilgrims. Water of these sacred rivers is used in all sacred functions of Hindu families. The route traditional pilgrims follow is Haridwar – Rishikesh – Devprayag – New Tehri – Chamba – Dharasu – Barkot – Hanumanchhatti – Janakichhatti – Yamunotri. Gangotri is the second of Char Dhams, you will have to get back from Dharasu and go to Uttarkashi and pass through Harsil – Bharavghatti – Gangroti. After finishing the rituals (if you have any) and endorsing yourself in the serene beauty of Gangotri, you should get back to Uttarkashi then follow through new Tehri – Tilwara – Guptakashi – Gaurikund and finally you reach Kedarnath, the third of Char Dham. Here too, you get back to Guptakashi, make way to Ukhimath – Gopeshwar – Chamoli – Joshimath – Govindghat – Hanumanchhatti and finally reach Badrinath, the last of four Dhams of Uttarakhand.
The return journey route is Badrinath – Joshimath – Chamoli – Karnaprayag – Rudraprayag – Srinagar – Rishikesh – Haridwar.
This route follows the Hindu ritual of Parikrama (circumference) but Rishikesh – Devprayag – Srinagar – Rudraprayag – Augustyamuni – Guptakashi – Gaurikund – Kedarnath can be an alternative route that you can follow if you want to skip Yamunotri and Gangotri.
Uttarakhand is a huge blessed shrine endowed with uncountable pilgrimages, some more names are here: