The Badrinath Kedarnath Yatra, popularly known as Do Dham Yatra, is one of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimages. As the snow starts to melt at the foothills of the breathtaking Himalayas by late April, pilgrims from various corners of the world flock the holy temples of Badrinath and Kedarnath to pay homage to the Lord and seek the path of enlightenment.
This Badrinath Kedarnath Yatra tour guide will help make your religious trip to the Himalayas more enchanting and expedient. Let’s get started.
Badrinath Dham: An Overview
One of the most revered Hindu pilgrimage sites among the Char Dham, Badrinath is the holy abode of Lord Vishnu. It is tucked amid the majestic Nar and Narayan Mountains of the Himalayas, featuring awe-inspiring beauty and a tranquil atmosphere to become one with the Almighty.
According to legends, the famous Badrinath Temple was built to commemorate and worship Lord Vishnu. It is believed that Lord Vishnu meditated for 1000 years under the Badri Tree in quest of mankind’s wellbeing. Yatra to this Dham is a reflection of a person’s homage towards Lord Vishnu’s dedication to mankind.
Badrinath Yatra remains incomplete without taking a dip into the holy waters of the Tapt Kund. Pilgrims believe that taking a bath in this sacred hot water spring washes away all the sins in life and paves the way for one’s salvation.
While being in Badrinath Dham, one also cannot miss visiting the famous Vyas Gufa. Legends have that Lord Ganesha helped Maharishi Vyas write the Hindu epic Mahabharata in this gufa or cave.
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Kedarnath Dham: An Overview
The sacred abode of Lord Shiva, Kedarnath Dham holds tremendous religious significance for the Hindus. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India – a supreme representation of Lord Shiva. It is nestled amid the stunning snow-capped Himalayas in the Garhwal range near River Mandakini.
According to Hindu mythology, when the Pandavas prayed to Lord Shiva for clemency as a penance of killing the Kauravas, He disguised himself as a bull. When founded by the Pandavas, the Lord hid under the ground but the bull’s hump remained outside. The Pandavas are believed to build a temple on the site which later came to be reckoned as the holy Kedarnath Temple.
Rudrabhishek Puja is a must-include on every devotee’s Badrinath Kedarnath Yatra itinerary. It is dedicated to the Rudra form of Lord Shiva and is performed every morning in the temple.
Famous Places to Visit
Badrinath Kedarnath Yatra has immense spiritual significance and attracts devotees from around the world. The visually-mesmerising beauty of the Himalayas, lush valleys, the majestic shrines and unmatched mysticism – together they make an experience of the lifetime. However, there are also other popular places that the devotees must stopover to have a more enriching experience.
Places to Visit in Badrinath:
- Badrinath Temple
- Sheshnetra Ashram (220 m)
- Brahma Kapal (500 m)
- Charan Paduka (2.5 km)
- Tapt Kund (0.5 km)
- Narad Kund (0.5 km)
Places to Visit in Kedarnath:
- Gaurikund (16 km)
- Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi (100 m)
- Vasuki Tal Lake (21.6 km)
- Gandhi Sarovar (3 km)
How to Visit Badrinath Kedarnath?
How to Reach Badrinath:
- By Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport (309.4 km). Upon reaching the airport, one can hire a taxi to reach Badrinath. It takes approximately 10h 52m to reach the holy town and cab fare from the airport starts from INR 6,000 onwards.
- By Rail: Rishikesh is the nearest railway station (293.3 km). Buses and private taxis commute daily between Rishikesh and Badrinath. A/C Volvo and non-A/C luxury buses ply from Rishikesh and charges between INR 500 to INR 700. You can also hire shared taxis which typically charge INR 1700 per person. One can also take a helicopter ride from Agastyamuni (14 km from Rishikesh) to reach Badrinath. It costs around INR 10,000 per person.
- By Road: The holy town is well connected via motorable roads, with buses and taxis plying daily from top destinations in Uttarakhand like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Pauri, etc.
How to Reach Kedarnath:
- By Air: Kedarnath Temple can be reached only by a trek (16 km) from Gaurikund which is the last connected motorable road for Kedarnath Yatra tour. One can take a flight till Jolly Grant Airport (94.7 km). Taxis are available on hire which costs around INR 6500-8500 and takes approximately 5h 18m.
- By Rail: The nearest railway station to Gaurikund is Rishikesh (96.1 km). Buses are available from Rishikesh to Gaurikund and costs around INR 159 per person. Taxis may cost around INR 7500-8500 for one-way sedan cab.
- By Road: Gaurikund is well connected via buses and taxis from major destinations in Uttarakhand like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Pauri, etc.
Badrinath Kedarnath Temple Opening Dates & Time
The holy shrines of Badrinath and Kedarnath typically open from around end of April to the beginning of November. For more details about temple opening dates and time, please visit https://badrinath-kedarnath.gov.in/
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic 2020 and subsequent lockdown in India, the Badrinath Kedarnath Yatra opening dates had to be postponed. However, it is now open from 25th July 2020. Prior registration and e-pass is mandatory for devotees to visit the temples.
Pilgrims visiting from other states or countries must have completed their quarantine period as per state/central government guidelines or have RT-PCR test negative report. Devotees can also book their Puja/aarti/path/bhog online on chosen dates. The same will be performed by the priest without requiring the pilgrim to be present in person. For more details, please click here.
Where to Stay?
Good places to stay in Badrinath are Sarovar Portico (INR 4500), Snow Crest (INR 4500), Dwarikesh (INR 2825), Jagirdar Guest House (INR 900), and GMVN Badrinath Yatri Niwas (INR 80).
Some of the quality properties to stay during your Kedarnath tour are Priyadarshini Syalsaur (INR 1400), Shivalik Valley Resorts (INR 2200), GMVN Kedar Dome Cottages, GMVN Sumeru Tent Colony, and GMVN Kedarnath Swargarohini Cottages.
Badrinath Kedarnath Yatra Food Guide
Besides roadside tea stalls and dhabas, there are some good local restaurants in Badrinath and Kedarnath, serving only North Indian vegetarian food. Non-vegetarian food and alcohol consumption is strictly prohibited.
Badrinath Kedarnath Yatra Tour Packages
To experience the best of Do Dham Yatra, you can also book Badrinath Kedarnath Yatra tour packages. The tour itineraries typically include Delhi – Haridwar – Guptkashi – Phata Helipad – Kedarnath – Back to Guptkashi – Badrinath – Rudraprayag – Rishikesh – Delhi.
Immerse yourself amid sheer divinity and fascinating beauty on your Badrinath Kedarnath Yatra.
Featured Image Caption:- Badrinath Yatra by Helicopter
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