Char Dham (22 Days)
DAY 1: Delhi Arrival
Assistance upon arrival, followed by transfer to the hotel.
DAY 2: Delhi/Rishikesh
Leave by minibus to travel 224 km for the "sanctuary of saints and sages," Rishikesh. On arrival, check into the hotel. Afternoon visit to the ashrams and at the time of dusk witness "Ganga Arti." Ganga Arti is the worship of the holy river, Ganga. Pilgrims light a butter lamp with fresh flowers and offer to the goddess. It is kept in a dry leaf, and allowed to float over the holy river. This is certainly a touching moment to be at the bank of Ganges during this time.
DAY 3: Rishikesh/Hanuman Chatti (2400 m)
Early morning drive to Hanuman Chatti 222 km (6 hours) through the Shivalik hills and a further climb to the queen of the hill stations, Mussoorie (2005 m). This colonial hill station was founded in 1827 by the British hunter, Captain Young. After that, drive to Hanuman Chatti. Overnight stay at a tourist bungalow.
DAY 4: Hanuman Chatti / Janki Bai Chatti (2576 m)
Trek 7 km to Janki Bai Chatti. On the way, one can have beautiful views of the Himalayan peaks, Bandar Punch (6135 m), and Kala Nag (6387 m). In the afternoon, visit the Kharsali village to see the ancient temple of Someshwer Mahadev and Garhwal's rural life. Overnight stay at a tourist bungalow.
DAY 5: Janki Bai Chatti /Yamnotri (3185 m) Hanuman Chatti
A 5 km steep trek to Yamnotri through the paradise of Himalayan flora and fauna, and visit to the holy temple of Yamnotri. After lunch, 12 km trek back to Hanuman Chatti. Overnight stay at a tourist bungalow.
DAY 6: Hanuman Chatti Uttarkashi (1158 m)
Drive 108 km to the temple town, Uttarkashi. On arrival, transfer to the hotel for an overnight stay. Evening visit temples and the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering.
DAY 7: Uttarkashi /Gangotri (3048 m)
Drive 108 km upstream to the scintillating river Bhagirathi. You will witness winding, shady roads, swinging conifer trees, and beautiful Himalayan hamlets. On arrival, check into the tourist bungalow. Evening visit to the temple of Gangotri (goddess mother Ganges) that was built in the 18th century by the Gorkha General Amar Singh. As per mythology, mother Ganges descended from the hair coil of Lord Shiva, after the meditation of king Bhagirath for 5500 years, to wash the sins of his kin.
DAY 8: Gangotri / Bhujbassa (3792 m)
Trek 14 km to Bhujbassa, upstream to Bhagirathi river. Pass through the Chir Bassa (Pine Jungle). Further, you pass the Bhujbassa ( Birch jungle). This trek gives you a beautiful feeling of spirituality. The sun kissed Himalayan peaks like Bhagirathi, Sudarshan, Manda, Shivling, Meru, etc., above 6000 m, stand over there as sentinels of the valley of gods. Overnight stay at a tourist bungalow.
DAY 9: Bhujbassa/Gaumukh (4000 m) Tapovan (4465 m)
Trek 4 km to the source of Ganges; Gaumukh (cow's mouth). Pilgrims come here to take the holy water of Ganges, and they also take a holy dip in the Bhagirathi river to wash their sins. Further steep trek over Gaumukh glacier to Tapovan.
DAY 10: Tapovan
It is a full day exploring the beautiful place in the lap of the Shivling peak, where you see heady mists wafting into the secret sublimity of the skies. Feel the gusty waft of the mountain air fluted through meadows of grass. You can see meditating holy men, and you can feel the past, present, and future together. This is an excellent place to feel the pin-drop silence of the majestic Himalayas and supernatural power. One can trek towards Meru glacier, up to 5000 m, and visit the glacier lake. If lucky enough, mountain goats can be seen as well.
DAY 11: Tapovan/Chirbassa (3600 m)
Trek back to Chirbassa. Overnight stay at a camp.
DAY 12: Chirbassa/ Gangotri / Uttarkashi
Trek back to Gangotri, followed by a drive to Uttarkashi. On the way, stop at Ganganani for a hot spring bath. Overnight stay at a tourist bungalow.
DAY 13: Uttarkashi/ Gaurikund (1982 m)
Drive 226 km (9 hours) to Gaurikund, via the age-old capital of Garhwal kingdom (now is a controversial site for the famous Tehri dam being built by the govt.) confluence of Mandakini and Alaknanda river at Rudraprayag, Guptkashi – where lord Shiva went incognito to conceal himself from the Pandavas of Mahabharata. Finally arrive at Gaurikund where Parvati meditated for hundreds of years, to win her consort, Lord Shiva. This is a beautiful drive. Overnight stay in a tourist bungalow.
DAY 14: Gaurikund / Kedarnath (3584 m)
A 14 km gradual trek to the royal abode of Lord Shiva, Kedarnath through the Mandakini valley. The temple is situated in the rampart of 6950 m, high Kedarnath peak. In the evening, visit the temple to feel the Hindu culture. Overnight stay at a tourist bungalow.
DAY 15: Kedarnath/ Gaurikund / Chopta (2500 m)
Trek back to Gaurikund, drive 74 km to Chopta, the beautiful Himalayan meadows surrounded by lush green forests. Overnight stay at a camp.
DAY 16: Chopta/Chandra Shilla Summit (3700 m)
From this point, trek 7 km to Chandra Shilla Summit. You can have a 360- angle view of the beautiful Garhwal valley and Himalayas. En-route visit the highest temple of Tungnath, where the arms of Lord Shiva appeared. The beautiful huge flower carpeted meadows, welcome trekkers. Overnight stay at the camps.
DAY 17: Chopta/Badrinath (3096 m)
Drive 147 km to Joshimath (Jyotrimath), winter seat of the Rawal Sahib of the Badrinath shrine. It is also an important town for mountaineers and trekkers to make their final arrangements like buying food and equipment, arranging the porters, etc. After lunch, drive to Badrinath via Vishnu Prayag – the confluence of Dhauli Ganga (comes from Nitti valley) and Alaknanda. On arrival to the home of Lord Vishnu, evening visit the temple and witness the arti. Overnight stay at a tourist bungalow.
DAY 18: Badrinath / Ganghria (3110 m)
Drive 26 km back to Govind Ghat, trek 14 km to Ghaghria, along Laxman Ganga. Hundreds of Sikh pilgrimages can be seen on the way.
DAY 19: Ganghria / Hemkund (4329 m) Ganghria
A 6 km steep trek to the highest Sikh temple in the world "Hemkund Lokpal." Back to Ghaghria. Overnight stay at a camp.
DAY 20: Gangria/ Valley of Flowers (3150 – 3658 m) Joshimath
It is a pleasant trek of 5 km to the valley of flowers. After that, trek back to Govindghat and drive 18 km to Joshimath. If possible, drive to Auli to witness Goddess Mountain, Nanda Devi. Overnight stay in a hotel.
DAY 21: Joshimath /Rishikesh
Drive 190 km to Rishikesh. We can see the great confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers and the beginning of the lifeline of Indian, the holy river the Ganges. Overnight stay at a hotel.
DAY 22: Rishikesh / Delhi / Departure
Drive 225 km to Delhi. Drop at the airport for an international flight.