Saturday, February 26, 2011

Planning the Char Dham Yatra - Accomodation, Travel Route Map and Itinerary

All our planning to the Char Dham was last minute.

All the 4 temples usually open on the auspicious day of Akshay Tritiya (May) and remain so only for a specific period of time every year. This year the Gangotri temple and the Badrinath temple were to close on 6th November and 18th November respectively.

Keeping in mind the Temple closure dates, mother’s persistent knee problem and the fact that we wanted to be in Badrinath on the day of Diwali we decided to cover only 2 Dhams – Gangotri and Badrinath. Having heard a lot about Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd. (GMVN) run hotels, accommodation was entrusted to them. Next, a Qualis car was hired through an acquaintance.

My Dad along with the GMVN staff chalked out a travel itinerary that looked something like this (excluding our train journey from Mumbai to Delhi) –

Day I – 02/11/2010 – New Delhi-Haridwar-Uttarkashi

Day II – 03/11/2010 – Uttarkashi-Gangotri-Uttarkashi

Day III – 04/11/2010 – Uttarkashi-Birahi

Day IV – 05/11/2010 – Birahi-Badrinath

Day V – 06/11/2010 – Badrinath-Srinagar

Day VI – 07/11/2010 – Srinagar-Haridwar


Tickets to Delhi were booked just 2 days prior to the journey… in tatkal (instant reservation system offered by the Indian Railways).

Finally on 30th October 2010 I along with my family left for The Char Dham Yatra.

Everything had happened so fast that the feeling of being up there in the Himalayas hadn’t yet sunk in completely… But I was sure it would… Slowly but surely!


Our Travel Route Map For the Char Dham Journey

Char Dham Route Map, Garhwal Himalayas
Char Dham Route Map
(Click on the image to Enlarge)
Color Key

     - Our Route for the trip

     - Halts en route

     - Overnight stays

     - The Char Dhams that we visited


Tips for Travellers

1. If you want a good location at a decent price, ideally choose these government run GMVN tourist rest houses. The accommodation in most of these hotels is comfortable and value for money and the food is good too, especially if you love simple homely fare away from home. Tariff rates differ according to the seasons.

2. If you are entrusting the accommodation to GMVN, chalk out the itinerary very carefully as you pay the tariff beforehand and if you wish to swap the place of stay mid-way your travel then you have to shell out 20% extra of the tariff charge.

3. Book your hotel rooms well in advance if you are travelling close to the temple opening dates, there is a heavy rush of pilgrims.

4. Preferably do not travel in the rainy season as there are a lot of landslides during that time.

Contact details

Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd. (GMVN)
Mumbai – (022)22024415, 22027762
Website – www.gmvnl.com
E-mail – gmvn@gmvnl.com


To read the introductory post on Char Dham - Click Here

29 comments:

  1. This looks like quite a hectic and fast paced schedule if you mom has a knee problem. She must be quite fit otherwise!

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  2. Must be amazing being up in the Himalaya - maybe one day, i'll seeit too! Have a lovely weekend Aeri!

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  3. Wow!!
    Nice blog...Full of adventure :-)
    Thanks for sharing your experience here with us ..
    Keep Sharing dear :)
    Keep smiling, travelling and blogging :)

    Simran.

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  4. Very Good start to the series.. Useful information for aspiring travelers. I will sometime visit the Himalayas and your posts will definitely be consulted then..Looking forward to the next post Arti..!

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  5. I am sure you and ur family had lovely time ..and such a divine experience to visit the temple and have darshan there, Thanks for the handy tips they are surely informative :)

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  6. Wow! I'd love to do that. Traveling makes me happy.

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  7. looking forward , this sound very interesting .

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  8. What a wonderful trip! Thanks for sharing the beauty, the tips and all the information you've included! A very interesting and informative post for the day! Hope you have a lovely weekend!

    Sylvia

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  9. What a wonderful adventure. Great advice for travelers as well.

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  10. A man after my own heart, I have to plan everything as well .... only I wod have done this months in advance and would have worried over every detail until we actually arrived.

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  11. hey... thanks for visiting me already! i love getting away.
    this is great info that i sure hope i can use some day. i love your map!
    ~laura xx

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  12. i love to read about Himalayan sojourns. Shall come back to read more.Your trip looks well planned.

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  13. Awesome blog!!! My first visit here and i am already a fan......Following You!!

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  14. Useful info. But religious places are not on my agenda yet

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  15. Great stuff. You have planned to the last detail.

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  16. Nice detailed travel plan along with Map, good guidance for people undertaking first time trip to all these destinations. Govt. guest houses seem value for money, but service standards may not be just upto good pvt hotels

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  17. Hi, good info all across! The map looks very interesting, I'm presuming you scanned it from the original. Can you please let me know which map is this? I mean the publisher etc? You can reach me at madhujam (at) gmail (dot) com.

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  18. @Madhuja Thanks a lot! The map is not scanned. I took a snap of it from a book I have, then edited the same in paint to customize it according to the routes that we took in the yatra.

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  19. ARTI, many thanks for sharing, you have done excellent job on the site, its so beautiful and helpful... god bless you all the happiness..
    cheers

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  20. very informative iam leaving to chardham on 18th sep looking forwards to it

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  21. BEWARE of Himachal House Hotel in Kedarnath

    I visited Kedarnath in June 2012. During this trip, I had a horrible experience with Himachal House hotel. I am sharing this experience so that nobody else should suffer the way I suffered with this hotel. Here are the problems I faced here:

    • Only one bucket of hot water in 24hrs. Rest of the time, pipes run with freezing water, which will make you hands numb in 5 seconds.
    • No towels provided
    • Hotel does not have any heating system and no extra blankets are given
    • At first, he talked as if the welcome chai and dinner were included in our package. The owner Umesh Posti said: “Come have your dinner. It’s ready!”. Then he charged an unreasonable amount for chai and dinner, almost double the price of our next door hotel for a very bad service. When asked why he cheated us, he talked us arrogantly like ROWDY saying he can do whatever he wants to do.
    • The owner Umesh Posti who lured us with his sweet talk when we checked-in warned us of using physical force when we questioned about the injustice done to us.

    I had a horrible experience with this place and the owner. He ruined my Kedarnath experience. I recommend everyone to STAY AWAY FROM THIS PLACE!!!

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  22. Great blog thank you for sharing
    i leave for char dham yatra on 2/10/2012

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  23. I am also planning to do two dhaams at a time. Which two should I club. Some say Badri Kedar and then Gangotri and Yamunotri. However, I see that you are clubbing Gangotri and Badri....

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    1. The order is first Yamunotri, then Gangotri, followed by Kedarnath and finally Badrinath. Since we did not have much time, we went for Gangotri and then Badrinath, both of which can be done by car. Hope this helps. Happy travels!

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