The Holy River Ganges is the most sacred river in the Hindu religion and its source at Gomukh at the Gangotri glacier, and many other peaks. Gomukh is one of the holiest places for Hindu pilgrims who come here to witness the birth of Mother Ganga. The trek takes one to Gomukh (cow’s mouth), the mythological source of the River Ganges, which is at the snout of the Gangotri glacier. All the river confluences falling en route are almost equally sacred, as river confluences are considered very holy amongst the Hindus, and it is considered auspicious if one takes a holy dip in these confluences during a full moon night (poornamasi – in Hindi) or during most of the Hindu festivals.
The bathing ceremony is a photographer's delight, because it is here that the true spirit of the Hindu aspect in India can be captured on film, as these spots showcases Hindu rituals, as they were practiced since the last 6000 years of the religion's existence. The Holy sages, the Sanyasis, and the devout of all ages and regions dip in the waters of these confluences to attain the blessings of the holy rivers.
Day 01: Arrive Delhi
On arrival at the airport meet with our representative and transfer to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 02 : Delhi - Hardwar, 210 Kms.Drive (5 - 6hrs)
In the morning board Shatabdi Express for Haridwar at 0600 hrs. Arrive Haridwar and meet our tour Guide. One of the seven holy cities of Hinduism. The train journey takes about 5 1/2 hours. Legend has it that Vishnu's footprint was found on the bank of the holy river Ganges, giving it it's sanctity. Situated at the base of the Shivalik Hills, Haridwar is where the River Ganga (Ganges) passes through the last mountains and begins its 2,000 km journey across the plains of India, finally terminating at the Bay of Bengal. This life giving river (called Maa Ganga or Mother Ganges) is the venue of an event unlike any other in the world-The Kumbh Mela (The biggest congregation of humans in the world)
On arrival at Haridwar one must visit the town's 'steps' or 'Ghats' on the banks of the Ganges constructed for the convenience of the thousands who throng to the banks to offer prayers and dip in the sacred Ganges.. Haridwar is the gateway for pilgrims to the Hindu shrines at Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri further up in the mountains. So important are these destinations, that the desire and sacred duty of every Hindu is to visit these sacred shrines before his/ her demise, in order to attain salvation. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 03 : Haridwar - Barkot , 230 kms. Drive (7 - 8 hrs)
Depart from Haridwar early morning and take a hearty lunch on the way in Mussoorie the attractive hill station built in the 1800s by the British during their "Raj" in India. Resume your journey descending into the Yamuna river valley after a drive over narrow and winding roads to reach Barkot in the evening after visiting the famed waterfall at Kempty village. On arrival check in the hotel. Dinner and Overnight at hotel.
Day 04 : Barkot -Yamnotri -Barkot , 30 kms Drive / 10 km by jeep/ 5 kms trek.
Again after an early breakfast leave for Hanuman Chatti ( Drive 32 kms ) to start the journey. A local jeep takes one to the road head at Phool chatti.. Trek 06 Kms uphill on a well constructed path to Yamunotri. One can pray at the Mother Yamuna (Yamuna Maa) temple and also take a holy Achman to start the most sacred pilgrimage to Char Dhams. In Hindu mythology, Goddess Yamuna is the daughter of Sun God, Surya, and sister of Yama, the God of Death, hence also known as Yami and according to popular legends, bathing in its sacred waters frees one from the torments of death.
Retrace the route back to Phool Chatti in the evening to return back to hotel for dinner and relaxation. Overnight at hotel.
Day 05 : Barkot - Uttarkashi, 100 kms Drive (5 - 6 hrs)
After a relaxed breakfast, leave for Harsil, a drive of 152 kms. En route, stop at Uttarkashi for lunch. On the way stop at Gangnani for a hot water spring dip. Then continue drive towards Harsil, located on the banks of the swift flowing river Bhagirathi on its upper reaches, and surrounded by beautiful Cider trees- said to be one of the most beautiful valleys in the Uttarakhand, Prepare to spend the night at this picturesque hamlet - famous for its beautiful houses and the world famous "Wilson Apples". Overnight stay in rest house (if foreigners- night halt at Uttarkashi).
Day 06 : Harsil - Gangotri - Uttarkashi (Drive 150 kms )
After breakfast leave for Gangotri and on arrival take a holy dip in the River sacred The Ganges, also called Bhagirathi at its origin.
Gangotri is one of the most sacred destinations for Hindus, and the holy water of the river Bhagirathi (Ganges) is stored in every Hindu household for religious purposes. So important is the Ganga and its water, that water from this river is put on the lips of the dying to ease their path to salvation. It is time tested that the water from the Ganges never turns putrid even if stored for years! Perform Pooja at the temple built in honour of Mother Ganga (interestingly by the feared Nepalese conqueror of the area General Amar Singh Thapa in the 18th Century) and relax in the peaceful surroundings of the gushing river . The sun is really bright at this altitude and one should wear a good sun cream to avoid painful sun burns. Return to hotel in the afternoon to savor some of breathtaking views of the Gangotri valley. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 07 : Uttarkashi - Rudrapryag 240 kms. Drive (07-08 hrs) -
After a very early breakfast leave for the longest journey of the trip on the road. Late Lunch en route. On the way watch the ruins of the heritage city of Tehri partially submerged in the water of the mighty Bhagirathi river - dammed by the Tehri Dam - a man made marvel and the highest dam in Asia - a reservoir of 2.6 cubic kilometres (2,100,000 acre.ft) with a surface area of 52 square kilometres (20 sq mi). The installed hydrocapacity is 1,000 MW along with an additional 1,000 MW of pumped storage hydroelectricity. Travel onwards to reach the .beautiful Mandakini valley and get the first glimpses of river Mandakini. Travel along this valley to reach the river confluence at Rudrapryag late in the evening. On arrival check in at hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 08 : Rudrapryag - Kedarnath (72 kms Drive, 14 kms trek ) -
Depart immediately after breakfast and leave for Gaurikund ( 72 kms drive one way ) After a quick lunch (packed) on arrival, start the journey on the tough 14 Kms trek ahead. Arrive by late afternoon. On arrival check in Hotel/ Rest house. After freshening one has the option to perform Pooja and Darshan at the Shri Kedarnath ji shrine devoted to Lord Shiva. In the evening also visit the Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi at the back of the temple. Dinner and overnight at tourist lodge.
Day 09 : Kedarnath - Guptkashi - Pipalkoti 14 kms Trek, 32 kms drive + 135 Km
After breakfast start you journey back to Gaurikund the road head. On arrival drive to Pipalkoti. On arrival check in at the hotel. Overnight stay at hotel Badrinath.
Day 10 : Pipalkoti - Sri Badrinath Ji
Morning after holy dip in the warm waters of the Tapt kund, The beautiful and bustling town of Badrinath lies at an elevation of 3,415 metres (11,204 feet), on the banks of the Alaknanda River. The town lies between the Nar and Narayana mountain ranges and in the shadow of Nilkantha peak (6,560m) and attracts in excess of 650,000 visitors per year!
Devoted to Lard Vishnu (The Lord and Preserver of all life) ; it is fabled that Guru Shankara discovered a black stone image of Lord Badrinarayan made of Saligram stone in the Alaknanda River. In the sixteenth century, the King of Garhwal moved the murti to the present temple.The temple was expanded by the kings of Garhwal in 1700s. and after significant damage in the great 1803 Himalayan earthquake, it was rebuilt by the King of Jaipur
The temple measuring 50 ft is covered with a gold gilt roof, Strangely the architecture resembles a Buddhist Vihara (temple), with the brightly painted facade also more typical of Buddhist temples. Inside is the Mandapa, a large pillared hall that leads to the Garbha Graha (Sanctum Sanctorum) , The walls and pillars of the Mandapa are covered with intricate carvings.
For the devout, a visit and a Pooja ceremony at the Temple is a holy duty, for the casual tourist, a walk through the busy town going about its business of buying and selling goods (mostly of a religious nature) is a must watch! An avid photographer will get innumerous chances to take fascinating pictures on this day!
Drive to Rishikesh, on arrival check in at the hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11: Sri Badrinath Ji - Rishikesh
Arrive at Rishikesh in the evening. Check into Hotel! In the late evening (around sundown) visit the Ganga river bank for the spectacular and moving Aarti- a spectacle of sights, sounds and chanting.. Rishikesh is well known for its scenic beauty and the spiritual experience. Flanked by the Shivalik range of the Himalayas. It is fabled that when Raibhya Rishi penance hard, God appeared by the name of "Hrishikesh" and this area thereafter came to be known as Rishikesh (Locks of the sage). Overnight in hotel.
Day 12: Rishikesh - Delhi, 240 Km (6-7 hrs.)
Early in the morning transfer to Haridwar after breakfast- by road! Take the Ac train to Delhi. Arrival at Delhi Railway Station by mid day.Transfer to hotel. Remaining day at leisure! Over night stay at hotel.
Day 13: Delhi Departure
Early morning check out form the hotel and transfer to Airport catch flight for your onward destination.
Tour & Service End.
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