Badrinath & Kedarnath are the two most revered pilgrimage destinations high up in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand. These are two of the Chardham in the Chota Chardham pilgrimage circuit the other two being Yamunotri & Gangotri.
Pilgrims often run short of time for embarking on the entire Chardham Yatra tour that may take 10-15 days to complete and so they opt for the Do Dham Yatra which of course takes a lesser time period to complete. The do dham yatra is actually a pilgrimage tour of any of the two dhams in the Chota Chardham circuit.
It may be the Yatra of either Gangotri & Yamunotri Dham or Kedarnath & Badrinath Dham. Reputed Chardham tour operators offer attractive Gangotri Yamunotri Yatra Package and Badrinath Kedarnath Yatra Package to the enthusiastic pilgrims.
Of the two types of Yatra packages, Badrinath Kedarnath Yatra is one of the most popular Do Dham Yatras and people setting out for the Do Dham Yatra to these Dhams expect to return with great spiritual fulfillment. To make the journey hassle-free & fulfilling, this Badrinath Kedarnath Travel Guide brings for you certain useful journey tips…Read on to learn:
- Badrinath is cradled at an altitude of 3133m and Kedarnath is cradled at an altitude of 3583m above the sea levels. Being such high altitude destinations, the weather at the regions is pretty erratic. So, before setting out for the journey, do some research and also check the weather forecast.
- If you have plans to travel to these shrines then make sure to avoid the months of July and August. It’s the Monsoon season in the mountains during that time and the area becomes highly landslides prone, thereby posing risk for the travelers.
- To avoid unwanted hassles in the course of the trip, you need to get your permits in place. Complete the Yatra registration much ahead of time and don’t forget to get your fitness certificate for the Kedarnath trek from Sonprayag or Guptkashi. If you don’t have that medical fitness certificate, you’ll not be permitted to move forward.
- The challenging uphill terrains would definitely try your physical strength and endurance. Not only physical strength but also good amount of mental strength is needed of someone who wishes to charter into the unknown Himalayan territories. Also, your breathing needs to be strong. Thus, prepare yourself in every way for this very arduous Kedar-Badri Yatra. Doing regular strength training and breathing exercises and enrolling in a spiritual healing class would be helpful.
- Medical checkup prior to the Badri-Kedar Yatra is an essential pre-requisite because high up in the Himalayas you’ll not get proper medical help in case you fall critically ill.
- On the Kedarnath trek route, trekking is allowed from 4.00am in the morning until 1.30pm. Beyond 1.30pm you’ll not be allowed to trek. Hence, make sure to get ready for the trek just at the start of dawn.
- The number of pilgrims and tourists choosing to travel to these shrines is increasing each year. Thus, waiting for the last minute is never a wise decision. During peak season, getting reservation, booking the right vehicle suitable for mountainous terrain, booking flights etc may be difficult enough. So, book everything well in advance to avoid the last minute harassments.
- When it comes to packing your bag for the strenuous Kedarnath-Badrinath Yatra, you need to do it the smartest way. You need to make sure that you carry all the necessary items without making you backpack heavy. Walking uphill with a heavy backpack may leave you totally exhausted and emaciated. Thus, never overdo with the packing and make your backpack unnecessarily heavy. By doing so you’ll actually bring yourself nothing but trouble. While packing make sure to carry the following items positively: heavy woolens, first aid box, torch, rope, umbrella, windcheater, essential medicines, pain relief balms and sprays, moisturizers, rain coat, cades, sun glasses, mosquito repellent, torch, route maps, ID proofs, important phone numbers, glucose drink, light munching snacks, energy bars, chocolates, lozenges, milk powder and dry fruits.
- If you have to enquire about directions, ask a shopkeeper. Asking from passer-bys is never a wise decision. People with unscrupulous motives may mislead you.
- Never crack jokes on the sages and hermits you may come across during the journey. You may incur the wrath of the locals by doing so.
- In many areas of the shrines as well as in many other temples that fall in the route, you may not be allowed to take pictures. Respect the rule. Don’t break the decorum by doing that which is not allowed. You may hurt local sentiments by doing so.
- Those with respiratory issues should never embark on this Yatra as in high altitudes the air thins out and oxygen level drops. Chances of aggravated respiratory issues are pretty high at such high altitudes.
- Never carry any valuables and precious jewelry during the trek. This may put you at the risk of theft at an unknown place.
- Make sure to drink from mineral water bottles during the Yatra. Water in the mountains may come with impurities and may cause severe diarrhea.
- Never be in a hurry to walk up the mountainous terrain. That may make you dangerously fatigued. Walk at a slow but steady pace.
- Never do the mistake of ignoring the commands of the Yatra officer. He is an experienced professional who can save your life by cautioning you against forthcoming, possible dangers.
- Never take alcoholic beverages and non-veg food items in the course of this Yatra. You may hurt the religious sentiments of people by doing so and fetch yourself unwanted trouble.
- If you love traveling all by yourself then this time you have to change your plans this time. It is the high Himalayas you are traveling to and it is always wise on your part to hire a reputed tour operator with many years of experience in arranging guided Chardham tours. Do some prior research and ask for recommendations before choosing any particular tour operator.
- If you have hired a vehicle to reach the Kedarnath trek base camp, you must know that you have to leave your vehicle at Sonprayag only. The road from Sonprayag to Gaurikund is very narrow and that distance can be covered only by means of shared taxis. Your vehicle will have to be parked at the Sonprayag parking space before you hire the shared taxi up to Gaurikund.
- Never stray away from your group while trekking. Himalayan Mountains are majestic and danger lurks in every corner. Getting lost in the mountains is never a good idea.
Abide by the above Yatra tips in order to complete your Badri Kedar Yatra in a hassle-free manner.