Shitkalin Char Dham Yatra in the Winter Season

One of the holy pilgrim yatras Hindus are following for many decades is the Char Dham. To absolve one’s committed sins and to attain salvation through the divine yatra.  A few years back only senior citizens used to go for this yatra whereas in recent times it changed families and the younger generation as well showing interest and devotion towards this sacred pilgrimage.

During Winter

However, during the winter these Chardham yatra places are covered with heavy snow which makes these places difficult to access. So the Utsav idols of god and goddess from the char divine Dhams are a shift to other shrines where Pilgrims can visit. Here they continue the daily rituals similar to the main idol.

Duration of Yatra

The duration for this Char Dham yatra depends on the location from which pilgrims start their journey. For instance, from Delhi, it takes 12 days whereas from the Haridwar it takes 10days.

If you feel the number of days is more, one can opt for a helicopter where it takes only 2 days from the Dehradun. To know more about the details regarding the number of days and other details contact the Rishikesh day tour.

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What is Winter Char Dham Yatra?

According to Hinduism whoever visits these holy places and the presiding deity temple once in their lifetime, sins will be absolved. Whereas few believe they attain salvation.

This divine yatra covers four holy shrines of god and goddess in the Deva Bhoomi. In Hinduism, people circumambulate the temple in a clockwise direction. similarly, one has to visit these temples in that order.

The first temple pilgrims to visit is Yamunotri’s birthplace of the magnificent river, Yamuna. The second place one has to visit is the Gangotri, the birthplace of the cosmic river.

The third temple is Kedarnath, the abode of Lord Shiva. Last but not least is Badrinath, the abode of Lord Vishnu.

Chardham Yatra in the Winter season

Yamunotri Temple

The divine and sacred river originates from the Yamunotri Glacier at an altitude of 6,387 m. The Bandarpunch mountains peak in the Garhwal region of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand.

This place is a picturesque place that dazzles the Pilgrims. Here pilgrims main visit the holy shrine of Goddess Yamuna along with the Janki Chatti Kund.

The temple for Goddess is located on the western slops of the Yamuna river banks. Besides this, the goddess idol made of black marble stone is a special attraction.

This divine temple closes for six months as it receives heavy snowfall. Again temple reopens on the holy Akshaya Tritiya day every year and closes on the Diwali festival and the idol from the Yamunotri is moved to Kharsali.

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Narsingh Devta temple, Joshimath
Narsingh Devta temple, Joshimath

Kharsali A Winter Seat of Goddess Yamunotri

This place is a small village in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. It is located at an altitude of 2675 m. Kharsali is a winter seat for the Yamunotri.

The idol of goddess Yuman is placed in an ancient Shani Deva Temple at Kharsali. Here they perform the daily ritual for the rest of the six months until the temple reopens on the Akshaya Tritiya day.

Gangotri Temple

The next place is the Gangotri. The cosmic river originates at the Gomukh in the Gangotri Glacier which locates at an altitude of 3,100 m in the Uttarkashi district in Uttarakhand.

According to Hinduism, the cosmic river descends from the heavens due to the severe austerity of King Bhagiratha. He brings salvation to his ancestors.

Hence the river at the origin point and known as the Bhagirathi river. The river earns the name Ganga only after meeting the holy river Alakananda at the Devprayag.

During Winter

During winter this region is not accessible as it receives a heavy amount of snowfall. For this reason, the temple will close for six in the winter on Diwali day and again reopens on Akshaya Tritiya day. The Idol of Goddess Ganga Maa will be shifted to the Mukhwa /Mukhba village.

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Mukhwa village at Harsil valley, Uttarkashi
Mukhwa village at Harsil valley, Uttarkashi

Mukhba – A Winter Seat of Goddess Gangotri

This small village in the Harsil situates at an altitude of 2620 m. On the day of the auspicious occasion of the Diwali festival, the Goddess Ganga idol is brought from the Gangotri.

For the next six months they perform all the daily rituals here and again it reopens on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya.

This beautiful scenic place is located on the banks of the River Bhagirathi which gives an amazing view of the place and the Himalayan mountains.

Shree Kedarnath Ji

The third Dham to visit after Gangotri is the Kedarnath the abord of Lord Shiva. To make your Dham yatra easy, one can reach Kedarnath by Helicopter. Kedarnath is one of the 12 jyotirlingas.

Yearly thousands of pilgrims visit this place to the blessing of Lord Kederasvar. To reach this holy shrine from Gaurikund one has to trek uphill 22km. This temple closes on the Bhaiduj. On the auspicious day of Mahashivaratri, the reopening of this temple is announced.

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Ukhimath - The Winter Seat of Lord Kedarnath Ji
Ukhimath – The Winter Seat of Lord Kedarnath Ji
  • Ukhimath- A Winter Seat of God Kedarnath
  • During winter when the temple closes the Utsav idol of lord Kederasvar Along with the idol of Madhyamaheshwar(one of the Pancha Kedra) shifts to Ukhimath.
  • For another six months both the idols will receive the daily rituals from the respective priest of the temples.

Shree Badrinath Ji

Last but not the least, Badrinath is the abode of Lord Vishnu. One of the divine Dham holds spiritual significance in Hinduism. In Badrinath, the soul gets salvation.

Therefore, pilgrims have to visit this place last. The divine place locates in between the majestic Nara-Narayana mountains.

The announcement for the temple closing date will be on Vijaydashmi day( Dussehra ). Subsequently, the temple opening day will be informed on the Vasant Panchami day.

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Narsingh Devta temple, Joshimath
Narsingh Devta temple, Joshimath

Pandukeshwar ( Joshimath ) – A Winter Seat of Lord Vishnu

The Utsav idol of Lord Badri shifts to Pandukeshwar temple during the winter as it is not accessible during that season of the year.

This place is 18 km from the Joshimath and locates at an altitude of 1829 m. In this place, there are two holy temples of Lord Vishnu one is Yogdhyan Badri, one of the seven Badri’s and the other is Lord Vasudeva.

The Utsav idol of Lord Badrinath shifts to Yogdhyan Badri. Here they carry on the daily rituals for the Lord Badri for the next six months until the temple reopens.


Plan to visit Char Dham Yatra in winter to get the blessing of God and to absolve one’s sin. Then visit Kharsali, Mukhba, Ukimath, and the Pandukeshwar temples where the Utsav idols of these temples are brought here to perform daily rituals.

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Namaste! I am Om. I am a licensed Tourist Guide ( Approved by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India), I’m originally from Varanasi. Now, I am living in Rishikesh. I set up this blog to share my tips and experiences for traveling to inspire and help you to travel more. Hari Om

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