New Delhi [India] April 29 (ANI/SRV): The famous Char Dham yatra has witnessed a slowdown in recent years on account of COVID19 restrictions. With greater control over the devastation and panic created by the pandemic, the government has allowed the yatra to happen this year after a two year-long closure.
The 2022 yatra’s access will be through a mandatory photometric registration process that will be available both online and offline for all the pilgrims. This government mandate will aid record-keeping for the tourism department keeping in mind the growing demand amongst devotees. Karwaan International Air Services Pvt Ltd (KIASPL), a promising aviation company is all set to cater for the growing yatra demand with customizations that can be hard to beat.
The Char Dham (meaning: four abodes) is a set of four pilgrimage sites in India. As defined by Adi Shankaracharya, the yatra consists of four Hindu pilgrimage sites – Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri and Rameswaram. It is believed that every Hindu should visit the Char Dhams during one’s lifetime as visiting these sites helps one achieve moksha (salvation).
All the ‘Dhams’ are related to four Yugas (epochs):
1. Dham of Satyug- Badrinath, Uttarakhand
2. Dham of Treta Yuga -Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu
3. Dham of Dwapar Yug – Dwarika, Gujarat
4. Dham of Kalyug – Jaganath Puri, Odisha
Another circuit which is relatively approachable and is the central point of discussion in this text is Uttarakhand, which also consists of four pilgrimage sites. Some people also refer to this circuit as Chota Char Dham. The Chota Char Dham literally translated as ‘the small four abodes, is an important Hindu pilgrimage circuit in the Indian Himalayas. Located in the Garhwal region of the state of Uttarakhand, this circuit is preferred over the longer version described above.
The 4 shrines of Chota Char Dham Yatra:
1. Yamunotri :- This temple is dedicated to the river Yamuna (Hindu Goddess, Daughter of Sun God).
2. Gangotri :- This temple is devoted to Goddess Ganges (the most sacred river in India).
3. Kedarnath :- This temple is devoted to Lord Shiva in the form of Kedarnath (Lord of Kedar)
4. Badrinath:- This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the form of Badrinath (Lord of Badri
According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that one should complete the Char Dham Yatra in a clockwise direction. Hence, the pilgrimage starts from Yamunotri, proceeds towards Gangotri, followed by Kedarnath, and finally ends at Badrinath.
Key considerations for your Chota Char Dham Yatra by Helicopter:
1. Coverage and duration
Ideally, the yatra should cover all four places of pilgrimage, however, travellers can choose the number of Dhams they would want to cover during their travel. The duration of one’s trip solely depends on the time available and the budget of the individual or group in reference. On average, one would require at least a day for each Dham mentioned. If needed, two Dhams can also be covered in one day. Travellers who prioritise comfort and leisure high on the list may opt for one Dham in a day with additional layovers to soak in the beauty that these majestic mountains offer.
2. Travel season
The circuit receives thousands of visitors in any given pilgrimage season which starts mid-April until Diwali (sometime in November). The exact dates are decided by the notable priests after calculations through the Panchang Hindu calendar. Akshaya Tritiya usually marks the beginning of the yatra.
The season splits in the middle due to monsoons, hence the 1st cycle referred to as the summer cycle is from April to June. The 2nd cycle, referred to as the winter cycle, is from September to November. The season expects a peak in the two-month period before the monsoon, which normally comes in mid-July. It is recommended not to fly apart from these 2 cycles in accordance with safety concerns due to extreme weather conditions. Further, always check the exact dates on the official Uttarakhand Tourism website (https://uttarakhandtourism.gov.in/activity/char-dham) before you plan your visit.
3. Helicopter choice
Helicopters are categorised as per engine – single engine or twin engine. Both options are available for the Dham yatra however, single-engine helicopters are the preferred alternative for a number of reasons. While travelling by helicopter, weight carrying capacity is of prime essence. A single-engine helicopter is usually lighter, can carry a relatively higher payload and approach higher altitudes which is a boon at any given day while flying in hilly terrains. Moreover, single-engine helicopters are charged at a lower per hour tariff and hence, are more cost-effective. A twin-engine helicopter can also be arranged on special request but is not preferred due to limitations in the approachable altitude and load-carrying capacity.
4. Facilities and package
There are several factors that one should consider, before finalising your trip organiser and or facilitator. The key is to opt for a package that provides you peace of mind and follows set protocols both in terms of safety and internal operations. Salient features of such packages include – VIP darshan, boarding or lodging, transfers and a Palki facility. Further, not all providers will be able to provide customizations for your trip, this feature shall be limited to premium facilitators only which keeps traveller experience at the forefront of their delivery which is the USP for KIASPL.
Last but not least, preparing a small checklist can go a long way to ensure you experience the best. This checklist ideally should outline the list of items one should carry when visiting the Dhams. Some of these items as mentioned below:
– Clothing as per weather conditions (Including gloves, a muffler and a cap)
– Medical kit with medicines to cater to basic ailments
– Government Photo IDs
– Biometric registration slip
– Mask and sanitiser
– Vaccination certificates
– Appropriate carried sim card
For further details and to help plan your trip, travellers can connect with one of the KIASPL team members and we shall be happy to assist you.
This story is provided by SRV Media. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/SRV)