Travel preparations Yatra Chardham

Yatra Chardham is a one of the wish of a Sanatan Hindu to undertake at least once in life time, one is to prepare well in advance to undertake this journey which is in high Himalayas covered with snow and thin air, less in oxygen.  Travelling at this height certain precautions and preparations are required  to make the body capable to face the harsh weather, biting cold, thin air less in oxygen and  able to climb the steep trek .

Journey starts from Hardwar / Rishikesh after Bio-metric Registration and getting the Photo I-Card issued from the Uttrakhand Govt. which is to be carried in person throughout the journey .

Yamunotri Temple

Yamunotri Temple

The trek to  Yamunotri Dahm is the small but tough trek of 6 km from Janki Chatti .

 

Shri Badri Vishal Dham , Sri Badrinath Dham

All four Dhams are situated at a height , Yamunotri 3235 meters , Gangotri 3042 meters, Sri Kedarnath 3581 meters and Sri Badrinath 3133 meters . all these places are covered under the snow in the winters ,temperature in the months of May – June is around 15 degree Celsius during the day and at night drops down to 2-3 degree Celsius, rain and strong  winds are  very cold, there are few shelters which  become over crowded or unable to accommodate the pilgrims . Treks are well maintained but when it rains the mud from the slops make it slippery .

People planing to have their pilgrimage for Yatra Chardham this year must prepare them self to under take a 12 days journey on bumpy mountain roads , drastic change in temperature and height ,  acclimatization to this weather and atmosphere is required before leaving for this journey .

Start daily walk with comfortable rubber sole shoes , physical exercises  for legs calf and thigh muscles and Breathing yoga exercises such as Pranayam to be done 20-30 days before leaving for the  journey. Sandles, Chapples are strictly no for walking,  ladies must trim their toe nails .

Must wear Warm woolen clothes , woolen socks , woolen cap, goggles , water proof  jacket and trouser, keep yourself as light as possible while walking up in the Himalayas .

Hot water bottle is required at Sri Kedarnath to keep the body warm where fire or heaters are not allowed in the rooms.

In the months of May and June there is a heavy rush due to school holidays, unpredictable rains,  loose rocks falling on roads  at many places results in road blocks for hours, pilgrims are advised to carry some biscuits, dry fruits etc. those carrying  battery  operated instruments i.e. camera, mobile phone etc. must carry additional batteries, have a BSNL / Idea SIM card in your phone as it works at all these places.

When walking try to make slow walk taking short breaks and keep drinking liquids and have deep breaths .

One is to take care of Mules and Palki carried by porters at Yamunotri and Sri Kedarnath .

Try to save yourself from getting wet in rain water .

Carry your personal medicines in a small bag, if advised by your doctor you may purchase small Oxygen cylinder at Hardwar or Rishikesh.

Must carry your photo ID proof  from the year 2014 the Yatra Registration is made compulsory .

Select your accommodations in good hotels with attached private facilities with availability of hot water for bath, in the month of May and June  try to get AC buses up to Haridwar / Rishikesh , up in the hills AC  is not operated  in the buses. The Puja and Priority Darshan charges are displayed at all places and Administration issues official  receipt for the money paid.

If one take above mentioned precautions, will enjoy more and not only have darshan of  Lords but also the beautiful landscapes of Himalayas  will keep you refreshed through out your journey.

For more information and packages contact +91-9810506646

Delhi  land line Contact number  011-45725562 , 45725563 and 45725564

Callers from Outside India contact +44 7700093414

Website : www.yatrachardham.com

Email : promark@promarktravels.com

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Leh , Ladakh by Road , Preparations and Precautions

Every year the motorbike and Jeep adventure lovers wait for the Manali – Leh highway to open, it opens around the end of May every year, there were heavy snow falls in the high passes this year , at may places the BRO ( Border Road Organisation ) had to clear the 60 ft . of snow from the highway .

Ladakh by road

Ladakh by Road

To reach Leh by road there are two options first one is  Srinagar – Leh which opens early May. From Srinagar one has to cross Zoji La pass ( 13000 ft/4000 mtrs.)  , Drass Valley ( 10990 ft/3230 mtrs.) one must visit and pay his / her respect to the martyrs at Kargil war Heroes memorial it is on the highway at the base of Tololing , one can have the best views of Rhino Knob , Tiger Hill .

Tiger Hill , Leh-Srinagar highway

Tiger Hill , Leh-Srinagar highway

Drass is the second highest coldest inhabited place on earth , Kargil , Mulbek , Namik – La ( 12198 ft/3827 mtrs.) Fotu – La pass (13478 ft./ 4104 mtr.)  and then to Leh , total distance is 450 kms.

Ladakh by Road

Ladakh by Road

The Second route Manali – Leh opens end May , passes through the two mountain ranges Pir Panjal and Zanskar with some of the highest  mountain passes in the world , there are many ice cold small streams originating from the Glaciers melts, where drivers skills are at test to negotiate through fast flowing streams ,   starts from Manali , Rohtang – La ( 13054 ft./ 3979 mtrs.) Tandi ( 8430 ft/2570 mtrs.) , Keylong , Jispa ( 11020 ft./3360 mtrs.), Darcha , Baralacha – La Pass ( 16500 ft./5030 mtrs.) , Sarchu ( 15100 ft./4600 mtrs.) , Gata Loops ( 22 hairpin bends) , Nakee – La Pass , Lachulung – La Pass ( 16616 ft./ 5065 mtrs.) , Pang , Tanglang – La Pass ( 17480 ft./5328 mtrs.) , Karu , Leh ( 11483 ft./3500 mtrs.) total distance to be covered  490 km full of not even thought of surprises and scenery .

Baralacha La

Since 1974 when restrictions were removed to visit Ladakh, every year thousands of people travel to experience this part of India which is also known as Little Tibet , there are vast barren lands golden yellow, black and grey mountains , green patches near  crystal clear  Lakes and rivers . All this is available from May to October / November only , rest of the year most of these roads and high passes are under the thick blanket of snow. Days are warm when there is sun light but there is cool breeze from the snow mountains around  keeps the temperature around 10 degrees centigrade , weather changes are fast and unexpected , there are no rains as the entire area from Rohtang onward is  Rain Shadow area , the Monsoon clouds hardly enters this area, it does not mean that there are no rains , occasional drizzles are there  , the night temperature is at many places even drops to sub-zero and there are strong winds . weather is dry and ultra-violet rays which may have a bad effect on the skin , during the day the bright sun and rays reflecting from the snow effects the eyes. Most of the travels do not experience the Acute Mountain Sickness and there is no set rule who will be effected but if precautions are taken care of one can minimize its effect .

Driving on this terrain is an ultimate challenge for a human body and the machine , selecting a vehicle , understanding of machine and body is very important  People 17-70 years of age with normal health can travel on this road , one must prepare well in advance before starting for this journey to enjoy the unspoiled beauty and well preserved rich history & Culture of Tibetan Buddhism of  Himachal and Ladakh Himalayas  .

Pangong Lake , Ladakh

Pangong Lake , Ladakh

Four wheel Jeep / SUV any vehicle with high ground clearance  or a Motor Bike (350 cc) are best suited for this trip , these custom made vehicles are available on rent per day basis or one can purchase from Delhi , there are clubs and few selected travel agents all over India who organizes  the logistics for this highly adventurous and beautiful journey in the months of June , July , August , September , October every year when the roads passing through the high passes are clear and with less snow.

High ground clearance SUVs at Pangong lake

To enjoy the beauty and adventure in this land one is to take few precautions and preparations , if one is taking his/her own vehicle then it should be of high ground clearance and preferably a 4 wheel drive , must have one extra tank for the fuel ,  extra Tyre , air pump , tool kit , Tyre puncture repair kit ,  strong ropes in case of emergency it can be towed , if driving a motor bike then extra pairs of clutch and brake wires , one must bear in mind that due to low oxygen the efficiency of machine reduces and one should not put extra burden on machine , the bags should be water proof or they must be warped with a water proof sheath .

Personal clothing should be comfortable , woolen shirts , trousers , gloves ,woolen cap , colored and plain eye protector glasses, comfortable ankle leather boots and woolen socks, wind proof jacket, raincoat are recommended . there are Glacial melt streams one is to avoid getting wet there , if got wet change the cloths and shoes with dry ones.

There are two levels of mountain  driving at this route .

 High Altitude 2500 mtrs./8000 ft. to 4000 mtrs./13000 ft. (one night stay is must at this altitude for acclimatization)

Very High Altitude 4000 mtr./13000 ft. to 5500 mtr./18000 ft.  (avoid sleeping first night at this altitude )

Normal first aid kit and one must understand the symptoms of  Acute Mountain Sickness ( AMS) to whom it can effect or not there is no thumb rule  but any where when one feels heavy head / head ache , giddiness , Fatigue , Nausea , Nose Bleed, Pins and Needles , Swelling of hand, face and feet , High pulse rate ( 110). The best way is to drink adequate  liquids, 3-4 liters a day – clean  boiled and filtered or treated , tea/coffee/soup/juice etc.  avoid smoking and taking alcohol , avoid greasy / oily food , take rich carbohydrates . 48 hrs. before the  journey take DIMOX tablets , The usual dosage is 125 mg twice a day for a few days,  must consult the doctor for the potency of medicine , people use camphor smelling , chew Mint  or Polo while travelling , the Ladakhi local remedy is to chew one clove of garlic as soon as one feels  the heaviness , usually occurs following a rapid ascent and can usually be prevented by ascending slowly, It commonly occurs above 2,400 mtrs. / 8,000  feet ,one should not ignore or take lightly these symptoms, at places there are army medical help  available and oxygen is provided to bring the person to normal state. In the first 24 hours at high altitude reduces the symptoms of AMS.  The air is dry cold and chilly , it takes away the moisture from the body ,  best way to protect is to cover  properly , use a high neck , full sleeves woolen  shirts , avoid T-shirts and have warm water to keep the body warm and maintain water and  balance . Never travel alone .

For more information and packages contact +91 9810506646   

Office contact : 011 45725562 , 45725563, 45725564

Callers fom outside India contact + 44 77 000 93414

Email : promark@promarktravels.com

Website : http://promarktravels.com

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Yatra Chardham Uttrakhand in Winters

Yatra Chardham in the Uttrakhand also called the Chota Chardham is a journey of four places or Dhams done from spring to autumn months, and as per the Hindu calender, from Akshaya Tritia till the Bhai Dooj ( April end /May first week till October end / November second week) . During this time, all the roads and trekking routes are accessible and free from any Snow.

During the Winters when all Dhams are closed due to snowfall in the higher  reaches of the Himalaya , the main deities for worship are brought down at the temples located in the villages for the uninterrupted  daily Puja and rituals, one saves on the long uphill treks which are difficult for the Senior Citizens. Hotels are less expensive and temples are not crowded. One can spend as much time to perform the puja and dhyan. The usual Yatra Chardham is of 14 days in summer months from Delhi by road but same journey can be done comfortably  in 10 days in winters

 Ma Yamuna is worshiped at village Kharsali seven kms before the Yamunotri main Temple,  just across river Yamuna at Janki Chatti, it is a picturesque village which has the oldest Lord Shani temple. 

Ma Yamuna stays with her brother Lord Shani during the winters.

Shani Dev , Naag Devta Temple at Kharsali

Ma Ganga is worshiped at village Mukhwa near Harsil. A lesser known and ignored fact about Harsil  is that Harsil is a place where many rivers meet which forms a Maha Prayag like Vishnu Ganga, Jalandhari, Pawan Ganga, Hatya Harini, Kheer Ganga , Kakora, Tilangana and  Bhim Ganga pouring their waters into the main River,  Bhagirathi. 

Harsil’s Mayank Parvat  has mention in Kedarkhand a chapter in Skandh Purana. This place is also famous for Ashram of Maharishi Markandaeya, who composed the Durga Saptshati at Mukhwa

Ma Gangotri Winter Seat , Mukhwa Village , Uttrakhand

Lord Kedarnath ( Lord Shiva) is worshiped at Gupt Kashi  Ukhimath, located on the banks of  Mandakini river, where, during the winter months, the Idols are brought in from the main temple of Sri Kedarnath .

Lord Kedarnath Winter seat , Ukhimath

At Gupt Kashi it is said  “जितने पत्थर उतने शंकर ” (All the stones are Lord Shiva) 

One can visit and offer prayers at places associated with Sanatan HinduMythology, at Guptkashi namely Ardhnarishwara, Manikarnika Kund ( Pond)Love legend of Anirudha (the grand son of Lord Krishna ) and Demon King Banasura‘s daughter Usha and then killing of Banasur, Grave of Nala of epic Ramayna,

One gets a beautiful view of Chaukhamba , Kedarnath and Neelkantha peaks.

Lord Badri Vishal Winter Seat Pandukeshwar , Uttrakhand

 

Lord Badri Vishal is worshiped at Pandukeshwar  during the winters, this place is 18 kms from Joshimath and very close to Govind Ghat. Pandukashwer is also associated with King Pandu father of Five Pandavas of Mahabharata

After the curse from a Sage, ( Rishi) Kindama, mistakenly killed by King Pandu, spent his life here and his queens Kunti and Madri gave birth to the five Pandva brothers, Namely Yudhishthir, Arjun, Bheem, Nakul and Sahdev (in order of their ages, elder first).

Yudhishthir, Arjun and Bheem were born from Kunti and Nakul, Sahdev were born from Madri.

All these places hold equal importance in Sanathan Hindu Mythology, as the main Shrines of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. These places have been the winter seats for these gods for generations.

For more information and packages contact + 91 9810506646

Callers from outside India call + 44 7700093414

Email : promark@promarktravels.com

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Leh – Manali Highway opens from 8th June 2014

The long-awaited  opening of Manali – Leh highway is over , it is now announced that the normal  traffic on this highway will be allowed from 8th June 2014 , normally it use to open around end of the month of May with the clearing of snow at high passes on the way but this year it got delayed due to heavy snowfall in this region up to 60 ft. at places . The BRO ( Border Road Organisation) arm of Indian army has  worked hard to remove the snow and repair the roads and then declare it worthy for the traffic. It is one of the highest motor road , one is  take precautions and be aware of the dangers of high altitude sickness

Baralacha - La Pass

Baralacha – La Pass , Zanskar Range , 16040 ft.

For quite some time the Manali – Leh highway has become the paradise for the Motorbike and Jeep Safaris lovers , equally loved by the professionals and amateur photographers  , they egarly wait and then come in groups from down South to East  and West of India , it is also famous among the foreigners for Motorbike and Bicycles rides testing their stamina and toughness of human body and machine  ,  the Gata Loops, the part of the highway famous  for its 21 hairpin turns.

 

Taglang – La Pass 17582 ft.

 There are no villages or towns the whole stretch of road from Keylong to Leh, only roadside stops for food or overnight stays. These are makeshift temporary seasonal tents that offer cots for travelers to sleep in and a basic menu of dishes such as paranthas, rice , daal and noodles .

For more information and packages contact +91 9810506646

Callers from Outside India +44 77 00093414

Email : promark@promarktravels.com

Blog : www.promarktravels.com/blog