There are five prime Himalayan pilgrimages that specifically open up in summers and are sought after by all pilgrim travellers. These involve difficult-to-travel remote areas that open up in summer and are typically travelled to as part of a group. These Himalayan pilgrimages are most sought after by pilgrim travellers and require advance planning of 2-4 months.
Char Dham Yatra is the most popular summer pilgrimage for Hindu pilgrims visiting two holy river origins (Yamunotri and Gangotri), a Jyotirlinga Temple (Kedarnath) and a prime Lord Vishnu Pilgrimage (Badrinath). Char Dham Yatra typically opens in May and is open till October. There are many ways in which one can do a Char Dham.
Amarnath Yatra (Open June - August) is where Lord Shiva devotees undertake a pilgrimage of the Amarnath Cave where ice Shiva Lingam is formed every year. The caves (13000+ ft asl) can be visited either from Sonamarg (Baltal) or Pahalgam (Chandanwari). Guests have an option to trek from Baltal / Chandanwari to Panchtarmi and then approach Amarnath Cave or go on helicopter rides from Baltal / Pahalgam to Panchtarmi and then undertake a 6 km (2 hour) walk or pony ride to Amarnath Cave. Typically, Amarnath Yatra packages are of 2 or 3 nights ex-Srinagar.
Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is one of the most difficult pilgrimages that every Hindu aspires to undertake once in his or her lifetime. There are several routes to Kailash Mansarovar. Popular ones are either via Nepal or via Lhasa (China). Kailash Mansarovar is typically an 8 to 14 day trip, normally done as part of a fixed departure.
Manimahesh Yatra is second only in significance to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra and requires a 13 km trek to the holy lake (13000 ft asl). The yatra is open in August - Sept for a month. Manimahesh Yatra is an ex-Pathankot departure for 4 or 5 nights with enroute stays at Bharmour and Hadsar / Dhancho.
Panch Kedar are a set of five Lord Shiva temples in Uttarakhand, i.e., Kedarnath (11,755 ft), Tungnath (12,070 ft), Rudranath (7,500 ft), Madhyamaheshwar (11,450 ft) and Kalpeshwar (7,200 ft). Panch Kedar pilgrimage is a mix of trek, road travel and helicopter travel and is typically done as part of 7 night ex-Haridwar itinerary. The circuit opens in May and is best done between June and September.
India is a land of pilgrimages. Explore our curated collection of 'Top Pilgrim Destinations in India' or book our Char Dham holiday or Amarnath Yatra by Helicopter!
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