Chaar Dham ‘Yatra’ is observed every year in the month of April/May and is open to visitors for next six months. It usually starts from Akshay Tritya date till the day of Diwali. Chaar Dham ‘Yatra’ involves covering Yamnotri, Gangotri, Kedar Nath and Badrinath.

People can have ‘Yatra’ in the form of “Two Dham Yatra” or “Chaar Dham Yatra”. In two dham Yatra, one can either choose Yamnotri and Gangotri or Kedarnath and Badrinath.  In four dhaam Yatra, one can visit all the four dhaams in the above sequence.

It is 8-12 days tour for spiritual purification.  Normally, it is said that at least once in a life time one should go for this Chaar Dham Yatra.

There is a spiritual significance attached to the yatra. Whenever a person is disturbed, stressful, with impacted guilt, this ‘Yatra’ provides an environment to detoxify the mind and intellect.

Being away from stressful atmosphere and starting a journey in a different environment with focus on God or inner happiness provides an opportunity to get rid of any stressor. It normally takes one to two weeks for the mind to settle when it is away from the stressor.

A journey over 8-12 days also helps in acclimatization of the travel to the mountains. Rapid accent can lead to acute mountain illness with or without swelling of the lungs and that of the brain.

For any travel of more than 5000 feet, one should not accent rapidly. The formula is between 5000 to 1000 feet accent, there should be minimum one night halt. After 10000 feet accent, for every 1500 feet accent, there should be night halt and after 3000 feet accent, there should be a full day halt.

In both Yamnotri and Gangotri, one detoxifies the emotions by way of dip in the holy river (Yamuna or Ganga). Before the dip, one is supposed to narrate his problem to oneself and ask the God or inner consciousness to forgive him or her. This confession to self and/or to the God helps in detoxification of the mind.

Once the mind and emotions get detoxified, travelling further to Kedarnath and Badrinath remembering the principles of Shiva and Vishnu helps one in attaining positive state of mind.

Yamnotri and Gangotri dip are therefore spiritual processes to remove negativity and clean the mind; and both Kedarnath and Badrinath to go back with a positive state of mind and full of energy. Shiva teaches the process of how to wind up a process and Vishnu teaches how to manage any work.

When we learn the principles and steps of creativity, we learn the steps of intended outcome, information gathering, information reshuffling/ analysis, incubation, insight, inspiration, integration, and implementation and Incarnation.

The phases of intended outcome, information gathering, information reshuffling can be stressful to the mind and to remove that stress, one need to divert away from the project (incubation) for few days and this diversion makes the mind creative with a new insight. This ‘incubation’ principle of creativity is used in “Chaar Dham Yatra”. The period of 8-12 days off from the routine stress gives one an incubation period with resultant time to give one new insight and inspiration for positive actions. This same effect may not come when one is going for a hill station for holidays one may carry stress with them.

Treatment of an addiction is to get addicted to a non-addictive thing. The only way the stress can be removed is to get addicted to path of inner happiness or thinking of God. This is the main aim of “Chaar  Dham Yatra” where one climbs mountains a clean and relaxed environment.

Many people who don’t go to northern Chaar Dham in Uttarakhand may prefer to go for another Chaar Dhaam at a national level in sequential order  –  Badrinath, Dwarka, Jagannath Puri and Rameshwaram.