Chardham Yatra, generally known as Chhota Char Dham means four smaller pilgrimages, is a combined name for four major pilgrimages in Uttarakhand state of India- Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. Chardham yatra is the most devoted and featured aspect in spiritual tour of India.
Experience the divinity and spirituality of these sacred shrines by making a pilgrimage to well-known “Dev Bhumi” (Abode of Gods), Char dham, Uttarakhand. By tradition, this Chardham yatra is undertaken from the west to the east. This, the yatra starts from Yamunotri, then taking place to Gangotri and to end with Kedarnath and Badrinath.
Pilgrim to Char Dham in Garhwal (Uttarakhand) will not only cleanse away the sins but it ensures the release from the birth cycle and to attain salvation.
The amazing valleys of the Great Himalayas hold these sacred shrines in different districts namely Uttarkashi, Chamoli and Rudraprayag on the fabulous Garhwal hills. This glorious journey was initiated thousands years back in 8thCentury by the philosopher Adi Shankaracharya and since then the Chardham trip is attracting plentiful pilgrims all the way.
This glorified journey begains from Haridwar, [ Hari Dwar ] Simply the gateway to God and reaches to Uttarkashi for Gangotri and Yamunotri and then completed at Chamoli by visiting the Badrinath Temple.
Gangotri, origin of the holy River Ganges and abode of Goddess Ganga, Reached earth through the prayer made by king Bhagirath. Gangotri lies at height of 3,200 mtrs about the sea level in Uttarkashi district. This attracts thousands of devotees, pilgrims visit here to wash away their sins in the urge of salvation. The Ganges is supposed to be the holy source of purity and holiness, thus before visiting the temple, devotees take a holy dip in this mighty river.
The temple of Gangotri is built in 18th century, with a beautiful 20 ft structure made of white granite.
Best time to visit here is May to June and September to October.
Yamunotri, the origin of holy River Yamuna and place of Goddess Yamuna. Situated at Uttarkashi at 3164 meters from the sea level, Yamunotri Dham temple is the only place where the devotees can find both the merger of hot and cold environment. The Himalayan environment is purified and freezes the cold tides of the glaciers of River Yamuna and the sides are remains warmed up with thermal springs which are known as ‘Kunds’ of Goddess Shakti. Yamunotri temple tour is a full day visit from Uttarakhand’s main cities including Rishikesh, Haridwar or Dehradun. The temple is 13 Kilometers from the town of Hanuman Chatti and 6 Kilometer away from Janki Chatt.
Best time to visit: May to June and September to November
Shri Kedanath Temple
Kedarnath, a form of the Hindu God Shiva and from one of the Twelve Jyotilinga in India, is highest of the 12 Jyotirlingas. Lord Shiva manifested himself here in the form of light; it is the third of the Char dham and the holiest pilgrim center in Hinduism.
Kedarnath Temple is situated in Rudraprayag of district in Uttarakhand and at the height of 3584 mtrs above the sea level nearby the river Mandakini. It is considered as the most virtuous dwelling of God Shiva and is in the shape of “Jyotirlingas” was dropped at the hills of Mandar where the present temple is situated.
The Twelve Jyotirlinga shrines are the most visited places in the India, where Lord Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light. This is the reason for remarkable pilgrims visit this unique place to seek blessings of Lord [God] Shiva.
According to legend, the Pandav after winning over the Kaurava in the Kurukshetra war, feel guilty for having killed their own brothers and in Kedarnath sought the blessings of Lord Shiva for salvation.
The temple was constructed by Adi Shankaracharya and was honored by the name of King Kedar, the ruler of Satya Yuga, hence the name Kedarnath. Due to heavy snowfall during winters, the temple remains open only in between April to October [Kartik Purnima]. During winters, the idols from the Shri Kedarnath temple are brought to Ukhimath and worshipped there for six month.
Shri Badrinath Temple
Badrinath, the abode of the God in Hinduism Lord Vishnu, situated on the left bank of river Alaknanda and exactly center of the two mountains Nara and Narayan. And at the shadow of Nilkantha peak. Temple is elevated at an altitude of 3415 meters from sea level and one of the most places to visit in India. This Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu the preserver and guardian of Hindu Divine Trinity [Generator–Operator- Destroyer]. Legend is Lord Vishnu meditated [ Tapscharya ] here for thousand continual years under the Badri tree and hence the name Badrinath. The idol of God Vishnu here is made from the Shaligram sculpture in the meditative pose and is the superlative site for the Vaishnavites. It is believed that this temple was established by Adi Shankaracharaya in the 9th century.
From Haridwar, Rishikesh and Kotdwar, the pligrims can easily reach here the Shri Badrinath Dham Temple. Chardham Yatra is a perfect way to find the spiritual salvation and re-energizing the mind and body in all the way.
Best time to visit the Chardham yatra is May to Octomber [Except Rainy time]