Chardham Yatra

About Chardham Yatra | Chardham Yatra Tour | Information About Chardham

If you are an adventurer looking for stunning Himalayan range to spend your next holiday, plan a trek around North Indian Himalayas. You will not just be near to nature but the beauty the northern India has to offer in terms of environment, people’s attitude, love, warmth and innocence, culture & traditions, and the spiritual essence that lacks in most part of the modern world. Uttarakhand is the state of enthralling Himalayas, mesmerizing glaciers, enchanting rivers and streams that sing to you – seems like the whole universe is conspiring to fill you with joy and enrichment.

Yamunotri, Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath are the four major pilgrimages in North India that represent all three major Hindu sectarian traditions – Shakta (goddess) sites- Yamunotri and Gangotri, Shaiva site- Kedarnath and Vaishnava site- Badrinath. You can go for the holy visit (darshan) during May till October every year – the official opening and closing dates are announced by the state government of Uttarakhand each year. Hindu devotees from around the world visit the major pilgrimages in this part of the world. Yearly, tens of thousands of  pilgrims enter Haridwar – the gateway to CharDham – and enjoy their trip around these holy sites.

The religious tourists seeking blessings from the almighty follow a track in paying the homage to the four shrines. First to visit is Yamunotri – the Yamuna temple located in Uttarkashi district. Second in the list is Gangotri – temple of goddess Ganga at the place where she first came to earth flooding the ashes of King Bhagirath’s ancestors. People who have lost their parents perform Shraddha (a ritual in Hinduism) in Gaumukh – the snout of Gangotri glacier before entering Gangotri temple and worshiping the goddess. Next you will go to Kedarnath temple – the legendary place where lord Shiva appears in the form of hip of a buffalo. Last to visit is Badrinath temple – named after the Ber (plum) tree that lord Vishnu transformed into to offer shade to Devi Laxmi (his beloved wife). It is said that one must visit Kedarnath before visiting Badrinath – this is because we need to establish lord Vishnu (Badrinath) as a witness of our visit to lord Shiva (Kedarnath).

Yamunotri Dham (3165 Mts):

named after the river Yamuna and located only a kilometer away from the Glaciers that this river originates from, Yamunotri is the first shrine among Char Dham in North India. Yamuna is understood to be the sister of Yamaraj (death – the one who is responsible to design our death and time on earth) and contrarily the source of water – life!

An amazing fact in this part of the earth is the hot water in YamunaBai Kund – the place that remains wrapped in ice six months of the year and the ice melts a bit during the next six months, the place where people need to boil ice to cook rice, has a lake where you can dip rice in a cloth for a few minutes and you can get cooked rice. This rice is offered as Prasad to the goddess and taken by people as Prasad (holy gift).

Gangotri Dham

In ancient age, there was a King who ruled for many years. He was very powerful and respected by all. He performed Aswamedh Yagya (believed to be performed by only those who have conquered the whole world). During the Yagya, a horse got lost. The King sent his brothers and sons to find the horse. Finally, they found a horse sitting quietly outside the Kuti (hut) of sage…………. They scold the sage calling him thief and were ready to leave with the horse but the sage was raged for how he had been treated and so spelled them to death, all of them turned into ash – ash piled up there. Later when Bhagirath came searching for his father and other kins, the sage narrated the story to him. Bhagirath asked the sage how he can now complete their last rituals and he was told that he should pray goddess Ganga to come to earth to wipe the ashes and he will be relieved from Pitri rin. After years of penance, Ganga appeared to Bhagirath but she told him that if she comes, earth won’t be able to bear her force so, lord Shiva should be requested to bear the force before she touches the earth. Bhagirath followed her instructions and finally lord Shiva was there sitting at this point of the earth with his matted hair to bear the force of holy Ganga. This is where sits the submerged Shivlinga controlling the fierce waves of Ganges. In 18th century, Amar Singh Thapa (a Nepali commander in chief of Gadhwal, the then Nepali state) built Gangotri temple in this place to offer a place for worship to Hindu pilgrims.

Kedarnath Dham

The Shaiva shrine in North India, Kedarnath was built by Shankaracharya in 8th Century when he travelled around the country to establish and popularize Hinduism. The legend of Kedarnath connects with Hindu holy epic Mahabharata. After the holy war Mahabharata, Pandavas went to lord Shiva seeking his blessings to abide them from the sin committed during the war. Lord Shiva did not want to meet Pandavas at that time, so he took a form of bull and went to Himalayan ranges grazing the greenery. Pandavas saw and identified him and followed. When Bhima tried to catch the lord, he dived into the earth and disappeared from there. His body parts have been found in many parts of India and Nepal. Kedarnath is worshipped as the torso of the holy bull. Doleshwor Mahadev in Bhaktapur Nepal is the head of Kedarnath (unveiled in August 22, 2009).

 Badrinath Dham

Vaishnava shrine in North India, Badrinath temple is one of the four major pilgrimages in whole India (not only in North), the other three being Rameshwaram, Puri and Dwaraka. Badri is another name of lord Vishnu. As per the legend, lord Vishnu had gone to this part of the Himalaya for penance while his wife Laxmi stood behind him in the form of tree for shades. Pleased with her love, lord Vishnu named her Badrika and later this place got the name Badrinath area meaning where the nath (god) of Badrika did his penance. Near to the temple flows Alakhnanda, one of the 12 streams of holy Ganga that she spread into while sitting over the matted hair of lord Shiva.

Besides the four major pilgrimages, there are numerous temples and shrines of gods and goddesses in Uttarakhand.

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