Char Dham Yatra is signify to the four Hindu religious sites in Uttarakhand state of India.
Char Dham Yatra, These are Yamunotri, Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath. Settled in the lap of majestic Himalayas, these four sites are the epicenter of religious activity in north India. Traditionally, the Char dham yatra is undertaken from the west to the east. Thus, the yatra starts from Yamunotri, then proceeding to Gangotri and finally to Kedarnath and Badrinath.
Yamunotri is the birthplace of the Yamuna River and the seat of the Goddess Yamuna in Hinduism. It is located in the Garhwal Himalayas and approximately 30 kilometers from North of Uttarkashi, the headquarters of the Uttarkashi district in the Garhwal Division of Uttarakhand, India.
It is one of the four sites in India’s Chhota Char Dham pilgrimage. The sacred shrine of Yamunotri, source of the river Yamuna, is the westernmost shrine in the Garhwal Himalayas, floating atop a flank of Bandar Poonch Parvat. The chief attraction at Yamunotri is the temple devoted to the Goddess Yamuna and the holy thermal springs at Janki Chatti.
Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal constructed the temple of Yamuna, on the left bank of the Yamuna. The deity is made of black marble. The Yamuna, like the Ganges, has been elevated to the status of a divine mother for the Hindus and has been held responsible for nurturing and developing the Indian civilization.
Gangotri, the origin of the River Ganges and seat of the goddess Ganga, is one of the four sites in the Chota Char Dham pilgrimage circuit. The original Gangotri Temple was built by the Gurkha general Amar Singh Thapa. The river is called Bhagirathi at the source and acquires the name Ganga (the Ganges) from Devprayag onwards where it meets the Alaknanda. The origin of the holy river is at Gaumukh, set in the Gangotri Glacier, and is a 19 km trek from Gangotri.
According to Hindu history, Goddess Ganga took the form of a river to absolve the sins of King Bhagiratha’s predecessors, following his severe penance of several centuries.
Kedarnath is named after honour of King Kedar, who ruled in the Satya Yuga. He had a daughter named Vrinda who was a partial incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. She performed austerities for several years and the land is named after her as Vrindavan. However, Kedarnath and its temple exist from the Mahabharata era when the Pandavas are supposed to have pleased Lord Shiva by doing penance there.
Kedarnath is also One of the sacred shrines of the Char Dham Pilgrimage, the Kedarnath Dham attracts tremendous devotees to find the glittering images & sacred symbols of Lord Shiva. A visit to Kedarnath Temple is also an impressive part of Do Dham Yatra where Lord Shiva manifested in the form of Jyotirlingam or the cosmic light.
Kedarnath is located at a distance of 223 km from Rishikesh in Uttarakhand and close to the source of Mandakini River. The township itself cannot be called attractive, as it is built on a barren stretch of land on the shores of Mandakini River but the surrounding scenery of Himalayan Mountains makes it very attractive place for pilgrimage and trekking.
Badrinath is a holy town and a nagar panchayat in Chamoli district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is the most important of the four sites in India’s Char Dham pilgrimage and gets its name from the Holy temple of Badrinath.
The Badrinath temple is the main attraction in the town. According to legend Shankara discovered a black stone image of Lord Badrinarayan made of Saligram stone in the Alaknanda River. He originally enshrined it in a cave near the Tapt Kund hot springs.
Badrinath Located only 24 kilometers from the Indo-China (Tibet) border, Badrinath is generally a one day journey from either Kedarnath, the site that precedes it in the Char Dham circuit, or one of the main disembarkation points on the plains. The temple and its surrounding village are accessible by road. The best time to visit Badrinath is between June and September.
Best time to visit Char dham
May to June and September to October (Temples remain closed from November, i.e., after Diwali till the end of April due to inclement weather)
How to Get There
The nearest airport is Jolly Grant at Dehradun (315 km from Badrinath, 240 km from Kedarnath, 298 km from Gangotri and 177 km from Yamunotri) and is connected to Delhi. However, this sector is discontinued for time being.
The nearest railhead is Rishikesh (297 km from Badrinath, 229 km from Kedarnath, 251 km from Gangotri and 223 km from Yamunotri), which is connected via Haridwar with major cities and towns in India