Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath are known as Chota char dham yatra in Uttarakhand. These are known as sacred places that people visit to get peace and the blessings of god.
History of Char Dham:
- Yamunotri: Yamunotri temple is located in Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand and the name Yamunotri is taken from the name of Goddess Yamuna. It is believed to have been initially constructed by Maharani Guleria of Jaipur during the 19th century. The original temple has faced destruction and reconstruction multiple times due to natural disasters such as avalanches and floods. The current temple structure is a result of extensive renovations. People believe that by taking a dip in the Yamuna river their sins are washed away and they are safe from any harm, spiritual purification, health benefits, protection from untimely death, and blessings of goddess Yamuna are other benefits.
- Gangotri: The Gangotri Temple is a place of worship dedicated to the goddess Ganga.
It is believed that Gangotri Temple is about 200 years old. The Gangotri Temple was built originally in the 18th Century by Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa. It is believed that Goddess Ganga, after descending from heaven, first touched the earth in Gangotri. Located 19 kilometers away from Gangotri, Gaumukh is renowned as the source of the sacred Gangotri Glacier and is considered a point of pride for the region. Pilgrims visit this temple to wash away their sins and attain moksha by dipping in the river.
- Kedarnath: The origin of the Kedarnath temple was a thousand years ago. The Kedarnath temple was built by Pandavas. Lord Shiva, who was being pursued by the Pandavas, transformed into a bull and vanished beneath the earth at Kedarnath. The Kedarnath temple considered the dwelling place of Lord Shiva, is believed to lead to spiritual enlightenment, known as “Moksha” or spiritual awakening, in Hinduism. Its significance is also mentioned in the epic Mahabharata. According to ancient texts, the Pandavas constructed the ‘Panch Kedars,’ a group of five temples, with Kedarnath being one of them.
- Badrinath: The Badrinath Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It is believed to have been originally established as a place of worship by Adi Shankaracharya, the 8th-century Hindu philosopher, and theologian who played a significant role in the revival of Hinduism. Adi Shankaracharya is credited with rediscovering and reestablishing many ancient Hindu temples. Badrinath Temple has undergone several renovations and reconstructions due to natural disasters and harsh weather conditions in the Himalayan region. Badrinath Temple is very important in Hinduism and part of the Char Dham Yatra. People go there for blessings, to find answers to their prayers, and to have good luck.
The Route of Char Dham Yatra:
- Yamunotri: To start your Chardham Yatra From Haridwar or Rishikesh, which are well-connected to major cities like Delhi. From Haridwar or Rishikesh, drive to the town of Barkot, which serves as a base for the Yamunotri trek. From Barkot, embark on a 6-kilometer (3.7-mile) trek to reach the Yamunotri Temple. You can also hire horses or palanquins for the trek.
- Gangotri: After visiting Yamunotri, return to Barkot and then drive to the town of Uttarkashi. From Uttarkashi, it’s a scenic drive to Gangotri, which is about 100 kilometers (62 miles) away. The road follows the Bhagirathi River.
- Kedarnath: Return to Uttarkashi from Gangotri and then drive to the town of Guptkashi, which serves as a base for Kedarnath. From Guptkashi, drive to Sonprayag, which is the starting point for the Kedarnath trek. Trek or take a helicopter ride from Sonprayag to reach Kedarnath.
- Badrinath: After visiting Kedarnath, return to Guptkashi and then drive to the town of Joshimath. From Joshimath, it’s a drive to Badrinath, which is approximately 45 kilometers (28 miles) away.After visiting Badrinath, you can either return to Haridwar or Rishikesh to conclude your Char Dham Yatra.
How to Prepare for Chardham Yatra:
- Season: The best months to visit Gangotri temple are May to June and September to October.
- Weather Conditions: Make sure you check weather conditions before you go to Chardham Yatra. Be prepared for varying weather conditions, including rain and cold temperatures, especially in the higher altitudes.
- Hotel: Make accommodation arrangements in advance, especially during the peak season, as accommodations can fill up quickly.
- Physical Fitness: The yatra involves trekking and long journeys, so it’s essential to be physically fit. Consult a doctor and undertake necessary fitness preparations.
Be respectful of the local culture, follow the rules, and keep the places clean. The Char Dham Yatra isn’t just a trip; it’s a spiritual journey that connects you with the divine. It’s an unforgettable experience of a lifetime. If you want to plan this special journey, you can contact Diamond Hospitality. We offer different yatra packages, including helicopter yatra options.