Chhota Chardham Yatra !!!

You are not on a journey to God, You are on a journey with God
– Steve Maraboli

In the Gharwal region of the Uttarakhand there are four Abodes in the Himalyas known as Chhota Chardham which embraces: Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri imperative to Hindu deities. In Kedarnath Lord Shiva is worshiped while Badrinath is dwelling of Lord Vishnu, holy pilgrimage sites Gangotri and Yamunotri belong to sacred rivers Ganga and Yamuna. Chardham Yatra is one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations, it is considered that travellers  must pay collective visit to these amazing four holy shrines at least once in their lifetime as it eliminate all  sins and attain salvation by the blessings of the lord. These four ancient temples also mark the spiritual source of four sacred rivers – Ganga (Gangotri), Yamuna (Yamunotri), Mandakini (Kedarnath) and Alaknanda (Badrinath). As per Hindu belief of parikrama the Chardham must be visited from left to right – initiating with Yamunotri, going to Gangotri, then Kedarnath and concluding the trip at Badrinath. Chardham shrines are  opened for devotees on the day of Akshay Tritya i.e in the month of May till October every year. It takes 10 -11 days to cover the four sites in one stretch. By means of helicopter services this holy trip can also be covered within 2 days.

Yamunotri Dham

On the western side of Garhwal Himalayas, in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, lies the holy place of Yamunotri. Situated at  3,293 metres above the sea level. Yamunotri temple is the first stop  over for the Chardham Yatra, temple dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. According to the legend ancient sage Asit Muni had his hermitage here.

Gangotri Dham

On the Himalayan range in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, Gangotri Dham, located at the height of 3,100 meters holds a very special place in the hearts of Hindus. The river Ganga originates from the Gangotri glacier and is known as Bhagirathi. The temple of Goddess Ganges was being constructed in the early 18th century by a Gorkha Commander, Amar Singh Thapa.

Kedarnath Dham

Kedarnath Dham, located near the source of Mandakini River at the height of 3,584 meters in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, is one of the sacred pilgrimage centre in Northern India. Temple Kedarnath is dedicated to incarnations of Lord Shiva it is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva in India. Kedarnath is named after King Kedar who ruled in the Satya Yuga. It is said that Kedarnath Dham is the place where Lord Shiva liberated Pandavas from the sin of killing their own cousins Kauravas in the battle of Kurukshetra war. The temple was built by Pandavas earlier and the existing temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya. Behind the temple the samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya can be seen.

Badrinath Dham

Situated between Nar and Narayan peaks the picturesque town of Badrinath is where divinity meets with the serenity of nature. Situated in the Chamoli district in Uttarakhand at the height of 3,133 meters, along the Alaknanda River, Badrinath Dham is considered to be one of the holiest temples. The main attraction of Badrinath Dham is the one meter tall statue of Vishnu in the form of Lord Badrinarayan which is made up of black “Shaligram” stone. The statue is known to be one of the eight self-manifested statues of Vishnu and is securely placed under a Badri Tree which has a gold canopy. There are a number of hot springs around the temple.

“Nature is the art of God”
– Thomas Browne