What is the Char Dham Yatra?
This is the journey of 4 most sacred temples in the state of Uttarakhand which is also known as (Dev Bhoomi) The land of God). This spiritual journey attracts millions of pilgrims every year to seek the blessing of the gods. Theses pilgrimage sites is considered as the most sacred places in India and people believe the visit of these 4 sites gives them salvation and they are free from the process of rebirth. This site consists 4 main temples (Yamnotri- Gangotri, Kedarnath nad Badrinath) all are located in the Garhwal district. This Char Dham Yatra will commence every year in the month of April and end until September or October. The most of the visitors of yatra will be from north India besides that the pilgrims are coming to attend this yatra from everywhere in India.
What is the History behind Char Dham Yatra ?
The tradition of Char Dham yatra was started by the guru of devils Shankracharya also known as Adi Sankara charya in 8th century. In the original char dham they introduced 4 main sites of hindu religion such as (Puri, Dwarka, Badrinath and Rameshwaram). The chota char dham consists of 4 main temples such as Gangotri, Yamnotri, Kedarnath and Bardinath. According to the mythology, Shri Adi shankaracharya acquired freedom from reincarnation in Shri Badrinath Dham. First of all this yatra was performed by Shankaracharya to wash all their sins and to get salvation.
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What is the importance of Char Dham Yatra in Hindu religion?
Char Dham yatra play an important role in to the life of Hindu pilgrims. It is believed that every Hindu should perform this journey at least once in his life. This yatra will open the gate of salvation by washing away all their sins. These four major temples described in most of the holy books of the Hindu religion and have an important role in the mythology. Earlier this yatra was performed by the old people or by those which are free from their family duties. But in present this yatra is performed by every age people and children’s also as the government has made good infrastructure on these sites.
What is Yamnotri Dham?
Yamnotri is lying in the Garhwal district in the state of Uttarakhand and about 3200 mts above from the sea level. This place is also the first stopover of Chardham yatra. Yamnotri dham is dedicated to goddess Yamuna present in the form of river. Devi Yamuna is the sister of god Yam the God of death. It is believed that to bath in the water of Yamuna river at Yamnotri Dham will protects the devoteed from accidental death or untimely death. This temple is located on high altitude and covered by big mountains and dense forests. To reach Yamnotri dham pilgrims can be reach by trekking or by pony rides.
What is Gangotri Dham?
Gangotri Dham is located in Uttarkashi district in the state of Uttarakhand. This is located around 3100 metre above from the sea level and the second halt of char Dham yatra. This holy place is dedicated to goddess Ganges present in the form of river . River Ganges is also known as the name of Bhagirathi River and Gangotri is the origin point of river Ganges. The name Bhagirathi comes from the mythology when King Bhagirath doing meditation for long years to bring River Ganges on to the earth from heaven to perform the death rituals of his ancestors.
What is Kedarnath Dham?
This temple is world-famous and pilgrims coming to visit this temple thought the season. This is located in Rudraprayag district in the state of Uttarakhand. The temple is around 3500 metre high from the sea level and always covered with snow during winters. This is a hindu temple dedicated to lord Shiva located close to the river mandakini. According to the mythology this temple was constructed by the Pandavas the characters of epic Mahabharat. This temple comes among the 12 jyotirlingas and one of the highest Jyotirlingas in all over the India. This temple comes among the four major sites in Char Dham yatra.
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What is Badrinath?
Badrinath is located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state. People believed that this temple was constructed by Adi shankaracharya in 8th century. Besides the pilgrimage site this is also the gateway to several mountaineers. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu the trinity god located near the river alaknanda. According to the mythology, Lord Vishnu meditates here for long years and her wife Lakshmi took the form of a tree to shade him known as Badri tree. The main deity of this temple is Lord Vishnu in the form of black stone image known as saligram stone also in the Alaknanda River.
Why Char Dham Yatra is important for Hindu’s?
According to the Hindu mythology, (Teerth yatra) Pilgrimage Journey comes in the 4 main duties of to be followed by every Hindu. These duties are Dharma (Ethics), Artha (Work), Kama ( Action) and Moksha (Liberation). Hindu religions also practise rituals such as worship, Meditation, rites of passage and annual pilgrim journey.
According to the legends, this yatra is to be performed by every Hindu once in his life to get salvation from all the sins of his life. This Yatra will also provide you inner pleasure to purify your soul. A pilgrim journey to see God has a life-changing part of your life cycle and you can establish your contact with the divine power.
Opening and closing time of Char Dham Yatra
Thousands of devotees performed the Char Dham Yatra every year. This yatra will commence in the month of April and closed by Dussehra in October. But April to June is the busiest time as after the June month rain will start which affects the pilgrim yatra every year.
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Where to start Char Dham Yatra and where to end?
This Yatra will commence from Haridwar which is also known as the gate way to the God. People start their journey by visiting Haridwar then head towards to Rishikesh after taking a holy bath at river Ganges they will first reach to Dev Prayag which is the centre point of this yatra. Those which are not like to cover all four main temple they have option two cover only from this centre point and can also move directly to Badrinath or Kedarnath . After reaching Devprayag, pilgrims first of all reach to yamnotri temple as the yatra moves from west to east. After the Yamnotri visit, they will reach Uttarkashi to reach Gangotri Temple which is the second stopover of char dham yatra. Then after they head towards Gaurikund to reach Kedarnath and in the last pilgrim have to reach Joshimath to reach Badrinath. After pay homage to the Badrinath temple pilgrims move back to Haridwar to return their homes. Pilgrims were carrying the Holy water of Yamnotri and Gangotri rivers and offer the same water to the shivalinga at Kedarnath Temple.
Important Tips for Char Dham Yatra
This is a tough pilgrim journey and you have to spend almost 10 days in between big mountain range, rivers and snowfalls. At every place you have to do trekking in hilly areas and you also need to carry few important things during this journey.
- Medical kit with emergency medicines and first aid.
- Sunscreen lotion / Mosquito replants
- Water Bottles and some boiled food.
- Heavy woolen clothes, Rain coats, blankets, water proof shoes.
- Do not wear saris; Trek suit is always a better option.
- Always carry a valid photo id with address and emergency contact details.
- Registered you in government website/ records.
- Alcohols, Non vegetarian food are not allowed.
- Start practicing yoga/ jogging before two month of Yatra.
- Do not consume any form of tobacco which make through dry and avoid spitting on holy places.