Chardham Yatra is India’s most devoted and featured part of India spiritual tour. Chardham is the most renowned and holy expedition in India that includes visiting to four glorious shrines including Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and lastly the Badrinath Dham. A visit to these holy shrines together forms the Chota Chardham Yatra in India. All these famous sacred destinations are being located in the astonishing Himalayan foothills of Uttarakhand at distinct districts.
The amazing valleys of the Great Himalayas proudly reflect thousands years old legends and history by beholding these sacred shrines at different districts namely Uttarkashi, Chamoli and Rudraprayag on the splendid Garhwal hills. This exalted trip was being initiated thousands years ago in 8th Century by the great reformer and philosopher Adi Shankaracharya and since then the Chardham tour is welcoming numerous pilgrims at such tremendous locations.This glorified expedition starts from Haridwar, the perfect gateway to God and can be reached to Uttarkashi for Gangotri and Yamunotri shrine and be completed at Chamoli by visiting the Badrinath Temple.
The holy river Ganga is known to be originated from Gangotri itself, through the prayer made by king Bhagirath. Gangotri lies at an altitude of 3,200 mts about the sea level in Uttarkashi district where thousands of devotees pay their visit to wash away their sins in the urge of salvation. The Ganges is believed to be the sacred source of purity and sanctity and so before visiting the temple, devotees take a holy dip in this mighty river.The shrine of Gangotri temple is 18th century old with an exquisite 20 ft structure made of white granite and people can enjoy the tour fully during the months of May to June and September to October.
Located at Uttarkashi at an elevation of 3164 meters from the sea level, Yamunotri Dham temple sanctifies thousands of moods and spirits bringing the origin of River Yamuna. It is the only place where the devotees can find both the amalgamation of hot and cold environment. The Himalayan environment is purified and freezes with the cold tides of the glaciers of River Yamuna and the sides are remained warmed up with thermal springs which are known as ‘Kunds’ of Goddess Shakti.
A visit to Yamunotri temple is a full day tour from Uttarakhand’s main towns including Rishikesh, Haridwar or Dehradun. The temple is accessible by 13 Kilometers trek from the town of Hanuman Chatti and six Kilometer wals from Janki Chatt during the months of May to June and September to November for the best spiritual expedition.
Kedarnath Temple in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand state is elevated at an altitude of 3584 m above the sea level flanking around the river Mandakini. It is considered as the most pious abode of Lord Shiva and is believed that one of the 12 forms of Lord Shiva in the shape of “Jyotirlingas” was dropped at the hills of Mandar where the main temple is located. The famous Jyotirlinga shrines are must visit places where Lord Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light. This is the reason tremendous pilgrims visit this original place to seek blessings of Lord Shiva.
The temple was being constructed by Adi Shankaracharya and was privileged by the name of King Kedar, the ruler of Satya Yuga. Due to heavy snowfall during winters, the temple is open only between the ends of April to Kartik Purnima. During winters, the idols from the Shri Kedarnath Dham are brought to Ukhimath and worshipped there for six month.
A perfect example of devotion for humanity and mankind, the Badrinath Temple is elevated at an altitude of 3415 meters in the Garhwal Hills on the bank of Alaknanada River. One of the famous shrines of the Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand, it is the sacred place devoted to Lord Vishnu. Legend says Lord Vishnu meditated at this place for thousand incessant years under the Badri tree and so the name is given as Badrinath.
The idol is made of the Shaligram statue in the meditative pose and is the ideal site for the Vaishnavites. It is being believed that the temple was established by Adi Shankaracharaya in the 9th century. From Haridwar, Rishikesh and Kotdwar, the devotees can easily reach to Shri Badrinath Dham Temple.
This is a short 4 or 5 day trek from Gangotri to the Gangotri Glacier, one of the largest in the Indian Himalayas and the source of the Ganges River. It is a popular trek and often made as a religious pilgrimage. Gomukh literally means cows snout and refers to the origin of the Ganges River where it flows from the end of the glacier. One enjoys fantastic views of Mt. Shivling and the Bhagirathi peaks. Mount Shivling 6,543 m / 21,467 ft who’s name refers to the sacred symbol of Lord Shiva while not particularly tall by Himalayan standards is exceptionally beautiful and was often referred as the “Matterhorn” by Europeans who first trekked the region. An extra 3 or 4 days can be easily added for hiking around the Tapovan (meadow) to the different peaks and up the glacier.