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Char Dham, Uttarakhand

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The Land of Gods, Uttarakhand, is home to numerous temples and welcomes visitors all year long. Among the many religious sites and circuits that devotees visit, the most popular is the Char Dham Yatra, or pilgrimage. It is a tour of four holy sites: Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath, nestled high up in the Himalayas. Although difficult, this journey fulfils the soul. The high-altitude shrines open during the summer (April or May) and close at the start of winter (October or November), remaining closed for about six months each year. The journey can be completed by road or by air (helicopter services are available). One of the four revered Hindu pilgrimage sites in the Great Himalayas is Yamunotri. It is the starting point of the pilgrimage, which then continues on to Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. Every year, thousands of devotees travel to Yamunotri to begin their spiritual journey. This holy town is located at a height of about 3,293 metres in the Garhwal Himalayas. The pristine landscape is home to lakes, hot springs, the massive Yamunotri glacier, and lush green fields. It is also the source of the Yamuna, the second-most sacred river to the Hindus. The practice of taking a bath in the river’s water is thought to prevent premature death. Goddess Yamuna is the presiding deity at Yamunotri, and Divya Shila, a dark rock from which the renowned hot springs emerge, is one of the most sacred places there.
One of the Char Dhams, Gangotri, is located in Uttarakhand and is tucked away in the lofty and majestic Garhwal Himalayas. It is a significant Hindu pilgrimage site. In this most revered of shrines, devotees come to pray to the goddess Ganga. The nearby Gangotri glacier is where the holy River Ganges, also known as Bhagirathi, originates. Gangotri is known primarily for its Gangotri Temple, a place of worship dedicated to the Hindu goddess Ganga. The exquisite temple is a 20-foot-tall white granite building. The mystical and spiritual vibe that permeates Gangotri is what draws visitors from all walks of life. The serene atmosphere of the location is further enhanced by the stunning snow-capped mountains nearby and the Ganges’ pristine waters. Kedarnath is a well-known pilgrimage site. It is nestled in the snow-capped Garhwal Himalayas, surrounded by lush alpine meadows, and brushed by the pure and holy Mandakini River. Kedarnath is one of the Char Dhams. Lord Shiva is worshipped in the main shrine and is believed to reside there. The 3,584-metre-high temple is the highest of India’s 12 jyotirlingas (devotional shrines to Lord Shiva), and it attracts tens of thousands of pilgrims from across the nation. It is a nature lover’s paradise with its clear lakes, therapeutic hot springs, and vibrant rhododendron valley beds. The picturesque town of Badrinath in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district takes pride in being one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. It is a perfect fusion of divinity and serenity. Considered as the abode of Lord Vishnu, it is among the holy shrines of the Char Dham pilgrimage undertaken by devotees. Badrinath, which stretches along the River Alaknanda and is tucked between the Nar and Narayan mountain ranges, is home to some of the Garhwal Himalayas’ most impressive peaks, including the magnificent Neelkanth peak. The Badrinath Temple, one of the most revered Hindu religious sites, is accessible by a short hike for pilgrims. It is surrounded by breathtaking scenery, snow-capped mountains, and water bodies.

Nearby Places to See

At Yamunotri, there are many places to see around. Surya Kund, which bears the name of Sun, is a natural hot water spring. The Yamuna river was born on the Champasar glacier, which is located high above the Yamunotri temple. This area is inaccessible due to the harsh landscape. Prakateshwar caves are found on the route to Gangotri. Natural limestone formations in this area resemble a Shivalinga.
Kedarnath temple
An 8-kilometre hike from Kedarnath temple will take you to the revered lake of Vasuki Tal. It takes both physical and mental stamina to complete this difficult hike. From the Kedarnath temple, which is a kilometre away, a hiking trail leads to the Bhairavnath temple. According to the legend, Bhagawan Bhairav is the protector of the Kedarnath valley, and from here, you can get a fantastic view of the valley and the Kedarnath temple.
The natural hot water pond at Badrinath is called Tapt Kund. Pilgrims are required to take a bath in Tapt Kund before entering the Badrinath temple. Another holy pond, Narad Kund, is close to Tapt Kund. It is thought that Adi Shankaracharya bathed there with the Vishnu idol before placing it in the Badrinath temple. The final village before Tibet is Mana village, which is located about 4 kilometres from Badrinath. Just before the Mana village, one can see the stunning confluence of the Saraswati and Alaknanda rivers. Vasundhara Falls can be reached after a 6 kilometres hike from Mana village.