Char Dham the 4 Majestic Abodes of God
The Char Dham- four abodes constitute the most notable pilgrimage circuit in the Indian Himalayas. These four sites in Uttarakhand are in the epicenter of religious activity in North India. Traditionally the Yatra is undertaken from undertaken from west to east. The Yatra starts from Yamunotri, then proceeding to Gangotri and finally to Kedarnath and Badrinath. The great Hindu philosopher Adi Shankaracharya initiated the holy Yatra to revive the Hindu religion during 8th century. It is believed that a journey to these places not only washes away one’s sins but also ensures release from the cycle of birth and death. It is also said that the heaven and earth converge in these holy spots and to be born or die here is a boon. The pilgrimage follows the Hindu tradition of parikrama; clockwise circumambulation.
The Char Dham Yatra tour begins from
Situated at an altitude of 3185 m, Yamunotri is the source of Ganga River. It is famous for its thermal springs and glaciers. The Yamunotri Dham takes trip to the sacred river to find redemption along the left bank of Yamuna. The main shrine here is of black marble built in 19th century by Maharaja Pratap Shah. Other prime excursions near Yamunotri are Surya Kund- the most important and sacred thermal spring named after the Sun God; Divya Shila- a rock pillar; Saptarishi Kund lake- the actual place where Yamuna rises covered with ice.
At a height of 3042 m on the bank of River Bhagirathi is the most sacred and picturesque spot where Ganga touched Earth for the 1st time. The temple was constructed in early 18th century and the shrine is open with great ceremonies in the April end on the auspicious day Akshaya Tritiya. Submerged Shivalinga; is a natural rock in Gangotri submerged in water. According to legend, this is the place where Lord Shiva was sitting when he received Ganga in his matted locks. About 18 km from Gangotri is Gaumukh glacier which resembles a cow's face. It is the 2nd largest glacier of India.
The most sacred pilgrimage of Lord Shiva situated in Rudraprayag district. Kedarnath range stands one of the 12 Jyotirlingams of Lord Shiva. The main attraction here is the Shiva temple built in 8th century AD. Outside the temple door a large statue of Nandi bull stands as guards. The temple has a Garbh Griha for worship and a Mandapa. Other places to visit in Kedarnath are Gaurikund, Sonprayag and the famous Panch Kedar.
Dedicated to Lord Vishnu situated alongside the Alaknanda River, Badrinath is the holiest sites for the Hindus. The major attraction is the 1 meter tall statue of Vishnu made up of black Saligram stone flanked by Nar and Narayan. It is also one of the 108 holy shrines of the Vaishnavites. Other attractions include Tapt Kund- a natural thermal spring on the Alaknanda bank. The water of this Kund has medicinal properties; Neelkanth- is the snow covered peak of Badrinath.
How to Reach
The closest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun at a distance of 210 km.
Nearest railhead is Dehradun railway station, 172 km.
It is very well connected by roads to all the key places including Rishikesh and Dehradun.
Nearest airport is Jolly Grant airport, 260 km away from city centre.
Rishikesh is the nearest railway station, 250 km away.
Gangotri is well connected by state owned bus services to major cities around.
Nearest convenient airport is Jolly Grant at Dehradun, 121 km.
Nearest railheads are Dehradun and Haridwar.
Kedarnath is well connected by road with Dehradun, Delhi, Haridwar and Rishikesh.
Nearest airport is Jolly Grant airport, 317 km.
Nearest railway stations are Rishikesh and Kotdwar.
Baronet is very well connected with all important cities.