chardham tourist attractions

Chardham Yatra 2016
There are four Abodes in Himalayas collectively referred as "Chota Char Dham of India" and popular as "CharDham Yatra" which includes four holy shrines of Hindus: Yamunotri Temple, Gangotri Temple, Kedarnath Temple and Badrinath Temple. All of these temples are situated within the Garwhal region of Uttarakhand state in North India.

Among four Scared sites Kedarnath is dedicated to Lord Shiva while Badrinath is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. On the other hand, Yamunotri and Gangotri are dedicated to Goddess Ganga and Yamuna rivers respectively. In Hindu religion, the CharDham Yatra have a great importance, and it is considered that every hindu should do CharDham yatra at least once in a lifetime.

CharDham Yatra Travel Guide
CharDham Yatra is one the most popular pilgrimage route in Uttarakhand-India, with millions of devotees paying homage to all these religious places in aspiration of eliminates all sins and to attain salvation by the blessings of the Lord. Every Year More than 250,000 pilgrims visit Chardham from various parts of India & world. Char dham is also growing popular among foriegn tourists, who are blessed to see the heavenly natural beauty and Himalayas with a chance to know more about culture of India.

CharDhams of Uttarakand, India can be covered in one strech in a matter of 10-11 days. Nowdays, you can also get helicopter services to visit CharDham in just 2 days.

Due to Picturesque surroundings, high altitude mountain region (Himalayas), dense forests, large valleys and enthralling environment gives an opportunity to visitors to unwind themselves by breathing fresh air with experience of majestic locations.

History of Char Dham Temples
Adi Shankaracharya who was Great Reformer and Philosopher group together these Scared Pilgrimage site into religious circuit during the 8th century. Generation followed generations, thousands of devotees from all over the world regularly visit these four religious places in Uttarakhand. During Winter season all Chardham are closed for Six month due to Heavy snowfall all temples are inaccessible.

Char Dham Yatra Opening Dates in 2016

  • Yamunetri - 08th May
  • Gangotri - 08th May
  • Kedarnath- 09th May
  • Badrinath - 10th May
Yamunotri
Yamunotri is the original source of Yamuna River surrounded by lofty peaks forest and large valley. Yamuna is the second largest and one one holiest river in India after Ganga. It is part of the four holy abodes in Chardham pilgrimage yatra. Pilgrims also get to enjoy a number of hot water springs in the vicinity of the temple.

Yamunotri is located at an altitude of 3293 metres above sea level, in the Garhwal Himalaya about 40 km away from Barkotin Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. The actual source of Yamuna River lies in the Yamunotri Glacier at a height 6,387 metres near Bandarpunch Peaks in Lower Himalayas.

History and Importance of Yamunotri
The Yamunotri temple is dedicated to goddess Yamuna, the main Deity of the temple is made up of Black marble. Yamunotri temple was built by Maharani Gularia of Jaipur in the 19th century after the temple has been destroyed by Climate. The Yamunotri Shrine was originally constructed by Maharaj Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal on left seashore of Yamuna River.

According to Hindu mythology, It is believed that Yamuna is the daughter of Surya the Sungod & the sister of Yama, the god of death.

Yamunotri Travel Information
Every year thousands of devotees throng from all over the world to Yamunotri, to wash off their sins. Only Faith, Purity and Sprituial Significence of the river motivate the tourist towards itself. Unique aspects of ritual practice at the site include hot springs where raw rice is cooked and made into prasad. There many holy shrines, ashrams and temple which are located in and around the Yamunotri Dham.

Yamunotri would be a perfect place for those who is fond of escapades, Peace, Calm and scenic beauty of natural environment. Apart from Yamunotri temple, there are several place to see such as Surya Kund, Divya Shila, Janki Chatti, Hanuman Chatti, Saptarishi Kund Lake etc you can visit during Yamunotri dham yatra.
Places to see Yamunotri
Following is the list of popular tourist sports in Yamunotri.

Yamunotri Temple: Yamunotri is one of the Char Dham and it is also first place to visit in the Char Dham Circuit. Thousands of devotees visit the sacred shrine of Yamunotri temple every month from May to October. Yamunotri Temple was constructed by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal. The temple opens on the auspicious day of Akshay Tritiya and closes on the second day after Diwali festival. The temple holds immense importance amongst the Hindus. Yamunotri is the source of the Yamuna River which is one of the major rivers of India.

Janki Chatti: It is the midpoint of the trek to Yamunotri which is accessible by jeeps. Janki Chatti is situated 7kms before Yamunotri and this place is popular for thermal springs.

Surya Kund: There are many natural thermal springs in Yamunotri of which Surya Kund is renowned. The water of Surya Kund has a surprising temperature of 1900F. Pilgrims tie potatoes and rice to cook it by immersing it under water of Surya Kund. After cooking it is served as 'prasad'.

Divya Shilla: Divya Shilla is a rock pillar which is worshipped before entering the divine Yamunotri temple.

Gangotri
Gangotri Temple is one of the origin sources of Holy River Ganga (Ganges), and one of the important CharDham pilgrimage in Hindu Religion. The main origin of the river is "Gaumukh" which is a glacier located 19 km away from Gangotri temple. Ganga river is the longest and most sacred river in world.

Gangotri Temple is located at an altitude of 3100 meters above sea level, on the banks of Bhagirathi river. Gangotri is the starting point of Ganga river where the goddess Ganga workshipped by the Pilgrims or Devotees. In Ancient time the river is called Bhagirathi and attains the name Ganga from Devprayag onwards where Bhagirathi meets with Alaknanda form Ganga River. Gangotri is the home place of many ashrams, small shrines and temple.

The Gangotri temple opens on the auspicious day of Akshay Tritiya which falls in the month of May and closes down on Yama Dwitiya or Bhai Duj which falls in the month of November. Gangotri temple remains closed for the rest of the six months when the deity is worshipped at Mukhwa, near Harsil.

History and Importance of Gangotri Temple
According to Hindu Mythology, It is said that the Ganga is a result of reward given by lord "Shiva" to the king "Bhagirath" for his penance. However due to her pride and the fact that the earth would be devastated if Ganga came down in her full force, Lord Shiva caught her in his locks. The sacred stone near the temple denotes the place where Ganga first came down to earth. This is why Ganga is also called by the name of Bhagirathi.

The Present temple was constructed by a Gorkha Commander Amar Singh Thapa in the early 18th Century. It is said that at the time of construction of temple Gaumukh Glacier was here but receded to it's present location due to global warming.

Gangotri Travel Guide
There are many Shops which sell prasads and light weight cans to carry water from Gangotri after Darshan. Ganga water is pure and used in poojas or offering in temple. There are Ashrams and few hotels located on the other side of temple for tourists and pilgrims accommodation. Gangorti is the home place of many varieties of flora and fauna. There are several temples in Gangotri where visitors can learn the history behind the creation of Ganga River.
Places to see Gangotri
Following is the list of popular tourist sports in Gangotri.


Gangotri Temple:
Gangotri is the highest temple of Goddess Ganga and one of the four dhams of Uttarakhand state. Made up of white marbles the temple is situated at an altitude of 3,048mts above sea level. Gangotri offers scenic splendours of the rugged terrains, gushing water of Bhagirathi River and snow clad peaks. Gangotri remains opened from May and get closed on the day of Diwali festival as the idol of the goddess is carried to her winter residence at Mukhba.

Tapovan: You can proceed to Tapovan and Nandanvan after reaching Gaumukh Glacier. the trek to tapovan is little difficult and hiring a guide is recommended for the trek as even seasonal trekkers find sometimes difficult to get around the route. Astounding views of Shivling and other major peaks of the Garhwal Himalayas are distinctly visible from Tapovan.

Bhairon Ghati: Near the confluence of Jat Ganga and Bhagirathi River lies a scenic Bhairon Ghati. It is located 10kms from Gangotri. The temple of Bhairav Nath is surrounded by dense forest which can be reached after travelling by road from Lanka to Bhaironghati and by crossing the Jahanvi River on foot.

Submerged Shivling: A natural rock Shivling submerged under water is an attractive tourist spot of Gangotri. It can be easily seen when winters are on their way because the water level decreases during this period. According to myths and legends this was the place where Lord Shiva received Ganga in his matted locks.

Kedarnath Dham
Kedarnath temple is one of the sacred pilgrimage centre in Uttarakhand, India, located on the bank of Mandakini river at an altitude of 3584 meters above sea level. The historical name of this region is "Kedar Khand". Kedarnath temple is a part of CharDhams and Panch Kedar in Uttarakhand and one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva in India.

Kedarnath is flanked by breathtaking snow-capped peaks, making it the most remote site among all four Char Dham sites. But each year the followers of Lord Shiva visit this holy temple. The scenic beauty of Kedarnath town attracts lots of tourists from all over the world. You will find it quite crowded during the summer season (May and June). In the month of April to August thousands of devotees come to visit the Kedarnath Temple. During Winter season, Kedarnath is closed for six month due to Heavy snowfall and Extreme Cold weather.

Note: Gaurikund was the last destination on Kedarnath route, but with Kedarnath Floods in 2013 a new trekking route is in process to be constructed. It will be aournd 21 kms of trek, which is either start from Sonprayag or Sitapur. As of now, helicopter is the best way to reach Kedarnath temple.

History and Importance of Kedarnath Temple
Renowned temple Kedarnath is dedicated to incarnations of Lord Shiva. Kedarnath is named after King Kedar who ruled in the Satya Yuga. It is believed that Kedarnath Dham is the place where Lord Shiva absolved Pandavas from the sin of killing their own cousins Kauravas in the battle of Kurukshetra war. There is an interesting Story behind the Town and its temple. According to the Puranas, the Pandava brothers did a major penance in Kedarnath to please Lord Shiva.

Earlier the temple was built by Pandavas and Present temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya. Just Behind the temple you will seen samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya.

Kedarnath Information Guide
Earlier there were many accomdation facilities, such as Budget hotels, Ashrams and Guest houses in Kedarnath for tourist stay. Now with recent floods, devotees can only stay in tents or camps.

There are many place to see in and near Kedarnath namely Chorabari tal (Gandhi Sarovar), Ukhimath, Panch Kedar, Madmaheshwar, Vasukital, Gaurikund, Trijuginarayan, Tungnath, Chopta, DeoriaTal and Rudranath etc.
Places to see Kedarnath
Following is the list of popular tourist sports in Kedarnath.

Kedarnath Temple: Kedarnath is one of the holiest Hindu pilgrims of India with Lord Shiva as its residing deity. This holy site is situated perched at an elevation of 3,584mts above sea level in the foot of imposing snow bound Himalayan peaks. Mythology says that Pandavas wanted to wash their sins they committed during the great war of Mahabharata by killing their own brothers, so they wished to meet Lord Shiva. Shiva was angry with them and he didn't want to bless them with his presence so Lord Shiva converted himself into a big bull and dug himself under the ground. The places where the body parts were founded were named as kedars. The hump of the bull was found here. The temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya in the early 8th century. The temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of India and the main temple of Panch Kedar. The temple is still intact after the floods of 2013 as the town surrounding the temple has been washed away. This year some 32000 pilgrims visited the sacred shrine after the floods.

Gaurikund: Gaurikund is the commencement point of the trek of 14kms to the sacred shrine of Kedarnath. The place is named after Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva and a temple Gauri is also situated here. It is believed that Lord Shiva accepted to marry Parvati at this place and married her in Trijuginarayan. The place offers vivid greenery with Vasuki Ganga flowing from below. Gaurikund is situated 66kms from Rudraprayag. Dmage has been done to Gaurikund by the floods but the place and the temple is still intact.

Vasuki Tal: Vasuki Tal can be reached by a 7km moderate trek from Kedarnath. The lake is located at an altitude of 4,150mts above sea level surrounded by Himalayan peaks casting their shadows on the crystal clear water of Vasuki Tal.

Shankaracharya Samadhi: Adi Shankaracharya was a great scholar and a saint who established four sacred dhams in India and after that he went to his Samadhi at an early age of 32.

Badrinath Dham
Badrinath Temple is is one of the holiest hindu pilgrimage in Uttarakhand, India. It is one the most important dhams and the only temple which is part of both "MainChardham of India" and "Chota CharDham Yatra". Badrinath is famous for its well known Lord Vishnu temple (also known as Badri Vishal) named as Badrinath temple.

Badrinath Temple is one of the holy shrines for Vaishnavites among the 108 divya desams incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Badrinath town is also the part of Panch Badri temples including Yog Dhyan Badri, Bhavishya Badri, Adi Badri and Vriddha Badri, along with Badrinath temple.

Badrinath temple is located at an altitude of about 3415 mts above the sea level in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand. The temple is located in Silent valley of Garhwal Himalayas on the seashore of flowing water of Alaknanda river. Everyone heared about the marvellous or stunning beauty of Badrinath town, with pleasant weather, dense forest, snow clad Mountains, holy river with surrounding green valley which attracts tourists from india as well as from abroad.

History, Architecture and Importance of Badrinath Temple
Although Badrinath temple was built by the Adi Shankaracharya, who initially discovered the Badrinarayan idol in the Alakananda River and installed it in hot water spring of Tapt Kund. Present temple was built by King of Garhwal in 16th century. Ornament Stones, Impressive traditional carving, Pillars Design is the first features to strike lots of devotees visually. The Archectiture appearance of the Badrinath temple is similar to the appearence of Buddhist Vihara temple.

According to legend it is believed that At the time of Satya yuga, Lord Shiva meditated here for thousands of years when Goddess Lakshmi provided shadow over her husband in the form of a Badri tree. So the place came to be known as name of Badrinath. Actually, the whole valley encompassing Kedar-Badri was the home of Lord Shiva. It is one of the reason that, The Temple is flooded with devotees during mahashivratri Festival as well.

At the entrance gate of Badrinath Temple, main idol of Lord Shiva is Placed on Bird Garud, the vehicle of Lord Badrinarayan. When you will enter the main Sanctum you will find mediated Adi Shankaracharya Murti. You will find many images of gods namely Kuber, Sridevi and Bhoodevi as well as the sages Nar, Narayan, Bhakta Narada all are seated around the main Deity of Lord Shiva. There are many shrines in and around the temple such as Goddess Laxmi, Hanuman, Narsimha, Nar-Narayan, Ghanta Karna and an Ashta bhuja Ganesha. The diety of Badrinath temple is made of black stone shaligram.

Badrinath Travel Guide
There are many festival like Kedar-Badri Utsav, Janam-ashtami, Mata Mruti Ka Mela are celebrated. Along with Badrinath temple, there are many place of sightseeing namely Panch Prayag temple, Badhri Naryanan Temple, Vasudhara Falls, Hot Geyser (tapt kunds or hot water springs), Bheem Pul, Mana Village etc.
Places to see Badrinath
Following is the list of popular tourist sports in Badrinath.

Badrinath Temple: Badrinath is the most sacred Dham of India. It is located at an elevation of 3,133mts above sea level in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state. This Dham was established by Adi Shankaracharya in the 9th century. The deity of Badrinath temple is Lord Vishnu. The temple is situated on the right bank of the holy Alaknanda River. The temple and the town is a riot of colours and the colourful 'Singh-Dwara' at the entrance is very artistic creation. Every year millions of tourists and devotees visit this sacred place from May to October month. The temple remains closed during winter months as the region is prone to heavy snowfall.

TaptKund: Tapt Kund is a natural thermal spring where the devotees take a holy dip as it is very important to take a bath before visiting a temple. It is also believed that the kund has medicinal values and can cure allergies of the people. All the devotees take holy dip in the natural hot water together with unknown people. The people may be unknown to each other but their purpose of visit is same, i.e. to worship the sacred Badrinath Dham.

Brahma Kapal: Brahma Kapal is a place where Hindus performs propitiating rites for their deceased ancestors. Brahma Kapal is a flat platform on the bank of river Alaknanda. You can see several pundits (priests) sitting with 'pooja samagri'.

Neelkanth: Situated above the Badrinath Temple, Neelkanth peak is named after Lord Shiva who is also known as Neelkanth. The cliff of the peak is the first place where the sun castes its crimson rays. Neelkanth is a Pyramidal-shaped snowy peak and if you carefully observe the cliff you can see as if Lord Shiva is sitting looking at the sky. Neelkanth peak is situated at an elevation of 6,560mts above sea level. Numerous Brahmakal can be seen at the foot of Neelkanth Peak and the trekking route of 6km can be covered easily.

Mata Murti Temple: Situated 3kms from Badrinath, Mata Murti Temple is dedicated to the mother of Lord Narayan. According to mythology Mata Murti prayed Lord Vishnu to take his next avatar by coming out from her womb. Lord Vishnu then happily agreed and came into world as twins, Nar and Narayan to kill a monster. Every year a fair is held in the month of August at Mata Murti Temple.

Charanpaduka: Situated 3km above Badrinath Temple lies a beautiful meadow carpeted with wild flowers in the summers. A boulder bearing the footprints of Lord Vishnu is located here known as Charanpaduka. It is said that when Lord Vishnu descended from Vaikunth he stepped on this boulder. The area is a steep climb from the town and is full of caves & boulders. This path leads you to the foot of Neelkanth peak where you can find several Brahmakamals.

Narad Kund: Located near Tapt Kund, this kund is believed to be the source of the Badarinath idol. The hot water springs comes out from beneath the Garur Shila and falls into a tank. Darshan of Badarinath is always preceded by a holy dip in this kund. Apart from that there are many other hot water springs. Devotees take a dip in them for their religious and medicinal value.

Mana: Mana is very close to Tibet border and it is one of the last villages of India. Most of the tourists who visit Badrinath also come to see the end of the road at Mana. Mana is inhabited by Indo-Mongolian tribes often called as bhotias. Mana is situated 3kms from Badrinath.

Bheem Pul: Bheem Pul is an enthralling and adventurous place with mythological importance. This is the place where Bheem threw a big massif rock to make a path joining two mountains so that Draupadi could walk easily on it. Below this bridge the Saraswati River comes from between the mountain with immense force to merge with the water of Alanknanda River.

Vyas Cave: Vyas Gufa or Vyas Cave is the place from where Ved Vyas dictated entire Mahabharata to God Ganesha so that he could write. Ved Vyas also meditated in this cave

Ganesha Cave: Ganesha Cave is the natural cave where he wrote Mahabharata as dictated by Ved Vyas from Vyas Gufa.

Sheshnetre: On the opposite bank of the river Alaknanda, in the lap of Nar Parvat, there are two small seasonal lakes. Between these lakes is a boulder having an impression of the legendary snake, Sheshnag. The formation of eye on the boulder is natural.

Panch Dharas & Panch Shilas: The Panch Dharas (five streams) which are famous in Badaripuri are Prahlad, Kurma, Bhrigu, Urvashi & Indira dhara. The most striking of these is the Indira dhara, located about 1.5 km north of the town Badaripuri. Around the Tapt Kund there are five blocks of rocks of mythological importance called Narad, Narsimh, Barah, Garur & Markandeya Shilas (stone).


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