Char Dham of Uttarakhand or Chota Char Dham is one of the most important Hindu Pilgrimages in India. It comprises of four most holy place of Uttarakhand, namely – Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. Yamunotri and Gangotri are the sites of Goddess Shakti, while Kedarnath and Badrinath belong to Shaiva and Vaishnavasites respectively. There is a long and affluent history added to all the four shrines. Let’s know the brief history of all four shrines in Chota Chardham Yatra.
Badrinath Temple is is one of the holiest hindu pilgrimage in India. It is one the most important dhams and the only temple which is part of both “Main Chardham of India” and “Chota Char Dham Yatra”. This shrine was established by Adi Guru Shankaracharya in 8th century to offer new life and energy to Hinduism. As per the mythos, it was the first residence of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. Later on, Lord Vishnu made Badrinath as his own abode.
CharDham Yatra Opening Dates- Badrinath 1 May 2017
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.
Pandavas were searching for Lord Shiva to absolve themselves from their sins committed at the battlefield of Mahabharata. Lord Shiva was in no mood to forgive them so easily, so he converted himself into a bull and went to Garhwal side of Uttarakhand. On being found by the Pandavas, he dived into the ground. Different parts of the Lord came up at different parts – hump at Kedarnath, arms at Tunganath, navel at Madhya-Maheshwar, face at Rudranath and hair emerged at Kalpeshwar. Taken together, these five sites are known as Panch-kedar. Pandavas got temples made at each of the five places.
CharDham Yatra Opening Dates- Gangotri 29 April 2017
Gangotri Dham is dedicated to Goddess Ganga, who is said to have descended on earth to absolve the sins of human kind. The river originates at Gaumukh from the Gangotri glacier which is some 18 km from the town of Gangotri. It is the place where Lord Shiva took Ganges in his hair curls. Gaumukh is the place where the Ganges is emerged from Gangotri Glacier. Situated in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. 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.
CharDham Yatra Opening Dates- Gangotri 28 April 2017
Yamunotri Dham temple sanctifies thousands of moods and spirits bringing the origin of River Yamuna. Yamunotri is where the second most holy of river of India, the 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.
Yamuna Goddess is believed to be Sun’s daughter and twin sister of Yama (the god of death). It is said that sage Asit Muni lived here and bathed in both Ganga and Yamuna. In his old age, when he was unable to go to Gangotri, a stream of Ganga started to flow across the steam of Yamuna.
CharDham Yatra Opening Dates- Yamunotri 28 April 2017