Char Dham (चार धाम)

Char Dham (चार धाम)

In Hindu religion char dham yatra (चार धाम यात्रा) is a great journey of devotion. Chardham is a combination of four pilgrimages named as Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. In Hindu mythology, it is believed that visiting chardham gives the Moksha (मोक्ष). Here is a brief description of temples of chardham.

Badrinath (बद्रीनाथ) – Badrinath temple is situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state in India. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is located on the banks of Alaknanda river (अलकनंदा नदी). It opens for six months every year. In this temple black stone statue of the deity is worshiped as Badrinarayana. 

Badrinath temple is surrounded with great natural beauty. The temple is built at a height of 3,133m. (10,279 feet) above the sea level. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu came here to meditate in its’ peaceful environment. But he was unaware of it’s extreme cold weather. To protect him from biting cold his wife goddess Lakshmi covered him in the form of Badri tree. So this place is known as Badrinath. The deity is worshiped with Tulsidal. Badrinath dham was established by Adi Shankara.

Kedarnath (केदारनाथ) – Kedarnath temple is located in the Garhwal Himalayan range on the bank of Mandakini river (मन्दाकिनी नदी). It is situated in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand state, India. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. 

In this temple, The deity is in the form of Lingam of irregular shape with 3.6m in circumference and 3.6m in height. There is also images of goddess Parvati, five Pandavas, Nandi the vehicle of Lord Shiva and Virbhadra. It is one of the Jyotirlingas (ज्योतिर्लिंग). The temple was built by Pandavas. It opens for public between in the month of April on Akshaya Tritiya (अक्षय तृतीया) and November. The deity moves to Ukhimath during the winter season. Behind the temple there is a Samadhi of Adi Sankara.

Gangotri (गंगोत्री) – Gangotri temple is situated in the Himalayan range at a height of 3,100m. (10,200 ft.). It is located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand state, India on the banks of Bhagirathi river (भागीरथी नदी). The temple was built by Nepalese general Amar Singh Thapa. 

According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Ganga appeared here from Lord Shiva’s hair lock to finish sins of king Bhagiratha’s ancestors and to liberate their souls. So river Ganga is also known as Bhagirathi. 

In Gangotri temple, Arti (आरती) ceremony is performed by the Pujaris of Semwal family. The source of river Ganga is Gangotri glacier. The river passes through Devprayag and merges into the river Alaknanda. The snow clouded mountains and the pure crystal clear water of the river Ganga attract the eyes.

Yamunotri (यमुनोत्री) – Yamunotri temple is located in the Garhwal Himalayan range at a height of 3,235m. (10,614 ft.). It is situated in the Uttarakashi district of Uttarakhand state, India. This temple is dedicated to goddess Yamuna. It is sacred source of the river Yamuna. It was built by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal. The deity is made of black marbles. According to Hindu mythology, Yamuna is the sister of Yama, the god of death and dip in the river secures a painless death to the devotees. Yamunotri is famous for its glaciers and thermal springs.