Char DhamThe Himalayas with its glorious peaks, crystal clear mountain streams and dense forests has been known as Dev Bhoomi, the land of the Gods. Start with Yamunotri, going on to Gangotri, Kedarnath and culminating the journey at Badrinath, the route follows the Hindu tradition of parikrama or clockwise circumambulation. They together form the Chardham or Four Holy Shrines. Badrinath and Gangotri are directly accessible by road while Kedarnath and Yamunotri are reached by road followed by a short trek of 15 km and 6 km, respectively.
Yamunotri and Gangotri are revered as the sources of the two most holy rivers in India, the Yamuna and the Ganga. Kedarnath and Badrinath have shrines dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu, two of the gods in the Hindu trinity.
The shrine of Yamunotri is a source of river Yamuna and the abode of goddess Yamuna. Situated at an elevation of about 3, 235 mt, it’s an important pilgrimage and holds great religious importance.
The shrine of Gangotri is the abode of goddess Ganga, is an ideal location for all those who wish to take a dip into the ocean of divinity. Gangotri is one of the most pious Hindu pilgrimages and holds great religious importance. The river is called Bhagirathi at the source and acquires the name Ganga from Devprayag onwards where it meets Alaknanda. The origin of the holy river is at Gaumukh, which is further 18 km trek along the Gangotri glacier.
Kedarnath is located at the top of Grewal Himalayan Range near the river Mandakini in Kedarnath, Uttrakhand. The Kedarnath temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the holiest Hindu temples. Lying at an altitude of 3584 mt. on the head of river Mandakini, the shrine of Kedarnath is amongst the holiest pilgrimages for the Hindus and the temple itself is quite an exquisite example of stone work.
Badrinath Temple is situated on the right bank of Alaknanda River in the hill town of Badrinath in Uttrakhand state in India. Encircled by a beautiful valley, the 15 mt high temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Its colourful 'singh dwara' or the main entrance gate give it a new, modern look. In this temple, several murtis are worshipped and the most important is a one meter tall statue of Vishnu as Lord Badrinarayan, made of black Saligram stone.