Char Dham Uttarakhand
The holy journey of the Uttarakhand Char Dham or the Chhota Char Dham wash away all your sins of the present & past lifetime and relieve you from the vicious cycle of life and death.
Char Dham(four seats) as the word describes, are the four most sacred Hindu pilgrimages of Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri & Rameshwaram. Most Hindu’s believe that they should visit these places at-least once before they leave this world. Intrestingly, Uttarakhand has its own char dhams, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, Yamunotri. These pilgrimages are located in the Garhwal district of Uttarakhand, but each of this four sites are quite unique and have their own significance and importance to the devotees.
Kedarnath ~ Kedarnath temple is the most remote and difficult to reach as compared to other three dhams. The nearest road is about 14 kms away at gaurikund and you have to cover entire distance by walking. It is in Rudraprayag district, almost 12,000 ft. above the sea level and is surrounded from everywhere by snow-covered mountains.
Badrinath ~ Badrinath temple is the most important among all four dhams and is situated is the badrinath valley along the river Alaknanda. It is in the Chamoli discrict of Uttarakhand.
Gangotri ~ Gangotri temple is on the banks of river Bhagirati which apparently is the origin of river Ganges. Its is in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, about 10,000 ft above the sea level.
Yamunotri ~ Yamunotri temple is on the origins of river yamuna. It is also inthe district of Uttarkashi and is about 11,000 ft above sea level. There is a hot water spring close to the yamunotri temple named surya kund.
An annual char dham yatra is organised every summer for the devotees to cover all these four places in one go, this get very convenient for travelers as the government make all possible arrangements for the smooth run of program and is also popularly called as yatri season. It has been observed that specifically since last four decades the religious importance among hindus have grown considerably and in search of cultural zest they travel to these places. Every year it sees the people coming in large number from all communities including Garhwalis, Gujaratis, Marwaris, Marathis, Bengalis, Odias and people from Uttar Pradesh. The yatri season remains until Diwali and is heavily crowded particularly before monsoon(july end). The roads get heavily jammed, however the local governing authorities have worked on widening of roads and creating alternative roads but this has not solved the congestion problem completely.
As monsoon starts, the rush subsides but this creates other problems. Landslides, cloudburst are common here during rain and this sometimes halt the convoys of devotees for many hours. It is always advisable to travel these places before monsoon. The season remain open until November and thus, many people travel these places after monsoon also. However this is the chilliest time in mountains but the rain washes all valley which make it look more dazzling. With the start of winters, the temples get covered with layers of ice and it eventually brings the end of season.