What is the Chardham Yatra: Importance & Significance
Char Dham Yatra, also known as Chota Chardham Yatra, is a pilgrimage to four sacred shrines located in the Himalayas of Uttarakhand, India. These four shrines are Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. Char Dham translates to “four abodes” and these shrines are believed to be the abodes of four Hindu deities – Goddess Ganga, Goddess Yamuna, Lord Shiva, and Lord Vishnu, respectively.
Char Dham Yatra tour is considered to be one of the holiest pilgrimages in Hinduism and is believed to provide spiritual enlightenment and liberation from the cycle of birth and death. It is believed that undertaking this yatra brings one closer to the divine and helps in attaining moksha or salvation.
Gangotri, located at an altitude of 3,100 meters, is the source of the River Ganges and is dedicated to Goddess Ganga. The temple here is believed to have been built by the Maratha queen, Ahilyabai Holkar, in the 18th century.
Yamunotri, located at an altitude of 3,293 meters, is the source of the River Yamuna and is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. The temple here is believed to have been built by the sage, Ashtakala, in the 19th century.
Kedarnath, located at an altitude of 3,583 meters, is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is believed to have been built by the Pandavas during the Mahabharata era. The temple is located in the midst of the snow-clad Himalayas and is accessible only by a trek or a helicopter ride.
Badrinath, located at an altitude of 3,133 meters, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is believed to have been built by the Adi Shankaracharya in the 9th century. The temple is located on the banks of the River Alaknanda and is surrounded by the Nanda Devi and Nar Parvat mountains.
The Char Dham Yatra usually takes around 10-12 days to complete and is open from April/May to November. It is recommended to undertake this yatra during the summer months to avoid the extreme weather conditions in the Himalayas during the winter months.
Undertaking the Char Dham Yatra requires physical fitness, mental strength, and devotion. It is a journey that is not only physically demanding but also spiritually rewarding. The experience of visiting these four shrines, surrounded by the majestic Himalayas, is truly humbling and awe-inspiring.
In conclusion, the Char Dham Yatra is a sacred pilgrimage that has been undertaken by millions of devotees for centuries. It is a journey of faith, devotion, and self-discovery that brings one closer to the divine and helps in attaining spiritual enlightenment and liberation.