A complete guide to Uttarakhand's Char Dham Yatra

Priya Srivastava, TIMESOFINDIA.COM, TRAVEL TRENDS, UTTARAKHAND Updated : May 25, 2022, 14:00 IST

A complete guide to Uttarakhand'a Char Dham YatraCredit: iStock

A complete guide to Uttarakhand'a Char Dham Yatra

Uttarakhand's Char Dham Yatra holds a lot of religious significance for people belonging to the Hindu community. It is easily one of the most revered pilgrimage circuits of India; every year, routes to the four most sacred Hindu shrines in Uttarakhand (the Indian Himalayas) are opened at the same time for the pilgrims. These four Himalayan shrines are Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.

This year, the Char Dham Yatra has started with a boom and people are already making plans and registering themselves for the same.

On that note, here’s a complete guide to Char Dham Yatra for those interested in the pilgrimage.

Understanding the importance of Char Dham YatraCredit: iStock

Understanding the importance of Char Dham Yatra

Also known as the Chota Char Dham Yatra, this pilgrimage circuit has a lot of religious significance in Hindu religion as it is believed that every Hindu must go on this pilgrimage once in their lifetime. People believe that Char Dham Yatra washes away sins and opens the gate of heaven.

The four shrinesCredit: iStock

The four shrines

Haridwar is the beginning point of Char Dham Yatra. First stop on this pilgrimage is Yamunotri, second is Gangotri, followed by Kedarnath, and the pilgrimage ends at Badrinath. Also remember, following the sequence is believed to be quite important in the Char Dham Yatra.

About Yamunotri DhamCredit: iStock

About Yamunotri Dham

People start with Yamunotri, which is set as the source of the Yamuna River and according to mythology, Yamuna is the sister of Yamraj. On the occasion of Bhai Dooj, he had promised his sister that whoever takes a dip in the river will not be taken to Yamlok and attain salvation. Therefore, Goddess Yamuna is prayed to here.

About Gangotri DhamCredit: iStock

About Gangotri Dham

Set at an elevation of 3200 m above sea level, the Gangotri Dham is second in the Yatra. The temple is situated at Gomukh, which is the source of the holy River Ganga. It is believed that taking a dip in the holy water of the Ganges washes away all the sins. Legend has it that King Bhagirath meditated here for a long time, after which Ganga appeared in the region. The temple features the stone on which he is believed to have meditated.

About Kedarnath DhamCredit: iStock

About Kedarnath Dham

Kedarnath Temple is quite famous and one of the most significant shrines in the country. It is also one of the 12 jyotirlinga temples of Lord Shiva in India. Kedarnath, Kalpeshwar, Tungnath, Madmaheshwar and Rudranath temples together form the Panch Kedar pilgrimage of India.

About Badrinath DhamCredit: iStock

About Badrinath Dham

Last in the yatra comes the Badrinath Temple and also the most important of all four shrines. Set on the banks of Alakananda river, the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Also, it is believed that Adi Shankaracharya attained salvation at the same place.

Timing is importantCredit: iStock

Timing is important

Before embarking on the religious journey, do check preferable times to visit the shrines. The Char Dham Yatra mostly commences in April or May and ends in October or November, every year. Yatra’s peak time is generally in May and June, but you can comfortably plan around September to avoid the crowd and have an easier trip. So, do plan accordingly.

Start working out beforeCredit: iStock

Start working out before

Being physically fit is the first and foremost thing. So, start working on your physical strength at least three months before you plan the yatra. Also, consult your physician and get proper medications.

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