With the opening of Kedarnath Shrine, Char Dham Yatra for pilgrims from across the world would have commenced had coronavirus not been a thing. And like every year, thousands of pilgrims would have trekked to the four most sacred places of the Indian Himalayas also known as Char Dhams.
I have always been curious about trekking across Char Dhams and had plans to trek through the same this year. However, you obviously know why I had to drop the plans. Nevertheless, all the knowledge I have garnered about the Yatra is still intact and I thought why not share it with you people who are curious to know about the Dhams.
So here’s all you need to know about the Char Dham Yatra for your future adventures.
Char Dhams are basically four places – Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath – all of them lying in Uttarakhand. People visit these locations to not only quench their religious thirst but also to behold the magnificent beauty of the snow-clad Himalayas and valleys and more.
Different Char Dham Yatras
The Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand is actually the smaller version of Char Dham Yatra. The original Char Dham Yatra was established by Adi Shankaracharya back in the eighth century AD. The Dhams comprises Badrinath, Puri, Rameshwaram and Dwarka. And all these are spread across different parts of the country.
The Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand is favoured among Hindus for amazing beliefs attached to it. It is believed that one who completes the Char Dham Yatra attains peace of mind. Also, Char Dham Yatra opens the gates of salvation by washing away the sins of a lifetime.
Road To Char Dhams
The starting point of Char Dham Yatra is Haridwar. From Haridwar, people first head to Yamunotri, then to the famous Gangotri, followed by the Kedarnath Dham, and finally Badrinath Dham.
Starting with Yamunotri, it is situated close to the source of Yamuna. It is believed that the Yamuna, the sister of Yamraj, took a promise from her brother on Bhai Dooj that anyone who takes a dip in the river will not be taken to Yamlok and thus will attain salvation.
Next, pilgrims head to Gangotri. Gangotri Dham is located at an altitude of 3,200 m above sea level at Gomukh, which is believed to be the source of the River Ganga. The river is believed to be the holiest and who-so-ever takes a dip in the river attains salvation.
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Kedarnath is among the most popular shrines in India because it is also one of the 12 jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. It is the third destination of the pilgrims on their way through Char Dhams.
Lastly, the Char Dham Yatra ends with a visit to Badrinath Dham. Situated on the left bank of the Alakananda River, the Badrinath Dham is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is also a part of the bigger version of Char Dham Yatra and also a place where Adi Shankaracharya attained salvation.
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This year, the Char Dham Yatra has been cancelled for now due to coronavirus pandemic. But I hope the information will help you in your future travel plans to the Char Dhams.