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Chardham Yatra, the divine pilgrimage of the four sacred shrines in the Himalayan region of Uttarakhand, India, is considered one of the most significant religious journeys in Hinduism. The term 'Chardham' is derived from two Sanskrit words, 'Char' which means 'four' and 'Dham' which means 'abode of God.'
The four Dhams or holy shrines of Chardham Yatra include Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. These shrines are situated in the lap of the Himalayas and are surrounded by serene beauty and breathtaking views of the mountains.
Yamunotri Dham is situated in the western region of Garhwal Himalayas, Uttarakhand. It is the source of the Yamuna river, which is considered the sister of Yama, the god of death. According to Hindu mythology, Yamuna is the daughter of Surya, the sun god. The temple of Yamunotri is situated at an altitude of 3,293 meters above sea level and is a trek of about 13 km from the town of Hanuman Chatti.
Gangotri Dham is the second Dham of Chardham Yatra and is situated in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. It is the source of the holy river Ganga, which is considered the holiest of all rivers in Hinduism. The temple of Gangotri is located at an altitude of 3,042 meters above sea level and is a trek of about 19 km from the town of Gangotri.
Kedarnath Dham is situated in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand and is one of the most important Dhams of Chardham Yatra. The temple of Kedarnath is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located at an altitude of 3,583 meters above sea level. It is a trek of about 14 km from the town of Gaurikund.
Badrinath Dham is situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand and is the final Dham of Chardham Yatra. The temple of Badrinath is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is located at an altitude of 3,133 meters above sea level. It is a trek of about 3 km from the town of Badrinath.
The Chardham Yatra is usually undertaken from May to November, as the winter months make it difficult to access these holy shrines due to heavy snowfall. The yatra begins from Yamunotri, followed by Gangotri, Kedarnath, and finally, Badrinath.
Undertaking the Chardham Yatra is believed to be a way to attain salvation and cleanse oneself of all sins. It is also considered an opportunity to seek blessings and guidance from the divine. The yatra is not only a spiritual journey but also a way to witness the majestic beauty of the Himalayas and experience the culture and traditions of Uttarakhand.
In conclusion, the Chardham Yatra is a sacred pilgrimage that holds immense significance in Hinduism. It is a journey of devotion, self-discovery, and enlightenment. If you are planning to undertake this divine yatra, make sure to prepare well in advance and follow all the necessary precautions to ensure a safe and peaceful journey.
Written By #Devesh_Mittal