Char Dham yatra is among the most prominent pilgrimage tours in North India and includes four of the holiest places in India. The places of Chardham Yatra are Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. However, the term ‘Char Dham yatra’ symbolizes the holy pilgrimage to religious places performed by Hindus every year. If you plan to visit these pilgrimage sites, you can see them in the summer month (May-November). There are various routes to travel Char Dham yatra, from Delhi, Rishikesh, Haridwar, and Dehradun; this makes your Journey more convenient and comfortable.
According to the thousand years of Hindu Tradition, it is believed that one of the ancient Hindu Philosophers and reformers, “Adi Shankaracharya”, wrought the famous term ‘Char Dham’ which refers to four Hindu pilgrimages in four different directions of India.
To distinguish these pilgrims from the larger circuit of Char Dham sites, Hindu pilgrims call it the Chota char Dham. However, over the years, the word Char Dham has been associated with pilgrimage in the Garhwal Himalayas.
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Places to Visit During Char Dham Yatra
1) Mussoorie and Kempty Fall
Mussorie is a hill station located 75 KM from Rishikesh. It is at an altitude of 6,170 feet and offers a breathtaking view of the snow-capped ranges of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand. Moreover, several major tourist attractions are Kempty falls, company bagh, gun hill, mall road, etc.
2) Lakhamandal Temple
Lakhmandal is an ancient Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in the Jaunsar-Region of Dehradun. The temple’s main attraction is the Shivling which is made of Shrine graphite. Also, the Yamuna river flows in Lakhmandal Village. According to legend, it is thought that Duryodhana was planning on burning the Pandava in this temple.
3) Kashi Vishwanath Temple- Uttarkashi
Kashi Vishwanath temple is among the most ancient temples of Lord Shiva, which is situated on the bank of the Bhagirathi river. It is thought that the idol of Lord Vishwanath from Kashi Temple will be shifted here when Varanasi gets flooded. Inside the temples, we find models of Shiva Ji, Parvati Ji, Ganesha, and Nandi Bel. Also, few shops sell essential puja supplies.
4) Gangani Hotwater Springs
Gangani is 215 KM from Rishikesh on Gangotri Road. It is a naturally scenic spot where one can meditate peacefully. Here, you get an excellent view of the surrounding Himalayan ranges. Also, the famous hot water spring, Rishikind, can be found here. Most devotees visiting Gangotri take a holy dip in this water before going to the temple.
Harsil, at an altitude of 2600 meters, lies on the way to Gangotri and 72 KM from Uttarakashi. The Bhagirathi River flows through this region. It is naturally wonderful with deodar trees and green meadows. Also, several trekking routes pass through Harsil. During winter, the idol of Gangotri is kept in the temple of Mukhwa near Harsil.
6) Vishwanath Temple- Guptkashi
Vishwanath Temple lies in the center of the town, Guptkashi. It is an ancient structure made of stone. It is devoted to Lord Shiva, and Vishwanath means ‘Lord of the Universe. Many tourists visit this famous temple before going to Kedarnath.
7) Triyuginarayan Temple
This temple stands in the Triyuginarayan village of Rudraprayag. It is thought that Lord Shiva married Parvati in the presence of Lord Vishnu in this temple. Also, there is an eternal flame that burns day and night. It is said that this fire has been burning since the time of Lord Shiva’s wedding. However, the temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya, and the structure of this temple is similar to the Kedarnath Temple. Many tourist visit this temple by trek.
8) Kalimath Temple
Kalimath temple is situated in the district of Rudraprayag at a height of 6000 feet. The majestic snow-covered peaks of Kedarnath surround it. Moreover, the temple is dedicated to Kali Ma, Laxmi Ji, and Saraswati Ji. It becomes very crowded at the time of Navaratas. Here, you can see the many idols of Shiva, Parvati, Ganesh, and Nandi.
9) Ukhimath Temple
This temple stands in Ukhimath, which is 41 KM from Rudraprayag. Here, every day Lord Omkareshwar is worshipped. During the winter, the idol from the Kedarnath Temple is brought to this temple in a doli. Therefore, Ukhimath Temple is the winter seat of Kedarnath. Also, there is a building complex where the temple priests live.
Chopta is a natural place in the Rudraprayag district. It has an elevation of 2700 meters and offers a breathtaking view of the snow-capped Himalayan Ranges. Here, there are popular treks to Tungnath, Deoriatal, and Chandrashilla peaks. Also, there is a Tungnath Temple one of the Panch Kendra’s situated at 3680 meters. In Addition, it is the highest peak on which Shiva Temple stands.