The four abodes in Himalayas collectively known as ?Chardham? situated in the state of Uttarakhand which includes four holy shrines of Hindus ? Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. All the temples are situated in Garwhal region state of North India. Chardham Yatra is one of the most popular Hindu pilgrimage destinations holds great faith among devotees. Every year millions of the devotees from all around the country Indian as well as Foreigners take part in the yatra to get the blessings of God and Goddess. The picturesque surrounding, high altitude mountains, dense forest, large valleys, pleasant weather, water streams, majestic nature beauty, fresh environment, lots of devotees increase the charm of the place and gives opportunity to visitor to get experience of majestic locations. Among the Chardham Yatra Yamunotri is the starting point then yatra proceed to Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.
Yamunotri: It is one of the most religious parts of yatra dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. She is daughter of God Sun and sister of Lord Yama (God of Death). River Yamuna is referred as the second most sacred river in India. It is said that once Yamunotri is the home of great sage Asti Muni. He takes bath daily in both Yamuna and Ganga, but when he became old and unable to reach Rivers so Goddess Ganga appeared opposite site of Yamuna. Apart from a religious destination it also offered the best trekking routes from Janki Chatti to Yamunotri temple has 7 km beautiful trek to reach.
Gangotri: Gangotri is the second stoppage during Chardham Yatra, holds great faith among the heart of devotees. Gangotri temple made of white marble which attract devotees from all around the country. The present temple was made by the Gorkha commander Amar Singh Thapa in 19th century. It is believed that King Bhagirathi did serious penance to impressed Goddess Ganga for salvation of his ancestors. Around 1000 years penance Goddess Ganga agree to come down on the earth and then Lord Shiva was agree to caught Ganga and lock for save the mankind. So this is why Ganga known as Bhagirathi in Gangotri. After Devprayag when Ganga meets in Alaknanda it got its name ?Ganga?.
Kedarnath: Kedarnath is one of the highest temples of Lord Shiva in India. It is situated in Rudraprayag district in the state of Uttarakhand. River Mandakini flow near the temple and increased the charm. Kedarnath Dham is one of 12th Jyotirlingms of Lord Shiva. The existence of Kedarnath Temple is the result of Pandavas search of Lord Shiva. It is said that when Pandavas killed all his own brothers during war and then they feel guilt. They decided worshiped of Lord Shiva to wash all the sins but Lord Shiva refused their request and converted himself into a bull and tried to run away. Bhima (one of Pandavas) was able to catch the hump of Bull. Where the hump of Bull appeared which location is called Kedarnath. The rest part of the bull appeared in other different locations which are called Panch Kedar.
Badrinath: Badrinath is a sacred pilgrimage dedicated to Lord Vishnu, situated in Chamoli district in the state of Uttarakhand. Badrinath is known as Baikunth Dham and one of the highest temples in India of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that Lord Vishnu meditation here and Goddess Lakshmi converted into a berry tree to protect him from cold and heat. Adi Shankrachrya was found a black marble idol in Alaknanda River then after transferred to Badrinath Temple in 9th century. River Alaknanda increased the charm of the place.
Every year the yatra stars in the last week of April or first week of May and closes after two days of Diwali on the day of Bhai Duj. May to June is the best time to visit, Monsoon take place here from July to August and again September to till Diwali is the best time to take part in the yatra. During the winter when the roads blocked due to heavy snowfall then the idol of God and Goddess brought down to nearest village ? Yamunotri & Gangotri brought down to Kharsali and Mukhwa and Kedarnath & Badrinath brought down to Ukhimath and Joshimath village.
All the destinations are well connected to each other with motorable roads. Jolly Grand Airport and Haridwar & Rishikesh is the nearest Airport or Railhead. During Yatra vegetarian and simple food are easily available and Non-Vegetarian and Alcohol is banned here. Best accommodation facilities are easily available during yatra. Budget hotels to Luxury services, Ashrams, Dharamshala, Resort, Tents etc are easily available during yatra. Everyone should visit Chardham once in a lifetime.
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