The Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand is was till the mid century called the Chota Char Dham. It comprises four temples: Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. These four temples are located in Uttarakhand. Badrinath is also a part of the Char Dham which includes three other cities, Dwarka, Puri and Rameswaram as well. However, the speciality of the Char Dham in Uttarakhand ins the extremely cold climate which makes the temple inaccessible through most of the months of the year. These temples are open only from May to October. It is believed that a pilgrim must follow a particular route and order to make the most out of the pilgrimage viz. Yamunotri followed by a visit to Gangotri and then Kedarnath and lastly a visit to Badrinath. Here are some details about the history of each of these four temples in Uttarakhand that form the Char Dham. Also Read - Viral Video: Deer Runs Across Empty Street in Dehradun Amid Coronavirus Lockdown
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Yamunotri is located close to 3300 m above sea level. The temple is accessible from three of Uttarakhand’s major towns, Dehradun, Rishikesh and Haridwar. The temple is dedicated to the river goddess Yamuna. It is known that the temple opens to the people on Akshaya Tritiya and then closes on Yama Dwitiya during Diwali. Also Read - Uttarakhand Chief Justice Slips, Nearly Drowns Into Strong River Current at Sangam
The Gangotri temple is located near the origin of the Ganga, however, it is known as Bhagirathi at its source and from Allahabad onwards gets the name Ganga. The temple was originally built by Amar Singh Thapa, a Gurkha. Though it was later destroyed by the weather conditions and snow storms and was rebuilt as it started picking up as a tourist attraction. Gangotri is located close to 3400 m above sea level.
Photograph courtesy: UTDB/Facebook
The Kedarnath Temple is located on the banks of river Mandakini and is situated close to 3600 m above sea level. The Kedarnath temple is dedicated to Shiva. It is believed that the temple was built by the Pandavas and was then brought back to its glory by Adi Shankaracharya. It is one of the 12 jyotilingas of Shiva and is considered to be an extremely important pit stop for those looking forward to getting closer to god. The best way to reach Kedarnath is through Rishikesh.
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The Badrinath Temple is dedicated to Vishnu. It is located approximately 3300 m above the sea level. It is one of the most important pilgrim sites among the Vaishnavites. The Badrinath temple is as important as it is because of it being one of the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Vishnu. This is supposed to be the last stop for the Uttarakhand Char Dham. The is one of the most attractively maintained temples among the Char Dham Temples. Not only is the interior of the temple breathtaking, the outer walls of the temple have also been painted intricately.
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