As per the tradition, the Chardham yatra is undertaken from the west to the east (and also from left to right). The Yatra begins from Yamunotri and then the pilgrims travel to Gangotri followed by Kedarnath. They then finally concluded at Badrinath which is considered the holiest Hindu pilgrimage site our of this quartet.
Yamunotri: Chardham Yatra Destination
It is a critical pilgrimage center in Garhwal Himalayas. The original temple was constructed by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal in the 19th century. The journey to Yamunotri temple takes 1 day from Haridwar and Rishikesh.
The actual temple is situated at a distance of 6 kilometers from the town of Hanumanchatti and is easily accessible by a walk. There are 2 thermal springs named Surya Kund and Gauri Kund just outside the temple at Janki Chatti. These holy kunds are believed to have healing powers.
Surya Kund is a hot boiling water reservoir whereas the Gauri Kund is a moderately warm water reservoir suitable for bathing. The Temple opens on Akshaya Tritiya in the month of May and closes on Yama Dwitiya on the second day of Diwali.
Gangotri Temple in Uttarakshi
It is an important Hindu pilgrimage situated on the banks of the river Ganga. The temple was constructed by the Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa in the 18th century. It’s a one day journey from the towns of Rishikesh and Haridwar to reach Gangotri and two days journey from Yamunotri temple.
The temple is opened from May till the Diwali day. For Adventurous pilgrims, Gangotri serves as a starting point for an 18 kilometer trekking route to Gaumukh. It is easily accessible by bus and car which means an opportunity to explore many more pilgrims.
Want more information? Read more on Gangotri.
While searching for Lord Shiva, they found a buffalo that was quite unique in looks. Bhima engaged in a tug-of-war with the buffalo and started pulling his tail due to which his face went straight to Nepal forming Pashupatinath Temple, leaving its hind part in Kedar out of which a Shiva linga formed.
The route to Kedarnath requires a 14 kilometer steep foot trekking from Gauri Kund. The journey to Gauri Kund is easily accessible by road from Haridwar, Rishikesh and Dehradun.
Helicopter services are also available these days to reach Kedarnath Dham. The temple opens on Akshaya Tritiya in the month of May and closes on Bhai Duj in the November.
Interested in information on Kedarnath? Read more...
It is considered to be the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu. A hot water spring is just below the temple, where many visitors take bath before visiting the temple.
- Vishal Badri: is the original Badrinath temple in Badrinath.
- Yogadhyan Badri situated in Pandukeshwar depicting the meditating image of Lord Vishnu installed by King Pandu.
- Bhavishya Badri located at subain near Tapovan. The Legend says that when evil will reach at its peak and the route to Badrinath will be inaccessible, the lord Badrinath will worshipped here in future.
- Vridh Badri situated 7 kilometers away from the jyotirmath in Animath. The legend says that Lord Badrinath used to be worshiped here before moving to the current temple.
- Adi Badri situated 17 kilometers away from karnaprayag consisting of 16 small temples with elaborate carved houses and a three stone black statue of Lord Vishnu.
Chardham Yatra 2014 Update: After last year's natural disaster that struck Uttarakhand, the authorities have decided to regulate the number of pilgrims to Kedarnath. This year only 100 pilgrim will be allowed to travel to Kedarnath each day to avoid any unfortunate or large scale tragedy.