Char Dham Yatra holds great significance among the Hindu pilgrims. The term ‘Char Dham’ means four places where Gods reside. Char Dham tour includes four destinations of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri and Gangotri. These four places are located amidst the Himalaya in Garhwal region of Uttaranchal state.
According to Hindu Mythology, the yatra is fruitful when it is done like a ‘Parikarma.’ Thus, the journey starts from Yamunotri, proceeding to Gangotri and finally to Kedarnath and Badrinath. Char Dham Yatra is also considered as a way to wash out your sins and to attain ‘Moksha’ or Salvation.
My parents wanted to go for Char Dham Yatra, I too accompanied them. Started from Delhi, we reached Haridwar, the holy city. The places we visited there Mansa Devi temple, Sapt Rishi and Daksha Mahadev temple. We stayed there to see the Maha Aarti on the Ganga bank. The scene was so beautiful that it simply made us forget our fatigue and filled us with divine peace.
Walking through Rishikesh, we headed towards Yamunotri. Dedicated to Goddess Yamuna, this holy site has a great significance. It is believed that Lord Krishna used to play on the banks of river Yamuna.
We visited the temple via Hanuman Chetty. Horses were also available on rent, offering a wonderful opportunity to view the breathtaking beauty of waterfalls.
Gangotri was our next destination. Considered as the place where Ganga merged in the earth, Gangotri has a 18th century temple. Our heart filled with great devotion when we reached this sacred site, hustling and bustling with religious activities. We also took a holy dip in river Ganga and visited beautiful places adjacent to Gangotri.
Our customized Char Dham tour package proved helpful for us as we could visit all the places we wanted to see. To experience the eternal bliss, we reached our next destination Kedarnath. After reaching there, we felt the tranquility and great peace of mind because everywhere you could listen the sound of praising God by devotees. There is a temple which was built by Pandavas. It is known as the abode of Lord Shiva.
It is said that the present temple was built by Adi Shankracharya in the 18th century. The temple has decorated inner walls in the assembly hall. A large statue of the Nandi bull stands outside the temple door. Blessed with great scenic beauty, Kedarnath is also the origin place of River Mandakini.
Connecting ourselves with divine during our tour, we reached Badrinath, the last destination of our tour. It is situated in the lap of Nar-Narayan Parvat, at an elevation of 3,133 meters above sea level. Badrinath is considered as the most sacred religious site of Hindu. This pilgrimage site boasts of Tapt Kund and Surya Kund, which are the springs of natural hot water.
The silent and tranquil atmosphere seems to resound with the names of God as the devotees advance towards their destination. We felt immense tranquility by getting the spiritual blessings of Lord.
Apart from offering great spiritual experience, the journey also enabled us to enjoy the scenic natural beauty scattered all around the sacred sites.
Based on our experience, I would strongly recommend that one must go for Char Dham Yatra at least once in his life!