The Char Dhams:
The Chota Char Dham marks the prevalence of four divine abodes of Uttarakhand. It is a fusion of the four most significant pilgrimage hubs of Uttarakhand and these are Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. This Yatra started getting recognition after the Indo-China War, done in the year 1962. India started investing its finance in the development of roads and other relatable projects here and due to the same, the holy shrines of Uttarakhand started gaining easier accessibility. This journey commences right from Yamunotri and then is proceeded to Gangotri followed by the most favoured Kedarnath as well as Badrinath.
Yamunotri: Dedicated to the majorly revered Goddess Yamuna, the Yamunotri is the first pilgrimage hub in the Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand. It accompanies the devotees till the Rawai valley tucked in higher yet a picturesque elevation. Lying on the western side of the gigantic and mighty Garhwal Himalayas, this spiritual hub is spotted at a height of approx. 3,293m above the sea level. Apart from that, this site is also the originating point of the River Yamuna. The pilgrims take a bath in Yamuna’s sanctified water in order to cleanse all the sins associated with them and also for avoiding a painful death.
Gangotri: The holiest river Ganga that is witnessed at a distance of approximately 18 kms from the Gaumukh glacier is connected with Gangotri. It is believed that the almighty Maa Ganga resides in the vicinity of this temple. Before entering the time, taking some dips in the pristine water of Ganga stands as a mandatory activity. It is known to swipe off all the negativities that the pilgrims carry from the outside world. As mentioned in varied Hindu mythological books, Gangotri is looked upon as the site where river Ganga landed when it was descending right from the heaven.
Kedarnath: Hailing with the characteristics of being serene as well as beautiful, Kedarnath is considered to be the most remote town to be accessed out of the other Dhams present in the Chota Char Dham Yatra Circuit. River Mandakini’s head houses this spiritual shrine and with its snow covered mountains, the devotees present here are never going to get over with the abundant beauty lying here. The name Kedarnath has been kept after the erstwhile Satya Yuga ruler of this city King Kedar. The Kedarnath temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and was initially built up by the Pandavas, also it is counted amongst the 12 Jyotirlingas.
Badrinath: The holy town of Badrinath has been named after the Badrinath Temple that is situated in it. Badrinath is associated with Lord Vishnu and thus, the pilgrims who are intending to get up close and attain the blessings of Lord Vishnu should undoubtedly visit this spiritual destination. It has always been entailed as a destination where God meets beauty due to the incomparable and ravishing charm present in it. Definitely, a sight to behold, you are going to get awestruck on having a glimpse of the marvellous Badrinath Temple along with the crystal clear Alaknanda River making its way from between the Himalayan peaks.
Best Time to Visit:
The Chota Char Dham Yatra is not open for the devotees during the whole year. Instead, it is publicly accessible during a particular tenure of the year. Mentioning about the best time to be a part of the Chota Char Dham Yatra, it is during the summers i.e. from May till June. Avoid visiting these destinations during the monsoon season i.e. from July till September since it can be dangerous due to the roads being slippery.
There can be an existence of many elements that make this pilgrimage a strenuous one. These can be the unpredictable weather conditions, landslides as well as the miserable road conditions. These factors can drain a person’s energy and also apart from that, the extreme climate with the temperature dropping as low as 1 degrees at night can also be unfavourable for the pilgrims at times. However, despite of these things the pilgrims who have the utmost passion of being a part of this journey, enjoy it thoroughly and successfully conclude it too.
Ways to reach Chota Char Dham
Completing the Char Dham Yatra is not at all an easy task and thus, the pilgrims participating in it must be aware of the ways to reach there. Badrinath and Gangotri are the only two temples that can be accessed with the help of a vehicle. The other two i.e. the Kedarnath and Yamunotri can be reached via treks with the Kedarnath comprising of the longest trek. Generally, the exploration of all the temples constituted in the Char Dham is done in about 10-12 days but now a two days’ exploration is also possible with the advent of helicopter in this spiritual activity.
Travel tips for the Chota Char Dham
There are some of the most essential tips that are required by the travellers so that they can plan their trip accordingly. Thus, we have listed the same below… have a look:
- Do not forget to carry the mandatory Altitude Sickness medicines.
- Drink a lot of water so that you can protect yourself from dehydration.
- Carrying along heavy woollens is quite necessary because the weather conditions during the Char Dham Yatra are quite unpredictable.
- Get a medical examination of your body done before you start with this 1,400 ft. high journey.
- You must move slowly during the trek as this arduous pilgrimage requires discipline.
No doubt on this, a visit to the Char Dham is truly a worth! The abundant beauty, serene environment, picturesque views, scenic surroundings and the sounds of the flowing rivers- each and everything in the Chota Char Dham Yatra is so perfect. Planning a tour towards the Char Dhams of Uttarakhand? Just in case, it is a yes then you should surely keep all the above mentioned information in mind and then proceed with your arrangements for the same.