Chota Char Dham Yatra 2022 | Chardham Yatra Uttrakhand | Chardham Yatra Complete Travel Guide | Chota Char Dham Yatra Travel Guide
Chota Char Dham Uttarakhand
These four temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Badrinath, Dwarka, Jagannathpuri and Rameshwaram are known as Chardham in India. And the journey of these four temples is known as Chardham Yatra. These four temples of Lord Vishnu are located in four different directions of the country.
In these four temples of Chardham Yatra, Badrinath is situated in the north direction, Rameshwaram in the south direction, Dwarka in the west direction and Jagannathpuri temple in the east direction. Chardham Yatra in India is considered to be the most important pilgrimage done in Hinduism.
It is believed that by visiting Chardham, a person attains salvation, so every Hindu living in the whole world wants to visit Chardham once in his life. Like this Chardham Yatra, the four major pilgrimage sites of Uttarakhand state of India, Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath are also famous as Chota Chardham Yatra.
Some people also know these four pilgrimage sites located in Uttarakhand by the name of “Chardham Yatra of Himalayas”. Situated in the Himalayan mountains, these four pilgrimage sites are located in Uttarakhand’s Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Uttarkashi districts.
The four temples of Chhota Chardham Yatra are dedicated to different deities of the Hindu religion, but still, all these temples are seen as a unit in Hinduism. Yamunotri Temple is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna in the Chota Chardham Yatra in Uttarakhand. Which is considered to be the holiest river of Hinduism.
Gangotri Temple is dedicated to Mother Ganga, it is also the holiest river in India. Kedarnath is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, and Badrinath temple is a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu (all the temples of Chardham Yatra are dedicated to Lord Vishnu only).
Situated in the Himalayan mountains, these four temples remain open only for six months a year. But you can estimate the fame of these temples from the fact that more than 2 lakh devotees visit these four temples every year in 6 months.
Yamunotri is the first pilgrimage site of Chardham Yatra to be done in Uttarakhand. Yamunotri, located near the Bandarpunch mountain range of the Himalayas, is a pilgrimage site dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. Yamunotri is also considered to be the origin of the Yamuna, the holiest river of Hinduism.
The height of Yamunotri is only 3293 meters (10803 feet) above sea level. Goddess Yamuna is the daughter of Surya and sister of Yama and Shani. There are many natural hot water pools in the vicinity of Yamunotri, of which Surya Kund is the most famous.
It is believed that the Sun God flows in the form of a hot stream near Yamunotri to bless his daughter the Yamuna. All the devotees who come to Yamunotri cook potatoes and rice in Suryakund and take them to their homes as prasad of Goddess Yamuna.
The Yamunotri temple dedicated to Goddess Yamuna at Yamunotri was built by King Sudarshan Shah of Garhwal in 1885. At that time most of the wood was used for the construction of the temple. After that in the 19th century, the then Raja Pratap Shah of Garhwal gave the temple its present form.
The Yamunotri temple built by Raja Pratap Shah was greatly damaged after a few years due to an earthquake, whose restoration work is done by Maharani Gularia of Jaipur. In the sanctum sanctorum of Yamunotri temple, a statue made of black marble stone of Goddess Yamuna is installed.
Goddess Yamuna is worshipped in this temple with full rituals. It is believed that by offering Pind Daan of one’s ancestors in the Yamuna river, the soul of a dead person reaches heaven. There is also an ancient and huge pillar named Divyashila in the temple complex.
For which it is said that the devotee enters the temple only after having darshan of Divya Shila to have darshan of Goddess Yamuna. The origin of the Yamuna River is Champasar Glacier, whose height is only 4421 meters (14505 feet) above sea level. This glacier is situated on the summit of Kalindi mountain. Many mythological stories are also associated with Yamunotri.
According to one such mythological belief, Yamunotri has also been the abode of Asit Muni. Apart from this, Yamunotri has also been described in many mythological stories. Apart from this, the mention of Yamunotri is also found in ancient texts like Kedarkhand, Brahmapuran, Rigveda and Kurmapuran.
In many ancient texts of Hinduism, Yamunotri has been addressed as the daughter of Surya and Yama Sahodara. After the end of the war of Mahabharata, when the Pandavas went out to make a pilgrimage to the Himalayas, they first saw Yamunotri.
Many historians have also described the importance of Yamunotri in their books, according to one such Mahamayuri text, during the Mahabharata period, Duryodhana had authority over Yamunotri and its surrounding area. That is why even today Duryodhana is worshipped at many places in the vicinity of Yamunotri.
There is also evidence that there used to be settlements of Yavanas and Shakas in the places around this place. Many historians believe that Yamunotri holds equal importance both historically and mythologically for those who believe in Hinduism.
Saptarishi Kund, situated at a distance of 07 km from Yamunotri, also has great mythological significance, it is believed that at this place the Saptarishis did severe penance, hence this pool is called Saptarishi Kund. Click here for complete details of Yamunotri.
Ganga, the holiest river of Hindu religion flowing in India, is also called “Mother Ganga” and “Ganga Maiya”. The Ganges river is considered the most sacred river in Hinduism, so everyone considers it like a mother. Gangotri is a small town located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, due to the river Ganges flowing here, this town is known as Gangotri.
Gangotri is also considered to be the origin of the river Ganges. But the river Ganges flowing in Gangotri is addressed as Bhagirathi. The origin of the river Ganges is Gaumukh situated at a distance of 19 km from Gangotri, which is located in the largest Gangotri glacier of the Himalayas.
Situated at an altitude of 3415 m (11204 ft) above sea level, Gangotri Temple is the highest temple of Maa Ganga situated above sea level. According to the legend related to Gangotri, the Ganges river appeared from heaven at this place after many years of severe penance of King Bhagirath.
It is believed that in the mythological era, King Sagara, the great-grandfather of King Bhagirath, organized the Ashwamedha Yagya. King Sagara had freely let go of a horse to complete the Ashwamedha Yagya. Now wherever that horse passes, that place and state become the right of King Sagar.
Devraj Indra sitting in heaven gets very upset due to this Ashwamedha Yagya of King Sagara. Therefore, to stop the sacrifice of King Sagar, Indra secretly hides the horse of Ashwamedha Yagya in the ashram of Kapil Muni. Here King Sagara sends his army to find the horse because of not getting the horse of Yagya.
But even after many efforts, the king’s army is unable to find the horse for the sacrifice. After defeating, the king sends his 60000 sons to Yagya to find the horse. All the sons of King Sagara reach Kapil Muni’s ashram looking for the horse and see the horse of Yagya tied in the ashram.
Seeing the horse of Yagya tied in the ashram, the king’s son Kapil Muni is accused of theft. Kapil Muni is very angry after hearing the allegation of theft and he curses all 60000 sons of King Sagar and turns them into ashes. Hearing about this whole sequence of events, King Sagar reaches Kapil Muni’s ashram while running and apologizes to him.
After much pleading by King Sagar, Kapil Muni tells the king that the curse cannot be reversed, but if the ashes of your sons touch the Ganges flowing in heaven, then all your sons can attain salvation. King Sagar tries to bring the Ganges river from heaven to earth during his lifetime, but he does not succeed.
After many years of this, Bhagiratha, the great-grandson of King Sagara, does penance for 1000 years for the salvation of his ancestors.
Pleased with the severe penance of King Bhagiratha, Mother Ganga agrees to appear on earth. But then another problem arises that at that time the flow of the Ganges was so fast that if the water stream of the Ganges directly touched the earth at that time, then the earth would not be able to bear the strong flow of the Ganges.
That’s why Mother Ganga tells Bhagiratha that Lord Shiva can control the flow of water in his hair. Hearing this, Bhagirath prays to Lord Shiva that he should absorb the Ganges in his hair. Lord Shiva accepts the request of King Bhagirath. Thus the river Ganges descends into the hair of Lord Shiva before coming to earth and after that, it appears on the earth.
Thus, due to the severe penance of King Bhagiratha, the river Ganges appears on the earth and provides salvation to his descendants. For this reason, the river Ganges is also called Mokshadayani. The temple in Gangotri is built in the 18th century by Gorkha Captain Amar Singh Thapa.
After a few years of temple construction, the work of reconstruction of the temple is done by the royal family of Jaipur. Gangotri remains open for devotees only for six months a year. Click here for complete information about Gangotri.
Kedarnath situated in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand is one of the largest religious places of Lord Shiva in India. It is believed that the Kedarnath temple was built by the Pandavas during the Mahabharata period.
Kedarnath Temple is one of the Panch Kedar temples located in Uttarakhand along with being the main temple of Chhota Chardham and apart from this temple is also the 11th Jyotirlinga out of 12 Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva. Situated at an altitude of 3553 m (11657 ft) above sea level, Kedarnath Temple is built on the banks of the Mandakini River originating from the Chaurabari Glacier in the Himalayas.
It is believed that by performing Jalabhishek of Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva at Kedarnath with the water of the Yamuna river flowing in Yamunotri, one gets blessings from Lord Shiva. Kedarnath has been described in great detail in many mythological texts related to Hinduism.
It is written in Vayupuran that when Lord Vishnu came to earth for human welfare, he first took his first steps in Badrinath. But Lord Shiva was already residing in Badrinath, but for the sake of Lord Vishnu, he left Badrinath and went to reside in Kedarnath.
It is believed that Adi Guru Shankaracharya got Kedarnath renovated in the 8th century and built a small temple near the temple. It is also believed that Adi Guru Shankaracharya took samadhi at the very young age of 32 at this place. Adi Guru Shankaracharya had declared his disciple Veer Shaiva as the Rawal of the Kedarnath temple before being absorbed into the samadhi.
According to the most famous legend related to Kedarnath, after the end of the war of Mahabharata, the Pandavas incur the sin of killing their brothers in the war. Lord Shiva also gets angry with the Pandavas because of the fraternal murder committed during the war.
The Pandavas go to the sage Vyasa to find a way to get rid of the sin of fraternity. Then Sage Vyasa, the guru of the Pandavas, suggests to them that if Lord Shiva blesses all the brothers, then all of them can be freed from the sin of fraternity.
Following the suggestion given by their guru, the Pandavas set out to seek blessings from Lord Shiva. But Lord Shiva was so angry with the Pandavas that as soon as he came to know that the Pandavas were coming to seek blessings from him, he disguised himself and went to Kashi.
Pandavas also reach Kashi in search of Lord Shiva. But Lord Shiva hides from Kashi and hides in Kedarkhand of Himalayas. The Pandavas also reach the Himalayas mountains in search of Lord Shiva. When the Pandavas reach Kedarkhand in the Himalayas in search of Lord Shiva, Lord Shiva takes the form of a bull and tries to leave from there.
But Lord Shiva in the form of a bull is recognized by Bhima and he catches the hump of Lord Shiva in the form of a bull. When Bhima does this, Lord Shiva gets absorbed in the earth at that time, but his hump remains there and the rest of the body appears at four different places.
Apart from Kedarnath, all the four places where Lord Shiva reappeared are worshipped today as Panch Kedar. Kedarnath temple is open for devotees only for 06 months a year and you can reach Kedarnath after trekking 18 km from Gaurikund. Click here to know about Kedarnath
Located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, Badrinath is one of the largest centres of Hindu religious faith dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Along with being a part of the Chota Char Dham Yatra, the Badrinath Temple is also a part of the Char Dham Yatra, considered India’s biggest religious parikrama.
Apart from this Badrinath temple, there are 06 other temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu in Uttarakhand. This seven temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu in Uttarakhand is famous as Sapta Badri. Badrinath Temple is a very ancient temple built in the middle of two mountains named Nar and Narayan in the Himalayas.
It is believed that Lord Vishnu Saidev resides in meditation in the Badrinath temple situated on the banks of river Alaknanda. The name of this place is derived from the tree named Badri found here in time. However, at present all the trees of Badri have become extinct from this place.
According to a legend related to this place, once Narada Muni comes to Kshirsagar to have the darshan of Lord Vishnu, he sees Goddess Lakshmi pressing her feet. Narad Muni is very surprised to see this. To remove the curiosity of his mind, Narada Muni asks Lord Vishnu the reason for this.
Lord Vishnu feels guilty by the question asked by Narada Muni to pacify his curiosity. To get rid of this guilt, Lord Vishnu goes to the Himalayas to do penance. But when Lord Vishnu is absorbed in intense penance in the Himalayas, at the same time very heavy snowfall starts, due to which his whole body immersed in meditation gets covered in snow.
Seeing such a condition of Lord Vishnu absorbed in penance, Goddess Lakshmi gets very upset. Mother Lakshmi takes the form of a huge tree named Badri so that there is no growth in the penance of Lord Vishnu. After many years, when Lord Vishnu completes his work, he comes to know that Mata Lakshmi is covered with snow.
Lord Vishnu is very pleased to see this form of Mata Lakshmi and tells Mata Lakshmi that from today you will be worshipped along with me at this place. And you have protected me by taking the form of a tree named Badri, so from today onwards, this place will be known as Badrinath.
Situated at an altitude of 3133 m (10279 ft) above sea level, the Badrinath Temple is situated on the banks of the Alaknanda River. The Alaknanda river flows further in the Himalayas and confluences with many rivers and assumes the form of the Ganges, the most sacred river of Hinduism in India.
The construction time of the Badrinath temple is considered to be of the Vedic period, later in the 8th century, Adi Guru Shankaracharya got the work of renovation of this temple done. The idol installed in the Badrinath temple is one of the eight self-manifested idols of Lord Vishnu.
Apart from Lord Vishnu, idols of Nar and Narayan, Mata Lakshmi, Shiva-Parvati and Lord Ganesha have also been installed in the temple. Like other temples of Chhota Char Dham Yatra, the Badrinath temple is also open for devotees only for six months a year. Click here for complete details of Badrinath Temple
Places to visit during Chota Char Dham Yatra
Devprayag, Panchprayag, Karnprayag, Chopta, Auli, Rudraprayag, Vishnuprayag and Nand Prayag.
Chhota Char Dham Yatra Travel Guide
01 Devotees can visit all the temples of Chhota Char Dham Yatra only in the summer season (the doors of all the temples of Chhota Char Dham Yatra are open for devotees every year in the last week of April or first week of May, and In the last week of October or the first week of November, the doors of the temple are closed for the devotees).
Due to being situated at the maximum height above sea level, the doors of all the temples of Chhota Char Dham Yatra are closed for six months during the winter season.
02 One should avoid visiting the temples of Chhota Char Dham Yatra during the monsoon season. Landslides are very frequent in the mountains during the rainy season.
03 While travelling, keep proper warm clothes with you.
04 During the Chota Char Dham Yatra, you must keep all your identity cards with you.
05 Avoid driving at night.
06 Do not forget to carry a first aid kit along with you and other necessary medicines while travelling.
07 Before starting the journey, do check your hotel booking once. If you haven’t booked a hotel, book one.
08 If you are taking any kind of plastic item with you, then make sure that you bring that plastic item back with you.
09 All the temples of Chhota Char Dham Yatra are located at an altitude of more than 3000 meters, so you need to be physically fit before starting this journey.
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