General Information Of CharDham
It is considered the holiest of the four main shrines of
Uttarakhand. Badrinath is one of the itinerary of the every
devout Hindu. The present temple was built about 2 centuries ago
by the Kings of Gharwal. The principal idol in the temple is of
black stone and represents Lord Vishnu seated in a meditative
pose, and flanked by Narayan. Badrinath is also known as Vishal
Badri. The temple remains closed from October to April due to
severe winter conditions. The famous hot spring of Taptkund and
Suryakund are just below the temple. A dip considered holy and
refreshing to the body as well as the soul is a must before
offering prayers to Shri Badrinath.
Kedarnath : Set amidst the stunning mountains cape of the
Gharwal Hills, Kedarnath
at the head of the Mandakini river, is a very holy pilgrimage.
It is located at the height of 11,742 feet(3580 m), is a famous
pilgrim site for Lord Shiva devotees. According to the legend,
Lord Shiva wished to elude the Pandavas and took refuge in
Kedarnath. The lingam at Kedarnath, unlike it's usual form is
pyramidal and is regarded as one of the 12 Jyotilingas. The
shrine is closed on the first day of Kartik (Oct-Nov) and
reopened in Vaishakh (Apr-May). During 9 months of closure the
shrine is submerged in snow and worship is performed at Ukhimath.
Gangotri : The Ganges is India's most sacred river. Hindus
believe its waters to have flowed eternally. It's source is said
to be the summit of Mt. Meru; the mythical mountain at the
centre of the universe. From
there the river descends to earth via Lord Shiva's matted hair,
which cushions it's falls. It is worshipped by Hindu's as the
goddess Ganga and the great cities of Varanasi, Allahabad and
Hardwar on it's banks are amongst the most important pilgrim
places in India. Pilgrims bathe in the Ganges to cleanse
themselves of the Marma of previous and current lives, and so
ensure an auspicious rebirth. The closest temple to the sources
of Ganges lies 10,300 feet up in the small mountain village of
Gangotri, half days climb on foot from the town Rishikesh. "Gaumukh"
the actual source of the Ganges is at 13,858 feet; a further
days walk ahead to where the Gangotri glacier meets the
Bhagirathi river. Prayer plags and small shrines mark the
source. A good place to meditate in solitude.
HARIDWAR: Hardwar or Haridwar are two names for the same
place. The whole of Uttarakhand is dotted with temples of Vishnu
and Shiva. Vishnu is known as Hari and Shiva as Har. Dwar means
gate, and it is
for this reason that this place is known as Hardwar or Haridwar,
as it is the Gateway to Shri Badrinath and Shri Kedarnath, the
holy shrines of Hari and Har. The Hindu Pantheon allows freedom
of worship of Gods in any form. Uttarakhand abounds in shrines
of god and goddesses and Haridwar from time immemorial has been
the gateway to these shrines.It is said that Haridwar was the
place of meditation for many ancient sages. Sage Kapil meditated
here and for that reason this place was for several years known
It is said when Raibhya Rishi did hard penances, God appeared by
the name of "Hrishikesh" and this area wa henceforth call by the
Rishikesh, situated on the right bank of river Ganga and
surrounded on three sides by Himalayan ranges, known from
medieval time as celestial abode, is a great pilgrimage centre
of India, attracting a large number of pilgrims. It is believed
that Bharat brother of Lord Rama, subjected himself to severe
penance here. A temple known as Bharat Temple was later
constructed at the site and the town Rishikesh sprang up around
the temple. It has since been the abode of saints and sages from
where tey sojourn before undertaking the arduous pilgrimage that
lay ahead on the distant Himalayan peaks.
This gateway to the kingdom of Gods and pilgrimage to Badrinath,
Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri is clustered with Ashram,
Tourist Rest House and Dharamsalas.
The Yoga centres of Rishikesh have enhanced the significance of
the place, home and foreign tourist from all over the world
visit this place to have lessons in Yoga and Meditation.
On the banks of the Bhagirathi, surrounded by the rivers Varuna
and Assi, this sacred, fast developing town is the capital of
the newly constituted westernmost district of the Uttarakhand
Sub-division along the Indian border. This is a town chokeful of
temples, historical monuments, 'ashrams' and 'dharamsalas'. It
town populated by 12,000 people. He is the presiding deity and
is worshipped morning, noon and night in the ancient temple of
Lord Vishwanath. The evening song evokes an atmosphere of beauty
in religion as the music of chanting bells mingles with the
chants of the pandits. Within the courtyard and directly
opposite the temple is the Shakti Temple dedicated to the
Goddess of Energy, projecting a massive brass trident which,
according to an inscription in Sanskrit engraved on it reveals
that the temple of Vishwanath was built by king Ganeshwar, Whose
son, Guh a great warrior, had the trident forget. It is 8 meters
(26 ft) and atop measuring 2.74metres (95 ft) and atop measuring
almost a meter in circumference. Another inscription bearing
trident, on a smaller scaler, can be found in the Shiva Temple
in the town of Gopeshwar, near Chamoli.
Among the other temples in this many splendor town are the
parashuram, Kali and that of the Ekadash Rudra, built by the
former Maharaja of Jaipur and where in the days of yore, two
brave heroes, Kirat and Arjun dwelled till death took Kirat.
Above the town is the temple of Sri Chandreshwar, situated on
Varunavat Parbat with commanding magnificence and grandeur.
Besides the Anglo-Sanskrit College, and the Old seat of the
Deputy Collector, there are the Kshettras of the Baba kali Kamli
Wala, the Maharaja of Jaipur and the Punjab sind Kshettra.