World renowned Chardham Yatra begins in Uttarakhand
The world renowned and much awaited chardham yatra began in Uttrakhand. The Gangotri and Yamunotri dhams were opened for pilgrims on auspicious occasion of Akshay Tritya (also called ‘Teej’, is an annual spring time festival of Jains and Hindus).
- It literally means four sacred pilgrimage centres.
- The four pilgrim-destinations are Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath which are collectively called Chardham.
- It is located in the great Himalayas in Uttarakhand.
- Route Followed: As per traditions, this pilgrimage tour should begin from West and end in East. Therefore, Char Dham Yatra starts from Yamunotri, then proceeds to Gangotri and finally end towards Kedarnath and Badrinath.
- Religious Deities: Each sites is devoted to a specific deity.
- Yamunotri– dedicated to Goddess ‘Yamuna’. It stands high up in deep left on western face of Bandarpunch Peak.
- Gangotri– dedicated to Goddess ‘Ganga’. The shrine overlooks River Bhagirathi.
- Kedarnath– dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is also a part of Panch Kedar. It is northern-most Jyotirlinga and is close to source of holy River Mandakini.
- Badrinath– dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is situated on the bank of River Alaknanda (it is one of the two headstreams of Ganges other is Bhagirathi).
- Importance: In accordance with Hindu conventions, devotees take up this pious tour of Char Dham yatra in hope to experience bliss (heaven) and successfully remove their souls of all worldly demons.
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