Char Dham is a term coined for the four most revered Hindu pilgrimage destinations of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.
YAMUNOTRI : A point of paramount religious importance for Hindus and an essiantial pilgrimage. Situated at an altitute of 3,235 mt.
GANGOTRI : A sacred shrine, surrounded by mountain peaks of Shivling, Satopanth and Bhagirathi sisters. Situated at an altitute of 3,200 mt.
KEDARNATH : One of the 12 jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, is a scenic situated against a backdrop of the majestic Kedarnath range. Situated at an altitute of 3,581 mt.
BADRINATH : One of the most revered Hindu shrines of India situated in the lap of Nar-Narayan Parvat, with towering Neelkanth peak (6597 m). Situated at an altitute of 3,133 mt.
YAMUNOTRI » The shrine of Yamunotri, situated at an elevation of about 3,235 mt is a point of paramount religious importance for Hindus and an essential pilgrimage. Situated in the direction opposite to Gangotri, the road bifurcates from a place called Dharasu, somewhere between Rishikesh – Uttarkashi and goes on to Yamunotri. The shrine can also be visited via Mussoorie and Barkot.
How to reach :
Air : Nearest airport is Jolly Grant.
Rail : Nearest railhead is’t Rishikesh.
Road : The road to Yamunotri diverts from Rishikesh – Gangotri road at Dharasu.
Important road distances : Hanumanchatti 13 km; Dharasu 107 km; Tehri 149 km.
Bus : Hanumanchatti, the road head for Yamunotri is connected by bus services of Samyukt Rotation Yatayat Vyavastha Samiti to Rishikesh, Haridwar and other major centres in the region.
Important road distances : Rishikesh to Yamunotri 222 km via Narenranagar 16 km, Chamba 46 km, Brahmkhal 15 km, Barkot 40 km, Sayanachatti 27 km, Hanumanchatti 6 km, Phoolchatti 5 km, Jankichatti 3 km and Yamunotri 6 km.
Temple of Goddess Yamuna – The temple was built by Maharani Gularia of Jaipur in the 19th century. It was destroyed twice in the present century and rebuilt again. The temple remains closed from November to April / May.
Surya Kund – There are a number of thermal springs in the vicinity of the temple which flows into numerous pools. The most important of these is Surya Kund.
Divya Shila – A rock pillar, worshipped before entering the Yamunotri Temple.
GANGOTRI » The shrine of Gangotri is situated at an elevation of 3200 m surrounded by deodars and pines. The original temple was constructed by the Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa. Every year people from all around the world visit this shrine. A number of ashrams and dharamshalas are located on the other side of the river. It is believed that Raja Bhagirath used to worship Shiva on a slab of rock “Bhagirath Shila” situated near the temple. Submerged in the river there is a natural Shivling where, according to mythology, Lord Shiva sat when he received the Goddess Ganga in his matted locks. A days trek takes one to Gaumukh, the source of the mighty Ganges.
How to reach :
Air : Nearest airport is Jolly Grant (26 km from Rishikesh)
Rail : Nearest railhead is at Rishikesh, 249 kms.
Road : Gangotri is connected by road to Uttarkashi, Tehri Garhwal and Rishikesh and from there to other parts of the country. Important road distances are Uttarkashi 27 km, Tehri 167 km, Dharasu 15 km, Yamunotri 232 km, Mussoorie 250 km.
Bus : Bus services of Samyukt Rotation Yatayat Vyawastha Samiti connect Gangotri with many centres in the region like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Tehri, Uttarkashi etc.
Temple of Gangotri : As the legend goes, Raja Bhagirath used to worship Lord Shiva at the sacred stone near which the temple is located. It is believed that goddess Ganga first descended to earth from Heaven, at this stone.
Amar Singh Thapa, the Gorkha Commander of Garhwal, in the 18th century A.d. constructed this temple. It is also believed that the Pandavas, came here to perform the great “Deva Yagna” to atone the death of their kinsmen in the battle of Mahabharat.
Excursions : 10 km from Gangotri, astride the road to Uttarkashi and near the confluence of Jat Ganga and Bhagirathi rivers is situated Bhaironghati. The temple of Bhairav Nath surrounded by thick forests is worth visiting.
Bhairon Mandir : After travelling by road from Lanka to Bhaironghati, one has to cross the Jahanvi river by foot. After crossing the Jahanvi river and moving uphill, the Bhairon Temple can bee seen.