Uttarakhand is known as Dev Bhoomi (Land of Gods), as it is the land of great pilgrimages, sacred temples and places, which attracts millions of pilgrims and spiritual seekers to get enlightenment. The pilgrimage of 4 Dhams located in Garhwal region are considered the most sacred places in India: Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.
These four ancient temples also marks the spiritual source of four sacred rivers as well: River Yamuna (Yamunotri), River Ganga or Ganges (Gangotri), River Mandakini (Kedarnath) and River Alaknanda (Badrinath).
Why Char Dhams
Char Dhams are the famous four holy places of Hindu Pilgrimages, which are nestled among the lofty peaks of Himalayas in Uttarakhand. This hindu pilgrimage Char Dham circuit consists of four sites: Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. All these locations are believed to be highly sacred by the Hindu religion. It is the ultimate desire of every Hindu to visit the holy shrines at least once in life time to attain salvation (Moksha).
Why one should do Sacred Pilgrimage Yatras?
According to Hinduism the Pilgrimage tirthayatra (Teerth Yatra), is one of the five duties of every Hindu, along with Dharma, Worship, Sanskaras and Observing religious festivals. A pilgrimage is an exercise in willpower, humility and faith, when the devotee travels to often difficult locations, leaving his problems at the feet of the Deity and forgetting everything but God.
A pilgrimage is an intimate experience, a direct connection between the seeker and the sacred. A devotee goes on pilgrimage to see holy men and women, to worship at holy shrines, to have darshan of Deities abiding in ancient sanctums. A pilgrim journeys to see God have a life-changing, bliss-engendering, karma-eradicating contact with the Divine.
Chardham Yatra Route (4 Dham Travel Circuit)
Traditionally, the Chardham yatra is undertaken from the west to the east, thus, the yatra starts from Yamunotri, then proceeding to Gangotri and finally to Kedarnath and Badrinath. Pilgrims traditionally first visit Yamunotri and Gangotri and bring with them the holy waters from the sources of the rivers Yamuna and Ganga and offer abhishekams to Kedareshwara. Char Dhams of Uttarakhand are also known as Chota Char Dham of India.