As humans, we live a life full of clamber and dissension. Knowingly or unknowingly, we do indulge in some actions that our soul finds chintzy. Even our conscience begins to get affected by these so-called ‘sinful actions’. And then, in search of redemption, we consider to take a spiritual journey, termed as a ‘teertha yatra’ in Hindu cultures. Yes, it reads repellant, but it is a truth of life. However, this may not be the case of everyone. Some people opt for pilgrimage to pay the homage to the great deities and get their blessings. Some even visit the destinations to see and learn about age-old traditions & customs. Apart from that, these journeys attract a large number of people seeing heal to their mind and soul.
In India, there are several places for such soul-soothing pilgrimage. Among them, the holy Charmdham Yatra is rated the most sacred one, taking pilgrims to four famous spiritual destinations of Hindu religion. After the snow melts down at the foothills of Himalaya, pilgrimage to four ancient, sanctified religious destinations begins. These four temples are: Gangotari, Yamunotra, Badrinath and Kedarnath, located high up in the Garwal region of Utterakhand. These destinations have connection with four Himalayan rivers, which are believed to wash away all sins of a devotee who takes dip into their holy water.
Time to Take Char Dham Yatra
Due to heavy snowfall and inclement weather, pilgrimage to these sacred towns is not possible during winter months. The ice starts to melt down from April and May, and as soon as the way becomes clear and traceable, devotees began to flock to these holy shrines. The peak time for Chardham pilgrimage is between May and July. The monsoon season (August-September) is avoided, as the region witness heavy rain and land sliding during this period.
How to reach the destinations
Well, trip to these holy destinations is not as easy as it sounds. Only two of them (Badrinath and Gangotri) can be accessed by vehicles. For getting into the rest two (yamunotri and Kedarnath), pilgrims need to trek up to the hills.Bandrinath temple, which is dedicated to lord Vishnu, is about 10-12 hours drive from Rishikesh and Haridwar. Taxis and buses are easily available from Rishikesh to Joshimath. For the remaining journey, transportation is highly regulated, as some part of the road is too narrow to allow two vehicles crossing each other. Vehicles are allowed to depart only at certain times of the day.
The holy shrine of Gangotri is situated amidst rugged mountains and forests and opens during a specific time period in the year. It can be reached from Rishikesh via Utterkashi. Buses and private taxis operate on the route at a regular interval.The ancient Yamunotri temple opens at the same time when Gangotri temple does. Though the place is the least visited of chardhams, it never fails to becharm visitors with incredible natural vistas, lovely weather and a few hot water springs. To reach the temple, one has to take bus or taxi from Rishikesh to Hanuman Chati.
The rest journey to the temple (about 14km) is covered on feet. On the way to Hanuman Chati, travelers pass through the enchanting towns of Mussoorie and Dehradun.Kedarnath, one of the most popular sites among char dhams, attracts a large number of pilgrims annually. Trekking begins from Gaurikund, which is easily accessible from Rishikesh.
All that You need to Know about Holy Chardham Yatra