The annual Char Dham Yatra is a sensational religious event. It takes place among the 4 Char Dham Temples that are tucked away in the lap of the Garhwal Himalayas. The term ‘yatra’ means pilgrimage and it is an important part of being a Hindu. The pilgrimage circuit was established during the 8th century by Adi Shankara. Every year as summer time rolls in, the doors of the Char Dham temples open up. There are many reasons as to why people choose to go on this gruelling journey to the temples of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. Here are the top 10 reasons to plan a trip to Char Dham Yatra.
10 Best Reasons to Plan a Trip to Char Dham Yatra
1. Achieving Moksha
Char Dham Yatra of Garhwal is an important place for Hindu pilgrimage ever since time immemorial. According to scriptures and various writings, completing the Char Dham Yatra is the ultimate way of achieving moksha. The concept of moksha in Hinduism is a central concept and the utmost aim for every human life. Going to the 4 holy temples of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri will grant liberation or complete freedom from the karmic cycle of birth and rebirth. Moksha is not only an important notion in Hinduism but it is also a core concept in Buddhism, Sikhism as well as Jainism. All this makes the Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand all the more important.
2. Indulging In Adventure Activities
Located on the Himalayan hills, the Char Dham Yatra can be described as a spiritual adventure. The yatra starts off from Haridwar / Rishikesh where people can indulge in river rafting, bungee jumping, paragliding, camping etc. Kedarnath Dham can be reached by covering a steep trek of 18 kms. In order to reach Yamunotri Dham, pilgrims need to cover a trek of 8 kms. Although challenging, the resulting Darshan at the main temple is wholesome. Even if you are not spiritual, this trip will be a memorable one. Every step of the way to the abode of the gods and goddesses is worth it.
3. Experiencing The Scenic Garhwal Himalayas
Travelling to the Char Dham temples in Uttarakhand will open up new avenues for exploration. It will welcome you to a part of the Himalayas that will leave you spell bound. Garhwal is blessed with rivers, streams, thick forests, passes and the famous Bugyals or meadows. It is a paradise for bird watchers as well as nature lovers. Some places also offer panoramic views of the snow-clad Himalayas. The awe-inspiring natural beauty here is a treat for sore eyes no matter which time of the year you decide on visiting.
4. To Visit Valley Of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib
Pilgrims planning on visiting the Char Dham temples often plan on visiting the valley of flowers and Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara. The route leading to Badrinath bifurcates at a point in Ghangaria from where people can make their way to the Valley of flowers as well as Gurudwara. Valley of flowers is a UNESCO world heritage site and Hemkund sahib is an important Sikh pilgrimage destination. Both these places are incredibly vital for tourism in Uttarakhand. These places can also be easily included in your Char Dham Yatra plans. This can make your simple holiday on the hills truly unique.
5. To Learn More About The History Of Char Dham Temples
The history of Char Dham temples and the pilgrimage is thought-provoking. The 4 temples of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri were established by Adi Shankara during the 8th century. Before that, the temples had their own relevance. Yamunotri marks the origin of Yamuna River and Gangotri is built on the origin Point of Bhagirathi River. Badrinath is the spot that was once covered in Badri trees and Lord Vishnu had performed intense meditation here. The foundation stone for Kedarnath Dham was laid by the Pandava brothers during their quest for forgiveness. They are also credited with establishing the Panch Kedar Yatra.
6. As A Part Of The All India Char Dham Yatra
Going for the Char Dham pilgrimage is one of the most soulful journeys for every Hindu to take in a lifetime. It is one almost every devout believer’s travel list. The pilgrimage circuit for Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri is a part of the Chota Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand. Among these Badrinath Dham is a part of the All India Char Dham Yatra. These include Jagannath temple, Dwarkadhish Temple and Ramanathaswamy Temple. People going for the Chota Char Dham Yatra are also completing a segment of the All India Char Dham Yatra. The all India or the yatra of Uttarakhand, each of these pilgrimages has their own relevance and are very important in every way.
7. To Explore The World From A Helicopter
Getting to Char Dham Yatra has seen a drastic change over the years. During the ancient ages, reaching these Char Dham temples was a challenging and even a life threatening task. Over the years, newer ways of travelling developed. With the development of roads, buses, jeeps, 2 wheelers and private cars made their way to the hills of Garhwal. The introduction of helicopter yatra for Char Dham has been a revolutionary idea. Char Dham Helicopter Booking ensures that people have a thrilling experience. People get scenic and sweeping bird’s eye views of the Garhwal Himalayas. It allows people and helicopter riders to experience the world from a whole new perspective.
8. To Go For Hiking And Trekking
The Garhwal Himalayas is one of the most famous destinations for hiking, trekking and other outdoor explorations. It offers travellers various experiences ranging from trekking in the snow at the Kedarkantha trek circuit to the scenic trails of Har Ki Dun Trek. These experiences will prove to be an eye-opening and a potentially life-changing experience. The great outdoors of Garhwal will allow the people to witness the grand collection of flora and fauna. There are trails for every grade of trekkers and hiker i.e. there is everything available for beginner to expert mountaineers. Some of the most famous trails are: Valley Of Flowers Trek, Nag Tibba Trek, Dayara Bugyal Trek, Gaumukh Gangotri trek etc.
9. Witness Snowfall
Uttarakhand is one of the most easily reachable places to experience snowfall in India. By the end of the summer season and with the onset of the winter months, the Char Dham temples and its corresponding places get covered in snow. People from all over the world make their way to these parts like Harsil, Chopta, Munsiyari etc. to experience a white snowy wonderland on the hills. If you have never seen snow in your life then travelling to the nearby Char Dham villages is a great way to start. The peak snow season in Uttarakhand, near the Char Dham temples, ranges from late December to February. This is also the time when the Char Dham temples shut down for Darshan. The presiding deities are taken to their winter abodes where pilgrims can continue Darshan.
10. To Get Some Peace of Mind
Char Dham Yatra temple is a soulful trip. Taking a journey amidst the Himalayas is a rejuvenating experience. The Himalayas have always been the centre for meditation practices by the yogis since the ancient ages. Travelling through the temples of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri will not only grant moksha but it will also refresh your mind. Making your way through lush greenery, winding roads, peaceful environment and forest cover will deeply rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. Visiting temples in itself is a rejuvenating experience. When these temples are located on the holy Himalayas, its relevance and spiritual spirit is amped up tenfold. This is also the reason why people visit Char Dham Temples from different corners of the world to perform yoga and meditation activities here.