‘Char Dham’, the most sacred pilgrimage circuit, the circuit of mythologies, the circuit that cossets four abodes of God; you can simply go on defining these two words in different and beautiful ways.
This pilgrimage was initiated by sage Adi Shankaracharya, a great Hindu intellectual and reformer. The sage started this holy journey in the 8th century with the motive of reviving the Hindu religion, and certainly the four destinations were perfect to serve his purpose. Yamunotri (the abode of Shakti Yamuna), Gangotri (the abode of Shakti Ganga), Kedarnath (the abode of Lord Shiva) and Badrinath (the abode of Lord Vishnu) are the four holy places embracing the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayas, Uttarakhand.
The holiest of Shiva's shrines is likened to gold among base metals so that every pilgrim finds peace here, and it is said that devotees who die here become one with Shiva himself. The temple of Kedarnath, located at a height of 3,581 mts, stand at the head of the Mandakini river, with Kedarnath peak keeping vigil above it
Also known as Vishal Badri, this temple located at the height of 3,133 mts. is the largest Himalayas and most popular of Vishnu pilgrimages among the five Badries. The original temple here is believed to be built by King Pururava and the icon of the lord carved by Vishwakarma, the creator of the gods.
Gangotri is the place high in the Garhwal Himalayas from where the holy Ganges originates. According to the legend, it was here the Ganga descended on the earth, when Lord Shiva released the mighty river from the locks of his hair. The temple of Gangotri, dedicated to Goddess Ganga stands on the bank of the river.
Yamunotri is situated in the western region of the Garhwal Himalayas and is at a height of 3,235 meters above sea level. Yamunotri is the source of the river Yamuna.The shrine of Yamunotri is located on the Bandar Poonch peak.
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