Have you ever visited the pious Char dham ? Do you wish and pray to visit the Char dham yatra soon? Planning char dham yatra 2024 ?
Before giving the answers to the above questions, you need to know these beautiful stories behind the existence of the char dham yatra.
Devotees believe that after worshipping and surrendering themselves to the char dham shrines, they embrace inner peace and solitude and get free of the worldly knots.
As well all know that the char dham yatra constitute of the four temples of Yamnotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath lying in the Garhwal area of Uttrakhand in the north of India. The scenic beauty as well as divinity of the char dham is mesmerizing.Thus the char dham yatra is arduous, but soulful.
These are the stories/ facts behind the existence of the four divine shrines of char dham :
- Yamnotri –
The Yamnotri temple is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. It is believed that Sage Asti Muni used to come for his daily Bath in the Ganges during his early life. Later, after growing older, it became difficult for him to trek and reach the Gangotri for taking bath. Goddess Ganga impressed by his faith, emerged as a stream next to river Yamuna. They say that Tehri Naresh Sudarshan Shah constructed the original Yamnotri temple.
- Gangotri –
The Gangotri temple is dedicated to Goddess Ganga. It is believed that the daughter of heavens- Ganga used to flow in the heaven as a river. She had to come down to the earth due to continuous meditation of king Bhagirath. This Ganga was then absorbed in the locks of lord Shiva’s hair, splitting into seven streams – Bhagirathi, Alakhnanda, Jhanvi, Saraswati, Bhilangana, Rishiganga and Mandakini.
- Kedarnath –
The Kedarnath dham is dedicated to lord Shiva. They say all your sins are washed off and you receive forgiveness from lord Shiva here. During the Kurkshetra war, the Pandavas came to meet lord Shiva at the Kedarnath dham to seek forgiveness for killing their own relatives during the war.
- Badrinath –
The Badrinath temple is dedicated to lord Vishnu. One of the many stories about the Badrinath dham states that, this temple was a Buddhist site until 8th century. Sage Adi Shankara converted this to a Hindu temple and established Badrinath as a pilgrimage site, they say that Adi Shankaracharya discovered the Badrinath deity in the Alakhnanda river.
Many such stories are weaved around the historic sites of the char dham, some out of the puranas, some out of belief and some mysterious ones.
One thing here is sure that each time you visit the char dham yatra, each one of you would hold a different and divine experience. Some devotees shed tears of joy as they seek the blessings at the char dham while some devotees surrender to the holiness of it.
We hope that these stories would make you more curious to visit and understand the existence of the holy sites of the char dham in Uttrakhand.