Char Dham Yatra : Kedarnath & Badrinath continued…

Char Dham Yatra : continued from previous post


Anil Kumar Rajput is well known in the travel trade since 1980. He has worked in India and abroad, a boxer, a rifle shooter and a Para jumper in his college days. As Boy Scout and NCC cadet attended camps at many places which developed his interest in traveling and to explore new places, trekking, he loves driving to adventurous places and photography.
( Get Travel guidance from A.K. Rajput – 9810506646 )



Kedarnath – Lord Shiva’s Abode



Next place in Chardham Yatra is Kedarnath, from Harsil to Uttarkashi is 69 Kms and then to Guptkashi is 230 kms, Total journey time is about 10 hrs. Passing through Srinagar, Uttarakhand, This route is beautifully followed by River Mandakini. At Guptkashi there are few hotels and camps which are available at a very reasonable price. The next morning starts with a nice breakfast which is followed by a travel upto Gauri Kundvia a motorable road or to Phata from where Helicopter Service is availble to Kedarnath. At Gauri Kund which is the starting point of Kedarnath trek is a hot water spring, here the Goddess Parvathi lived and performed sadhna to please Lord Shiva and finally got married to him. It is also the place where Lord Ganesha acquied the elephant head. 14 kms trek from here is very tough and takes about 4-5 hours. On the way is Rambara where small dhabas(restaurant) serve tea and pakoras(snacks). Kedarnath temple is at the height of 3585 meters situated near the head of river Mandakini, sorrounded by snow capped mountains, it’s name is derived from the King Kedar in the Satya Yuga, his daughter Vrinda who is also an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi, this temple existed in the Mahabharata period, when Pandavas performed tapasya(prayers) to please Lord Shiva. It was here the Adi Shankaracharya took samadhi at the age of 32 years soon after establishing the for sacred dhams, it is considered a must visit place, there is a small hot water spring which gives relief to the pilgrims from the tiredness of hard journey, there are dharamsalas, camps and small guest houses, the temple opens at 6 o’clock in the morning and closes in the evening, Kedarnath is the highest among the 12 Jyotirlings, it is buit of massive stone slabs over a rectangular platform, here Lord Shiva who was evading the Pandavas hide himself as a bull, on being followed, he dived in the ground leaving behind the hump, the conical rock inside the temple is worshiped as Lord Shiva in hisSadashiva form, outside the temple there is a large statue of Nandi Bull as a gaurd. One has to be carefull while staying at night here because of low oxygen concentration at this altitude. Pilgrims are advised not to exert themselves.

Kedarnath, Lord Shiva’s Abode

After staying overnight and performing poojas in the morning one can return to Gauri Kund and drive toJoshimath, there are two routes, one is which normally pilgrims take is driving through Rudrapryag, second is through Chopta which is the most beautiful, passing through dense forests of Mandal andGopeshwar, from Chopta one can take a trek to Tungnath, it is Lord Shiva’s temple situated at about 4 kms from Chopta. Drive to Joshimath is about 7 hrs. It is better to stay night in Joshimath and take a morning drive to Badrinath, road from here is one-way traffic which opens turn by turn in each direction, it is a 44 kms distance very bad road takes about 4 hrs to reach there , on the way is Gobind Ghat from where trek forSikh pilgrimageThe Hemkund Sahib and Valley of Flowers starts.

Badrinath – Final Destination of Yatra


Shri Badrinath Dham
 is the temple dedicated to lord Vishnu’s dual form Nara-Naryana, the temple is 15 meters tall with top covered with gold gilt roof, it is built of stone with arched windows, the main entrance is a arched gate, inside is mandapa a large pillared hall leading to the Garbha Griha
Badrinarayan Temple, Final destination of the Char Dham Yatra
It is surrounded by Nara-Narayan peaks and in the backdrop is the Neelkanth peak. Legends says that to reduce the impact of Ganga on earth it was split into twelve rivolutes and one of them is river Alaknanda, the other legend is that the Pandavas passed through Badridham and to Mana village to ended their life by accending the heights of peak Swargarohini, there is a cave near the village Mana where the Vyas Rishi wrote the Mahabharata. Before entering the temple, pilgrims must take bath in hot water spring at the Tapta Kund and Surya Kundfed by thermal sulpher springs, the boiling hot water falls into ice cold water of Alaknanda creates the steam over the water surface. North of the temple is a Bharama Kapal where Lord Bharama is said to reside, here the last rites of departed souls are performed. There are lots of other places around like foot prints of Lord Narayana on rock is about 3 kms called Charan Paduka, about 1 1/2 kms on the other side of river is Shesh Netra, the eye of Shesh Nag on which the Lord Vishnu rests is seen on a rock, about 8 kms is the source of Alaknanda the Bhagirath Kharak and Satopantha Glaciers this place is called Alka Puri. One can return same day to Joshimath or stay one night to visit all these places. Sri Badri Dham is also referred as Badri Vishal thus giving the supreme status among the all Dhams.

Returning Home

One may stay a full day at Joshimath , take an excursion to Auli which is at the height of 3050 meters, there are Taxis and RopewaySki LiftChair Lift and Gandola available to reach here, it is a famous winter sports destination for Skiing, there is a rare medicinal plants nursery and little above one can trek to Gorson, Tali, Kauri Pass, Khulara and Tapovan. One can have a panaromic vew of Himalyan mountain range of Nanda Devi (7818 meters), Mana (7272 meters), Kamet (7728 meters), Mount NeelkanthMount Chaukhamba(6874 meters), Mount Hathi Ghora Palki. One can also visit Vishnu Pryag, the confluence of River Alaknanda and Dhauli Ganga from Joshimath .
Our return journey starts from Joshimath passing through Srinagar and reaching Rishikesh/Hardwar  a 250/275 kms journey for a night stay participating at Aarti at Ganga Ghats and to leave for home next day.
Visit again for the next Exciting Travel destination.

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