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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Char Dham Yatra

In the folds of the snow-covered reaches of the lofty Garhwal Himalayas in Uttarakhand are located the sacred Hindu shrines of
Badrinath,
Kedarnath,
Gangotri and
Yamunotri.
They together form the Char Dham or the Four Holy Shrines. The region is referred as the land of the gods in the ancient Puranas. Scores of pilgrims visit the shrines by trekking arduously along the mountain paths, all for a communion with the divine. The trip to Chardham generally starts in the town of Haridwar/Rishikesh, heading to Yamunotri via Bharkot, coming down to Bharkot and continuing to Gangotri, coming back down to Srinagar and heading to Kedarnath, coming back down to Srinagar/Joshimath and finally to Badrinath.

Me thinks, I have altitude sickness just watching these videos, or is it just baited breath?

One of the videos summarises it appropriately
EVERYONE MUST LEARN BEFORE THEY DIE
WHY THEY RUN, WHERETO and WHY.



This is a good summary video includes glimpses of Haridwar, Badrinath, Saraswathi river, VasudhAre falls, Kedarnath, Gaumukh..

Yamunotri

Yamunotri is part of pilgrimage circuit with a temple of Goddess Yamnua. There is a hot water spring (kund) for bathing before entering the yamuna mandir for darshan

Here is a video as you enter the town of Gangotri

The town of Gangotri

Once at Gangotri, by the banks of river Bhagirathi(Ganga) after a bath in the cold water and performing pooja, you will do pooja at the Gangotri temple

The Bathing Ghat of Gangotri

The trip to Gaumukh from Gangotri is optional (very tough)

Trip from Gangotri to Gaumukh - Part 1


Trip from Gangotri to Gaumukh - Part 2


Another interesting video of Gangotri to Gaumukh.

After Gangotri, you continue the trip towards Kedarnath. You finish the drive at Gaurikund which has the hot water spring for the customary bath. After the bath you embark upon the difficult 14 km walk/pony ride/palkhi ride to Kedarnath.


Bath at Gaurikund


Kedarnath temple - short video in front of the temple.


View from far of the Kedarnath temple area - the Switzerland of India as you can see


Summary Video of Kedarnath, Badrinath

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This blog is an offshoot of a website that I had conceived as a result of the spiritual grace and resultant inspiration during Shivaratri Y2K (http://www.jyotirlinga.com) on the joy of Shiva Bhakti and my quest for spiritual progress. Not finding the time (yep, bad excuse!), this blog suits me fine in quickly adding content... my spiritual forays and thoughts - helps log them too. My spiritual journey started with Hinduism and it's simple stories/ teachings as far back as when I was a 2nd grader, with Lord Shiva and has now found convergence with Advaitism / Duality. The Advaitism gurus like Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi, Nisargadatta Maharaj; they have provided that spiritual boost of energy in many lagging moments and have tremendously influenced me ... little baby steps at a time... that will hopefully all lead upto a final crescendo. The merits of satsangh are many!

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