Revered by Hindus, Char Dham Yatra is a way to attain salvation by washing away the sins from the current as well as a past life. People, mostly those who have served their life responsibilities, wish to visit this abode of four sacred shrines to cast off the dangers of untimely and agonizing death. Hindus deem they must pay homage to the Lords and Goddesses at least once or they will never achieve “Moksha”. Nestled in the imposing Garhwal Himalayas, the four shrines of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath protect the idols of Goddess Yamuna and Ganga, and Lord Shiva and Vishnu, respectively. History lovers from Bangalores can hold their breaths because Char Dham package from Bangalore is just right for their ancient desire. Let’s know about the history of this pilgrimage, that pilgrim will often come to hear from locals on the way.
Set ashore the river Alaknanda, Badrinath got its glorified establishment from Adi Guru Shankaracharya in the 8th century. Mythologically, it was the first abode of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and then taken on by Lord Vishnu as his residence. Padam Puran says Vishnu carried out his penance at this valley, meanwhile, Goddess Laxmi (his wife), protected him from rain and sun. As she turned the sun into a shed of berries (Badri) every time it bothered Lord Vishnu, the place got its name, Badrinath (Nath=Lord).
One of 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, Kedarnath, too was edified by Adi Guru Shankaracharya in the 8th century. It is believed that after the Kurukshetra war, Pandavas went to meet Lord Shiva, seeking absolution from their sins of killing their akin. However, he didn’t want to appear in front of the sinners; hence, he incarnated himself into a bull. Though Bhima caught the anomaly and chased the bull until only its hump was left above the ground. That hump resembles the Shivalinga at the shrine and is worshiped by thousands of pilgrims every year.
King Bhagirath once performed penance on Bhagirath Shila, situated near the shrine of Gangotri, to please Goddess Ganga to descend upon earth and wash away the sins of his ancestors. However, the goddess alone had the powers to demolish even the most stubborn Karmic remnants, which could be seen in the intensity of her holy descent. It was when Lord Shiva curled the gushing waters of the river in his matted locks and let go of only a fraction of it on the lands of Gangotri, the site gained its eternal significance.
Primarily revered as the hamlet of Goddess Yamuna, the shrine of Yamunotri boasts the idols of Goddess Yamuna as well Ganga. According to the legendry tale, the temple of Yamunotri that we know today was once the home of sage Asit. During his old age, he couldn’t approach far-seated river Ganga for bath, and thus, a small stream of that river emerged opposite Yamuna river. It drenched his soul in calmness and spirituality for the rest of his life.
A pilgrimage to Char Dham from Bangalore needs one to partake in past as well as present splendors of the realms. The spiritual sanctity associated with these shrines inspires people to tread its rewarding trails and enliven a secluded divinity within their hearts.