The famous Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand comprises of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. Here is a list of some of the places of tourist interest.
Mussoorie & Kempty Falls:
Mussoorie is a hill station which is at a distance of 75 km from Rishikesh and it is at an altitude of 6170 feet. One can see the breathtaking view of the Uttarakhand Himalayan ranges from this hill station. When in Mussoorie you just cannot miss out on visiting Kempty Falls, Company Bagh, Gun Hill, Mall Road, etc. This place has some renowned schools like Woodstock School and Mussoorie International School.
This primeval Shiva temple is located in the Jaunsar-Bawar area of Dehradun. The sparkling graphite Shiv Ling is the main attraction of this place. The Lakhamandla village has the company of the Yamuna river. According to mythology, Duryodhana had plans to burn the Pandavas in the Lakhamandal temple.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple- Uttarkashi:
On the banks of river Bhagirathi lies this temple which is one of the oldest temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is said that the Lord Vishwanath statue from the Kashi temple will be brought to this temple when Varanasi gets flooded. The temple has statues of Shiv Ji, Parvati Ji, Ganesha, and Nandi Bail and there are some shops in the vicinity that sell the pooja items.
Gangnani Hot water Springs:
Gangnani is a lovely and peaceful place on the way to Gangotri and one can easily meditate in this place. This place is at a distance of 215 kms from Rishikesh. One can see the amazing Himalayas from here. Rishikund which is a famous hot water spring is located here. Before going to the main temple pilgrims take a dip in this spring.
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At a distance of 72 kms from Uttarkashi is Harsil. It is at an altitude of 2600 meters. One can see the beautiful Bhagirathi river which flows from here. This amazing place has green meadows, deodar trees, and several trekking tacks. In winters the Gangotri idol is placed in the Mukhwa temple which is located close to Harsil.
Vishwanath Temple- Guptkashi:
In the center of the Guptkashi town is the Vishwanath temple. This is a Shiva temple and the primeval structure is of stone. Many pilgrims offer prayers in this temple and then they go to Kedarnath.
In Rudraprayag is the Triyuginarayan village where this temple is located. As per folklore Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married here in the presence of Lord Vishnu. An eternal flame that burns round the clock is said to be burning from the time of their wedding. The structure in this temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya and it is similar to Kedarnath. You can reach this temple even by trekking.
This temple is in the Rudraprayag district. It is at an altitude of 6000 feet. This temple is one of 108 Shakti peeths. It is surrounded by the snow-covered Kedarnath mountains. This Goddess Kali temple also has Goddess Laxmi and Goddess Saraswati. This temple has shivlings, statues of Ganesha, Shiva, Parvati, and Nandi. Lakhs of tourist visit this temple during Navratri.
Ukhimath has this temple. It is at a distance of 41 kms from Rudraprayag. Prayers are offered to Lord Omakareshwar regularly in this temple. According to legend King Mandhaata had done lots of penance for Lord Shiva in this place. The idol in the Kedarnath temple is shifted to this temple in a doli in the winters. The priests stay in a building that is located in the temple complex.
This village lies in the Rudraprayag district and it is known for its natural beauty. It is at an altitude of 2700 meters. The snow-covered Himalayan ranges can be seen from this village. One can go trekking to Tungnath, Deoriatal and Chandrashila peaks from here. Tungnath temple is located at an altitude of 3680 meters and it is one of the Panch Kedars. This is the highest peak where a Shiva temple is present.
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This place is located in Animath in Chamoli district and it is one of the Panch Badris. The distance from Joshimath is 7 kms. The name Vridh badri is for Lord Vishnu who is in the form of an old man in this temple. In the 8th century, the statue was restored by Adi Shankaracharya. You can visit this place throughout the year.
Located in Joshimath this place is also known as Jyotir Math. Adi Shankaracharya built this place in the 8th century. The temples of Badrinarayan and Rajrajeshwari Devi are present in the complex of the math. The complex also has a cave where Adi Shankaracharya did tapasya and there are a 2400 years Kalpvriksha tree. As per legend, Adi Shankaracharya meditated under this tree.
This temple is in Joshimath and this is one of the Sapt badris. In this temple, Lord Vishnu is in the Narshingh avatar that is half man and half lion. In the winter months, Lord Vishnu from Badrinath is shifted to this temple in a doli. As per popular belief when the right arm of Narsingh will get separated there will be landslide which due to which Badrinath road will get blocked.
YogDhyan Badri Temple:
This temple is located in Pandukeshwar. It is at a distance of 24 kms from Joshimath. This is one of the Panch Badirs. Here Lord Vishnu is in the meditating form. As per mythology King Pandu and Kunti got married in Pandukeshwar. It is also believed that King Pandu meditated for Vishnuji in this place. This is the temple where the Utsav murti festival is celebrated. It is conducted when the Badrinath temple is closed.
Outside the Badrinath temple doors is the Tapt Kund. This is one of the hot sulphur springs and it has therapeutic properties. Pilgrims take a dip in this kund before going to Badri Vishal. The Surya Kund and Narad Kund are located here and throughout the year the temperature of the water is 55 degrees.
It is at a distance of 100 meters from the Badrinath temple. This is a flat surface on the banks of Alaknanda river. It is said that Lord Brahma lives here and people perform Shraddha rituals here. As per legend after killing Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva got rid of his curse in this place. Close to this place is the famous Mata Murty temple.
This village is close to Badrinath. It is at an altitude of 3200 meters. The China border is 24 kms from this village. This is last Indian village before the China border. The Vyas Gufa and the Ganesh gufa are located here. As per legend, Mahabharata was composed by Ved Vyas in the Vyas Gufa and it was written by Lord Ganesh in the Ganesh Gufa.
It is the meeting point or confluence of the five sacred rivers of Uttarakhand. The Panch Prayag are Vishnuprayag, Karnaprayag, Nandprayag, Rudraprayag, and Devprayag happens here. The five rivers are Alaknanda, Bhagirathi, Mandakini, Dhauliganga, Nandakini, and Pindar. Devotees take bath in these prayags before visiting the temples.
This hill station is located at a distance of 15 kms from Joshimath. It is at an altitude of more than 2500 meters. This place is well known for skiing in India. Skiing classes are held by Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam. This is also the place where the SAF winter games were held. Many foreign tourists come here for a wonderful skiing experience. Nandadevi, Mana Parvat, and Kamat can be seen from Auli. Tourist can go here by car or by a cable ride from Joshimath. This is the longest cable ride of 4 km. Chair lift and Ski Lift are available.
Dhari Devi Temple:
This is in Kalyasur. It is located on the banks of Alaknanda river. It is at a distance of 15 kms from Srinagar. The temple has the idol which is the upper body of Dhari Devi. This is a mysterious idol which looks like a girl in the morning, a young lady in the afternoon and old woman in the evening. It is believed that since the priests tried to move this idol for building a dam the Uttarakhand disaster of 2013 happened. It must be noted that this is one of the 108 shakti sthals.
This place is located at a distance of 25 kms from Rishikesh. It is on the way to Badrinath. As per legend Sage Vashishtha who was the son of Lord Brahma meditated here. Sage Vashishthas was one of the Sapta rishis. The Vashishtha ashram is located in the same area. Tourists come to the Gufa to do meditation.