Yamunotri

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/98/Yamuna_at_Yamunotri.JPG/200px-Yamuna_at_Yamunotri.JPGYamuna River at Yamunotri
Yamunotri (Hindi: यमुनोत्री) is the source of the Yamuna River and the seat of the Goddess Yamuna in Hinduism. It is situated at an altitude of 3,293 metres (10,804 ft) in the Garhwal Himalayas and located approximately 30 kilometers (19 mi) North of Uttarkashi, the headquarters of the Uttarkashi district in the Garhwal Division of Uttarakhand, India. It is one of the four sites in India's Chhota Char Dham pilgrimage. The sacred shrine of Yamunotri, source of the river Yamuna, is the westernmost shrine in the Garhwal Himalayas, perched atop a flank of Bandar Poonch Parvat. The chief attraction at Yamunotri is the temple devoted to the Goddess Yamuna and the holy thermal springs at Janki Chatti (7 km. Away).

The actual source, a frozen lake of ice and glacier (Champasar Glacier) located on the Kalind Mountain at a height of 4,421 m above sea level, about 1 km further up, is not frequented generally as it is not accessible; hence the shrine has been located on the foot of the hill. The approach is extremely difficult and pilgrims therefore offer puja at the temple itself.

The temple of Yamuna, on the left bank of the Yamuna, was constructed by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal. The deity is made of black marble. The Yamuna, like the Ganges, has been elavated to the status of a divine mother for the Hindus and has been held responsible for nurturing and developing the Indian civilization.

Close to the temple are hot water springs gushing out from the mountain cavities. Surya Kund is the most important kund. Near the Surya Kund there is a shila called Divya Shila, which is worshipped before puja is offered to the deity. Devotees prepare rice and potatoes, tied in muslin cloth, to offer at the shrine by dipping them in these hot water springs. Rice so cooked is taken back home as prasadam. The pujaris of Yamunotri come from the village of Kharsali near Janki Chatti. They are the administrators of the sacred place and perform religious rites. They are well-versed in the Shastras.

History and legends

According to the legend ancient, sage Asit Muni had his hermitage here. All his life, he bathed daily both in the Ganges and the Yamuna. Unable to go to Gangotri during his old age, a stream of the Ganges appeared opposite Yamunotri for him.

The temple and the place opens every year on the auspicious day of the Akshaya Tritya, which generally falls during the last week of April, or the first week of May. The temple always closes on the sacred day of Diwali in mid-October - first week of November, with a brief ceremony. The temple staff return to their villages and for the rest of the time the valley is gripped in no-man silence and covered with a white sheet of snow. With the melting of the snow next summer, the temple re-opens to the blissful happiness of thousands of visitors again.

The daughter of the Sun god, Surya and consciousness, Sangya the birth place of the Yamuna is the Champasar Glacier (4,421 m) just below the Banderpoonch Mountain. The mountain adjacent to the river source is dedicated to her father, and is called Kalind Parvat, Kalind being another name of Surya. Yamuna is known for her frivolousness, a trait that she developed because, according to a common story, Yamuna's mother could never make eye contact with her dazzling husband.

How to reach

Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant.
Rail: The nearest railhead is at Rishikesh.
Road: The road to Yamunotri diverts from the Rishikesh-Gangotri road at Dharasu.
Important road distances : Hanumanchatti 13 km; Dharasu 107 km; Tehri 149 km.
Rishikesh to Yamunotri 222 km via Narendranagar 16 km, Chamba 46 km, Brahmkhal 15 km, Barkot 40 km, Sayanachatti 27 km, Hanumanchatti 6 km, Phoolchatti 5 km, Jankichatti 3 km and Yamunotri 6 km.

Geography

Yamunotri is located at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/55/WMA_button2b.png/17px-WMA_button2b.png31.01°N 78.45°E. It has an average elevation of 3,955 metres (12,976 ft).

Yamuna River

Main article: Yamuna River
The actual source of Yamuna River lies in the Yamunotri Glacier, at a height 6,387 metres (20,955 ft), near the Bandarpunch peaks in the Lower Himalayas. It crosses the states of Uttarakhand, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and later Delhi before merging with the Ganges at Triveni Sangam, Allahabad.

Yamunotri
 
Yamunotri temple and ashrams

 

Coordinates:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/55/WMA_button2b.png/17px-WMA_button2b.png31°1′0.12″N 78°27′0″ECoordinates: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/55/WMA_button2b.png/17px-WMA_button2b.png31°1′0.12″N 78°27′0″E

Proper name:

Yamunotri Mandir

Devanagari:

यमुनोत्री मंदिर

Country:

India

State:

Uttarakhand

District:

Uttarkashi

Primary deity:

Goddess Yamuna

Date built:

19th century

Creator:

Maharani Gularia of Jaipur

 

Yamunotri temple

Yamunotri temple is situated in the western region of Garhwal Himalayas at an altitude of 3,235 metres (10,614 ft) in Uttarkashi district, Uttarakhand. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. The Yamunotri temple is a full day's journey from Uttarakhand's main towns — Rishikesh, Haridwar or Dehradun. The actual temple is only accessible by a 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) trek from the town of Hanuman Chatti and a 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) walk from Janki Chatti; horses or palanquins are available for rent. The hike from Hanuman Chatti to Yamunotri is very picturesque with beautiful views of a number of waterfalls. There are two trekking routes from Hanuman Chatti to Yamunotri, the one along the right bank proceeds via the Markandeya Tirth, where the sage Markandeya wrote the Markandeya Purana, the other route which lies on the left bank of the river goes via Kharsali, from where Yamunotri is a five or six hours climb away.

The original temple was built by Maharani Guleria of Jaipur in the 19th century. The current temple is of recent origin as earlier constructions have been destroyed by weather and the elements. There seems to be a confusion as to who built the temple of Yamunotri. However according to sources, the temple was originally constructed by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal.

It is located at an altitude of 3,235 metres (10,614 ft) approximately. A little ahead is the actual source of the river Yamuna which is at an altitude of about 4,421 metres (14,505 ft) approximately. Two hot springs are also present at Yamunotri offering relief to tired hikers at a height of 3,292 metres (10,801 ft), Surya Kund, has boiling hot water, while Gauri Kund, had tepid water suitable for bathing [4] The temple opens on Akshaya Tritiya(May) and closes on Yama Dwitiya (the second day after Diwali, November). Lodging at the temple itself is limited to a few small ashrams and guest-houses. Ritual duties such as the making and distribution of prasad (sanctified offerings) and the supervision of pujas (ritual venerations) are performed by the Uniyal family of pujaris (priests). Unique aspects of ritual practice at the site include hot springs where raw rice is cooked and made into prasad.

About Gangotri Glacier

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f2/Gaumukh_%281%29.jpgGomukh, terminus of the Gangotri glacier (lower right in image, behind prayer flag). The Bhagirathi peaks rise in the background.

Gangotri Glacier is located in Uttarkashi District, Uttarakhand, India in a region bordering China. This glacier, source of the Ganges, is one of the largest in the Himalayas with an estimated volume of over 27 cubic kilometers.The glacier is about 30 kilometres long (19 miles) and 2 to 4 km (1 to 2 mi) wide. Around the glacier are the peaks of the Gangotri Group, including several peaks notable for extremely challenging climbing routes, such as Shivling, Thalay Sagar, Meru, and Bhagirathi III. It flows roughly northwest, originating in a cirque below Chaukhamba, the highest peak of the group.

The terminus of the Gangotri Glacier is said to resemble a cow's mouth, and the place is called Gomukh or Gaumukh (gou, cow + mukh, face). Gomukh, which is about 18 km (11.2 mi) from the town of Gangotri, is the precise source of the Bhagirathi river, an important tributary of the Ganges. Gomukh is situated near the base of Shivling; in between lies the Tapovan meadow.

The Gangotri glacier is a traditional Hindu pilgrimage site. Devout Hindus consider bathing in the icy waters near Gangotri town to be a holy ritual, and many make the trek to Gomukh and Tapovan.

In recent times, it has been pointed out that the retreat of the glacier has slowed significantly.


Gomukh

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/f/fa/Gaumukh_%28gangotri_glaciar%29_may_28_2007.JPG/220px-Gaumukh_%28gangotri_glaciar%29_may_28_2007.JPG   http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ed/Gaumukh_Gangotri_glacier.jpg/220px-Gaumukh_Gangotri_glacier.jpg

Geology

A small shrine at Gaumukh, Gangotri glacier.
It is a valley-type glacier, situated in the Uttarkashi district of Garhwal Himalaya, Uttaranchal (Figure 1) and it flows to NW direction. This glacier is bound between 30°43'22"–30°55'49" (lat.) and 79°4'41"–79°16'34" (long.), extending in height from 4120 to 7000 m.a.s.l. This area is situated north of the Main Central Thrust (MCT) and is made up of bedrocks of granites, garnet mica schist, quartz biotite schist, kyanite schist, augen gneiss and banded augen gneiss. the glacier is composed of a variety of depositional features such as talus cones, snow-avalanche fans, snow-bridges, and dead ice mounds, and erosional features like pyramidal and conical peaks, serrated ridge crests, glacial troughs, smooth rock walls, crags and tails, waterfalls, rock basins, gullies and glacial lakes. All along the Gangotri glacier, several longitudinal and transverse crevasses are formed along which ice blocks have broken down. The ablation zone of the Gangotri glacier is covered by a thick pile of supraglacial moraines and is characterized by several ice sections, melting into pools of supraglacial lakes. Because of subsidence and the fast degenerating nature of the glacier, its centre is full of supraglacial lakes. In this part of higher Himalaya, glacial melt-water dominates the fluvial system.

The total ice cover is approximately 200 km² and has about 20 km³ of ice in volume.

Tributaries

This glacier has three main tributaries, namely Raktvarn (15.90 km), Chaturangi (including Kalandini bamak) (22.45 km) and Kirti (11.05 km) and more than 18 smaller tributary glaciers The Raktvarn system contains 7 tributary glaciers; among them Thelu, Swetvarn, Nilambar and Pilapani are important. Similarly the Seeta, Suralaya and Vasuki are the major tributaries which make up the Chaturangi system, while the Kirti system is made up of only three tributary glaciers. Besides these three major tributary systems, some other tributary glaciers of this area drain directly into the Gangotri glacier; among them Swachand, Miandi, Sumeru and Ghanohim are important. Four other glaciers, Maitri, Meru, Bhrigupanth and Manda drain into the river Bhagirathi. The total glacierized area of the catchment is 258.56 km², out of which the Gangotri system comprises 109.03 km², followed by Chaturangi (72.91 km²), Raktvarn (45.34 km²) and Kirti (31.28 km²). The remaining four glaciers contain 29.41 km² of glacierized area; among them maximum contribution is Bhirgupanth glacier (14.95 km²).

Retreat of Gangotri Glacier

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/8e/Gangotri_Galcier_Retreat.jpg/275px-Gangotri_Galcier_Retreat.jpg Retreat of Gangotri Glacier
NASA, in conjunction with Scientists from United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), is developing a global inventory of all the world's glaciers to help researchers track each glacier's history. According to them, the Gangotri glacier, currently 30.2 km long and between 0.5 to 2.5 km wide, is one of the largest in the Himalayas. This glacier has been constantly receding since measurements began in 1780. Data for 61 years (1936–96) show that the total recession of Gangotri glacier is 1147 m, with the average rate of 19 m per year. However, over the last 25 years of the 20th century it has retreated more than 850 meters (34 meters per year), and 76 meters between 1996 and 1999 (25 meters per year).

Kedarnath

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about Kedarnath town. For the temple, see Kedarnath temple. For the mountain, see Kedarnath (Mountain).

Kedarnath

—  city  —

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a8/Uttarakhand_locator_map.svg/250px-Uttarakhand_locator_map.svg.png
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/09/India_Uttarakhand_locator_map.svg/55px-India_Uttarakhand_locator_map.svg.png
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0c/Red_pog.svg/6px-Red_pog.svg.png
Kedarnath
Location of Kedarnath
in Uttarakhand and India

Coordinates

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/55/WMA_button2b.png/17px-WMA_button2b.png30°44′N 79°04′ECoordinates: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/55/WMA_button2b.png/17px-WMA_button2b.png30°44′N 79°04′E

Country

India

State

Uttarakhand

District(s)

Rudraprayag

Population

479 (2001)

Time zone

IST (UTC+5:30)

Area
• Elevation

 

• 3,553 metres (11,657 ft)

 

Kedarnath

(Hindi: केदारनाथ) is a Hindu holy town located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is a nagar panchayat in Rudraprayag district. The most remote of the four Char Dham sites, Kedarnath is located in the Himalayas, about 3584m above sea level near the head of river Mandakini, and is flanked by breathtaking snow-capped peaks. Kedarnath hosts one of the holiest Hindu temples, the Kedarnath Temple, and is a popular destination for Hindu pilgrims from all over the world, being one of the four major sites in India's Chota Char Dham pilgrimage.

Kedarnath is named in honor of King Kedar who ruled in the Satya Yuga. He had a daughter named Vrinda who was a partial incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. She performed austerities for 60000 years. In honour of her, the land is named Vrindavan. However, Kedarnath and its temple exist from the Mahabharata Era when the Pandavas are supposed to have pleased Lord Shiva by doing penance there.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/57/Kdn1.JPG/300px-Kdn1.JPG
Kedarnath Temple

Accessibility

There are 2 ways to reach Kedarnath: 1) By foot for a steep 14 km trek through a paved path (horses or palanquins are available for rent) from Gaurikund, which is connected by road from Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun and other known hill stations of Garhwal and Kumaon regions in Uttarakhand 2) Through helicopter service.

Overview

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/30/Kedarnath_Temple.jpg/250px-Kedarnath_Temple.jpg   http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f9/Kedarnathroute.jpg/250px-Kedarnathroute.jpg
The Kedarnath Temple   The Kedarnath Temple route


The temple opens on Akshaya Tritiya (April end or first week of May) and closes on Bhai Duj (October end or 1st week of November) due to heavy snowfall and extreme cold weather during winter. Gaurikhund is 75 km from Rudraprayag. In between Rudraprayag and Kedarnath there are several places of pilgrimage such as Agastyamuni, Ukhimath, Phauli- Pasalat Devi Maa, Bamsu (Lamgoundi) Vanasur, Maa Kali at Kalimath, Trijugi Narayan (7 km from Son Prayag) (Where Lord Shankar got married to Goddess Parwati from when the fire of hawan kund is still alive) and Kashi Vishwanath at Guptakashi.

There are several guest houses in Kedarnath like Birla House, Sanjay Shukla Lodge, Maharastra Mandal, Kali Kamali Dharmasala etc. All of them have nominal charges and provide lodging as well as food. pooja /prasad (shukla pooja prasad center near birla mangal niketan) In Kedarnath Udak Kund is located. It is written in Kedar Khand of Shiv Mahapuran that the water of Udak Kund is mixture of all the 5 Oceans and always remain fresh even when kept for many years. The holy water of Udak Kund is used for purification rituals. Hans Kund, Bharo Nath, Navdurga Mandir, Shankaracharya Samadhi, Ishaneswar Mahadev Temple, Ret Kund, Panch Ganga Sangam, Chaurwari Taal now known as Gandhi Sarowar, Bashuki Taal are also places to visit here.

Geography
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/34/Adi_shankara.jpg/220px-Adi_shankara.jpg

Statue of Adi Shankara Bhavad Pada at his Samadhi Mandir in Kedarnath
Kedarnath is located at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/55/WMA_button2b.png/17px-WMA_button2b.png30.73°N 79.07°E.[1] It has an average elevation of 3,553 metres (11,657 feet).

Demographics

As of 2001 India census,[2] Kedarnath had a population of 479. Males constitute 68% of the population and females 32%. Kedarnath has an average literacy rate of 79%, : male literacy is 83%, and female literacy is 76%. In Kedarnath, 0% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Overview

During winter due to heavy snowfall, the Temple is closed and no one stays in Kedarnath. For six months (November to April) the Palki of Lord Kedarnath is transferred to a place near Guptakashi called Ukhimath. People shift their settlement too from Kedarnath to nearby villages. Around 360 families of Tirtha Purohit of 55 villages and other nearby villages are dependent on Kedarnath for livelihood.

Badrinath

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about Badrinath town. For the temple, see Badrinath temple. For the cricketer, see Subramaniam Badrinath.

Badrinath

—  town  —

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a8/Uttarakhand_locator_map.svg/250px-Uttarakhand_locator_map.svg.png
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/09/India_Uttarakhand_locator_map.svg/55px-India_Uttarakhand_locator_map.svg.png
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0c/Red_pog.svg/6px-Red_pog.svg.png
Badrinath
Location of Badrinath
in Uttarakhand and India

Coordinates

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/55/WMA_button2b.png/17px-WMA_button2b.png30°44′N 79°29′ECoordinates: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/55/WMA_button2b.png/17px-WMA_button2b.png30°44′N 79°29′E

Country

India

State

Uttarakhand

District(s)

Chamoli

Population
• Density

841 (2001)
• 280 /km2 (725 /sq mi)

Time zone

IST (UTC+5:30)

Area
• Elevation

3 square kilometres (1.2 sq mi)
• 3,753 metres (12,313 ft)

Website

210.212.78.56/50cities/badrinath/english/home.asp

 

Badrinath is a Hindu holy town and a nagar panchayat in Chamoli district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is the most important of the four sites in India's Char Dham pilgrimage.

Geography

Badrinath is located at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/55/WMA_button2b.png/17px-WMA_button2b.png30.73°N 79.48°E.[1] It has an average elevation of 3,415 metres (11,204 feet). It is in the Garhwal hills, on the banks of the Alaknanda River. The town lies between the Nar and Narayana mountain ranges and in the shadow of Nilkantha peak (6,560m). Badrinath is located 301 km north of Rishikesh. From Gaurikund (near Kedarnath) to Badrinath by road is 233 km.

Significance

Badrinath was re-established as a major pilgrimage site by Adi Shankara in the ninth century. In recent years its popularity has increased significantly, with an estimated 600,000 pilgrims visiting during the 2006 season, compared to 90,676 in 1961. The temple in Badrinath is also a sacred pilgrimage site for Vaishnavites.

Badrinath has been mentioned as a holy place in scriptures and legends for thousands of years. According to the Bhagavata Purana, "There in Badrikashram the Personality of Godhead (Vishnu), in his incarnation as the sages Nara and Narayana, had been undergoing great penance since time immemorial for the welfare of all living entities." (Bhagavata Purana 3.4.22)

Badri refers to a berry that was said to grow abundantly in the area, and nath means "Lord of". Badri is also the Sanskrit name for the Indian Jujube tree, which has an edible berry. Some scriptural references refer to Jujube trees being abundant in Badrinath.

Badrinath temple

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/e/e9/Badrinath.jpg/220px-Badrinath.jpgMain article: Badrinath Temple
Badrinath temple in night after closing ceremony.
The Badrinath temple is the main attraction in the town. According to legend Shankara discovered a black stone image of Lord Badrinarayan made of Saligram stone in the Alaknanda River. He originally enshrined it in a cave near the Tapt Kund hot springs. In the sixteenth century, the King of Garhwal moved the murti to the present temple.

The temple has undergone several major renovations because of age and damage by avalanche. In the 17th century, the temple was expanded by the kings of Garhwal. After significant damage in the great 1803 Himalayan earthquake, it was rebuilt by the King of Jaipur.

The temple is approximately 50 ft (15 m) tall with a small cupola on top, covered with a gold gilt roof. The facade is built of stone, with arched windows. A broad stairway leads up to a tall arched gateway, which is the main entrance. The architecture resembles a Buddhist vihara (temple), with the brightly painted facade also more typical of Buddhist temples. Just inside is the mandapa, a large pillared hall that leads to the garbha grha, or main shrine area. The walls and pillars of the mandapa are covered with intricate carvings.


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3c/Neelkanth_Parvath.jpg/200px-Neelkanth_Parvath.jpg
Neelkanth Parbat from Badrinath

History and legend

The Badrinath area is referred to as Badari or Badarikaashram (बदरिकाश्रम) in Hindu scriptures. It is a place sacred to Vishnu, particularly in Vishnu's dual form of Nara-Narayana. Thus, in the Mahabharata, Krishna, addressing Arjuna, says, "Thou wast Nara in a former body, and, with Narayana for thy companion, didst perform dreadful austerity at Badari for many myriads of years."

One legend has it that when the goddess Ganga was requested to descend to earth to help suffering humanity, the earth was unable to withstand the force of her descent. Therefore the mighty Ganga was split into twelve holy channels, with Alaknanda one of them.

The mountains around Badrinath are mentioned in the Mahabharata, when the Pandavas are said to have ended their life by ascending the slopes of a peak in western Garhwal called Swargarohini - literally, the 'Ascent to Heaven'. Local legend has it that the Pandavas passed through Badrinath and the town of Mana, 4 km north of Badrinath, on their way to Svarga (heaven). There is also a cave in Mana where Vyasa, according to legend, wrote the Mahabharata.

The area around Badrinath was celebrated in Padma Purana as abounding in spiritual treasures.

Pilgrimage

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2e/Neelkanth.jpg/220px-Neelkanth.jpg View from Badrinath
Located only a few kilometers from the Indo-China (Tibet) border, Badrinath is generally a two-day-long journey from either Kedarnath, the site that precedes it in the Char Dham circuit, or one of the main disembarkation points on the plains. Hemkund Sahib, an important Sikh pilgrimage site, is on the way to Badrinath, so the road is especially crowded during the summer pilgrimage season. The temple and its substantial surrounding village are accessible by road. The best time to visit Badrinath is between June and September. Warm clothes are recommended all year.

The northern math established by Adi Sankara is nearby at Jyotirmath. Other places in the area are Haridwar and Rishikesh.

Transport

The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport near Dehradun, (317 km). The nearest railway stations are at Haridwar (310 km) and Rishikesh(297 km) and Kotdwar, (327 km) respectively. There are regular buses operating to Badrinath, from New Delhi, Haridwar and Rishikesh. As the roads are very narrow, for your safety it is recommended to travel by all terrain vehicles. Until recently you could not drive here, but now you can drive right up next to the temple.

Demographics

As of 2001 India census, Badrinath had a population of 841. Males constitute 55% of the population and females 45%. Badrinath has an average literacy rate of 89%, ; with 92% of the males and 86% of females literate. 9% of the population is under 6 years of age.

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