The state of Uttarakhand is counted among the most important religious places of Hindus. It is famous because of Lord Shiva and many holy places, here Badrinath and Kedarnath, are two such pilgrimage sites that have been here for centuries.
It is a pilgrimage to a vast area of religious sites with a divine essence that leaves its soil, its waters, its sky-high peaks, its everything.
We have shortlisted some of the most visited holy places in Uttarakhand for you, on which you must take a look.
Popular Pilgrimage in Uttarakhand
Most importantly Uttarakhand is a sacred place so, it is also called the land of the gods. This place has some of the holy places for people all over the world.
Let us discuss the popular pilgrimage sites of Uttarakhand:
- Yamunotri Temple: First Stop-Over For The Char Dham
- Gangotri Temple: The Abode of Goddess Ganga
- Kedarnath Temple: One Of The Holiest Pilgrimages
- Badrinath Temple: Temple Dedicated To Lord Vishnu
- Hemkund Sahib: Place Where Guru Had Meditated
- Dhari Devi Temple: Ancient Hindu Temple
- Haridwar: The Gateway To The Char Dham
- Bagnath Temple: Major Attraction near Bageshwar
- Kartik Swami Temple: Place Of Wondrous Beauty
- Patal Bhuvaneshwar: A Hidden Pilgrimage Centre
- Golu Devta: Important Religious Attraction
Yamunotri Temple: First Stop-Over For The Char Dham
The journey to Char Dham of Uttarakhand starts from Yamunotri. Tourists can easily reach Yamunotri temple from Rishikesh, Dehradun, or Haridwar. This temple is located in Uttarakhand. Chota Char Dham Yatra or Char Dham Yatra.
One of the four pilgrimage sites in India, this temple is located in the Yamunotri Garhwal Himalayas. This is a famous temple which is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna.
To reach the temple, tourists have to walk 6 km from the city called Hanuman Chatti and four kilometers from Janki Chatti.
Yamunotri temple is built at the Champasar glacier to pay homage to Mother Yamuna. Near its true physical origin, a 1-km challenging climb to the adventurous soul.
Devotees pay their respects to Shakti at the Yamunotri temple, Shakti Surya Kund, and the divine rock.
Devotees travel on foot, palanquin, or horses. The ashrams and guesthouses around the Yamunotri temple serve as rest houses for visitors.
Priests distribute sacred offerings and perform rituals. There are hot springs at Yamunotri where believers take a holy bath before entering the temple.
Gangotri Temple: The Abode of Goddess Ganga
Gangotri is the place on earth, which is believed to have been the first to be touched by the Ganges, the Goddess Ganga came here like a river.
It is one of the four most famous religious places in Uttarakhand. Gangotri is one among the Char Dham spots & holds a very special place in the hearts of Hindus; it is situated in Uttarkashi.
The river Ganges originates from Gomukh, a sacred place in the Gangotri glacier. Devotees can visit the Gangotri temple after seeking blessings in Yamunotri.
All the natural beauty and grace which the mountains and altitude of the place afford, what makes Gangotri one of the holy places in Uttarakhand is its intimate connection with the River Ganga (the Ganges).
It is one of the four sacred and religious places of Chota Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand. The Ganges bears its name after passing through Devprayag and merging into the Alaknanda River. “
Kedarnath Temple: One Of The Holiest Pilgrimages
Kedarnath is one of the holiest Hindu temples as it is a part of the Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is the highest temple among the 12 Jyotirlingas.
This abode of Lord Shiva is accessible only through a Gaurikund trek. There is a lot of snowfall in winter, as a result, it remains closed for six months.
The temple, built on the banks of the Mandakini river. Visitors can reach this temple only by foot, it is a very perilous route from Gaurikund.
Lord Akshaya of Kedar Khand (Kshetra) opens his doors to receive his devotees between Tritiya (April) and Kartik Purnima (November).
The distance from Rishikesh to Kedarnath is around 225 km. This temple is settled on the banks of the Mandakini River and is amidst snow-capped mountains.
There are some attractions around the Kedarnath temple – Gaurikund, Gandhi Sarovar, Trijuginarayan, Vasuki Tal, Sonprayag, Agastyamuni Temple, and Deoria Tal.
Badrinath Temple: Temple Dedicated To Lord Vishnu
The Badrinath temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is one of the Char Dham Yatra or Chota Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand. Starting from Yamunotri, Gangotri, and Kedarnath, Badrinath is the last and most famous religious place in India.
There is a Tapt Kund, a hot spring that is believed to have medicinal importance. The Alaknanda River has its origin here. Situated between the Nar and Narayan mountain ranges, Badrinath is also mentioned in various Vedas.
It attains great importance due to mention in Hindu mythology especially related to Lord Shiva and gives an array of legends, stories, and beliefs.
The fair of Mata Murti and the lively festivals of the Badri Kedar Festival gives you another reason to visit the temple.
Both these festivals are celebrated with enthusiasm and vigor. The religious significance and sanctity of the Badrinath temple increase the scores of devotees.
Hemkund Sahib: Place Where Guru Had Meditated
Positioned near the beautiful Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Lake is a prominent holy place for Hindus and Sikhs. Dedicated to the tenth Sikh Guru- Guru Gobind Singh, Hemkund Sahib is located in Chamoli, Uttarakhand.
It is the place where the tenth Guru of the Sikh Community, Guru Gobind Singh, unified with God after diverting meditation in his previous birth.
Nearly this temple is the Lakshmana temple, where Lakshmana, the younger brother of Rama, did penance. From Hemkund Sahib, Lakshmana Ganga originates, which merges with the Pushpavati River, which flows through the Valley of Flowers in Ghangharia.
One of Uttarakhand’s toughest treks, Hemkund Sahib is a breathtakingly beautiful and delightful serene retreat, cut off from the rest of the world.
Dhari Devi Temple: Ancient Hindu Temple
There is the temple of Dhari Devi on the banks of the Alaknanda river, Here, the trio of Maa Kali, Maa Lakshmi, and Ma Saraswati are worshipped together. Dhari Devi is honored as the presiding deity of the entire Uttarakhand and Char Dham.
One cannot help but feel the magnetism of Shakti that is inherent and reverent as a mother in these shrines. Dhari Devi Temple is situated 10-12 km from Srinagar Uttarakhand.
Haridwar: The Gateway To The Char Dham
‘Hari’ means God and ‘Dwar’ means Door, thus, Haridwar means ‘Gateway to the Gods’. The holy city is also the gateway to the four major pilgrimages – Char Dham – Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri.
There are four places where Amrita’s drops accidentally fell from the pitcher or Kumbh. According to Hindu mythology, Haridwar is one of them. Amrit was being carried by Garuda, a celestial bird, and Garuda (the vehicle of Lord Vishnu).
Thus, along with Haridwar, Kumbh Mela is held in other places, namely, Ujjain, Nashik, and Allahabad.
Places like Mussoorie and Rishikesh are nearby by places in Haridwar and are ideal for relaxing family holidays. Shopping in Haridwar is also a pretty interesting reality.
Bagnath Temple: Major Attraction near Bageshwar
The temple Bagnath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and its mention in the Puranas attracts religious tourists to this place. Shivratri fair and Uttarayani fair are celebrated here with full fervour and enthusiasm.
Bageshwar is a small town in Uttarakhand, which is inconsistent in the Kumaon region of the Himalayan range.
Situated at the confluence of the Saryu and Gomti rivers, with the Bhileshwar and Nileshwar mountains, Bageshwar is known for its rivers, temples, and mountains.
If it is the colourful fairs and festivals that attract you, or if hiking and trekking call you out of your comfort zone, you will not be disappointed.
Kartik Swami Temple: Place Of Wondrous Beauty
Dedicated to Karthikeya, the elder son of Lord Shiva, Karthik Swami is a temple of mystic ambiance and exquisite ideas.
According to Hindu mythology, once Lord Shiva challenged his sons Lord Ganesha and Lord Karthikeya that whoever takes the seven rounds of the universe first, will get the honour of worshipping first.
This whole incident happened here, in short, mythology believes that the name Kartik Swami got due to this. After that Lord Karthikeya settled in South India and there he is also known as Karthik Murugan.
Apart from being among holy places, Karthik Swami is also famous for offering spectacular sunrises and heart-melting sunset views.
Evening prayers, chanting of mantras and Maha Bhandara are the major attractions in Uttarakhand of the temple for tourists.
Once here, one gets to see some of the top attractions standing as the peaks of the Himalayan peaks of Bandarpunch, Kedarnath Dome, Meru and Sumeru, Chaukhamba Peak, Neelamath, Dronagiri, Nanda Ghunti, Trishul, and Nandadevi.
Apart from the breathtaking scenery and indescribable spirit, this trek to the temple also provides an opportunity for bird watching, camping, and village tours.
Patal Bhuvaneshwar: A Hidden Pilgrimage Centre
Patal Bhubaneswar is a magical place with many hidden and unexplained aspects. Located at an altitude of 1350 meters above sea level, the place is marked as a spiritual place, famous for its Shiva temple cave.
It is not a temple but is a series of underground caves made up of underground rock caves in the river. These magnificent limestone caves are wrapped in an aura of mystery and spirituality.
It is among the holy places in Uttarakhand. To get here, you have to walk the last 500 meters from the road.
Then you have to descend about 100 steps from the narrow entrance before reaching the sanctum sanctorum of these caves.
Glorious stone gods and amazing stalagmites and stalactites greet you as you reach this vast underground maze of caves.
These caves are about 160 meters in length and go about 90 meters below the point of entry. The caves are fully electrified and illuminated. Myths believe that Adi Shankaracharya discovered it in 1911 on his way to Badrinath.
Bhubaneswar is situated near the confluence of Ramganga, Saryu, and Gupta-Ganges. It is the best holy place in India located in the interior of Kumaon, 37 km from Chaukori and 14 km from Gangolihat in Pithoragarh district.
Golu Devta: Important Religious Attraction
Golu Deity Chitai Temple is the famous temple of Almora. This temple is dedicated to Golu or the incarnation of the Golju deity of Lord Shiva as Gaur Bhairava. There are many holy places in Almora from which Chitai Golu Devta Temple is the most sacred.
It is reputed to make every wish come true, provided the devotees demand it with clear morality. This temple is located at 9kms from Almora. Golu Devta is the mythological deity of Kumaon and the East Garhwal region.
Dedicated to the deity, it is the most famous temple in the region. People come here in eastern Garhwa to worship the Golju deity. This temple is about 4 km (2.5 mi) from the main gate of Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary and about 10 km (6.2 mi) from Almora.
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