About Us
One Expression around which all religions base their preaching. Peace of mind, body and soul. Since time immemorial both man and God have just one prayer - Shanti - for the living and the Departed. The Char Dham, also called the Deo Bhumi - The Adobe of the Gods - presents just the ambience where the Divine & the Sublime coexist.

Once there, the sheer magnificence and the tranquil beauty so immerses you into a world of spirituality that you experience true peace and humility. Nature in all its splendour, at once huge and overwhelming and yet humble in its exquisite beauty - the pilgrimage to the Char Dhams is the experience that will stay with you and beyond.

The Holy Himalayas:
The Himalayas - the world's most majestic & loftiest mountain chain, is the global heritage of all mankind. The sublime quality of this "Adobe of Snows' has, since time immemorial, inspired the sages & saints of India and has attracted tourists & pilgrims from world over to its awesome beauty & calm serenity. Uttaranchal abounds in places of sanctity where devotees converge every year to pay obeisance to their Gods braving vagaries of weather & other human travails in Himalaya. Closest to the celestial beings, devotees from all corners of the country have flocked to these Himalayan shrines of Char Dham - Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath & Badrinath every year to seek salvation. The arduous trails remain in the ancient sanctuaries of faith for a fulfilling experience. The four dhams receive holy water in the form of four streams - Yamuna (Yamunotri), Bhagirathi (in Gangotri), Mandakini (in Kedarnath) and Alaknanda (in Badrinath).

BADRINATH DHAM
Badrinath Dham is one of the oldest of Hindu places of worship. On the right bank of the river Alaknanda lies the sacred shrine perched at an altitude of 3133 m above sea level, guarded on either side by the two mountain peaks Nar & Narain with the towering Neelkanth peak providing a splendid back-drop. Also known as the Vishal Badri, the largest among the five Badris, it is revered by all as the apt tribute to Lord Vishnu.

The revered spot was once carpeted with wild berries which gave it the name 'Badri Van' meaning 'forest of berries.' Built by Adi Shankaracharaya, the philosopher-saint of the 8th century, the temple has been renovated several times due to damage by avalanches and restored in the 19th century by the royal houses of Scindia & Holkar. The main entrance gate is colourful & imposing popularly known as Singhdwar. References to Sri Badrinath have been made in the Vedas & perhaps it was a popular shrine during the Vedic age also. The Skand Purana gives an accvount of the Adiguru consecrating the idol of Lord Badri Vishal in the temple after recovering it from Narad Kund, in a pursuance of a divine call from heaven. The idol is made of black stone similar to granite. So holy is the shrine that it forms one of the four prominent places of Hindu worship. The epic Mahabharat, it is believed, was composed in the Vyas & ganesh caves close by. The Vishnu Ganga which later becomes the Alaknanda flows below the temple. Almost 3 km north of Badrinath, mana is the last Indian village before the Tibetan border. The Vasudhara falls are quite spectacular. On the closing day the residents of Mana offer a choli to the deity to cover the diety all the winter. It is taken off on the opening day & its fibres are distributed amongst the Yatris (pilgrims) as a maha prasadam. Joshimath is the winter deity of Badrinath.

The temple opens every year in the month of April-May & closes for winters in the third week of November. Badrinath's four subsidiary Badris include Bhavishya Badri, Yogdhyan Badri, Bridha Badri and Adi badri. It is popularly believed that with spread of Buddhism, the Buddhists enshrined the statue of Lord Buddha there and during the Hindu renaissance, the statue of Buddha was later restored by Adi Guru as the idol of Vishnu. This possibly explains the deity sitting in Padmasan posture, typical of Buddha icons. However, also according to Hindu mythology, Buddha was considered to be the ninth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Badrinath is devoted t the worship of Vishnu, who, according to an amusing tale, usurped this place from Shiva. For Vishnu had come here as the gods once did, to offer penance. He loved the place so much that he plotted to unseat Shiva from his meditation here. He took on the form of a beautiful child and began to wail. Shiva's wife, Parvati, picked him up but could not calm the child. Since his wailing continued to disturb Shiva, he shifted to Kedarnath in exasperation, leaving the spot free for Vishnu to occupy. But reminders of Shiva's stay continue to linger, most visible in the name, Badri, a kind of berry that Shiva was most fond of and the gigantic tree, invisible to the mortal eye, that served Shiva. Legend also has it, when the Ganga was requested to descend to earth to help the suffering humanity, the earth was unable to withstand the force of its descend. Therefore the mighty Ganga was split into twelve holy channels, Alaknanda was one of them that later became the abode of Lord Vishnu or Badrinath.

When the sage Narad disapproved of Lord Vishnu's way of living in worldly comforts, he was hurt and sent his spouse to nagkanyas. He himself decided to disappear in the Himalayan valley-whose peaks make for some of the most enticing manifestations of God's creations. The spot was carpeted with Badris or wild berries and hence was famous as Badri Van. The Lord Vishnu assumed a yogdhyani posture and for several years meditated at the same spot and fed himself with wild berries. Laxmi on return found the sesha shayya empty, she went to the Himalayas in search of the Lord and ultimately found him amidst the badri in deep meditation. He addressed the Lord as Badrinath and requested him to give up the yogdhyani posture to return to his original sringaric form.

He agreed to do so provided the entire mankind abides by that he will be worshipped in yogdhyana form by the Gods and in sringaric form by the mortals and further Goddess Laxmi will sit on the left side in yogdhayni form and on right in sringaric form. The Hindu tradition demands that the place of the spouse is on the left but sitting of the Goddess Laxmi on the right is meaningful to convey that they should not be worshipped as a divine couple but as two individual deities with no marital relation. It is for the reason that the Rawal (main priest) of Badrinath must not be married. The pilgrims to the temple worship the Lord in his sringaric form during the summer and in the winter, he is worshipped in his yogdhyani form by the devtas & sages. There are many sacred spots of pilgrimage in the heaven, earth but there has been none equal to Badri, nor shall there be.

BADRINATH TEMPLE:

Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it is built in the form of a cone with a small cupola of a gilt bull & spire. Legend dates the temple prior to the vedic age and the original temple is believed to be built by King Pururava and the icon of the lord carved by Vishwakarma, the creator of gods. A Hindu reformist Adi Shankaracharya re-enshrined the temple back in 8th century. A flight of steps takes pilgrims to the main gate & then into the temple. The temple is divided into three parts - the 'Garbha Griha' or the sanctum sanctorum, the 'Darshan Mandap' where the rituals are conducted and the 'Sabha Mandap' where devotees assemble. The Garbha Griha portion has its canopy covered with a sheet of gold offered by Queen Ahilyabai Holkar. The complex has 15 idols. especially attractive is the one-metre high image of Badrinath, finely sculpted in black stone. It represents Lord Vishnu seated in a meditative pose-padmasan.

Special pujas are also performed on behalf of individuals. Every puja must be preceded by a holy dip in the Tapta Kund. Some of the special morning pujas are Abhishek, Mahaabhishek, Geeta Path. Some special evening pujas are Aarti & Geet Govind. Such pujas are to be booked in advance. The temple opens at 0430 hrs & closes at 1300 hrs. Once again it opens at 1600 hrs & closes at 2100 hrs after the divine song Geet Govind. Rawal is the administrator-Pujari of the temple well versed in puja ceremonials & Sanskrit language and is expected to be celibate..

SIGHT SEEING & EXCURSION:

Panch Dharas : (a) Prahalad Dhara (b) Kurma Dhara (c) Urvashi Dhara (d) Bhrigu Dhara (e) Indra Dhara
Panch Shilas : (a) Narad Shila (b) varaha Shila (c) Garurh Shila (d) Markandeya Shila (e) Narshingh Shila.
Tapt Kund : Natural thermal springs on the bank of the river Alaknanda, where it is customary to bathe before entering the Badrinath temple.
Narad Kund : A recess in the river, near Tapt Kund, forming a pool from where the Badrinath idol was recovered.
Brahama Kapal : A flat platform on the bank of river Alaknanda. Hindus perform proppitiating rites for their deceased ancestors. Legends has it that when Shiva chopped of the fifth head of Brahma, it got stuck to his trident. Lastly with the blessing of Lord Vishnu at Badrivan, the head of Brahma fell down from the trident at this place & hence the name Brahma-Kapal (head).
Sheshnetra : 1.5kms. away is a boulder having an impression of the legendary serpent, better known as the Sheshnag's eye.
Charanpaduka : 3kms. away is a beautiful meadow where the footprint of Lord Vishnu is seen on a boulder.
Neelkanth : A pyramidal shaped snowy peak ( 6,600mts.) towering above Badrinath presents a dramatic sight. It is popularly known as the ' Garhwal Queen'.
Mata Murty Temple : Devoted to the mother of Sri Badrinathji. Other important temples include Sesh Netra Temple, Urvashi Temple and Charanpaduka.
Mana Village : Inhabited by an Indo-Mongolian tribe, it is the last Indian village before Tibet.
Vasundhara : As the name suggests, vasundhara is a magnificent water fall. This place is 5 kms. from Badrinath out of which 2 kms. is motorable upto Mana.
Bhim Pul : On the other side of Mana village, a massive rock forming a natural bridge, lies over the roaring Saraswati river. It presents a spectacular view of water thundering down through the narrow passage under the rock and is believed to have been placed there by Bhim, the second eldest among the five Pandava brothers.
Vyas Gufa (cave) : Near Mana Village, this is a rock-cave where Ved Vyas is believed to have composed the Mahabharata and the pauranic commentaries.
Alka Puri : 15 kms. from Badrinath and located via Mana village, lies the source of Alaknanda river from the glacier snouts of Bhagirath-Kharak and Sato Panth glaciers. The spot is supposed to be the adobe of Kuber, Yakshas and Gandharvas.
Sato Panth : 25 kms. from Badrinath and located at an elevation of 4,402 mts. is a three cornered lake of serene water with a circumference of about 1 km. The lake is named after the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and mahesh, who are believed to occupy one corner each of this lake. The trek is hazardous and full of dramatic views. An experienced guide is advisable. There is no place to rest except in the caves. Cooked food, stove etc. must be carried from Badrinath itself.
Arwatal : For the more enterprising, a trek to Arwatal (3,980 mts.) via-Mana, Ghastoli and Arwatal is immensely rewarding. The trek passes through a hazardous icy and snowy terrain and a number of streams have to be crossed. badrinath to Ghastoli is 17 kms. and Arwatal is approximately another 18 kms. Photography is prohibited in this area and a guide is essential.

KEDARNATH DHAM

At Yamunotri & Gangotri, the pilgrims are cleansed body & soul and with having achieved purity in that sense, pilgrims to Sri Kedarnath becomes most rewarding. It is also customary to worship Lord Shiva with water of Ganga, which pilgrims going from Gangotri as well take some there to Kedarnath. Kedarnath is the seat of Lord Shiva. It is one of the twelve "Jyotirlingas" of Lord Shiva. Lying at an altitude of 3584 m at the head of river Mandakini, the shrine of Kedarnath is amongst the holiest pilgrimage for the Hindus. It is no wonder that Adi Guru Shankaracharya - a great scholar & saint, chose to enshrine Lord Shiva in this land, where the unholy becomes oly and the holy becomes holier. It is the place where Lord Shiva absolved Pandavas from the sin of killing their own cousins Kauravas in the battle of Kurukshetra. The origin of the revered temple can be found in the great epic Mahabharat.

At Kedarnath there are several Kunds (pools, tanks) that are known for their religious significans - shivkund, Retkund, hanskund, Udakkund, Rudhirkund are the most important. A little away from Kedarnath is a temple dedicated to Bhaironathji who is ceremoniously worshipped at the opening & closing of Kedarnath. The belief is that Bhairavnathji protects this land from evil during the time when temple of Kedarnath is closed.

During the winters, the shrine is submerged in snow & hence is closed. Fortunate are those who have good weather, but twice blessed are those who are at Kedarnath on a moonlit night- the snow peak gleams like hundred silver pinnacles atop the glittering mountains.

The holiest of Shiva's shrines is linked to Gold among base metals so that every pilgrims finds peace here, and it is said that devotees who die here become one with Shiva himself. Beyond the temple is the highway to heaven, called Mahapanth. According to legend, the place came into being during the period when the five Pandavas brothers were asked to seek Shiva's blessings purging them of the sin of killing their cousins. Lord Shiva unwilling to give darshans to the Pandavas frled Kashi to live incognito in Guptkashi, where eventually he was detected by the Pandavas. While fleeing Shiva took refuge at Kedarnath in the form of a bull and started to plunge underground when he was spotted by the Pandavas. He dived into the ground, leaving behind his hump on the surface. No wonder the natural rock formation that is worshipped here resembles the hump of a bull. Thus Shiva pleased with the determination of the Pandavas, exonerated them from their sin, gave them darshan & bestowed upon them the opportunity to worship his hump.

The other four places where Shiva is worshipped take their appearance from different parts of his body -the naval at Madmaheshwar, the arms at Tungnath, the face at Rudranath, and the matted hair at Kalpeshwar. The latter four along with Kedarnath are known as the Panch Kedars.

SIGHT SEEING & EXCURSION:

Kedarnath Temple: An imposing sight, standing in the middle of a wide plateau surrounded by lofty snow covered peaks. The present temple, built in 8th century A.D. by Adi Shankaracharya, stands adjacent to the site of an earlier temple built by the Pandavas. The inner walls of the assembly hall are decorated with figures of various deities and scenes from mythology. Outside the temple door a large statue of the Nandi Bull stands as guard.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the exquisitely architecture Kedarnath temple is considered to be more than 1000 years old. Built of extremely large, heavy and evenly cut gray slabs of stones, it evokes wonder as to how these heavy slabs had been handled in the earlier days. The temple has a "Garbha Griha" for worship and a Mandap, apt for assemblies of pilgrims and visitors. A conical rock formation inside the temple is worshipped as Lord Shiva in his Sadashiva form.

Shankaracharya Samadhi : The Samadhi of Adi Guru Shankaracharya is located just behind the Kedarnath temple. It is said that after establishing four sacred Dhams in India, he went into his samadhi at an early age of 32 years.

Chorabari (Gandhi Sarovar) : Only 1 km trek away from Kedarnath. Floating-ice on the crystal clear waters of the lake fascinates the visitors.

Gaurikund : It is the base for a trek to Kedarnath and serves as a roadhead. The village has a temple dedicated to Gauri and hot water springs.

Trijuginarayan : According to legend, this was the place where the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvati was solemnized. In front of the Shiva Temple is an eternal flame, which is said to be a witness to the marriage. It can be reached by a 12 km drive from Sonprayag.

Ukhimath : Winter home of the deity at Kedarnath temple and the seat of the Rawal of Kedarnath. Connected by bus services to Rudraprayag and other major centres.

Agastyamuni : The temple of sage Agastya is the main attraction here.

Madhmaheshwar : One of Panch Kedar, the temple of Madhmaheshwar is located at an altitude of 3,289 mt above sea-level, on the slope of a ridge, 25 km north-east of Guptkashi. There is a motorable road from Guptkashi to Kalimath. The best statue of Har Gauri in India measuring over a meter high is found in the Kali temple. The trek from Kalimath to Madhmaheshwar is distinguished by wild unparalleled scenic beauty and engulfed by Chaukhamba, Kedarnath and Neelkanth peaks. Gaundar at the confluence of Madmeshwar Ganga and Markanga Ganga, is the last settlement before one reaches Madhmaheshwar, the place where Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of belly.

Tungnath : The arms of Lord Shiva came out as per the Kedarnath myth at Tungnath. He is worshipped here as one of the Panch Kedar. Tungnath Temple at an altitude of 3,680 mt, is the highest Shiva shrine among the Panch Kedar but the easiest to reach from Chopta, the nearest roadhead.

GANGOTRI DHAM

The picturesque pilgrimage in the hinterlands of the Himalayas is the most sacred spot where Ganga, the stream of life, touched earth fro the first time. According to mythology, Goddess Ganga, the daughter of heaven, manifested herself in the form a river to absolve the sins of king Bhagirath's predecessors, following his severe penance of 5500 years. Lord Shiva received into his matted locks to minimize the impact of her fall. The river itself begins at Gangotri which literally means Ganga Uttari or Ganga descending She came to be called Bhagirathi at her legendary source. The Shrine of Gangotri situated at an elevation of 3200 m above sea level amidst captivating surroundings along the right bank of Bhagirathi is 100 km from Uttarkashi. The Shrine of Gangotri opens during the last week of April or the first week of May, on the auspicious day od Akshaya Tritiya. The temples opening is preceded by a special Puja of Ganga both inside the temple as well as on the river bank. The temple's closes on the day of Diwali followed by a formal closing ceremony amidst a row of oil lamps. It is believed that the Goddess retreats to Mukhwa, her winter abode (12 km downstream)

The temple was constructed in the early 18th century by a Gorkha Commander Amar Sigh Thapa. The existing temple is said to be the one reconstructed by the Jaipur dynasty. Every year thousands of pilgrims through the sacred shrine between May & October. The Pujaris & brahmins are from the village of Mukhwa. The water from Gangotri is carried to offer to Lord Shiva. It is believed that this water has amrit (nectar) in it and will soothe the throat of Shiva who gulp the poison.

According to mythology King Sagar after slaying the demons on earth staged an Aswamedh Yagna to proclaim his supremacy. The King's 60,000 sons born of Queen Sumati and one son Asamanjas of Queen Kesani were to accompany the horse. Lord Indra fearing loss of his supremacy stole the horse and tied it to the ashram of ancient sage Kapil who was then deep into meditation. On their search for horse, the 60,000 sons stormed the ashram of Kapil and just before the attack on him the sage opened his eyes and reduced all the 60,000 sons of King Sagar except Asamanjas to ashes. King Sagar's grandson Anshuman was successful in recovering the horse from Kapil and was told that those 60,000 burnt will attain heavenly adobe if Ganga is brought down from heaven & their ashes were sleaned by its water. Then the great task of bringing Ganga to earth started. Anshuman failed and so did his son Dilip but his grandson Bhagirath succeeded.

The intense meditation made Ganga to descend from heaven and in order that the earth is not flooded, it remained suspended in the Coils of Lord Shiva's hair. Shiva pleased with King Bhagirath, released Ganga in seven streams - the most sacred streams - the most sacred streams on earth came to be known as Bhagirathi. King Sagar's 60,000 sons' ashes were touched with Ganga water and thus they were bestowed with eternal rest in heaven.

SIGHT SEEING & EXCURSION: Gangotri Temple: As the legend goes, King Bhagirath used to worship Lord Shiva at the sacred stone, near which this 18th century temple is located. The slab on which King Bhagirath is believed to have meditated is called Bhagirathi Shila. The mother Ganga is worshipped as Goddess and the holy river in the temple. Before performing the Puja rituals, a holy dip in the Ganga flowing nearby the temple is a must. The Pujari's (priest) belong to Brahmin community from Mukhwa village. Ten of them are selected by rotation every year to perform all the functions covering the temple and they also perform the duties of pandas.

Submerged Shivling: Submerged in the river, this natural rock Shivling is the place where, according to mythology Lord Shiva sat when he received the Ganga in his matted lock. It is visible in winter months when water level decreases.

Kedar Ganga Sangam: Around 100 Yards from the Ganga Temple flows the river Kedar Ganga. Starting from the Kedar Valle, this river meets the Bhagirathi on its left bank.

Kedar Tal : This spectacular and enchanting lake is situated at a distance of about 18 Kms. from Gangotri, negotiable through a rough and tough mountain trail. The trek is very tiring and there are testing moments even for a hardly trekker. There is no facility of any kind on the way and one has to make all arrangements in advance. A local guide is a must. The lake is crystal clear with the mighty Thalaysagar (Sphatikl-ing) peak forming a splendid backdrop. The place is about 4000 mts. above sea-level and is the base camp for trekking to the Thalaysagar, Jogin, Bhrigupanth and other peaks.

Dayara Bugyal : Bugyal in the local language means "high altitude meadow," The road to Dayara Bugyal branches off near Bhatwari a place on Uttarkashi-Gangotri road about 28 Kms. from Uttarkashi. Vehicles can go up to the village of Barsu from where one has to trek a distance of about 8 Kms. to reach Dayara and other route is via village Raithal, 10 Kms. from Bhatwari, from where one has to trek about 7 Kms. to Dayara Bugyal. Situated at an elevation of about 3048 mts., this vast meadow is second to none in natural beauty. During winter it provides excellent ski slopes over an area of 28 sq. Kms. The panoramic view of the Himalayas from here is breathtaking. There is a small lake in the area and to camp by this side is a memorable event. From this spot one can trek down to Dodi-Tal which is about 22 Kms. away, through dense forests.

Sat-Tal : Sat-Tal, meaning seven lakes, is situated just above Dharali, 2 Kms. beyond Harsil. The trek of about 5 Kms. is rewarding as this group of lakes is situated amid beautiful natural surroundings. It also provides lovely camp sites.

Gaumukh : The Gaumukh glacier is the source of Bhagirathi (Ganga) and is held in high esteem by the devotes who do not miss the opportunity to have a holy dip in the bone chilling icy water. It is 18 Kms. trek from Gangotri. The trek is easy and at times people come back to Gangotri the same day.

YAMUNOTRI DHAM

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 Peak (3615 m) & situated opposite to Gangotri. The actual source a frozen lake of ice & glacier (Champasar glacier) located on the kalind mountain at the height of 4421 m above sea level, about 1 km further up, is not frequented generally as it is not accessible and hence the shrine has been located on the foot of the hill. The tiny Yamuna has icy cold water and its absolute innocence and the infantile purity heightens that deep feeling of reverence, Yamunoyri for the devout.

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

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

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

The temple and the place opens every year on the auspicious day of the akshya-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 mid- Oct. - 1st week of Nov., 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 white sheet of snow. With melting of snow next summer, temple re-opens to 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 (4421 m). Just below the Banderpoonch mountain. The mountain adjacent to the river source is dedicated to her father, and is called Kalinda Parvat. Kalinda being another name of for Surya. Yamuna is known for her frivolousness, a trait that she developed because as per a common story - Yamuna's mother could never make eye contact with her dazzling husband.

SIGHT SEEING & EXCURSION:

Temple of Goddess Yamuna : The temple was built by Maharani Gularia of Jaipur in the 19th century. It was destroyed twice in the present century and rebuilt again. The temple remains closed from November to April/ May.

Surya Kund : There are a number of thermal springs in the vicinity of the temple which flows into numerous pools. The most important of these is Surya Kund is known for its very high temperature of 190 F. Pilgrim cook rice & potatoes here to offer to deity in the temple.

Divya Shila : Near Surya Kund there is a slab of stone known as Dibya Shila or the slab of divine light. This slab is worshipped before puja is offered to Yamuna.

Jankichatti : 216 km from Rishikesh, this is the last halting point en route Yamunotri. This is the place where all pilgrims have to return for the night halt, the same day because of the extremely limited accommodation options available at Yamunotri. The 6 km trek to Yamunotri from here is a steep climb & thus has to be started on early morning to return to Jankichatti for night halt, the same day. Ponies & dandies can be arranged a day before for negotiating the trek for those unable to cope with trek physically. The thermal springs here offer a spectacular sight and a refreshing bath for the pilgrims. Surroundings the place are lush valley with a profusion of confirms, rhododenrons, cacti & several species of Himalayan shurbs and one can enjoy panoramic view of the fabled snow-clad Yamunotri peaks.

Hanumanchatti : Hanumanchatti is the last motorhead on way to Yamunotri & is the hub of activities in season. It is a place of confluence of Hanuman Ganga and Yamuna rivers, from where the trek to Dodital (3,307 m) starts. The trek from Hanumanchatti starts with a gentle climb and the 7 km trek through Phoolchatti & Jankichatti is most enjoyable as the path trails its way through wooded hills & meadows shaded with beautiful green, while the fragrance of the Himalayn trees & shurbs permeate the cool mountain etc.

Lakhamandal : This is a cultural and historical trek in the Jaunsar - Babar region, at the foothills of the stately Garhwal Himalayas. The tribes here, known as Jaunsaris, practice polygamy and polyandry. Lakhamandal is a large village on the banks of Yamuna, known for its temple ruins. The ruins at Lakhamandal give an indication that in the past it must have been a major temple town. Many believe that Lakhamandal is the same Lakhshagriha described in Mahabharat.

Kaurava Prince Duryodhana had built a palace made of lac, in which he tried to burn the Pandavas alive. The villagers believe that there is a secret passage that emerges few kilometers downstream today in the center of the village there is a Temple dedicated to Bhagwati and Lord Shiva. In the temple complex stand two life size stone statues. Perhaps they are the Dwarpals of a much older temple. With the legend of Jay and Vijay, the Dwarpals at the gates of heaven. But most of the villagers believe the statues to be that of Bhima and Arjuna.

HEMKUND SAHIB

This scared Sikh shrine is situated on the shores of the Hemkund lake (4320mtrs). It marks the place where Guru Govind Singh, the tenth and last Guru, unified with God after prolonged meditation in his previous birth. The guru's autobiography which contains a description of the place helped two devout Sikhs, Sant Sohan Singh and Havldar Mohan singh to rediscover it. According to Hindu mythology, Hemkund or Lokpal as it is also known, is where Lakshman had done his penance.

Hemkund is a 15km trek from Govindghat, which is the gateway to the Bhyundar or Lakshman Ganga valley. Govindghat is one of the bus route to Badrinath. The trek from here to Hemkund takes one through forests of pine and rhododendron where wild roses, ferns and alpine flowers bloom. The surging waters of the Lakshman Ganga are also visible. The last 5km of the trek entails a steep climb from Ghangharia, which is a base for visiting Hemkund.

Hemkund Lake is about 2km in circumference. Its clear, still waters mirror images of the Saptashringa Peaks (5500mtrs) which surround it. Bits of ice still float on the waters between July and October, the best season to visit Hemkund. The rockstrewn shores of the lake are covered with moss and flowers in bloom.

SIGHT SEEING & EXCURSION:

Gurudwara Hemkund Shaib : This imposing star-shaped structure of stone and concrete masonry is one the shores of the lake. An outlet behind the Gurudwara is source of the Lakshman Ganga.

Temple of Lord Lakshman : A small temple nearby, dedicated to Lord Lakshman.

Ghangharia/Govinddham : 5 Kms. situated in the midst of a pine grove Ghangharia serves asa base for visiting Hemkund Shaib. It is the last human habitation in the valley. A tourist Lodge, log huts, tents and a Gurudwara provide comfortable accommadition.

Govind Ghat : 15 kms.The confluence of the Alaknanda and Bhyundar or Lakshman Ganga. it has an imposing Gurudwara named after Guru Govind Singh.

Valley Of Flowers (3kms From Ghangaria) : It is nearly 5 Kms. in length and 2 Kms. in width. This valley has been declared a National Park to regulate camping, cooking, grazing etc. Which spells a danger to the local environment. The best season to visit this valley is during the monsoons in July & August when the countless flowers in bloom present a breathtakingly spectacular sight. This is a unique world of flowers-innocent, delicate and beautiful, that appear to smile back at you. In this valley of flowers, one is compelled to marvel at nature's divine beauty. The valley is also home to a large variety of wildlife.

Kagbhusandi Tal (5230 mts.) : This is a small oblong lake with emerald green waters. It is at an altitude of 5230 mts., near Kankul Pass (5230 mts.), and is almost a kilometer in length. Myriad blossoms decorate its banks during the season, a wildest profusion of colours make the trekker forget the hardships and the exhaustion of the trek.

Set in the lap of Hathi Parvat (6730 mts.), the lake can be approached either from Bhyundar village, near Ghangaria, or from Vishnu Prayag. The trek from the former is a little easier in gradient, but is longer. The trek from Bhyundar passes through thick bear-infested, forests and stretches of stinging nettles. The only shelters here are the shepherd huts. This trek also involves walking long distances across glacier moraines and over slippery rocks. Local guides are available at Bhyundar village.

Two huge rocks on a spur of Hathi Parvat are described as a crow (Kaga) and an Eagle (Garuda). The locals believe that the crow is animatedly conversing with Garuda on the affairs of the universe. Another version has it that a learned Brahmin of Ayodhya once incurred the wrath of the sage Lomas who lived here and was changed into the form of crow by the sage. The approach to the lake from Vishnu-Prayag is along ridges and involves steep climbing. Shepherd's huts are the only shelter in the area.

Badrinath (22kms from Govindghat): Badrinath, one of the' Four Dhams', is one of the most celebrated pilgrimage spots of the country and is situated at an elevation of 3,133 mts., guarded on either side by the two mountain ranges known as Nar & Narayan with the towering Neelkanth Peak providing a splendid back-drop. This revered spot was once carpeted with wild berries. Thus the place got the name "Badri van", meaning "forest of berries".

Legend dates the temple prior to the Vedic age, though the present temple is believed to have been established by Adi guru shankaracharya. The temple has been renovated several time due to earlier damages by avalanches and look modern now with a colourful " Singh Dwara " or the main entrance gate. The temple has three parts - Garbha Grih ( The Sanctum Sanctorum), Drashan Mandap ( for pujas) and Sabha Mandap ( for devotees to assemble). The temple opens every year in the month of April-May and closes for winters in the third week of November. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple of Shri Badrinathji is 5mts. in height, built in the form of a cone with a small cupola of a gilt bull and spire.

HARIDWAR

Haridwar stands as the gateway to the four pilgrimages of Uttaranchal. Geographically and geological, Haridwar, lying at the feet of Shiva's hills, i.e., Shivaliks, in the Haridwar district of Uttaranchal Pradesh, is a doorway. Suryavanshi prince Bhagirath performed penance here to salvage the souls of his ancestors who had perished due to the curse of sage Kapila. The penance was answered and the river Ganga trickled forth form Lord Shiva's locks and its bountiful water revived the sixty thousand sons of king Sagara. In the traditional of Bhagirath, devout Hindus stand in the sacred waters here, praying for salvation of their departed elder. It is doorway to the sources of the Ganga and the Yamuna, 3000 to 4500 meters up into the snowy ranges of the central Himalayas. The 'Aarti' worship of the Ganga after sunset and the floating 'dia' (lamp) is a moving ritual.

According to astrologers, the 'Kumbh Fair' takes place when the planet Jupiter enters Aquarius and the Sun enters Aries. According to mythology, 'Devas' (Gods) and 'Asuras' (Demons) churned the ocean to obtain Nectar and when the coveted 'Kumbha' (pitcher) of Nectar (Amrita) which gave immortality was obtained from the depths of ocean, one of the 'Devas' whisked away the 'Kumbha' from the 'Asuras' and evading from the 'Asuras', stopped at four places viz. Haridwar, Allahabad (Prayag), Nasik and Ujjain before he finally arrived into the safety of heaven. A few drops of Nectar are supposed to have spilled over on the water at these four places and sages, saints and pilgrims started periodically to flock to each of these 'Tirthas' to celebrate the divine event. In fact , it is a unique event that blends religious and social features alike.

SIGHT SEEING & EXCURSION:

Har ki Pauri : This sacred Ghat was was constructed by kind Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Bhatrihari. It is believed that Bhatrihari eventually came to Haridwar to meditate by the banks of holy Ganga. When he died, his brother constructed a Ghat in his name which later came to be known as Har-Ki-Pauri. This sacred bathing ghat is also known as Brahamakund. The reflection of golden hues of floral diyas in the river river Ganga is the most enchanting sight in the twilight during the Ganga ceremony. The riverbank temple her is hallowed by the imprint of god Hari's foot print. The ghat is regarded the most sacred in Haridwar and this is the most auspicious point to bathe in the Ganga during the 12 year Kumbh and the 6 year Ardh Kumbh.

Sapt Rishi Ashram and Sapt Sarovar : According to legend the seven sages- Kashyap, Vashit, Atri, Vishwamitra, Jaindayani, Bhardwaj and Gautam-were deep in meditation here. The Ganga, not wanting to disturb them and facilitating each her easy approach prefer rather split herself into seven channels around each Rishi.

Mansa Devi Temple : The temple of Goddess Mansa Devi is situated at the top of Bilwa Parwat. The roapway with its brightly coloured cable cars take devotees to the old hilltop of Mansa Devi.

Chandi Devi Temple : The temple of Chandi Devi at the top of Neel Parvat on the other bank of river Ganga was constructed in1929 A.D. by the King of Kashmir-Suchat Singh. It is 3 kms. trek from Chandighat. It is believed that the main statue was established by the Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century Ad. It is situated at a distance of 6 kms. on Neel Parvat on the other bank of the main Ganga river.

Maya Devi Temple : This is an ancient temple of Maya Devi the Adhisthatri deity of Haridwar, known as one of the Siddhapethas. Said to be the places where the hearts and navel of Goddess Sati had fallen.

Daksha Mahadev Temple : The ancient temple of Daksha Mahadev is situated in the south Kankhal town. The mythological story about this place is that kind Daksha Prajapati, father of Sati (Lord Shiva's first wife) performed yagya at this place. Daksha Prajapati did not invite Lord Shiva and Sati felt insulted. Therefore she burned herself in the yagya kund. This incident provoked the disciples and followers of Mahadev who killed King Daksha, but later on Lord Mahadev brought him back to life. Daksha Mahadev temple is thus a tribute to this legend.

Other Temples : Bilkeshwar Mahadev; PawanDham; Bhooma Niketan; Vaishnav Devi Temple; Bharat Mata Mandir; Doodhadhari Temple; Shahi Gurudwara; Jairam Ashram.

Rishikesh (25 Km) : Rishikesh, the 'place of sages' is a celebrated spiritual town on the bank of Ganga and is surrounded by shivalik range of the Himalayas on three sides. It is said that when Raibhya Rishi did hard penances, God appeared by the name of " Hrishikesh " and this area hencefirth came to be known as Rishikesh.

Rishikesh is an ideal destination not only for pilgrims but also for those who want to delve deeper into meditation, Yoga and other aspects of Hinduism. The spiritual haven of the various ashrams is on the eastern side of the Ganga, at Swargashram (on the other bank is the noisy business centre). The ashrams provide lectures and courses to suit everyone's need and quench their thirst for knowledge for fooding and lodging at a reasonable cost.

Dehradun (55 Km) : Dehradun the Capital of Uttaranchal Pradesh is one of the most beautiful resort in the submountain tracts of India, known for its salubrious climate and scenic surroundings. Doon, aside often called, has been a favorite setting ground of the elit for nearly two centuries through its history steches back to many millennia. The name Dehradun appears to be a collection of two word "dera" acmping ground, the Drnocharaya the common Guru of the Pandavas and Kaurava of the Mahabharat and the illustrious son of goddess Ganga, set up an ashram here, near the village of Dwara to perform his devotions at a lonely spot. The place came to be know as Dron Ashram, which eventually became Dun.

Earliest tangible evidence of the history of Dehradun is glimpsed from a rock in scrimption of Emperor Ashok, 3rd century, BC, that was discovered in 1860 AD by a Britisher, Mr. Forrest, near Kalsi. The region then formed part of the Emperor's domain, After disappearing from history, perhaps, because it was deserted, it re-emerges in the territory of the Katyuri dynasty of Garhwal. In late 18th century it was conquered by the Gorkhas of Ran Bahadur of Nepal, who were replayed by the British in 1815 AD. Under the British, Dehradun became an elite town with many a fine institution like Forest Research Institute, Doon and Welham Schools, Many more, like the ONGC and Wdia Institute of Himalayan Studies, were added in time. Dehradun has now became an important tourist destination, too for its surroundings offer to interest a visitor.

Mussoorie (90 Km) : Mussoorie is a fascinating Hill Resort commanding a wonderful view of the extensive Himalayan range and at night the gilliering views of Doon Valley. It is pleasant in summer (April to June) and clouding in (July to Aug.) and cool and serene in autumn (Sept. to Nov.) and winter months of Dec. to Feb. is severely bitty cold a time of snow fall, Mussoorie is called "Queen Of Hills" today it is one of the most popular summer destination in the northen hills.

Kanva Rishi Ashram (42 Km) : The ashram is situated on the banks of the Malini river along the forest road to Kotdwar.

Piran Kaliyar (23 Km) : The Dargah of Hazrat Makhdum Alluddin Ali Ahmed "Sabir", lies on the outskirts of Roorkee. It is revered by Muslims and Hindus alike.

RISHIKESH

Rishikesh, the 'place of sages' is a celebrated spiritual town on the bank of Ganga and is surrounded by Shivalik range of the Himalayas on three sides. It is said that when Raibhya Rishi did hard penances, God appeared by the name of " Hrishikesh " and this area hence firth came to be known as Rishikesh.

It is the starting point for the Char Dham Pilgrimage of the Hindus in which pilgrims go to Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath to seek spiritual salvation. On the way to the Garhwal Himalayas and the Sikh shrine at Hemkund Sahib one passes Rishikesh.

Rishikesh is an ideal destination not only for pilgrims but also for those who want to delve deeper into meditation, Yoga and other aspects of Hinduism. The spiritual haven of the various ashrams is on the eastern side of the Ganga, at Swargashram (on the other bank is the noisy business centre). The ashrams provide lectures and courses to suit everyone's need and quench their thirst for knowledge for fooding and lodging at a reasonable cost.

For the adventurous visitors, Rishikesh is the place for starting their trekking expeditions and excursions towards the Himalayan peaks, 10km upstream at Shivpuri is the site for river running, rafting activities, on the roaring white water of Ganga, from October to May. The International Yoga week, which attracts participation from all across the world, is held here every year from 2nd to 7th Feb on the bank of Ganga river.

SIGHT SEEING & EXCURSION:

Triveni Ghat : A sacred bathing spot on the bank of the river Ganga where devotees take holy dips and offer prayers. Devotees bathe here with the belief that the water has the power to purify them. Triveni Ghat is also called because it is believed to be the confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna and the legendary Saraswati river. It is an interesting place to be at dawn when people make offerings of milk to the river and feed the fish. After sunset, as a part of the Aarti ceremony, lamps are floated on the water and provide a spectacular view.

Lakshman Jhoola : A suspension bridge across Ganga situated 5kms.from Rishikesh, on the way to Badrinath. It was built in 1929 to replace a rope bridge. It is believed that Ram's brother Lakshman crossed the river here on a jute rope. On the west bank, there is a Lakshman temple also. This area is quieter than the town centre and is very picturesque. Along the river on the north east are secluded beaches.

Ram Jhoola : A suspension bridge between the Shivanand Ashram and the Swargashram. It provides an alternative to a boat ride from one bank of Ganga to another . Its construction is similar to that of the Lakshman Jhoola.

Bharat Mandir : The Bharat Mandir is the oldest temple in Rishikesh, near the Triveni Ghat. This temple is dedicated to Bharat, the younger brother of Lord Ram.

Shivananda Ashram (The Divine Society) : Founded by Swami Shivanand, This well known spiritual centre is renowned for its lectures on spiritual life. Meditation and Yoga classes can be attended in the morning and evenings. A person can stay here for short term study and for longer three - month courses, one must write at least a month in advance.

Narendranagar : 16 kms away from Muni-ki-Reti at an altitude of 1,129 mts. lies this capital of the former king of Garhwal. Until a few years ago it was the headquarter of the District Tehri Garhwal, but now the New Tehri Town is the headquarter. Here, the palace of the Tehri Raja (Ananda - In The Himalayas), is situated amidst o forest. Situated on the main Rishikesh-Gangotri-Yamunotri route Narendra Nagar offers a fine view of the Ganga and the beautiful Doon Valley.

Kaudiala : It is 37 Kms. from Rishikesh on the Rishikesh-Badrinath highway at an altitude of 389 mts. Here, the mighty water of Ganga is ideal for white water rafting. Skylark Adventure conducts river rafting courses at Kaudiyala. Skylark Adventure provide rafts, river side camping items and trained guides who make the sport a pleasure. Safety precautions are also stressed on. There is ample opportunity to view wildlife in its natural habitat.

Haridwar (22kms): Haridwar, lying at the feet of Shiva's hills, i.e., Shivaliks, in the Hardwar district of Uttaranchal Pradesh, is a doorway. Suryavanshi prince Bhagirath performed penance here to salvage the souls of his ancestors who had perished due to the curse of sage Kapila. The penance was answered and the river Ganga trickled forth form Lord Shiva's locks and its bountiful water revived the sixty thousand sons of king Sagara. In the traditional of Bhagirath, devout Hindus stand in the sacred waters here, praying for salvation of their departed elder. It is doorway to the sources of the Ganga and the Yamuna, 3000 to 4500 meters up into the snowy ranges of the central Himalayas. The 'Aarti' worship of the Ganga after sunset and the floating 'dia' (lamp) is a moving ritual.

Mussoorie (80kms) : Mussoorie is a fascinating Hill Resort commanding a wonderful view of the extensive Himalayan range and at night the gilliering views of Doon Valley. It is pleasant in summer (April to June) and clouding in (July to Aug.) and cool and serene in autumn (Sept. to Nov.) and winter months of Dec. to Feb. is severely bitty cold a time of snow fall, Mussoorie is called "Queen Of Hills" today it is one of the most popular summer destination in the northern hills.

 
TOUR PACKAGES
 
Chardham Yatra
In Just : Rs. 16,850/-
View Details
Delhi - Nainital - Ranikhet - Corbett - Delhi
In Just : Rs. 12,550/-
View Details
Badrinath & Kedarnath Yatra
In Just : Rs. 16,850/-
View Details
View More Tour Packages