Phase-2 Near Shradha Bhakti Ashram, Gyanlok Colony Kankhal, Haridwar - 249401 (Uttarakhand)

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Attractions of Chardham

SURYA KUND (THE POND OF THE SUN)

Very near to the Yamuna Devi temple there are many hot water springs; the most significant among them is the Surya Kund. It holds the boiling-hot water as it emerges from the crevices in the mountain. People boil rice and potatoes by tying them in a cloth (preferably muslin cloth) and consider them a Prasad (religious offering) from Goddess Yamuna.



DIVYA SHILLA (THE DIVINE STONE)

It is a reddish-brown rock near the Surya Kund which needs to be worshipped before offering reverence to the main deity, Yamuna maa (mother). According to Skanda Purana, with a mere touch of the sacred rock one can attain spiritual liberation.







GAUMUKH AND TAPOVAN

To witness the holy birth of River Ganges at Gaumukh, one can take up a picturesque and exciting trek surrounded with peaks and soaring peaks. One can further trek to Tapovan which is about 4 km from Gaumukh. Tapovan has meadows, beautiful flowers, streams and incredible views of surrounding Himalayan Peaks such as Shivling and Bhagirathi. Tapovan is also a base camp initiating a number of mountaineering tours.



BHAIRON NATH TEMPLE IN BHAIRON GHATI

Some 10 km downstream from Gangotri, near the point where Jadh Ganga (also called Jhanvi River) merges with Bhagirathi, lies the temple of Bhairon Nath. As per a legend, Bhairon Nath was chosen by Lord Shiva as the protector of the region. And every visit to the Gangotri temple should be followed by a visit to the temple of Bhairon.

Moving about 3 km from Bhairon Ghati one can reach Lanka Chatti to witness one of the highest river bridges of the region; the bridge over River Jhanvi is quite a spectacle in its own right.



GAURIKUND

It is the starting point of the trek towards the temple of Kedarnath. As per a legend, Goddess Parvati (also known as Gauri) meditated over here in order to marry Lord Shiva. It consists of natural thermal springs and offer refreshing bath to pilgrims before they embark for the holy darshan of Kedareshwar (the Lord of Kedar, Shiva).

There is also an ancient Gauri Devi temple over here, honouring the goddess. Half Kilometre from Gauri Kund is the temple of Sirkata (headless) Ganesha. According to Skanda Purana, this was the place where Shiva beheaded Ganesha and then attached the head of an elephant on his headless body.



CHORABARI TAL

Fed by Chorabari glacier, the serene and pristine Chorabari Lake can be reached after undertaking a trek of less than 4 km from the Kedarnath town. It is also known as Gandhi Sarovar as some of the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were immersed in its waters. On the way, there is a waterfall which one needs to cross. It looks amusing but care should be taken while going across it.





BHAIRAV TEMPLE

In the temple complex, to the south side, there is another ancient and important temple. It is dedicated to Bhairav Nath, who is believed to be the one who guards the temple compound when the shrine is closed in the winter season.



VASUKI TAL

Located at 3,135 meters, the crystal clear blue-water lake of Vasuki is about 8 km from Kedarnath. It is quite a difficult trek and involves going across glaciers, but the walk among the untouched Himalayas is worth every bit of effort.







TAPT KUND

Just below the temple, there is a natural thermal spring which is believed to be infused with therapeutic properties. A dip in the holy and hot waters of the Kund is necessary before a devotee visits the sacred shrine of Badrinath. Near the Tapt Kund also lie five boulders which are, as per mythology, Narad, Narsingh, Varah, Garur and Markanday.





BRAHMA KAPAL

It is a flat platform by the banks of Alaknanda 100 meters north of the temple. Performing propitiating rites for the deceased family members, it is believed, would free them from the vicious circle of life and death.



NEELKANTH PEAK

Known as the 'Queen of Garhwal', Neelkanth Peak, standing with its gigantic height of 6,597 meter (approx.), sets a great background to the Badrinath shrine. Named after Lord Shiva, the splendour of the snow-covered peak gets augmented as it receives the first rays of the Sun at the crack of dawn.





MATA MURTI MANDIR

It is located 3 km from the Badrinath temple, on the banks of Alaknanda River. Mata Murti temple is believed to be the mother of Nara and Narayan, the twin-brother avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu. It was the relentless prayers of Mata Murti that persuaded Lord Vishnu to take birth from her womb. Every year, in the month of September, pilgrims throng to attend the Mata Murti ka Mela (fair).



CHARANPADUKA

Strewn with boulders and caves, a steep climb of about 3 km from the Badrinath town will take you to Charanpaduka. It is a rock which is believed to be imprinted with the footprints of Lord Vishnu, as he descended on earth from Vaikunth (his heavenly abode).







SHESHNETRA

Between two seasonal lakes, on the opposite bank of Alaknanda, there exists a big rock which gives the impression of Shesh Nag, the legendary snake of Lord Vishnu. The Sheshnetra has a natural mark which looks like an eye of the Shesh Nag. Located 1.5 km from the temple, the serpent is believed to be guarding the sacred shrine of Badrinath.



VASUDHARA FALLS

A 122 meters high beautiful waterfall positioned in the tranquil surroundings of Himalayas can be reached by covering 3 km (up to Mana village) by road and trekking the other 6 km on foot.