Chota Chardham Yatra of Uttarakhand incorporates the shrines of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath.. All the shrines are nestled in the imposing Garhwal Himalayas. Yamunotri and Gangotri are the sites of Goddess Shakti, while Kedarnath and Badrinath belong to Shaiva and Vaishnavasites respectively. There is a long and affluent history added to all the four shrines. Let’s know the brief history of all four shrines in Chota Chardham Yatra…
Positioned at an elevation of 3133 meters from sea level, Badrinath shrine is set right at the shore of Alaknanda River. This shrine was established by Adi Guru Shankaracharya in 8th century to offer new life and energy to Hinduism. As per the mythos, it was the first residence of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. Later on, Lord Vishnu made Badrinath as his own abode.
What are the legends behind Badrinath?
- Padam Puran mentions that Lord Vishnu carried out rigorous penance at this place for numerous years. The incarnation of Nar and Narayana as human, and Goddess Lakshmi (his wife) saved him from rain and sun to be transformed in bushes of berry. Hence, because of Badri (Berry) that made this region famous as Badri Vishal. Vishnu is the nath (lord) of Lakshmi, thus, this place became popular as Badrinath.
- Mythology also links Badrinath with Mahabharata. It is said that after the battle of Mahabharata, Pandavas and Draupadi revered this place as an ascending hills to heaven.
- Located at a distance of kilometers from this shrine, is a cave in Mana Village where Sage Veda Vyasa wrote the great epic Mahabharata, say legends.
A small town, Kedarnath is situated in the Himalayan Ranges of Garhwal. It is considered one of the holiest pilgrimages of Uttarakhand. It houses the famous Kedarnath temple. Kedarnath is located amidst majestic mountains. The holy town of Kedarnath has been well-regarded as an important pilgrim spot since the primeval times. The spread of Hinduism and Hindu ascetic culture owing to the respected scholar and pilgrim Adi Shankaracharya has established the town as a major tourist and religious attraction. The town is a nagar panchayat of Rudraprayag district, Uttarakhand. During the winter season, the area gets heavy snow fall and there is nobody stays here as they shift their place from Kedarnath to the nearby villages. The town suffered a huge destruction during the flash floods during June 2013.