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Uttarakhand Pilgrimage

Uttarakhand is known as Devbhoomi, meaning the Land of Gods. The holy land houses some of the most revered religious destinations of India. The Himalaya range in Uttarakhand are said to be the home of the gods. This land is very sacred for the Hindus as well as the Sikhs. Uttarakhand has always been associated with spirituality, temples, pilgrimage, holy shrines and mountain tourism. Uttarakhand is one of the state in India which has some of the most important pilgrimage shrines. Temples are scattered all across the state and the holy river of Ganges sanctifies their presence. It is suggested by the historians that the land and culture of Uttarakhand was once under the influence Buddhism, until Adi Shankaracharya revived Hinduism here in 8th century AD. The idol of Badrinath is said to be derived from the Narad Kund by Adi Shankaracharya.

The whole land of Uttarakhand is always alive and vibrates with the music of chiming bells, bathing people at various Ghats, chanting of Hymns, song of local folks during festivals and fairs. Most of the temples in Uttarakhand are associated with some Puranic or Mahabharata story. There is no specific pattern to the construction of these temples and most of them are devoted to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Goddess Kali and Nanda Devi along with the temples of local gods and goddesses.

The main temples in Uttarakhand are the temples of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Panch Prayag, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Hemkund Saheb, Sirkanda Devi, Haridwar and Rishikesh. The famous Chardham trip is in this state which include a visit to four of most revered Hindu temples, Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. The Char Dham tour is very significant for Hindus. Haridwar, meaning Gateway to God, holds an important place in Hindu religion. It is one of the most visited pilgrimages in India. Rishikesh, situated 24 Km from Haridwar also very important pilgrimage site for the Hindus. Rishikesh is also known as the Yoga Capital of the World. Hemkund Sahib, an important pilgrim is associated with the Sikhs as well as Hindus. The place is associated with Guru Govind Singh Ji, 10th guru of Sikhs. Meetha-Reetha Sahib and Piran Kaliyar are the other major holy places for Sikhs.

Panch Badri
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.
Panch Kedar
The five Kedar lies in the valleys between the rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda. The term Kedar itself means a natural rock formation or a glacial moraine. According to legend, himalayas Kedarnath, the chief seat of the Panch Kedar, come into being during the period when the five Pandava brothers were asked to seek Shiva's blessings, purging them off sin of fratricide,
Gangotri
The Shrine of Gangotri situated at an elevation of himalayas 3200 mts. above sea-level amidst captivating surroundings is 100 kms. from Uttarkashi. The temple, constructed by the Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa in the 18th century, is situated on the right bank of Bhagirathi. It is visited by thousands of pilgrim every year.
Yamunotri
The Shrine of Yamunotri, source of river Yamuna is situated in the direction opposite to Gangotri and the road bifurcates and goes to Yamunotri from Dharasu, a place between Rishikesh and Uttarkashi. Yamunotri can also be visited via Mussoorie and Barkot.
Rishikesh
Rishikesh also known as the 'Place of Sages' is a spiritual town situated 24 kms. upstream from Haridwar, at the confluence of the Chandrabhaga and Ganga, It is believed that God by the name of 'Hrishikesh' had apeared as an answer to the hard penances by Rabhiya Rishi and henceforth the place derived its name.
Haridwar
Located in the foothills of Shivalik range, Haridwar is reputed as the gateway to the four pilgrimages in the Uttranchal region. Visit this sacred place that will purify your body, mind and the soul. Spend some time on the ghats in Haridwar that acquire a unique charm in the evening with countless diyas floating in the waters of Ganges.
Adi-Kailash (6191mts.)
Popularly known as Chotta Kailash it in many ways is the replica of the famous Mt. Kailash in Tibet. Located in Indian Territory close to the Indo- Tibetan border, it is an area of great natural beauty, peace and serenity. With the roar of urban life receding to the background one finds the healing quietude of this region conducive enough to turn inward and be one's own listene
Patal Bhuvaneshwar
Patal Bhuvaneshwar is not just one cave, rather a cave city. Caves within caves, steps leading to another, each one unmasking deep secrets from within. The motor able road ends half a kilometer away from the cave entrance. You have to descend nearly 100 steps into this narrow cave, to reach the sanctum sanctorum,
Binsar Mahadev
Binsar is not only a famous for Lord Shiva Temple but alush green forest a wild life santuarary and a trekker’s paradise also. Trekking the salubrious air, amidst the misty mountain trails, towering Oaks. A formation of sleepy hamlets amidst orchards, silver streams and green meadows. The mantle of green hangs all around- rocks covered with unusual moss and ferns,
Jageshwar Temple
Jageshwar There is a group of 124 temple. This is a forest area of Deodar trees. Here temperature is as a winter season round the year. Jageshwar temple has sculpted dwarpals standing guard at its entrance . Although the presiding deity at Jageshwar is Shiva a strong Buddhist influence is visible in the carvings. It is about 100 Kms. from Nainital.
Mukteshwar Mahadev
The town of Mukteshwar is associated with a legend of Shiva who gifted immortality or Mukti to a demon that he slew. Mukteshwar was a quiet mountain hamlet till the turn of the last century. It owes much of its present day status to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, which possesses a large part of the land and most of the deep forests that surround Mukteshwar. Rhesus monkeys and langurs jabber in the trees, deer and birds abound, and the occasional mountain leopard and Himalayan black bear can be spotted.

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