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Pilgrimages of Uttranchal

PILGRIM PLACES IN KUMAON

BAIJNATH:

It is an important pilgrimage and historic centre. A group of ancient temples dating back to the 12th and 13th century line the banks. Line the banks of the Gomti river.

RITHA SAHIB :(62 KMS.)
An important religious centre of the Sikhs.

PUNYAGIRI:(20 KMS)
One of the most important religious centres around Pithoragarh, the Punyagiri temple, dedicated to Maa Punyagiri is atop a rocky pinnacle.

JAGESHWAR:
Home to a cluster of 164 temples which bear eloquent testimony to the arcitectural excellence achieved during the period of the Chand Rajas, jageshwar is at a distance of 34 kms from Almora.

BAGESHWAR:
Often equated with Varanasi is divinity, situated at the confluence of the Gomti and Saryu rivers where the valley spreads into a wide expanse, it is a picturesque 36 km drive down from Kausani.

PILGRIM PLACES IN GARHWAL

GANGOTRI:

Visited by hundreds of thousands pilgrims every year, this 18th century temple constructed by GorkhaGeneral Amar Singh Thapa , is near the spot where the goddess Ganga is said to have first descended on earth from heaven, in answer to the prayers of King Bhagriath.

The revered shrine of Gangotri, situated at an altitude of 3,200 mts. about sea-level amidst sylvan surroundings, constitutes one of the most important pilgrimages for the devout Hindu.

Lord shiva received her into his matted locks to break the great force of her fall. From there it emerged into many streams and the one which started from Gangotri was called Bhagirathi.

The Pandavas, it is said, came here to perform the great 'Deva Yajna' to atone for the death of their kinsmen in the epic battle of Mahabharat. The temple itself is situated on the right bank of the Bhagtathi .

There are a number of ashrams locked on the other side of the ashrams locked on the other side of the Bhagirathi, many of which provide accommodation facilities to the travellers.

YAMUNOTRI:
Yamunotri the revered shrine of Yamunotri, source of the shadow of the 6,315 mts. high Bandarpunchh mountain. It constitutes one of the four most important pilgrimages, collectively called 'Char Dham' of the Garhwal Himalayas.

Legend has it that a sage, Asit Muni,used to reside at this secluded spot in ancient times. The chief attraction at Yamunotri is the temple devoted to goddess Yamuna and the holy thermal springs at Jankichatti (7km. Away).

The source of the Yamuna lies a further km. Ahead at an altitude of approximately 4421 mts. Since the approach is extremely difficult, pilgrims usually offer obeisance at the temple itself.

The present temple was constructed by Maharani Gularia of Jaipur in the nineteenth century.

BADRINATH:
The temple of shri badrinathji on the bank of the alaknanda river , dates back to the alaknanda river , dates back to the vedic times , situated at an altitude of 3,133 mts . , the present temple is believed to have been built by adi guru shankaracharya - an 8th century 's philosopher -saint , who also established a math here . also known as vishal badri , badrinath is one of the panch badris.

Cradled in the twin montain ranges of nar and narayan is the holiest of the four main shrines , badrinath along the lift bank of the river alaknanda . With the backdrop, it is an important destination on the sacred itinerary of every devout hindu . Once the spot was carpeted with 'badris ' or wild berries and hence was famous as 'badri van'.'

The revered shrine is still alive with myriad legends from mythology . its sanctity is emphasised in the ancient scriptures as "there are many sacred spots of pilgrimage in the heavens , earth and the nether world ,but there has been none equal to badri , nor shall there be " Legend 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 descent . therefore the mighty ganga was split into twelve holy channesl . alanknanda was one of lord vishnu or badrinath.

The temple remains closed duriing the winter season and is open from april - may to octobr - november.

KEDARNATH:
A scenic spot situated against the backdrop of the majestic kedarnath range at an altitude of 3,581 mts. the kedarnath shrine, a 14 km. Trek from gaurikund, is one of the 12 jyotirlingas of lord shiva.

HEMKUND SAHIB:
Associated with guru govind singh , the tenth guru of the sikhsA it is situated at an altitude of 4,320 mts. Aabove sea level on the bank of lake Hemkund.

JOSHIMATH:

Situated on the slopes above the confluence of alknanda and dhauliganga rivers is the winter home of the lord of badrinath , jushimath has many important temples incloding the temple of ugra narsimha devoted to the half-lion half-man incarnation of lord vishnu.

 

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