Gangotri and Yamunotri are the sources of river Ganga
and Yamuna. These two sources along with Badrinath and Kedarnath constitute
the Char Dham of the Garhwal.
Ganga, the holy river of India, is a symbol of love and purity. It conveys
the culture and civilization of the country and is not just a river but a
It is believed that Goddess Ganga first descended to Earth from Heaven at
Gangotri where Lord Shiva received her into his matted locks to counter the
immense impact of her fall. Gangotri is at a distance of 105 kms. from the
town of Uttarkashi. It is the spiritual source of the river, while its
actual source is the ice cave of Gomukh, 18 kms up the Gangotri glacier.
The shrine of Gangotri is set amidst rugged mountains and overlooks the
thundering river at 3,048 metres. The shrine has a temple made of white
stone is decorated with a gilded roof crowned with a central spire. On
reaching the shrine pilgrims offer prayers at the temple and go down to the
main bathing ghat next to the river. Near the temple is the Bhagirath shila,
a stone slab where king Bhagirath sat to meditate. Dev ghat, which is set
amidst tall trees, and it is the confluence of Bhagirathi with the Kedar
Ganga. At Gaurikund magnificent waterfalls create a pool, which is reached
through forest paths along the Gangotri gorge and over a rope bridge across
the mighty river.
The yamnotri shrine is on a deep cleft at high western face of Banderpunch
peak. It is the source of river Yamuna and is worshiped. This mountain
shrine is one of the most difficult to access. Pilgrims come to worship at
Yamunotri, the goddess Yamuna and bathe in its chilled waters. The temple at
Yamunotri is just next to the river, around the hot sulphur springs of the
Badrinath is located on the rigth bank of holy river Alaknanda, in the mid
of beautiful valley, at an altitude of 3,133 . The shrine has a temple
dedicated to lord Vishnu. This temple of Shri Badrinathji is 15 mt. in
height, built in the conical form and topped with a small cupola of a gilt
bull and spire
Kedarnath is situated at an altitude of 3,581 mts. It is a spectacular
sight standing in the middle of a wide plateau surrounded by snow covered
peaks. The shrine has a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva the the destroyer.
Shiva, is considered the embodiment of all passions-love, hatred, fear,
death and mysticism which are expressed through his various forms.
The exquisitely architectured, kedarnath temple is said to be more than
1000 years old. The temple is built of extremely large heavy and evenly cut
grey slavs of stones. The temple houses a concial rock formation that is
worshipped as lord shiva in his sadashiva form.