Yatra Chardham – Hardwar

Yatra Chardham pilgrimage in Gharwal Himalayas Uttrakhand is a devout wish of a Sanatan Hindu since 8th century the establishment of temples or Dhams by the Adi Shankarcharya to make the Sanatan Dharma more strong which was loosing its prominence because of influence from the Jainism and Buddhism which originated from India and had patronage from many kingdoms in the Indian sub continent also because of the strict disciplined form of Sanatan Dharma described by the Brahamins, all these places were rediscovered and reconstructed  by him  which we see as on today, one wonders as to how a man could have reached here and these temples were constructed at  the places with limited resources and the area which are accessible only for about 5 months in a year . Most of the pilgrims visits the main shrines and ignore the other places which are equally important and part of our Purans and Mythology, I will be introducing my readers to these places and associated legends with it.

Hardwar – Har Ki Pauri

Hardwar Har-ki Pauri

This is the place visited by all the pilgrims , a holy dip in the river Ganges here is considered to be absolving of all the sins, legend is, as a result of Churning of Sea by the Asuras and Devs, the Amrit ( Ambrosia) came out and there was a dispute as to who should have it, in between the Garuda took the urn  from the battle field and flew away, the four drops fell on earth at places Ujjain, Nasik, Prayag (Allahabad) and Hardwar , it is at this place in Hardwar the devotes take a bath on the banks of holy river Ma Ganga.

Chandi Devi Temple

It is the most ancient temple of India didicated to Chandi or Chandika , it is said that Ma Parvati assumed the  form of Chandi as a attractive beautiful women to attract the Demon brothers Shumbh and Nishumbh who wanted to marry her, she had to kill the demon chieftains Chanda and Munda before killing the two brothers, after the battle was over the Ma Chandi took rest at this place known as Neel Parvat , near by there are two peaks known as the Demons Shumbha and Nishumbha peaks, here  is another  temple dedicated to Ma Anjana mother of lord Hanuman .

Mansa Devi Temple

It is said that Chandi Devi and Mansa Devi are two forms of Ma Parvati and the temples didicated to each one is always be in close vicinity . The Mansa Devi ( Wish) temple is across the river Ganga on a Bilwa Parvat , Mansa Devi is sister of Nag devta Vasuki and it is a form of Shakti emerged out of the Muni (Sage) Kashapya. It is a Sidh Peeth and people tie a thread to get their wishes fulfilled and return to untie it .

Maya Devi Temple

The ancient name of Hardwar is Mayapuri , the Maya Devi is the Adhisthatri deity of Hardwar , it is said that the Naval and heart of godess Sati fell here and it is a Shakti peeth. It is one of the oldest temple built about one thousand years ago, The goddes Maya with three heads and four arms is in the center the other deites are Ma Kamakhya on the right and Ma Kali on the left .

Saptrishi Ashram

It is said that seven Rishis (sages)  Kashyapa, Vashisht, Atri, Vishwamitra, Jamadagi, Bharadwaja and Gautam. meditated here , the river Ganga never wanted to distrub the meditating Rishis thus splited into seven streams .

It is from here the Yatra Chardham starts with a holy dip at river Ma Ganga and ends with the Aarti at Har Ki Pauri.

 

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Kailash Mansarovar Yatra from Kathmandu for Indian nationals

Holy Mt. Kailash

Every year thousand of pilgrims from believers of  Sanatan Dharma Hinduism , Bon, Buddhism and Jains pay their respectful visit to Holy Mount  Kailash , Lake Mansarovar and Lake Rakshas Tal in Tibet region of China following thousands of years traditions of their faith.

According to Hinduism it is abode of Lord Shiva with his consort Maa ParvatiBon religion believe the sacred mountain to be the place where the founder of the their religion landed from the sky.  Tibetan Buddhists believe Kang Rinpoche ( Snow Mountain), is a natural mandala representing the Buddhist cosmology on the earth . It is called  Mt. Sumeru or Meru Parvat in Jainism , next to the Mt. is Ashtpada the site where the first Tirthankar Rishabhdev attained the Nirvana .

One must remember that it is one of the most difficult pilgrimage travel  where the trek ( Kora )starts from Darchen at a height of 15000 ft. and one is to climb up to 18600 ftDolma La  Pass where the oxygen is thin and it is very cold in the snow , one must get a through checkup and must get a Certificate from a family doctor about the body fitness to face the harsh weather. One must start physical exercises , yoga Pranayam breathing   exercises along with walking with good waterproof  boots at least two months before taking the pilgrimage as  two-three  nights yatris are to stay in tents, walk for the Circumbulation  (day 1 , 12 km and day 2, 21 km) the mules and Yaks are available if one want to take. This journey is strictly NOT for the people with Heart  and Breathing problems .

The Mount Kailash range is source of four rivers of Asia , Indus , Satluej , Karnali and Brahmaputra , the holy mount has the outer circumbulation ( Kora) of 52 km. Buddhist and Hindus travel Clockwise while the Bonpos do it counter clockwise , it takes three days to complete the Kora . It is surrounded by five Five Temples / Monasteries  , each is endowed with different legendary stories and decorated by distinctive sculptures, statues, murals, Thangkas and other Tibetan cultural objects  .One trek around Mt. Kailash and enjoy the grand views  of the valley and Mt. Kailash from all directions.

Trekking route Mt. Kailash

We have tied up with experts in Nepal and China to take care of the sacred Mt. Kailash – Mansarovar Yatra for the Indian nationals to travel from Kathmandu . We have been successfully organizing Yatra Chardham in Himalayas for the past 25 years along with high altitude  trekking in Ladakh ,  Sri Amarnath Ji and Everest Base camp trekking  in Nepal .

Our all pilgrimage tours are accompanied by not only the experts in the Himalaya  but also the Purohits  who help you perform the puja in the way as mentioned in our Vedic Texts. It is said that performing a puja at Mt. Kailash on a full moon day is the most auspicious , please select your dates accordingly .

All our packages are of 12 nights with arrival in Kathmandu and then  departure for yatra  by bus to Tibet the China region .

From the year 2013 Govt. of China is not allowing to travel by  Jeeps in Mansarovar and Kailash area .

We have fixed departures for the following dates , if there is group of 15 or more we can workout the suitable dates as per requirements.

Arrive Kathmandu       Return journey

30 JUN 2014                      12 JUL  2014

13 JUL 2014                       25 JUL 2014

27 JUL 2014                      08 AUG 2014

11 AUG 2014                     23 AUG 2014

29 AUG 2014                     10 SEP 2014

10 SEP 2014                       22 SEP 2014

For more details please contact  Mobile no. 09810506646

Callers from Overseas contact  +447700093414

Email: promark@promarktravels.com

Website : www.promarktravels.com

Yatra Chardham Lesser known places

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Yatra Chardham in Garhwal region of Uttrakhand State in Himalayas is considered to be one of the Holiest and devout wish of a Sanatan Hindu to perform it once in his/her life time. This yatra ( pilgimage) is not only being performed since the establishment by Sri Guru Adi Shankaracharya in the Eight centenery but also our old texts like Skandh Puran , the Garur Puran and many other books have a mention of places and events happend in this part of land known as Kedarkhand named after the King Kedar who ruled this land in Satya Yug he is also father of Vrinda who performed Tapasya for 60,000 years , she is wife of Demon King Jalandhar who was killed by Lord Shiva .

Places are Kharsali , Devprayag, Karanprayag, Vishnuprayag, Rudraprayag, Soneprayag, Guptkashi, Tungnath, Pandukeshwar, Harsil, Dharali, Mukhba, Joshimath, Uttarkashi, Kedareshwar and many more places in Kedarkhand the Garhwal Uttrakhand.

I would like to invite the readers to share their knowledge about these places or any legend which is lesser known or any ritual which is followed by the local people which have any religious significance. Please also comment on the articles how you have liked it. Register your email on our blog page  promarktravels.com/blog  for your articles and comments.

My Yatra Chardham by Helicopter

Yatra Chardham in Uttrakhand Himalyas is one of the wishes of any Sanatan Hindu, it is the salvation of soul , our life of birth and rebirth is free from this cycle after making prayers at these places, the soul rests in peace or it attains the “Moksha“. Reaching by road to all four Dhams is long journey , difficult treks at Yamunotri and Shri Kedarnath , road journey from Joshimath to Shri Badrinath is very tiring . The opening of Helicopter services to all these places have cut down the journey from 12 days to 2-3 days it is a boon for the old aged and people with time constrain can fulfill their wishes.

The helicopter used in this tour were state of art BELL407 four seater along with the Pilot and Flight Engg. From Dehradun Sahstrdhara helipad, it takes 35 minutes flight to Kharsali , helipad is on the left bank of river Yamuna there is no motor able road from helipad one is to walk across the foot bridge to reach Janki Chatti, from Janki Chatti there is a 6 km. steep trek one is to climb from 2650 meters to reach Yamunotri temple at a height of 3293 meters, one can take a horse or Palanquins a chair which is carried by four porters . One can perform the puja and return to Janki Chatti and then crossed the river to helipad at Kharsali in 4 to 5 hours. There is a oldest Lord Shani Dev temple at Kharsali which is constructed like a fort made of stones and wood it is also called the Someshwer temple .

Flight from Kharsali to Harsil is of 30 minutes located at a height of 2623 meters from sea level , Harsil the Maha Prayag of nine rivers in to Bhagirathi and a temple didicated to lord Vishnu, place where lord Vishnu is in form of Shaligram at the confluence of river Jalandhari , Vishnu Ganga and Bhagirathi, we stayed at Harsil Retreat cottages next to the confluence , the Mah Prayag at river Bhagirathi, a beautiful village Dharali the last village on Indian side on Indo-Tebitean border is about two km from Harsil

Rishi Markandey Ashram which is marked by a white temple didicated to  Ma Bhagwati on the right banks of river Bhagirathi where he wrote the Durga Saptshati the first ever written text on the Godsess Durga .

After the night stay early morning we took a car arranged for us from Uttarkashi , road to Gangotri is 24 Km drive along the river Bhagirathi which crosses the Asia deepest Gorge near Bhairon Ghati , road is good, passing through dense pine forest and Apple orchards, except for few rough patches , before the temple there is an arched gate from here the main shrine is about 600 meters this temple is at a height of 3120 meters from sea level was built by Gurkha Army commander in early 18th century. the actual source of river Ganga is at Gaumukh which is a climb of a beautiful 18 km trek at a height of 4120 meters the Bhagirathi glacier which is fed by three glaciers namely the Raktvarn , the Chaturangi and the Kirti , the impressive Aarti is performed at Gangotri temple it is a stately affair on the banks of rushing holy river  Bhagirathi here, we return to Harsil for the night stay . Harsil is beautiful landscape full of Deodar and Pine trees with apple orchards and nine rivers ( Jalandhari, Vishnu Ganga, Bhim Ganga , Telangna, Lakshmi Ganga, Him Ganga, Pawan Ganga, Khir Ganga and Hatya Harini ) criss crossing and joining the Bahgirathi to form a Maha Prayag , from here there is a beautiful view of Mayank Parwat and Banderpunch range.

Mayank Parvat

Next morning after the early breakfast we reach the helipad at Harsil on the banks of river Bhagirathi it took a 45 minutes of flying over the Tehri Dam a lake a massive water body fourth largest in the world ,we change the helicopter at Phata and flew over the Mandakini river in a narrow valley to reach Kedarnath situated at a height of 3553 meters surrounded by snow-capped mountains , the main temple is about 600 meters from the helipad , one is to be careful not to walk fast here because of thin air low in oxygen can result in head ache and breathlessness.

deepest Gorge in Asia near Gangotri

Kedarnath is one of the twelve Jotirlings of Lord Shiva , the present structure is built by Adi Shankarcharya at the site which existed at the time of Mahabharta , Lord Shiva is worshiped of his Hump over ground at the entrance there is a Nandi Bull , it is also one of the Panch Kedars the body parts of Lord Shiva others are Tungnath , Rudranath, Madhmaheshwar and Kalpeshwer are in Uttrakhand while Pasupatinath is in Nepal. This temple is a massive rock stone structure fixed without the mortar surrounded by high snow covered mountains standing on a plateau in a glacier , there are several Kunds (pools, tanks) are known for their religious significance – Shivkund , Retkund, Hanskund , Udakkund, Rudhirkund are the most important. A little away from Kedarnath is a temple dedicated to Bhaironathji who is ceremoniously worshipped at the opening & closing of Kedarnath temple . The belief is that Bhairavnathji protects this land from evil during the time when temple of Kedarnath is closed in winters . just behind the temple is the Adi Shankaracharya samadhi , it is said that after establishing the Dhams The Shankaracharya at the age of 33 took the “Jal Samadhi” here. There is a priority darshan slip for the pilgrims arriving by helicopter at the main shrine .

It took about an hour and half to have darshan and to perform the pooja , we took our flight back to Phata where helicopter for flight for Sri Badrinath ji was waiting , 35 minutes flight over Rudra Pryag, Joshimath and having the view of Nanda Devi peak, Choukhamba peak and Hathi , Ghora, Palki peak we landed at helipad after taking a circle of the main temple which looked beautiful, from helipad the main temple is a small distance passing through the street with restaurants and shops on both sides, after crossing the Alaknanda river bridge is the main shrine , from out side the Blue , Red , White and Golden colour of main entrance, impressive gate look like a Budhist Mutt ,

This temlpe is about 1200 years old built by the Adi Shankaracharya to re establish the Sanatan Dharma which was being over took by Budhisim and Jainism , we were taken inside and seated just in front of the main deity for 15 minutes with the help of main pujari to perform the pooja The image of Badarinarayan here is made out of Saligram. Sri Badarinarayan is seen under the Badari tree, flanked by Kuber and Garuda, Narad, Narayan and Nar. Mahalakshmi has a sanctum outside in the parikrama Lord Badari Narayan (also called as Badari Vishal) is armed with Shankh (Conch) and Chakra in two arms in a lifted posture and two arms rested on the lap in Yogamudra.The principal image is of black stone and it represents Lord Vishnu seated in meditative pose.

We were overwhelmed after completing the pilgrimage which is one of the life time wish of a devout Hindu in a short time of just two days which normally takes 12-14 days if done by road , the flight back to Shastradhara was an hour flying over the river Alaknanda ,

confluences at Karnpryag , Rudrapryag and Devprayag from here it is known as the Ma Ganga , flows onwards to its journey to Rishikesh and down plains of North and East of India as a holy mother giving birth to the civilasations and making the land most fertile in Asia before entering into Bay of Bengal at Ganga Sagar , making a world famous delta in the Sundarbans with mighty Bharamputra river .

All above arrangements were handled by M/s PROMARK TRAVEL SVCS PVT LTD NEW DELHI  phone 09810506646

About the Author

[author]
[author_image timthumb=’on’]wp-content/uploads/authors/madhu.jpg[/author_image] Mrs. Madhu, Joint Director, Govt of Indiais currently in Parliament House Secretariat.She loves to travel to Religious Places in India.
[/author]