- Uttarakhand, also known as Devbhoomi or the Land of Gods, is home to numerous temples and welcomes devotees all year round. Among the countless religious sites and circuits that devotees visit in Uttarakhand, one of the most prominent is the Char Dham Yatra.
- This Yatra or pilgrimage is a tour of four holy sites – Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath – nestled high up in the Himalayas.
- The high-altitude shrines remain shut for around six months every year, opening in summers (April or May) and closing with the onset of winter (October or November).
- It is believed that one should complete the Char Dham Yatra in a clockwise direction. Hence, the pilgrimage starts from Yamunotri, proceeds towards Gangotri, onto Kedarnath, and finally ends at Badrinath.
- The journey can be completed by road or by air (helicopter services are available). Some devotees even do a Do Dham Yatra or a pilgrimage to two shrines – Kedarnath and Badrinath.
Why in News?
- Over four lakh devotees have visited the four shrines of the Chardham Yatra since the pilgrimage began recently.