Top Religious Places in Uttarakhand- Ngtraveller
Come and enjoy a religious tour of the most revered place in Uttarakhand, where immense peace reigns. Feel spiritual bliss by visiting some of the famous Uttarakhand temples, which have the greatest religious significance. Enjoy the Holy Spirit as you embark on a spiritual sojourn in Uttarakhand, “the land of the King of the Gods,” where religious holidays are a way to connect with the Almighty. So find out what is in the center of these famous religious places in Uttarakhand.
Located in the foothills of the Himalayas along the confluence of the Ganges and Chandrabhaga rivers, Rishikesh is a small town in the Dehradun district, located near Haridwar in Uttarakhand. Rishikesh (also called Hrishikesh) is known for its adventure activities, ancient temples, popular cafes, and the "yoga capital of the world." Rishikesh is a gateway to the Garhwal Himalaya, which is also a pilgrimage city and one of the holiest places for Hindus.
Rishikesh became known around the world in the 1960s after Maharishi Maharishi Yogi of the Beatles visited here. Today, the place is as famous as The Beatles Ashram, which attracts tourists from all over the world. The sleepy city has long been a spiritual center, but is equally popular for rafting, bungee jumping, mountain biking, and camping along the fast-flowing holy Ganges River. It also serves as the gateway to many Himalayan treks.
Located on the holy banks of the Ganges River, Rishikesh was a center for sadhus (saints) with the emergence of many ashrams to teach spirituality, yoga, meditation and Ayurveda. Since it is a religious city, it is strictly forbidden to eat non-vegetarian food and alcohol here. Rishikesh sees the most beautiful nocturnal aarti on the banks of the Ganges river, which is not too crowded unlike its contemporaries in Varanasi and Hardwar. The International Yoga Festival is organized here in the first week of March and is attended by yoga enthusiasts from all over the world.
Rishikesh is divided into two main areas: the city center known as Rishikesh City, where the famous Triveni Ghat is located. Two kilometers upstream from the famous Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula is the other side of Rishikesh, where most of the popular ashrams, cafes, lodgings and tourists are located. Haridwar and Rishikesh are the first Indian cities to receive the title of "Two National Heritage Cities".
Considered among the Seven Holy Cities of India, Haridwar is an ancient city located on the banks of the Ganges River in the Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. Temples, ashrams and narrow lanes scattered throughout the city, Haridwar is a popular Hindu temple city where millions of devotees come to swim in the holy Ganges River. Diving in the holy Har Ki Pauri is believed to free you from all your sins.
Every night Haridwar witnesses a series of rituals for the famous Ganga Aarti on the Ghats (river banks), where thousands of devotees gather to pray at the river. Once every twelve years, Haridwar hosts the great gathering during the world famous Kumbh Mela, which welcomes millions of visitors from all over the country. Along with Prayagraj, Nashik, and Ujjain, Haridwar is one of only four cities in India that can host the Kumbh Mela.
Haridwar also serves as the main destination for some of the other resort towns of Rishikesh and Devprayag, as Hardwar is well connected by trains and roads. Apart from the religious angle, Haridwar is now developing as a multifaceted cultural and spiritual center. It is also famous for its food and some of the must-try dishes include kachoris at Kashyap Kachoriwala and aloo puri at Mohanji Puriwale.
Located in the Garhwal Himalayas in the Rudraprayag district, Kedarnath is one of the holiest temples and the holiest of Hindu pilgrimages in India. Kedarnath, part of the Chhota Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand, is one of the 12 most important Jyotirlingas in India dedicated to Lord Shiva. Kedarnath Temple is only accessible from Gaurikund via trekking and remains open for only six months from April to November, due to heavy snowfall in the area during the rest of the months.
During the winters from November to May, piety is transferred from the Kedarnath temple to Ukhitmath and worshiped there. Kedar is another name for Lord Shiva, protector and destroyer, and a trip to Kedarnath is believed to provide "Moksha" or salvation. Set amidst the snow-capped mountains near the Chorapari Glacier with the Mandakini River flowing in front of it, Kedarnath sees large numbers of devotees each year due to its religious significance.
The present Kedarnath temple is believed to have been rebuilt by Adi Shankaracharya, who was initially built by the Pandavas thousands of years ago from huge stone slabs on a large rectangular platform.
Badrinath, known as the holy temple of Badrinath dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is one of the four yatras of Char Dham and Chota Char Dham. Badrinath is located on the trails of Garhwal Hill near the Alaknanda River, located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Nestled between the Nar and Narayan mountain ranges, Badrinath Temple sits against the backdrop of the mighty Mount Neelkanth and is famous for its astonishing natural beauty.
The Badrinath Temple, located at a height of 10,279 feet, is believed to have been originally established by Saint Adi Shankaracharya. The temple houses a one meter high black stone idol of Lord Vishnu and is one of the 8 Swayam Viakta Kshatra or Vishnu statues that appear on their own. It is also mentioned in the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Lord Vishnu in India.
Badrinath Temple is closed for six months from November to April each year. The temple is closed for worship on the auspicious day of bhatridwityia in October. On the closing day, the Akhanda Jyoti lamp was lit for six months and the image of Badrinath was brought to the Narasimha Temple in Jyotirmath. Badrinath reopens on Akshaya Tritiya, an auspicious day in April each year.
Badrinath Temple contains Tapt Kund, a sulfur hot spring considered to be of medicinal value. The Alaknanda River is known to originate here. The Mata Murti Ka Mela Festival and Badri Kedar give you another reason to visit the temple.
Gangotri Dham is the source of the holy river Ganges, located in the Uttarakshi district of Uttarakhand. He is one of the most revered pilgrims in India and is part of the Chhota Char Dham yatra (including Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath).
Gangotri is the easiest to reach (by direct bus or taxi) from Char Dham. It is located 300 km from Rishikesh and 100 km from Uttarkashi. The main attraction in Gangotri is the Gangotri temple dedicated to Ma Ganga. The temple is open for 6 months a year, from May to November. At Akshya Tritiya, the idol of Ma Ganga was transferred to the Gangotri temple of Mukhbas (Mukhimath). At Bhai Dooj, the idol was returned to Mukhimath for the next six months. The temple is open from 4 am to 9 pm. Aarti time is 6 am. And at 7:45 pm.
The original source of the Ganges River is at Gaumukh, which is 19 km away. It can be reached by hiking from Gangotri. The Ganges is known as Bhagirathi because it originates from Gaumukh. It acquires the name of Ganga from Devprayag, where it meets the Alaknanda River.
Gangotri is visited by millions of devotees every year due to its religious importance. It is believed to be the place where Goddess Ganga descended to earth after Lord Shiva released her from her hair.