Art, Culture & Architecture

    PM Modi extends warm wishes as Char Dham Yatra begins in Uttarakhand

    The Hawk
    May10/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    2024 Char Dham Yatra Commences with Narendra Modi's Blessings: Pilgrims start their sacred journey to Uttarakhand's four holy shrines, including the revered Kedarnath Dham, as doors open after a six-month hiatus.

    Char Dham Yatra (Representtative Image)

    New Delhi: As the Char Dham Yatra in Devbhoomi Uttarakhand began, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday extended his congratulations to devotees embarking on the pilgrimage. The Char Dham Yatra, a spiritual journey to four holy shrines, attracts thousands of pilgrims seeking blessings and rejuvenation of their faith.
    "Heartiest congratulations on the commencement of the sacred Char Dham Yatra in Devbhoomi Uttarakhand. The pilgrimage to the four holy shrines, including Baba Kedarnath Dham, is a spiritual and cultural journey for devotees, providing renewed energy to their faith and devotion. I extend my best wishes to all the devotees and pilgrims embarking on this journey. Jai Baba Bholenath!" PM said in post on X.

    This year's Char Dham Yatra begins with the reopening of the Kedarnath Dham after a six-month closure. The first puja at the shrine in the early hours of Friday was conducted in the name of Prime Minister Modi, marking the commencement of the pilgrimage season.
    Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, who presided over the puja after the ceremonial opening of the doors of Shri Kedarnath Dham temple, welcomed all devotees and prayed for a safe and fulfilling journey for all embarking on the Char Dham pilgrimage.
    Speaking to ANI on Friday, CM Dhami said, "The devotees and pilgrims from across the country and beyond wait for this pilgrimage every year. That pious day is upon us today as the portals of Kedarnath Dham have been thrown open. The devotees and pilgrims have arrived here in large numbers and all necessary arrangements have been made for them. I extend my greetings to all of them. Upon its ceremonial opening, the first puja at the Kedarnath Dham was officiated and performed in the name of PM Modi. The darshan (sighting of the deity) began following all the rituals. Since Narendra Modi became PM, work on the redevelopment of Baba Kedar temple has been happening in three phases. We are working to ensure that the project is completed at the earliest."

    The portals were opened through rituals and the ceremonial chanting of hymns after a gap of six months, including the peak winter phase.
    Chants of 'Har Har Mahadev' rang out from among the crowd of devotees, who gathered for the ceremony, as the portals were thrown open to the chanting of shlokas (hymns).

    Ahead of the ceremonial opening of one of the country's holiest places of worship, the abode of Lord Shiva was decorated with 40 quintals of petals.
    One of the most revered temples in the country dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva, Kedarnath draws countless devotees and visitors from across the country and beyond during the six months that it stays open.

    The doors of Baba Kedarnath Dham were opened at 7 am for a darshan or sighting of the deity.
    The doors of Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri were opened on Friday, on the auspicious occasion of Akshay Tritiya, while the doors of Badrinath Dham will be thrown open on May 12.
    The high-altitude shrines remain shut for six months every year, opening in summer (April or May) and closing at the onset of winter (October or November).
    The Char Dham Yatra holds profound spiritual significance in Hinduism. This journey typically occurs from April-May to October-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, as per the Uttarakhand tourism official website.

    The Char Dham Yatra, or pilgrimage, is a tour of four holy sites: Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. In Hindi, 'char' means four and 'dham' refers to religious destinations, as per the Uttarakhand tourism official website.