Char Dham Yatra 2022: COVID-19 testing, opening dates and more
Popularly known as the Land of Gods, Uttarakhand houses several ancient temples and sacred pilgrimages which attract millions of spiritual seekers from across the world. This year, the popular Char Dham Yatra will begin on May 3 on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya with the opening of the Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines. The four Dhams of the pilgrimage are Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri.
Nestled among the magnificent peaks of the Himalayas, all the four Dhams hold great spiritual significance for the Hindus. It is believed that you should visit these four holy shrines at least once in your lifetime to attain Moksha or salvation.
The original Char Dham Yatra was first started by the 8th-century reformer and philosopher Adi Shankaracharya. He started the pilgrimage journey to the four sacred temples to resuscitate the Hindu religion in the 8th century. Till the 1950s, people undertook a strenuous journey on foot to reach these sites. However, connectivity was improved after the 1962 Indo-China war.
1. Yamunotri - Dedicated to Devi Yamuna, the temple opens on May 3, 2022. 2. Gangotri - Dedicated to Goddess Ganga, the temple opens on May 3, 2022. 3. Kedarnath Temple - Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this popular Hindu shrine will open on May 6, 2022. 4. Badrinath Temple - Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple will open on May 8, 2022.
Visit the official website of Uttarakhand tourism at uttarakhandtourism.gov.in. Next, select the "Explore" option from the toolbar of the page. Then, click on the "Spiritual" option and select "Chardham." Finally, click on "Register Now." The daily limit on the number of pilgrims has been fixed at 7,000 for Gangotri, 4,000 for Yamunotri, 15,000 for Badrinath, and 12,000 for Kedarnath in view of the pandemic.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami was present during the opening ceremony of the Gangotri Dham and he assured people of a safe pilgrimage. The Uttarakhand Government had said that a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or negative test report is not mandatory for the yatra. Dhami assured that doctors will be available for pilgrims and disaster personnel has been deployed at the route's 32 locations.
According to Hindu mythology, the Char Dham Yatra should traditionally start from the west and end in the east. This is why the yatra begins from Yamunotri and then moves toward Gangotri. Pilgrims collect the holy waters from Ganga and Yamuna to take with them to Kedarnath and Badrinath. Then, they move toward Kedarnath, and finally to Badrinath to complete the Char Dham Yatra.