Uttarakhand is a place of ‘abode of gods’ because there are huge numbers of ancient temples situated. All rocks, mountains, streams is associated with the mythological reasons like the holy shrines of Char Dham , sacred Panch Prayag, Lord Shiva’s Panch Kedar, Panch Badri of Lord Vishnu and various other renowned temples.
The Gateway to the Gods or Haridwar is one of the seven most holy sites according to Hindu mythology situated in the Himalayan foothills. It is considered that the Gods have left their footprints which are the portal of three important pilgrimage sites of Kedarnath, Badrinath and Rishikesh.
Rishikesh-The town of Rishikesh lies in the foothills of the Himalayas of the Garhwal region. It is the gateway to the upper Garhwal region and the starting point for the Char Dham pilgrimage (Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath) and an ideal destination not only for pilgrims but also for the people who are interested in adventure, medtation, yoga and other aspects of Hinduism.Chardham or Four Abodes located in the Garhwal area also comprises of holy sites like Gangotri,Yamunotri, Kedarnath & Badrinath.
Gangotri: from where the sacred Ganges River originated which is 300kms from Dehradun, 250kms from Rishikesh and 105kms from Uttarkashi where the temple remains open only between months of May to November.
Yamunotri: the source of river Yamuna well known for its glaciers and hotsprings situated almost adjacent to the Indo-China border 278kms from Dehradun and 236kms from Rishikesh.
Kedarnath : Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi is the grave situated behind the Kedarnath where he immersed his being in grave at the early age of 32 years when he completed his work most of the opposition to his Vedic beliefs had been overcome and his followers been directed to carry forward his works and responsibilities.
Badrinath : A place, which holds so many myths and legends, Badrinath acquires predominance in the travel itinerary of a pilgrim. The popular belief is that Badarinath was the domain of Lord Shiva, and Lord Vishnu managed to unseat Shiva from here to Kedarnath. Another belief is that when Ganga made her descend to earth she split up in to twelve streams and one among the channels, Alakananda felt on Kedarnath. Sanctity and holiness of Badrinath festooned it with accolades since from the Vedic ages. This sacred abode of Nara-Narayana sages had been a revered seat and the Vedas like Srimad Bhagavatam, gave testimony to its devoutness.
Ukhimath which is 182kms away from Rishikesh in the district of Rudraprayag is 4500ft high located on the other side of Mandakini River Valley. It is said that this place is named so after Usha, the daughter of Banasur had once resided there. There are chapels of Lord Shiva, Parvati, Usha, Aniruddha and Mandhata .
Guptkashi is often correlated to the holy city of Kashi where two sacred rivers Ganga and Yamuna meets that is called ‘Sangam’ in Varanasi. Hemkund Saheb commonly known as ‘Dev Bhoomi’ is a well known for its pilgrimage for Sikh as well as Hindu communities. Glaciers and snow capped peaks all around with the two glaciers one from Hathi Parvat and the other Saptarishi are the sources of Hemkund Lake.
Panch Prayag: Devprayag, Rudraprayag,Karnaprayag, Sonprayag,Vishnuprayag.
Panch Kedar: Panch Kedar is a collective name of the five abodes of lord Shiva in Dev Bhoomi Uttarakhand state of India. Namely Kedarnath,Madhyamaheshwar, Rudranath, Tungnath and Kalpeshwar; the Panch Kedar pilgrimages are believed to be the places where five different body parts of lord Shiva appeared while he dived into the earth at Guptakashi.
Sapta Badri constitutes a group of seven sacred Hindu temples, dedicated to god Vishnu, located in Garhwal Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.