Thursday June 21, 2018

Why Chaar Dham Yatra is a true test of every Hindu’s quest towards spiritual enlightenment

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yamunotri

By Rituparna Chakrobarty

Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath, collectively called the Char Dham-the four abodes of god, are the places which every Hindu associates with his/her spiritual quest.

These four destinations symbolize the  three most important sects of Hinduism- Vaishnavism, Shaivism, and Shaktism. The Chaar Dham Yatra was started by Adi Shankrachyra about 1000 years ago.

According to the pilgrims the journey not only washes away all the sins one  incurs in life but also sets the soul on the path to salvation.

The origins of Char Dham Yatra are very ambiguous, as almost every Hindu myth and belief is connected to it.

 Yamunotri

According to the Hindu mythology, Yamuna is the sister of Yama, the God of death and Yamunotri is the place from where Yamuna originates. It is also the hermitage of the revered sage Asit Muni.

Yamunotri is famous for its thermal spring and glaciers. Champasar glacier also known as Yamunotri, is located at Kalind mountain at the height of 4421meters above sea level.

Magnificient Gangotri Temple

 Gangotri

Gangotri is the place of origin of holy river Ganga. It lies close to the holy rock or ‘Bhagirath shila’, where the King Bhagirath worshipped lord Shiva, to bring down Goddess Ganga from the heaven to earth in the form of river.

The Gangotri temple was built by emperor Amar Singh Thapa in about 18th century. The temple is located amidst a pleasant surrounding of deodar and pines. The shrine of Gangotri is situated at an elevation of 3048mts.

Badrinath_Temple_1-640x360

Badrinath

Badrinath also has a historical significance because the temple was set up by Adi Shankarachrya in the ninth century. It is also known as Badrinarayan temple.  After seeking knowledge of Vedas he came to Badrinath and settled with his disciples there. The location with its overwhelming  natural beauty, is very peaceful and serene. Maha Vishnu is the presiding deity. At present it is located in the Chamoli district.

 

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Kedarnath

Kedarnath temple is one of the most important destination in Char Dham yatra. It is the worshipping place of Lord Shiva and is believed to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. It is situated near the Mandakini river (Ganga).

According to the temple priests the temple was founded in the 9th century by Adi shankarachrya, though the topic has remained a subject of debate between the Hindu priest  and scientist. According to the scientists the temple remained buried in glaciers for more than 400 years. They prove this by resorting to the marks of glaciers visible outside the temple building.

For its extreme climatic conditions the temple is open only between the end of April (Akshya Tritriya) to Karthik purnima (November).

Kedarnath tragedy

The flood in June 2013 affected the Kedarnath the most although somehow it did not cause any harm to the temple, which was miraculous. The surrounding premises and the other buildings in the market area were wiped out by the floods. The disaster caused a great loss to human life and property. Though the state and central government were quick to take necessary action for its rehabilitation, there is still a long way to go.

 

 

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Ganga Jal project in Agra postponed till August

Agra's 20 lakh odd residents are supplied water from two water works. Against the demand for 500 MLD, the supply is hardly 300 MLD. The gap is likely to be met by the new Ganga Jal pipeline which will bring Ganges water to Agra.

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Taj Mahal(Agra), Pixabay

A formal inauguration of the ambitious Rs 3,000 crore Ganga Jal project, to ease water supply situation in the Taj city, has again been postponed – to August.

The 130-km-long pipeline from Bulandshahar’s Palra Jhaal canal of the Ganges was to have been commissioned in November last year.

But it was postponed after the refusal of the UP-Forest Department to chop some trees.

"Agra gets only a trickle. Since there is no storage facility in Agra, the monsoon water goes waste," river activist Harendra Gupta said.
River Ganga. Pixabay

Members of the Central Empowered Committee instituted by the Supreme Court visited the site in March and sought to know how the lost green cover would be compensated. A vacant stretch in Firozabad district has now been identified where plantation work would start next month.

Agra’s 20 lakh odd residents are supplied water from two water works. Against the demand for 500 MLD, the supply is hardly 300 MLD. The gap is likely to be met by the new Ganga Jal pipeline which will bring Ganges water to Agra.

Also Read: Rohingya influx is a threat to common security of the entire region

According to Jal Nigam officials presently submersible pumps, tube wells and hand pumps are meeting the additional demand for water.

Since the Yamuna water is stored in upstream barrages from Hathini Kund, Wazirabad, Okhla to Gokul, what flows in the Yamuna in the name of water is plain industrial effluents and domestic waste plus sewer.

“Agra gets only a trickle. Since there is no storage facility in Agra, the monsoon water goes waste,” river activist Harendra Gupta said. (IANS)