The Chhota Char Dhams of India are Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. These Dhams are located in Uttarakhand. Yamunotri is dedicated to the Goddess Yamuna, Gangotri to Goddess Ganga. Kedarnath Dham is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Badrinath to Lord Vishnu. These are also called Himalayan Char Dham.
Yamunotri Temple: Yamunotri Temple is situated in the Garhwal Himalayas at an altitude of 10,800feet. It is located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. Amar Singh Thapa built this temple. However, it got destroyed and was re-built in the 19th Century. It stands amidst beautiful mountain peaks and the sacred waters of the Yamuna River. The temple has a black marble idol of Goddess Yamuna.
According to Legends, Goddess Yamuna is the daughter of Sun. She is called Yami, the Lady of Life and is the twin sister of Yama, the God of Death. It is believed that a dip in the holy waters of Yamuna River clears one of its sins and ensures a painless death.
Yamunotri Dham is the first Dham of the Char Dham Yatra.
Gangotri Temple: The Gangotri Temple is situated at an elevation of 10,200feet in the Himalayan Range of Uttarakhand. The Temple is dedicated to Goddess Ganga. It is situated amidst beautiful mountains and the waters of the sacred river, Ganga. The River Ganga originates here and is called Bhagirathi. It originates from the Gangotri glacier at Gaumukh. It is a 19km trek from Gangotri town.
It is believed that Goddess Ganga descended from the mighty locks of Lord Shiva. Goddess Ganga descended here for King Bhagiratha, to absolve him of his sins. This temple is the second destination of the Char Dham Yatra.
Kedarnath Temple: Kedarnath Temple is located near Mandakini River in the Garhwal Himalayan Range. It is situated at Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. It is at a height of 11, 760feet. This temple worships Lord Shiva as the ‘Lord of Kedar Khand’- Kedarnath.
It is believed that Lord Shiva dwelled here at Nara- Narayana’s request. Apart from being the third destination of the Chhota Char Dham Yatra, it is also one of the twelve holy Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva.
Badrinath Temple: This temple is situated along the banks of Alaknanda River in the Garhwal Hills. It is at a height of 10,280 feet. It is situated in Uttarakhand.
The Badrinath Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Apart from being the final destination of Chhota Char Dham, it is also a part of the Char Dham Yatra. It is also one of the 108 Divya Desams of Lord Vishnu. The temple worships a black stone statue of Vishnu.