Showing posts with label Badrinath. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Badrinath. Show all posts

Hinduism - Where Is The Yamunotri Tirtha In India?


Sacred location (tirtha) in the Himalayas near the Yamuna River's sources.

Yamunotri is regarded the Yamuna's ritual source, despite the fact that the real source is farther upstream, at the foot of the Bandarpunch Mountain.

Because of its great altitude, it is only accessible from late April to October, after which it closes for the winter months, as are the other three main Himalayan pilgrimage sites of Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath.

The river itself is a sacred site in Yamunotri, where pilgrims wash (snana) in the freezing waters.

There are numerous temples, the oldest of which was erected by one of Nepal's monarchs, but they are small in comparison to those at Gangotri, and the sole significant one was completed in the 1980s.

Aside from the holy river and its tributaries, Yamunotri is known for many hot springs, some of which have been diverted into a tank, and many pilgrims take use of the hot baths.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - Where Is Kedarnath In India?

Kedarnath is a Himalayan village/town and holy location (tirtha) in the headwaters of the Mandakini River, one of the Ganges' tributaries.

The settlement is called after its reigning deity, Lord of Kedar, who is the god Shiva in his human form.

At Kedarnath, Shiva is represented by a linga, a pillar-shaped figure.

The Kedarnath linga is considered one of the twelve jyotirlingas, a network of Shiva-related locations.

The holiness of Kedarnath is only matched by the difficulties of reaching there.

Because of its great elevation—close to 12,000 feet—it is only accessible between late April and October, as are the three other important Himalayan pilgrim destinations of Yamunotri, Gangotri, and Badrinath.

A visit to Kedarnath retains some of the difficulty that was formerly associated with Himalayan pilgrimage.

Pilgrims complete the last 10 kilometers on foot or on horseback, which includes a five-thousand-foot ascent.

Those brave enough to undertake the journey must struggle with the unpredictability of mountain weather, but they may be rewarded with breathtaking views.

The Kedarnath temple is surrounded by alpine meadows and is sheltered by snow-capped mountains all year.

The Kedarnath linga is a natural ridge of stone that is said to represent Shiva's self-manifestation (svayambhu) and is thought to be very powerful.

The form of this linga is linked to the legend of Kedarnath's charter.

The five Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Mahabharata, the latter of the two major Hindu epics, are linked to one version of this narrative.

The Pandavas go on their last expedition towards the Himalayas in quest of Shiva's vision.

They eventually see him from afar, but when they attempt to approach him, Shiva transforms into a bull and charges through the snow.

The bull digs his way through a snowdrift.

When the Pandavas arrive, they discover the bull's corpse in the snow.

The hump of this bull is said to symbolize the ridge of granite that creates the Kedarnath linga.

The bull's head continues its journey over the highlands, eventually ending in Nepal as Pashupatinath.

A separate charter myth is based on the ancient belief that Shiva lives high in the Himalayas.

This legend associates the Panchkedar (a network of five Shiva temples in the Garhwal area) with five sections of Shiva's body, thereby uniting the god with the land and sanctifying it.

Kedarnath is Shiva's back, Madmaheshvar is Shiva's navel, Tungnath is Shiva's arm, Rudranath is Shiva's face, and Kalpeshvar is Shiva's matted hair (jata). 

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - What Does Himalayas Mean In Sanskrit? Why Are The Himalayas Sacred And Revered By The Hindus?

(meaning "abode of snow") Although only Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and, further east, Sikkhim have important Himalayan areas, the Himalayan range arcs over India's northern border.

The Himalayan areas in the first three states are the most important in a Hindu religious context; the mountains in these three contiguous states are all part of a larger Himalayan cultural region, which is fronted by the Shiwalik Hills.

They are revered as both the physical residence of Hindu gods (especially Shiva, who is said to reside atop Mount Kailas) and the source of holy rivers including the Ganges, Yamuna, and Indus.

The physical sufferings that these ascetics must experience in the mountains are also thought to develop spiritual force; the physical hardships that these ascetics must endure in the mountains are also believed to generate spiritual power.

The Himalayas are densely packed with sacred sites (tirthas), the most important of which are Amarnath, Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, Badrinath, and Nanda Devi. 

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.