Gandhamadhana mountains [presently called Garhwal – Himalayan Range] stretches from Uttarkashi to Almora. Badrinath, Kedarnath and Hemakund lake are the spiritual places which are situated in this mountain range. Valley of flowers national park, Nanda Devi Bio – Diversity National park which are the UNESCO world heritage sites are located here. The perennial rivers like Ganga, Alaknanda, Mandakini [also called Akash Ganga] and mystic river Saraswati flows from these mountains making these mountations sacred places on earth. Hence this land is called “Dev Bhoomi“.
According to Shivapurana Goddess Parvati performed penance for her union with Lord Shiva in this region. Hence the name Gauri Kund. This might be the place where Lord Subramanya was born. After Mahabharata war pandavas wanted to absolve themselves of the sins of killing the relatives, they travelled in search of Lord Shiva. Starting from Hasthinapur and travelling through the places like Rishikesh and Gauri Kund they reached a place where Lord Shiva appeared in the form of light which transformed into Jyotirlinga. Hence the Jyotirlinga is named as “Kedareshwara Lingam“ and the place is called “Kedarnath“ [this region was named after King Kedar who ruled this region in Satya yuga]. From there Pandavas travelled to Badarikashram [Badarika vanam] which was and is abode of peace.
From the times immemorial, the sages like Nara, Narayana [Arjuna, Krishna in Dwapara yuga], wandering sages like Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanath Kumara, Sanath Sujatha [chiranjeevee (immortals) means ever living] performed penance here. Lord Vishnu performed penance under Badri tree which is the form of goddess Lakshmi [badri means jujube in English]. Lord Vishnu was installed here as Lord Badrinarayana. Hence the region name is named as Badrinath. From there pandavas travelled to Mt.Kailash via Mana village where the mystic river Saraswathi was born.
Adi Shankaracharya re-established Kedarnath and Badrinath temples in 9th century and estsblished four shankarmutts in four corners of India which are Dwaraka in west, Sringeri in south, Puri in east, Joshimutt in north. While travelling from Joshimutt to Badrinath we came across a place called Govindghat where people start trekking to Hemakund sarovar passing Valley of flowers. In this valley flowers blossom in July, August and it looks as the valley is carpeted with flowers and looks charming. A beatiful flower named ‘Brahma Kamal‘ created by Lord Brahma which has magical powers of revival of death and some other medicinal properties and favorite to Lord Badri Narayana is available abundantly here. Sanjeevini herb which revived Laxmana in Rama – Ravana war in Lanka [presently Srilanka] brought by Lord Hanuman is also available here.
After climbing up from Valley of flowers we found Hemakund lake where it is believed that sikh guru Guru Gobind Singh took holy bath and performed penance. Sikhs built Gurudwara here and it is sacred pilgrimage centre for Sikhs of the world. Locals believe that Hanuman, Aswathama [transformed as brahmarakshasi by the curse of Lord Krishna in Mahabharatha war for using Brahmastram (both are immortals)] lives here.
The land of Uttarkhand [Dev Bhoomi] which played an important role in past, would also play an important role in present and future generations.