Old Map of Uttarakhand Pilgrimage by Singh, 1960: Chota Char Dham, Mt. Kailash, Ganges Myth, Badrinath, Kedarnath
Old Map of Uttarakhand Pilgrimage by Singh, 1960: Chota Char Dham, Mt. Kailash, Ganges Myth, Badrinath, Kedarnath
Old Map of Uttarakhand Pilgrimage by Singh, 1960: Chota Char Dham, Mt. Kailash, Ganges Myth, Badrinath, Kedarnath
Old Map of Uttarakhand Pilgrimage by Singh, 1960: Chota Char Dham, Mt. Kailash, Ganges Myth, Badrinath, Kedarnath

Old Map of Uttarakhand Pilgrimage by Singh, 1960: Chota Char Dham, Mt. Kailash, Ganges Myth, Badrinath, Kedarnath

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The "Guide Map Badri Kedar," created by Bhai Harnam Singh Sohan Singh in 1960, is a captivating infographic and pictorial map that serves as a pilgrimage guide for the Uttarakhand region of India. This map meticulously illustrates the sacred routes of the Chota Char Dham pilgrimage circuit, encompassing the revered sites of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamnotri. It also extends to include the holy routes to Mt. Kailash and Lake Mansarovar, significant to multiple religions. The map's dual-language format in Hindi and English ensures accessibility for a diverse audience, enhancing its historical and cultural value.

The map is a visual feast, with detailed illustrations of cities, temples, and pilgrimage routes. Each location is depicted according to its size and significance, making the map not only informative but also visually engaging. The inclusion of figures of pilgrims along the routes emphasizes the spiritual journey and the importance of these paths. The legend at the bottom right provides clear symbols for motor roads, pilgrim routes, railroads, and rivers, ensuring that the map is easy to navigate.

One of the most striking features of this map is the allegorical depiction of the Hindu goddess Ganga’s descent to Earth to form the Ganges River, located in the top right section. This mythological illustration adds a layer of depth and storytelling to the map, highlighting the rich cultural and religious heritage of the region. The depiction of Mt. Kailash, alongside a large illustration of Lord Shiva, further underscores the map's spiritual significance.

Bhai Harnam Singh Sohan Singh, the mapmaker, has skillfully combined cartographic precision with artistic elements to create a map that is both a practical guide and a work of art. His choice to publish this map in Haridwar, one of the seven holy cities in Hinduism, adds to its authenticity and relevance. The map not only serves as a guide for pilgrims but also as a historical document that captures the essence of Uttarakhand, often referred to as “the playground of the Gods.”

The "Guide Map Badri Kedar" is more than just a map; it is a window into the spiritual and cultural landscape of Uttarakhand. It offers a unique blend of geographical information and mythological storytelling, making it a valuable piece for collectors and enthusiasts of historical maps. This map is a testament to the enduring significance of pilgrimage in Indian culture and the timeless beauty of the Himalayan region.

Places on this map

  • Haridwar: Located in the bottom left corner.
  • Rishikesh: Shown near Haridwar.
  • Badrinath: Illustrated prominently.
  • Kedarnath: Clearly marked.
  • Gangotri: Included on the pilgrimage route.
  • Yamnotri: Part of the Chota Char Dham circuit.
  • Mt. Kailash: Illustrated at the top right.
  • Lake Mansarovar: Shown near Mt. Kailash.
  • Himalayas: Denoted at the top of the map.
  • Ganges River: Depicted through its mythological creation.
  • Tibet: Shown at the top right.
  • Motor roads, pilgrim routes, railroads, and rivers: Indicated with specific symbols in the legend.

Notable Features & Landmarks

  • Himalayan mountain range: Illustrated prominently at the top.
  • North arrow illustration: Located at the top left.
  • Depiction of the Ganges River creation myth: Featuring King Bhagiratha, the goddess Ganga, and Lord Shiva.
  • Mt. Kailash: Illustrated at the top right with a large depiction of Shiva.
  • Cities and temples: Illustrated according to size and characteristics.
  • Pilgrimage routes: Clearly marked with figures of pilgrims.
  • Legend: Located at the bottom right, denoting motor roads, pilgrim routes, railroads, and rivers.
  • Illustrations of holy sites: Including Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamnotri.
  • Visual emphasis on pilgrimage: Routes and important religious locations.
  • Historical and cultural context: Depicts the Uttarakhand region's spiritual and mythological significance.

Historical and design context

  • Name of the map: Guide Map Badri Kedar
  • Creation date: 1960
  • Mapmaker/Publisher: Bhai Harnam Singh Sohan Singh
  • Interesting context about the mapmaker: Published in Haridwar, a significant holy city in Hinduism.
  • Type of map: Infographic Thematic and Pictorial map
  • Topics and themes shown on the map:
  • Pilgrimage routes: Chota Char Dham pilgrimage circuit including Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamnotri.
  • Holy sites: Routes to Mt. Kailash and Lake Mansarovar, sacred to multiple religions.
  • Mythological depiction: Allegorical depiction of the Hindu goddess Ganga’s descent to form the Ganges River.
  • Countries and regions shown on the map:
  • India: Focus on the Uttarakhand region, north and east of Haridwar.
  • Tibet: Shown at the top right.
  • Design and style:
  • Languages: Hindi and English.
  • Visual elements: Illustrations of cities, temples, pilgrims, and mythological figures.
  • Legend: Symbols for motor roads, pilgrim routes, railroads, rivers.
  • Historical significance/context:
  • Religious importance: Emphasizes the spiritual significance of Uttarakhand, referred to as “the playground of the Gods.”
  • Cultural heritage: Reflects the rich mythological and religious traditions of the region.

Please double check the images to make sure that a specific town or place is shown on this map. You can also get in touch and ask us to check the map for you.

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If you’re looking for something slightly different, check out my collection of the best old maps to see if something else catches your eye.

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This would make a wonderful birthday, Christmas, Father's Day, work leaving, anniversary or housewarming gift for someone from the areas covered by this map.

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If you select Aged, I will age your map by hand, using a special and unique process developed through years of studying old maps, talking to researchers to understand the chemistry of aging paper, and of course... lots of practice!

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