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Char Dham


Adi Guru Shankaracharya defined these four Vaishnava pilgrimage sites, (char dham). In the north lies Badrinath, to the west is Dwarika, in the east is Jagannath Puri, and in the south is Rameshwaram Dham. Each dham represents a particular yuga, with Badrinath representing Satya Yuga, Rameswaram representing Treta Yuga, Dwarika representing Dvapara Yuga, and Puri representing Kali Yuga.

Hindu scriptures refer to Vishnu as Hari and Shiva as Har, eternal companions. It is believed that where Lord Vishnu resides, Lord Shiva also dwells nearby. These four dhams hold immense significance and are often paired together: Kedarnath with Badrinath, Rangnath Swami with Rameshwaram, Somnath with Dwarika, and Lingraj with Puri.

  1. Badrinath: Abode of Lord Vishnu

Badrinath, nestled in the Chamoli district amidst the majestic Himalayas in the state of Uttarakhand, is situated on the banks of the Alaknanda River. It stands tall at an elevation of 8,848.86 meters (29,031.7 feet) above sea level.


Badrinath gained prominence during the Satya Yuga when Nara-Narayana, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, meditated here to atone for his sins.   The area was once abundant with berry trees, hence the initial name “badarikāvaṇa” (the forest of berries). Legend has it that a large berry tree sheltered Nara-Narayana from rain and sun. Some believe that Goddess Lakshmi herself transformed into the berry tree to protect Narayana. Thus, the place became known as Badrinath, signifying the lord of the berry trees.

How to Reach:

  • By Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, followed by a road journey.
  • By RailRishikesh is the closest railway station, and from there, one can travel by road.
  • By Road: Regular buses and taxis connect Badrinath to major cities like Haridwarand Rishikesh.
  1. Rameshwaram: The Place of Lord Shiva

Rameshwaram, situated on Pamban Island in Tamil Nadu, is famous for its Ramanathaswamy Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple’s architectural marvels and the sacred waters of Agni Theertham attract pilgrims seeking spiritual blessings.

According to the epic Ramayana, in the Treta Yuga, Lord Rama built a bridge (Adam’s Bridge) from Rameshwaram to Sri Lanka to rescue his wife, Sita, from the demon king Ravana. Lord Rama built a lingam (a symbolic representation of Lord Shiva) to seek forgiveness from Shiva after defeating Ravana. Lord Rama’s footprints were imprinted here as he worshipped the lingam. The Ramanathaswamy Temple houses this sacred lingam, and pilgrims believe that a visit to Rameshwaram absolves them of sins.

How to Reach:

  • By AirMadurai Airportis the nearest airport.
  • By RailRameshwaram Railway Station connects the island to the mainland.
  • By Road: Regular buses and private vehicles ply between Rameshwaram and other cities.

3. Dwarika – The Kingdom of Lord Krishna

Dwarika is situated on the western coast of Gujarat, overlooking the Arabian Sea.

According to Hindu mythology, in Dvapara Yuga, Lord Krishna resided in Dwarika after leaving Mathura and the city flourished under his divine rule. Dwarika’s legendary association with Lord Krishna makes it a sacred destination for devotees. The Dwarkadhish Temple stands as a testament to his presence.


How to Reach:

  • By AirJamnagar Airportis the nearest airport.
  • By RailDwarka Railway Stationconnects the city to major railheads.
  • By Road: Well-connected by road, Dwarka is accessible from cities like Ahmedabadand Rajkot.
Jagannath Puri
  1. Jagannath Puri: The Lord of the Universe

Jagannath Puri, located in the eastern state of Odisha, is renowned for its Jagannath Temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. In the Kali Yuga, Lord Vishnu incarnated as Jagannath to bless humanity. Legend has it that the temple was established by King Indradyumna, who dreamt of Lord Jagannath’s manifestation as a wooden deity. The Jagannath Temple in Puri is famous for its annual Rath Yatra (chariot festival), where the deities are taken out in grand processions, attracts millions of devotees from around the world.

How to Reach:

  • By AirBhubaneswar Airport is the nearest.
  • By RailPuri Railway Station connects to major cities.
  • By Road: Buses and taxis link Puri to nearby towns.

Significance of Char Dham Yatra

The Char Dham Yatra is not merely a physical journey but a spiritual odyssey that holds profound significance for devotees. It is believed to cleanse one’s soul, wash away sins, and bestow divine blessings. The pilgrimage embodies the essence of Hinduism, fostering spiritual growth, and strengthening one’s connection with the divine. It is essential for every Hindu to visit the four dhams in their lifetime, as it aids in the attainment of salvation.

It is important to note that India’s Char Dham and the Char Dham of Uttarakhand state are distinct. The Char Dham of Uttarakhand comprises Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath, also known as the Lesser Char Dham.


The Char Dham pilgrimage is not just a physical journey; it’s a spiritual odyssey that cleanses the soul, purifies the mind, and connects us to the divine. Each pilgrimage site, with its unique significance and sacredness, offers devotees an opportunity for introspection, devotion, and spiritual rejuvenation. Millions of devotees embark on this sacred yatra, seeking blessings and miracles at these holy abodes. May your journey to the Char Dhams be filled with grace and enlightenment!

India Chardham Yatra Tour 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Char Dham Yatra?

Char Dham Yatra refers to the pilgrimage to the four sacred sites of Dwarika, Jagannath Puri, Badrinath, and Rameshwaram, which hold immense significance in Hinduism.

  1. How long does it take to complete the Char Dham Yatra?

The duration of the Char Dham Yatra varies depending on the mode of transportation and the time spent at each pilgrimage site. On average, it may take around two to three weeks to complete the entire journey.

  1. Are there any medical precautions to consider for the journey?

Pilgrims embarking on the Char Dham Yatra should consult with healthcare professionals regarding vaccinations, altitude sickness, and other health concerns, especially if traveling to higher altitudes.

  1. Can foreigners participate in the Char Dham Yatra?

Yes, foreigners are welcome to participate in the Char Dham Yatra. However, they should ensure they have the necessary travel permits and visas required for entry into India.

  1. Is it safe to travel to Char Dham during the monsoon season?

The monsoon season brings heavy rainfall and potential landslides, making travel to Char Dham during this time challenging and risky. It is advisable to plan the pilgrimage during the favorable weather months for a safer journey.

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