Char Dhams of India
Char Dham are the names of four pilgrimage places in India that are widely revered by most of the “Hindus”. The Char Dhams of India are: Badrinath, Dwarka, Jagannath Puri, and Rameshwaram.
The Char Dham defined by Adi Shankaracharya consists of three Vaishnavite, one Shaivite, and one mixed site. Char Dham of uttarakhand is more cited destination as CharDham.
Importance of Char Dham
The Char Dham are often considered the most revered sites for Hindus that have to be visited in one’s lifetime.
Traditionally the trip starts are the eastern end from Puri, proceeding in clockwise direction in a manner typically followed for circulation in Hindu temples. Geographically speaking the char dham make a perfect square with Badrinath and Rameswaram falling on the same longitude and Dwarka (old) and Puri on the same latitude, representing the farthest north, east, west, and south points of India.
History of Char Dham
The four temples comprise of Badrinath, Rameswaram, Puri and Dwarka. The four temples lie across the four corners of India and their attendant temples are Badrinath Temple at Badrinath in the North, Jagannath Temple at Puri in the East, Dwarakadheesh Temple at Dwarka in the West and Ramanathaswamy Temple at Rameswaram in the South.
Though ideologically the temples are divided between the sects of Hinduism, namely Saivism and Vaishnavism, the Char Dham pilgrimage is an all Hindu affair.
List of Char Dham of India
Badrinath: Badrinath is located in the North Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is in the Garhwal hills, on the banks of the Alaknanda River. The town lies between the Nar and Narayana mountain ranges and in the shadow of Nilkantha peak (6,560m).
Dwarka: Dwarka located in the West is in the state of Gujarat, India. The city derives its name from word dwar meaning door or gate in the Sanskrit language. It is located close to where the Gomti River merges into the Gulf of Kutch. The city lies in the westernmost part of India.
Jagannath Puri: Puri located in the East is located in the state of Orissa, India. Puri is one of the oldest cities in the eastern part of the country. It is situated on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. The main deity is Shri Krishna, celebrated as Lord Jagannatha.
Rameshwaram: Rameswaram located in the South is in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is situated in the Gulf of Mannar at the very tip of the Indian peninsula. According to legends, this is the place from where Lord Rama, built a bridge Ram Setu to Lanka. The Ramanatha Swamy Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva occupies a major area of Rameshwaram. The temple is believed to have been consecrated by Shri Rama.