There are four pilgrimage sites in India that make up the Char Dham Yatra. Hindus think that visiting these locations can lead to moksha (salvation). Badrinath, Dwaraka, Puri, and Rameswaram are the four Dhams.
Many people want to travel to all four of the holy sites at once to make sure their souls will have no trouble leaving this world when they pass away. A trip to Char Dham is unquestionably an adventure in and of itself because doing so requires visiting all four corners of the nation.
List of Char Dham Yatra Places in India:
All the Four Dhamas located at cardinal points of the Indian sub-continent are believed to have been liked by Lord Vishnu intimately. It is said and believed that He takes His bath at Rameswaram, meditates at Badrinath, dines at Puri and retires at Dwarika.
(1) Badrinath, i.e. the Lord of Berry forest, got importance in the Satya Yuga. So Badrinath came to be known as the first Dham in the category of char dhams (4 Dhams).
(2) Rameswaram, got its importance in the Treta Yuga when Lord Rama built a Shiva-Lingam here and worshiped it to get the blessings of Lord Shiva. The name Rameswaram means “God of Ram”.
(3) Dhaam Dwarka, got its importance in the Dvapara Yuga when Lord Krishna made Dwarka His residence instead of Mathura, His birthplace.
(4) Puri Dhaam, Lord Vishnu is worshiped as Jagannath, his Avtar for Kali Yuga.
List of Places associated to Char Dhams:
The Puranas refer to Hari (Vishnu) and Hara (Shiva) as being lifelong buddies. It is stated that Lord Shiva always lives close by wherever Lord Vishnu does.
The Chaar Dhams adhere to the same standard. Thus, Rama Setu is regarded as the pair of Rameswaram, Somnath is regarded as the pair of Dwaraka, and Lingaraja Temple is regarded as the pair of Puri. Kedarnath is regarded as the pair of Badrinath. Thus, Kedarnath, Rameswaram, Somnath, and Lingaraja Temple in Bhubaneswar are their respective linked locations.
1. Kedarnath & Badrinath
Hindus worship Vishnu at the Badrinath or Badrinarayan Temple, which is situated in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district along the banks of the Alaknanda River in the Garhwal mountain range. One of the four Char Dham and Chota Char Dham pilgrimage sites is made up of the temple and town.
The temple is also one of the 108 Divya Desams, or sacred sites, that are devoted to Vishnu, who is revered as Badrinath. Due to the harsh weather in the Himalayan region, it is only open for six months of the year (from the end of April to the beginning of November).
Kedarnath Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, located on the Garhwal Himalayan range near the Mandakini River, in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Due to extreme weather conditions opens only six months in a year. The tradition is that while embarking on a pilgrimage to Kedarnath people first visit Yamunotri and Gangotri and brings the holy water to offer at Kedarnath.
How to Reach Kedarnath & Badrinath
•By Air: The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. This airport has connectivity with major Indian cities, like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Daily multiple flights are available from Delhi. International travellers can reach Indira Gandhi International Airport at Delhi and take a flight for Dehradun from where they can take a drive to Badrinath. There is also helicopter service available from Dehradun to Badrinath, located at an aerial distance of 146 kilometres away.
•By Rail: It doesn’t have a railway station. It is connected via railway stations of Haridwar at 324km, Kotdwar at 327 km and Rishikesh at 397 km from the town. Kotdwar has very few trains and Rishikesh has no express trains. However, Haridwar is the best-connected railway station for Badrinath, connecting the town to the rest of the country.
•By Road: It is well-connected by road to all major cities in Uttarakhand and the nearby states and the national capital, Delhi. The National Highway 58 is the main highway linking Badrinath to the rest of India. One needs to change the bus at Rishikesh, Dehradun and other nearby places to reach here.
2. Rameswaram & Ram Setu
On Rameswaram island in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, there is a Hindu temple called Ramanathaswamy Temple that honours the god Shiva. It is also one of the holiest Hindu Char Dham locations and one of the twelve Jyotirlinga temples. Of all the Hindu temples in India, the one at this location has the longest corridor. The Rameswaram temple is a sacred destination for Shaivites, Vaishnavites, and Smarthas to visit.
Before crossing his bridge to Lanka, Rama built and worshipped the presiding god, the Lingam of Ramanathaswamy (Shiva).
Rama’s Bridge, also known as Rama Setu, is a group of limestone shoals that extend from India’s Pamban Island’s Dhanushkodi tip.
It concludes on Mannar Island in Sri Lanka. A bridge built in India’s ancient Sanskrit epic Ramayana by Valmiki is mentioned.
How to Reach Rameswaram & Ram Setu:
•By Air: The nearest airport is at Madurai (174km).
•By Rail: The nearest railway station is the Rameshwaram railway station (3kms from the city). It is connected by several trains with major cities of Tamil Nadu like Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Tiruchirapalli and other places in South India. Sethu Express, Tirupati-Madurai Express, Tirunelveli Express, Rameshwaram Express, Rameshwaram -Coimbatore Fast Passenger are the major trains that connect Rameshwaram. From the railway station, one can hire local transport like cycle, auto-rickshaws, jeeps, and taxis, etc.
•By Road: It is well connected to all the main towns. The Pamban Bridge has made Rameshwaram accessible by road from other parts of the South via the NH 49. There is a regular bus service from Kanniyakumari, Madurai (Routes from Madurai – NH49 to Rameswaram via Ramanathapuram from Trichy NH210 to Ramanathapuram via Karaikkudi; NH49 to Rameswaram via Mandapam), Trichy, Tiruchendur and Madras to Mandapam. Rameshwaram is 527 km from Chennai, 315 km from Kanyakumari and 273 km from Tiruchirapalli.
3. Dwarka & Somnath
The Jagat Mandir and occasionally Dwarakadheesh are alternate names for the Dwarkadhish temple, which is a Hindu shrine to the Hindu god Krishna, also known as Dwarkadhish or the “King of Dwarka.” The temple is situated in Dwarka, Gujarat, India, which is one of the stops on the Hindu Char Dham pilgrimage route.
Jagat Mandir or Nija Mandir is the name of the five-story building’s principal shrine, which is supported by 72 pillars. The Somnath Temple is situated at Prabhas Patan, Saurashtra, on the western coast of Gujarat, close to Junagadh. It is thought to be the earliest of Shiva’s twelve jyotirlinga sanctuaries.
It is a significant site for Gujarati pilgrimage and tourism. Since ancient times, Somnath has been a popular destination for pilgrims.
How to Reach Dwarka & Somnath:
•By Air: The airport that lies in vicinity is Jamnagar airport known by the name of Govardhanpur airport, located at a distance of nearly 131kms from the Dwarka city. The airport has flight connectivity with almost all other cities of Gujarat and of India as a whole. Another option is taking flight to Rajkot airport.
•By Rail: There are many intercity trains connecting Dwarka station to all other major stations of Gujarat. Also, there are many other long distance express trains connecting Dwarka to the rest of India. Some of the most common trains running between Dwarka and other cities are Okha-Puri express, Uttaranchal Express, Somnath-Dwarka express, Guwahati express, Varanasi-Okha express, Dwarka express, Okha-Howrah express, Madurai-Okha Vivek Express, Ahmedabad-Okha Passenger etc.
•By Road: Dwarka has a well-developed state highway connecting Dwarka to all other cities of Gujarat such as Jamnagar, Surat, Ahmedabad, Vadodara etc, and even cities of many neighbouring states. Regular buses; both public as well as private buses, ply between these cities and Dwarka and at frequent intervals. Thus reaching Dwarka by bus is not much of a hassle.
4. Jagannath Puri & Lingaraj Temple
One of the stops on the Char Dham, a Hindu pilgrimage circuit, the Shree Jagannath Temple is a significant Hindu temple dedicated to Jagannath, a manifestation of Vishnu, and is located in Puri in the state of Odisha on the eastern coast of India. The three main deities are hauled by enormous, ornately decorated temple cars during the annual Ratha yatra, or chariot festival, held at the Puri temple. The figure of Jagannath is constructed of wood and ceremoniously replaced every twelve or nineteen years by an exact replica, in contrast to the stone and metal symbols seen in the majority of Hindu temples.
One of the oldest temples in Bhubaneswar, the capital of the Indian state of Odisha, is the Hindu temple Lingaraja Temple, which is devoted to Shiva.
How to reach Jagannath Puri & Lingaraj Temple:
•By Air: The nearest airport is Biju Patnail Airport which is located in Bhubaneswar almost 60 kilometers from Puri. It is quite easy to access Puri as airways are considered as one of the most convenient and hassle free transport services. The airport provide domestic services and you can find major Indian airlines here and regular flights from New Delhi, Kolkata, Visakhapatnam, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Mumbai are operated.
•By Rail: It is a last stop on the East Coast Railway which has direct express and other super-fast trains which is well linked with major cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Okha, Ahmedabad, Tirupati and many more. Some of the famous trains offer direct services to the city which includes Kolkata (Howrah) Puri Howrah Express, New Delhi Purushottam Express.
•By Road: Roadways is another one of the most appropriate option to reach as the nearest bus stand is located close to the Gundicha Temple which provides direct connections to Bhubaneswar and Cuttack and one can reach the place in just 10 to 15 minutes. Bhubaneswar is located at a distance of almost 50 km from the city while Jamshedpur at 333.9 km, Visakhapatnam at 355.1 km, Ranchi at 396.3 km and Calcutta at 403.7 km are few important cities that can be visited from Puri if you have a lot of time. So, there is no problem regarding how to reach Puri.