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Char Dham Yatra: So much more to it than what your grandmother told you


Char Dham Yatra: So much more to it than what your grandmother told you 
If you are an Indian having grown up in the Hindu faith, it is likely that you have heard about the Char Dham Yatra. Your grandparents always spoke about going on one or would have completed parts of it and are yearning to complete it before they like to put it in a dramatic way, “meet God in heaven”! All this talk about pilgrimage, rituals and religion makes it a very serious undertaking but these Char Dhams have more to offer than you can imagine!
Badrinath (Uttarakhand), Dwarka (Gujarat), Puri (Odisha) and Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu) make up char dham or the four heavely abodes. At each of the corners of the country, they are a great excuse to travel all over India, just like generations have been doing! Pilgrimages are a great way to travel the country and get some good vibes and blessings along the way. You can make a memorable trip out of the char dham yatra and here is what you need to know –
Badrinath – The abode in the mighty Himalayas
This is one of the first dhams having known in mythology from the time of Sat Yuga. In the Sat Yuga, Badrinath was known as the place of Plums, as Badri means Plum in Sanskrit. It was here that the Nar-Narayan avatar of Vishnu undertook penance and thus the holy place is called as Badri Nath or where the Lord resides.

Today it lies in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and is known for the temple. The town lies on the banks of the Alanknanda River in the Garhwal Himalayas at a height of 10,170 feet which means that there is snow during the winters. The temple itself has a beautiful colorful façade reminiscent of Buddhist monasteries. The views from the town are breathtaking as you can also view the imposing Neelkanth Peak.

What else can be done here? 

There is also another Char Dham yatra called the Chota Char Dham which includes the holy destinations of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. All these are situated in the state of Uttarakhand and located in the lap of the Himalayas. The picturesque location of these temples also means that they are difficult to access and at times have to be reached on foot by trekking! Uttarakhand is a state with a bounty of natural beauty and after a visit to all the char dhams you can put up your feet in Dehradun to enjoy the luxuries of a laid back vacation or get more adventurous and indulge in white water rafting and bungee jumping in Rishikesh!

Rameshwaram – The Southern Splendor
Rameshwaram got its mention in the holy texts in the Treta Yug when Rama built a Shivling here to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. Rameshwaram itself means the God of Lord Rama, while Rama is known to the incarnation of Vishnu. It is here that the bridge to Lanka is known to exist in the Ramayana.

The town is today located in Tamil Nadu away from the mainland on the Pamban Island separated by the Pamban Channel connected by the amazing engineering marvel the Pamban bridge, which is 2km long. The famed Ram Sethu or the bridge between Sri Lanka and India is a mass of limestone shoals which was known to be at sea level and able to traverse by foot until upto the 15th century.

What else can be done here? 

Dhanushkodi is a famous ghost town at the very edge of the Pamban Island; it serves a reminder of the cyclones that ravage the entire coast of Bay of Bengal. On a trip to Rameshwaram, you can cover the other famous temple town of Madurai as well which is the abode of goddess Meenakshi and an architectural marvel. Else, the sun and sea awaits, you can relax on the several beaches dotting the bay right upto Pondicherry!

Dwarka – On the coast of the Arabian Sea 
Dwarka immediately reminds one of Lord Krishna, this dham came into existence during the Dwapar Yug when Krishna made Dwarka his residence.

The ancient temple of Dwarkadish, is situated in the state of Gujarat in the Gulf of Kutch. A hot arid destination throughout the year, this town comes alive during August and September at the time of Janmashtami, the festival of celebrating birth of Lord Krishna. It is celebrated with great gusto with religious rituals as well as fun activities like the Matki Tod where young boys create a human pyramid and break an earthen pot filled with yoghurt.

What else can be done here?

Lions, the only place where they can be found are the Gir National Park located about 300 km from Dwarka. It is a must place visit for a safari if you are in Gujarat and catch a glimpse of the king of the forest! You can also visit Ahmedabad and gorge on the famous Gujarati cuisine.

Puri – On the coast of Bay of Bengal 
Puri is the other coastal dham located in the state of Odisha. This dham reveres Lord Krishna as Lord Jagannatha and is the site of the Govardhan Matha, one of the four Mathas established by Adi Shankaracharya. It is the only temple where the Godess Subhadra, sister of Lord Krishna is worshipped along with her brothers Lord Jaganatha and Lord Balabhadra.

Puri is popular for its Rath Yatra which is a day of celebration and gaiety for Oriya people, usually conducted in June or July. On this day all the three deities of the Jagannatha Temple are carried out in chariots in a large procession.

What else can be done here? 

Odisha is full of attractions for the traveler, after a visit to the temple in Puri one can head to the UNESCO World Heritage site at the Sun Temple at Konark. The temple is an architectural wonder and tourists come to visit from far and wide to see this beautiful stone marvel. You can relax at one of the beach resorts and eat some yummy sea food!

So, if you ar in the mood for a pilgrimage, pick your bags and plan a trip to the Char Dham for a whirlwind trip across India!

Author: A Lifeime Trip ...Creating colorful memories

We, A Lifetime Trip is a team of young minds. A no-frill company, providing the best of travel consultancy services across the industry at most reasonable prices. We deal in both Domestic and International tours. We specialize in bringing you inline with the real India – traditions, rituals, beauty, heritage, festivals, adventures, wild life, carnivals and many more different facets of our country. We work for you in a way that when you are back home, you cherish each moment of the trip making it A LIFETIME TRIP. Also Visit us at www.alifetimetrip.com

2 thoughts on “Char Dham Yatra: So much more to it than what your grandmother told you

  1. excellent post. Lovely pic of the train.

  2. very informative.. i have done only one dham i.e., badrinath… beautiful temple it is 🙂

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