According to the pilgrimage episode of Skanda Purana, Char Dham Yatra is considered important. By visiting the Char Dhams, all kinds of sins are eradicated and positive energy also increases. According to Hinduism, a person who travels to the four dhams attains salvation.
According to the scriptures, visiting ancient pilgrimage sites increases mythological knowledge. There are stories and traditions related to the gods and goddesses. Get a chance to know the ancient culture. There is contact with the priest of the temple and the people living nearby, which gives an opportunity to know different customs. Information about the beliefs related to God and devotion is available. Whose benefit is found in the worship of daily life. That is why the four dhams have been established in different directions. There are four Vaishnava temples as defined by Adi Guru Shankaracharya. Which is famous in the name of Char Dham Yatra in India. Where every Hindu should enter in his life time, which can help Hindus to realize Moksha. It is bounded by Badrinath in the north, Dwarka in the west, Jagannath Puri in the east and Rameshwaram Dham in the south.
In Hindu Puranas, Hari i.e. Vishnu and Hara or Shiva are said to be eternal friends. It is believed that where Lord Vishnu resides, Lord Shiva also resides nearby. These Char Dhams are also not considered to be an exception to the current. Hence Kedarnath is considered as Badrinath Jodi, Ranganatha Swamy as Rameshwaram, Somnath as Dwarka, Lingaraja as Puri. There is one thing here though..
The Char Dham in India and the Char Dham within the state of Uttarakhand are also different. The Char Dhams of Uttarakhand are considered to be Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath Dham.
Chhota Char Dham: Due to the huge number of pilgrims in Badrinath and its northern India, the residents here give more importance to the present Yatra, hence it is also called as Chhota Char Dham. Apart from Badrinath, this small Char Dham includes Kedarnath (Shiva Jyotirling), Yamunotri (origin of Yamuna) and Gangotri (origin of Ganga).
The above four places are believed to be the abode of divine souls. It is actually considered sacred. While Kedarnath is believed to be the resting place of Lord Shankar, Badrinath is believed to be the eighth Vaikuntha of the universe, where Lord Vishnu sleeps for 6 months and remains awake for six months. Here the idol of Badrinath is within the quadrilateral Dhyanamudra, which is a product of the Shalagramshila. Here the Nar-Narayan deity is worshipped and the Akhand lamp is also lit, which can be a symbol of immovable knowledge.
There are two mountains in the Kedar valley – Nar Parvat and Narayan. It is often the tapobhoomi of Nar and Narayan Rishi, one of the 24 incarnations of Vishnu. Pleased with his tenacity, Shiva appeared in Kedarnath. On the opposite side is the Badrinath Dham where Lord Vishnu rests. It is said that Badrinath Dham was established by Narayan in Satyuga. After visiting Lord Kedareshwar Jyotirlinga, seeing Lord Nar-Narayan in Badri region destroys all the sins of man and he also gets salvation of life.
1. Badrinath Dham
Situated on the summit of the Himalayas, the Badrinath temple is a major center of religion for Hindus. It is one of the four Dhams. Badrinath Temple is situated on the banks of Alaknanda River within the state of Uttarakhand. This temple is dedicated to Badrinath in the form of Lord Vishnu. Badrinath temple has been established since time immemorial and is considered to be the holy abode of Satyug. It was founded by Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram. It is considered very good to visit Kedarnath before visiting Badrinath. The belief of Badrinath temple is also that in ancient times this place used to be full of berry trees. Hence the name of this place was named Badri Van. This temple is also called “Vaikunth of Earth”. In the Badrinath temple, offerings of Vantulsi garland, raw gram, kernel balls and sugar candy etc. are offered.
There is a saying about Badrinath, one of the four Dhams, that ‘Jo Jaaye Badri, Woh Na Aaya Odri’. That is, one who sees Badrinath should not return to the womb. That is, you should not take another birth. According to the scriptures, a person must visit Badrinath at least twice in a lifetime.
Temple doors opening hours: The doors of the temple are closed during the winter season on the second day (Padwa) of the Diwali festival. The lamp continues to burn for six months. The priests take off the honorary boards and take the deity of the Lord and hence decorate Ukhimath under the mountain for six months. After 6 months, the doors of Kedarnath are opened between April and May, then the journey to Uttarakhand begins.
No one stays in and around the temple for six months, except for 6 months of wonder, the lamp also keeps on burning and there is continuous worship. After opening the door, it is also surprising that as much cleanliness is left as it is left.
2. Jagannath Puri:
This is a Vaishnavite temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. One of the four seaside pilgrimage centers within the Indian state of Odisha, the terrace of Jagannathpuri is marvelous. It is also included in the seven holy puris. The word Jagannath means lord of the planet. Jagannath temple is in about four lakh square feet area. Its height is 214 feet. Usually the shadow of any building or thing or human is visible on the ground at some point of the day, but no one has ever seen the shadow of the Jagannath temple. Apart from this, there is a big mystery about the flag which is installed on the top of the temple.
The annual Rath Yatra festival of this temple is known. It is said that one day Lord Jagannath’s sister Subhadra, wishing to see the city, had prayed for him to visit Dwarka. After which Lord Jagannath made his sister sit in a chariot and made her visit the city. Since then Jagannath Rath Yatra is taken out here every year. In it, the three main deities of the temple, Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra, lead three different grand and decorated chariots to the city.
3. Rameshwar Dham
Rameshwara Tirtha is situated on the seashore in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. Which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Here Shiva is worshiped in the form of a linga. Which is considered one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. It is a beautiful conch shaped island surrounded on all sides by the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. It is believed that Lord Rama had established this Rameshwaram Shivling.
An interesting story is told about the establishment of the famous Rameshwaram temple. In order to rescue Sita from Ravana, Rama marched on Lanka. He tried a lot to get Sitaji released without a fight, but when Ram did not get success, he was forced to fight. In this war Ravana and all his fellow demons were killed. After liberating Sitaji, Shri Ram returned. To do this war, Rama had to cross the ocean with the monkey army, which was a very difficult task. Establishment of Shivling in Rameshwaram. According to Hinduism, offering Gangajal to Rameshwar Jyotirlinga from Gangotri in Uttarakhand has its own special significance. According to the scriptures, if Ganga water is not available with the pilgrims who reach Rameshwar, then they give Ganga water from the priests here. The temple of Rameshwaram is a beautiful specimen of Indian construction art and sculpture.
4. Dwarka Dham
Dwarka Puri, situated on the banks of the sea on the western tip of Gujarat, is considered one of the Char Dhams. This is a pilgrimage dedicated to Lord Krishna. This pilgrimage is one of the seven puris that give salvation as mentioned in the Puranas. It is believed that it was settled by Shri Krishna. When Krishna killed King Kansa, Kansa’s father-in-law, Magadhapati Jarasandha, was determined to destroy Krishna and the Yadus. He used to attack Mathura and the Yadavas repeatedly. He had many Malechha and Yavani friends kings. Ultimately, keeping in mind the safety of the Yadavas, Krishna decided to leave Mathura. On the advice of Vinata’s son Garuda and the invitation of Kakudmi, Krishna came to Kushasthali. The present Dwarka city was already existing in the form of Kusasthali, Krishna rehabilitated this ruined city. Krishna came to Dwarka with his 18 new family members. According to the local people and some texts, the real Dwarka got submerged in water, but this land of Krishna is still considered to be worshiped. That is why Shri Krishna form is worshiped in Dwarka Dham.
It is said that the early Dwarka was submerged in the sea, but as its remains, today there are two places named Bet Dwarka and Gomti Dwarka. To the south of Dwarka there is a long pond, which is called Gomti Talab. Dwarka is named after it as Gomti Dwarka. There are nine ghats above the Gomti Talab. Among them, the government has a pool. Ghat, which is called Nishaap Kund. It is filled with Gomti water.