Chardham Yatra

The Char Dham (meaning: four abodes) is a set of four pilgrimage sites in India. It is believed that visiting these sites helps achieve moksha (salvation). The four Dhams are, Badrinath, Dwaraka, Puri and Rameswaram. It is believed that every Hindu should visit the char dhams during one's lifetime. The Char Dham as defined by Adi Shankaracharya consists of four Hindu pilgrimage sites. Another small circuit in Uttarakhand of four pilgrimage sites-Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath is referred to as Chota Char Dham. In the Puranas Hari (Vishnu) and Hara (Shiva) are referred as eternal friends. It is said wherever Lord Vishnu resides, Lord Shiva resides nearby. The Char Dham follows this rule. So Kedarnath is considered as the pair of Badrinath, Rama Setu is considered the pair of Rameswaram, Somnath is considered as the pair of Dwaraka. However, according to some traditions, the Char Dham are Badrinath, Rangnath-Swami, Dwarka and Jagannath-Puri, all of which are Vaishnava sites, and their associated places are Kedarnath, Rameswaram, Somnath and Lingaraja Temple, Bhubaneswar (or maybe Gupteshwar) respectively. The Char Dham Highway project is still under completion and is proposed to get functional by end of 2018, but currently, many service providers offer a Char Dham Yatra by helicopter for the ease of pilgrims.

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