Shri Adi Shankaracharya was the first Hindu philosopher and reformer who introduced the entire Hindu society with the term “Char Dham” or Four Abodes. He defined the famous four Vishnavites pilgrimage to the world.
The ancient pilgrimage sites mentioned in the Hindu scriptures are Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath, and Kedarnath. Each of these pilgrimages sites has its own significance and values in Hindu mythology. However, presently, these four ancient sites are identified as “Chota Char Dham.” It’s to differentiate them from the broad line that covers Dwarka, Rameshwaram, Badrinath, and Puri.
Significance of Char Dham Yatra:
The current destinations are spread across four different directions, as in, Badrinath is in the North, Rameshwaram in the South, Puri in the East, and Dwarka in the West. As per legends, a visit to this religious circuit is referred to as Char Dham Yatra. The belief says it can help you wash away your sins and attain Moksha (liberty) once you experience this holy yatra (tour).
Adherents consider these pilgrimage sites highly significant and mandatory for them to visit these sites once in a lifetime. Holding to this significance, Char Dham witnesses the affluence of pilgrims across the globe, hitting it to endure eternal bliss.
As per Puranas, Lord Shiva evidently resides nearly every site where Lord Vishnu resides since both are eternal friends. Char Dham is no exception as the Kedarnath is considered the pair of Badrinath, Somenath is for Dwarka, Rangnath Swami is a pair of Rameshwaram, and Jagannath Bhairava for Puri.
Feature Image Credit: (free for commercial use)