The famous Char Dham Yatra is a spiritual journey that devout people undertake for attaining ‘Moksha’. These ‘Four Abodes’ meaning Char Dham are situated in the state of Uttarakhand, India. The state means ‘Dev Bhoomi’ or Land of Gods.
As mentioned earlier about Moksha, it is the highest liberation point in the life of a Hindu meaning salvation. This Char Dham Yatra known locally as ‘Chota Char Dham’ or ‘smaller four abodes’ includes these holy sites in the state of Uttarakhand alone.
The tour package known as the Char Dham includes places that are located in various regions all over India and one from Uttarakhand – Badrinath. The other three sites are Dwarka in Gujarat, Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, and Puri Jagganath in Odisha states. The holy sites in the Dev Bhoomi are nestled in a picturesque sightseeing spot among the Garhwal Himalayan mountain ranges.
The spiritual tour or Yatra are also filled with various activities such as taking the Prashad darshan at one or more temples, then taking a holy dip in the Kund waters, and trekking up the massive mountains where the shrines are located.
It is necessary to know the significance of the Char Dham Yatra and why people take this tough tour uphill although it is accessible.
The Char Dham Yatra brings soul peace and innermost inward journey into the spiritual being. It is a lifetime tour which a devout Hindu will take at least once in his / her entire life. Each of the pilgrimage sites are dedicated to a specific Hindu deity, and all with a unique significance of its own.
The Ma Yamunotri is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna and the Char Dham Yatra also begins generally at this place most of the times, at the River Yamuna.
The temple Ma Gangotri is dedicated to the Goddess Ganga and is famous for the banks of the holy river Ganges.
The Badrinath Jee Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu who also goes by the name of Badrinath. This holy site is also one of the major places of the Char Dham Yatra around the country founded by Adi Shankaracharya.
The Kedarnath Baba shrine is famous for hosting one of the 12 jyotirlingas. The holy site is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is prime for his followers and devotees who tour this place for their blessings.
These sites are said to be very sacred and the pilgrimage to these sites or one of these sites are considered of great importance by the devout Hindus. It is believed that there must be a journey to one of these Char Dham holy sites for once in their entire life in order to attain salvation called Moksha.
This is the most important thing to do in the life of a devotee of Hindu faith. As per their religious belief, the spiritual journey or Holy Pilgrimage Teerth Yatra is known as tirthayatra in Sanskrit. This tour makes up one of the five prime duties of a Hindu life or purpose of life on earth. It is about the highest form of liberation – the attainment of Moksha / Salvation. The other four are Dharma which is responsibility, or duty, Worship or Sanskaras and Observing days on auspicious festivals.
A holy pilgrimage is a spiritual journey in the willpower, all humility and individual faith. The arduous journeys upward which mostly involves trekking and walking up is significant that the pilgrim will tread the toughest way up to reach spirituality and also leaves all other issues at the feet of the Deity. They take part in cold water and hot water holy dips at various rivers also showing their respect for deity. They want to leave all other issues and reach God.
In short, you can say that the significance of the Char Dham Yatra is more like an individual intimate and spiritual experience with the Divine. The holy tour makes a close connection with the devotee or follower and the highly sacred rivers and sites.
The pilgrim on such tours also get to meet and see holy men and women dedicated to worship such as Pundits, Pujaris, Sadhus and Sadhvi at various temples and shrines here. devotees can take darshan of their favorite Deity and also stay there in the olden sanctums. This tour is also a great sightseeing tour as these temples are surrounded by nature and picturesque backdrop and when traveling to them, there are great locations to see on the way.