The four abodes of God ‘Char Dham Yatra’ hold a significant importance on the pilgrimage map of the Hindus. It is widely believed that by completing the ‘Char dham Yatra’ all sins are washed away and one can attain ‘moksha’. Well, I don’t know how much valid this point is, but to observe the true Indian essence, the true Indian ‘unity in diversity’, one should must complete this beautiful journey of four abodes of God in four different directions of this beautiful and soulful country.
Char Dham Yatra
The Char Dham defined by Adi Shankaracharya consists of four pilgrimages situated in four different directions of India. In comprises of ‘Puri’ in East, ‘Rameswaram’ in South, ‘Dwarka’ in West and ‘Badrinath’ in North. Geographically speaking the char dham (the four temples) made a perfect square with Badrinath in the North and Rameswaram in the South falling on same longitude and Dwarka (old) in the West and Puri in the East on same latitude ( at that time, before coastlines changed).
To reignite the flame of unity and integrity and maintain the proper balance of energy, char dham yatra was proposed by Adi Guru Shankaracharya.
A True Indian Essence
Char Dham yatra also known as ‘Mahaparikrama’ is a true example of ‘one India’ portraying the hues of several believes, spirituality and unity of country.
To complete char dham yatra, one must have to visit the all four corners of India depicting its very own culture and traditions. All four Dhams are also linked to each other in such a way that one is incomplete without boasting the culture and tradition of other.
The chief priest serving Badrinath comes from South India. Sandalwood and silk offered to Lord Badrinath also come from South India. Similarly, prayers are offered at Rameswaram by a north Indian priest. The Shivling at Rameswaram must be offered Ganga water which comes from north.
Yatra of Banaras is also thought to be incomplete without worshiping Lord Rameswaram. What else can be a magnified example than the concept of char dham yatra to serve the principles of unity in such a diversified country.
The four associated places of the Char Dhams
Char dham yatra also focuses on the concept of friendship between Hari (Vishnu) and Har (Shiv). All four Dhams have Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu residing nearby to each other. Badrinath- Kedarnath, Rangnath Swami- Rameswaram, Dwarka- Somnath, Puri- Lingaraja Temple are the respective pairs of Hari and Har at four dhams.