Sacred Char Dham Temples Of India – Adi Shankaracharya’s Legacy

Char Dham Temples Of India

The Char Dham temples in the four directions of India are Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri, and Rameshwaram. Char Dham yatra is sacred for Hindus.

Char Dham Temples Of India

The land that we know as India or Bharat, has been sanctified with the presence and blessings of great saints, who have shown its people the right spiritual direction. Adi Shankaracharya towers above all as he single-handedly revived Hinduism with his erudite philosophy and compassion. It was he who propounded the concept of the Char Dham temples. He also established the famous Shankaracharya Peethams or Mathas in the four directions for the study and propagation of the four Vedas.

The Char Dham temples designated by Adi Shankaracharya are in the four cardinal directions and the four Shankaracharya Char Dhams are Badrinath in the north, Dwarka in the west, Puri in the east, and Rameshwaram in the south.

Char Dham Temples – Adi Shankaracharya Char Dham

Char Dham Temples Of India
Char Dham Temples Of India

4 divine temples in India, which are much revered and have a history that dates back thousands of years, are located at the Char Dham places designated by Adi Shankaracharya. The Char Dham Yatra which is a pilgrimage to these four places is considered to be very sacred. According to Hindu belief, this yatra is believed to pave the way for ultimate salvation or Moksha, which is the liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

Read about the 4 Shankracharya Peethams or Maths in our blog post.

Char Dham Temples – Shankaracharya Dwara Sthapit Char Dham

Adi Shankaracharya

This is something important you need to know about Char Dham Hindu temples. This Char Dham yatra is not to be confused with the 4 Dham of Uttarakhand. The Uttarakhand Char Dham yatra is known as Chota Char Dham Yatra and is a pilgrimage circuit that covers four sacred places within Uttarakhand. The four dhamas in Uttarakhand are Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath, and Kedarnath.

Char Dham Temples List | Char Dham Name | 4 Dham Of India

  • Badrinath – Badrinarayan Temple of Vishnu
  • Dwarka – Dwarkadhish Temple of Krishna
  • Puri – Jagannath Temple Puri
  • Rameswaram – Shree Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga Temple

Read about the birthplace and the life of Adi Shankaracharya in our blog post about Kalady.

Partake of the wisdom of Adi Shankaracharya in our blog post on Adi Shankaracharya quotes.

The Four Dhamas | 4 Dham Yatra Places

The Four Dhamas | 4 Dham Yatra Places
The Four Dhams    PC: Shishyavrunda of Sri Sringeri Sharada Peetham

These are the sacred Char Dham as defined by Adi Shankaracharya, or 4 destinations that are considered most holy, since time immemorial. Each of the places is associated with one of the Yugas or epochs according to Hindu cosmology. Badrinath is associated with the Satya Yuga, Rameshwaram with the Treta Yuga, Dwarka with the Dwapar Yuga, and Puri with the Kali Yuga.

Char Dham Map

Char Dham Map
Char Dham Map | Char Dham Yatra Map

Char Dham Temples – Badrinath Char Dham

Char Dham Temples - Badrinath Char Dham
Char Dham Temples – Badrinath Char Dham

Badrinath is believed to be the oldest of the Char Dham places, and it is believed to date back to the times of the Satya Yuga if you study the legends and history of Char Dham. The significance of Char Dham Yatra and the Char Dham Mandirs is explained in the ancient scriptures like the Skanda Purana and others.

The legend of Badrinath dates back to the Satya Yuga. An avatar of Lord Vishnu, Nar-Narayan did intensive meditation or Tapasya at a place then known  as Badrika Van or, “Forest of Berry Trees.” The place was full of berry trees known as Badri in Sanskrit, and hence the name.

A big berry tree grew near the place where Nar-Narayan sat in deep meditation. It protected the Lord from rain and sun with its benevolent canopy of leaves. Local legend has it that the tree was actually the form of Lakshmi, Vishnu’s wife, who took the form of the tree to protect him. Pleased with Lakshmi’s devotion, Narayan declared that Lakshmi’s name would always be taken before his, and hence the practice of addressing the Lord as Lakshmi Narayan. That sacred place where the Lord meditated is today known as Badrinath, the first Char Dham in India.

Badrinath is situated in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand and lies between two mountain ranges that are called Nar and Narayan. The river Alaknanda flows near the sacred place. The Shankaracharya Peeth in the north, known as Uttaramnaya Sri Jyotir Peetham, or Jyotir Math, is located in Joshimath near Badrinath.

Char Dham Temples – Rameshwaram Char Dham

Char Dham Temples - Rameshwaram Char Dham
Char Dham Temples – Rameshwaram Char Dham

The legend of Rama is well known. Lord Rama was exiled from Ayodha and banished to the forests for 14 years. During his exile, his wife Sita is kidnapped by the demon Ravana and taken to Lanka. Rama and his brother Lakshman reach the tip of India, along with Hanuman and the Vanara army. It is believed that here Rama who was an incarnation of Vishnu, fashioned a Shiva Linga from sand and worshipped it as an embodiment of Lord Shiva. The sacred Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga temple of Shiva is located at the place where Ram worshipped Shiva in the Treta Yuga, before crossing over to Lanka and vanquishing Ravana and his army.

Rameshwaram is located in the state of Tamil Nadu, on the southern-most extremity of India. It is one of the four most sacred pilgrimages of Hindus and one of the 12 Jyotirlinga places in India.

If you are interested in Shiva temples, check out our Somnath blog post, Pashupatinath blog post, Bhojpur Shiva temple blog post, and Patal Bhuvaneshwar blog post.

Char Dham Temples – Dwarka Char Dham

Char Dham Temples - Dwarka Char Dham
Char Dham Temples – Dwarka Char Dham

The ancient city of Dwarka dates back to the Dwapara Yuga, when Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu built the city on the shores of the Arabian Sea. The importance of Dwarka and its sacredness is mentioned in the Skanda Purana. Dwarka is the place located in the western direction of the “Char Dham Ki Yatra.”

Dwarka is a very sacred place with many holy temples which include the temple to Krishna, a temple to Rukmini, the Jyotirlinga temple of Nageshwar, and many others. The river Gomati sanctifies Dwarka with its waters before merging into the sea.

The Paschimamnaya Sri Sarada Peetham, also known as Kalika Math is located within the Dwarkadhish temple premises. This is the Shankracharya Peeth that was established in the west of India.

For details of what to do and see in Dwarka, check out our 20 Places To See In Dwarka blog post.

Char Dham Temples – Puri Char Dham

Char Dham Temples - Puri Char Dham
Char Dham Temples – Puri Char Dham

The Puri Jagannath Temple is the fourth temple in the Char Dham Yatra. Jagannath is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Jagannath temple of Puri with many legends and mysteries associated with is the sacred place of pilgrimage for Hindus in the eastern direction of India. Jagannath temple is located in Puri in the state of Odisha and is located about 63 kilometres.

The ancient temple of Jagannath Puri is famous for its Rath Yatra and has the idols of Lord Jagannath, Balarama, and Subhadra as the principal deities. The origins of the temple date back to the 11th century, while the current temple was built in the year 1174 CE by an Oriya king named Ananga Bhima Deva. In terms of antiquity, the Puri temple is the youngest and is associated with the Kali Yuga.

The Shankaracharya Peetham in the east is located in Puri and is known as Purvamnaya Sri Govardhana Peetham or Govardhan Math.

Read all about mysteries Jagannath Puri temple in our, 8 Mysteries of Jagannath Temple Puri blog post.

Also, read in detail about the Jagannath Puri Temple in our Incredible Jagannath Puri blog post.

Doing The Char Dham Yatra

Shankaracharya Char Dham

The Char Dham Yatra is an important and sacred pilgrimage circuit and millions undertake it and many more aspire to do it. If you are looking to embark on the once in a lifetime Char Dham Yatra, you can book a cheap flight right here through TripAdvisor or CheapAir or Cleartrip or Makemytrip or Priceline.

You can also book hotels for any destination right here through any of the below options: TripAdvisor or Cleartrip or Makemytrip or Priceline and save a lot by getting the best deals on booking your stay.

Click to book the best hotels

FAQ – Char Dham Temples | Char Dham Yatra

What are the 4 Dham in India?
The 4 Dham designated by Adi Shankaracharya are Dwarka, Badrinath, Puri, and Rameshwaram.

Who established 4 Dham?
The Char Dhams were defined by Adi Shankaracharya.

What is the name of Charo Dham?
The Char Dhams are Dwarka, Badrinath, Puri, and Rameshwaram.

Where are 4 Dham located?
The Char Dham temples are located in Badrinath, Dwwarka, Puri, and Rameshwaram.

Is Rameshwaram A Dham?
Yes, Rameshwaram is one of the sacred Char Dhams.
What are Char Dhams in India?
The Char Dham is a pilgrimage circuit defined by Adi Shankaracharya that covers the four sacred places of Dwarka, Badrinath, Puri, and Rameshwaram.

Who established the Kedarnath temple?
The Kedarnath temple was established by none other than Adi Shankaracharacharya and it is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. Recently a statue of Adi Shankaracharya was unveiled by the Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, at Kedarnath.

Which God is Worshipped in Badrinath?
The presiding deity of the Badrinath temple is Lord Vishnu.

Where is Badrinath temple situated?
The Badrinath temple is located in Badrinath, in Uttarakhand state of northern India.

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Char Dham Temples Of India

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