India- a religious country is considered to be God’s own residence on earth. Every nook and corner of the country narrates a story related to Hindu mythology. While every part of India has some cultural, spiritual and religious relevance in Hinduism, Char Dham – the four sacred spots are believed to be the abodes of God in India.
The most revered sites for Hindus in India, Char Dham is the favorite pilgrimage destination of Hindus for years. This (A) spiritual trip to Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath is also popular as the “Chota Char Dham Yatra”. The name “Chota Char Dham in India is given for the close proximity of the places with one another and also for shorter circuit of these sacred spots.
Yamunotri the pilgrimage destination tells a number of tales related to Hindu mythology. It is believed to be the home of Asit Muni. According to another common belief, anyone who bathes in River Yamuna at Yamunotri is freed from a painful death.
River Ganges or Ganga has been given the status of divine mother in the Hindu mythology. Gangotri is the source of River Ganges and is believed to be the abode of Goddess Ganga. According to Hindu mythology, King Bhagirath had prayed to Lord Shiva for years and as his blessing Lord Shiva rewarded Bhagirath by sending River Ganga on earth. Ever since then Gangotri has been considered as a divine destination. A dip in the holy river at Gangotri frees you from all your bad deeds.
The third of the CharDham is Shri Kedarnath Dham. The seat of Lord Shiva, Kedarnath Dham is popular amongst Shiva devotees. It is a sacrosanct pilgrim spot of India. It is here where Pandavas had come to seek penitence. The temple at Kedarnath was built by the Pandavas as a tribute to Lord Shiva. Kedarnath is named after King Kedar who had a daughter ‘Vrinda’ who was a partial incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. Devotees from across the world flock the temple to offer their prayers to Lord Shiva at the Badrinath temple.
Besides its relevance with Pandavas and Lord Shiva in Satya Yuga, history of Kedarnath is also related to the story of Adi Shankaracharya. This famous sacred spot of Char Dham Yatra is the site of Shankaracharya’s samadhi.
Badrinath, the last destination of the Chota Char Dham Yatra has been awarded the position of the holiest of all Dhams. This sacred pilgrimage is famous for the Badrinath temple that was built by Adiguru Shankaracharya. Badrinath is believed to be the earthly abode of Lord Vishnu.