A Detailed Guide to 4 Dham Name, Place, History, Yatra 2024

  • Jun 4, 2024
  • Reading time: 16 mins read
  • By Anoushka
4 Dham

India is home to various pilgrimages, each with its own history, rules, parables, and devotees. Millions of devotees reach this sacred place with devotion to get eternal bliss, and some have their pre-considered reasons to visit. 

These yatras are specifically taken up by old aged people, once they consider themselves free from all important duties of their life. The 4 dham yatra, including Dwarka, Badrinath, Kedarnath, and many others, is considered a religious path that is imperative for humans and inscribed in the religious texts themselves.

The hunt to know everything about the 4 dham yatra places, including ticket prices, routes, and history, is over. Gather every necessary detail to make this travel less hectic but more memorable by knowing the char dham places details, timings information, route details, and much more. 

Why Are Sacred Char Dham Yatra Preferred?

There are various tales, concepts, and facts which make the 4 dham yatra one of the most important pilgrim-visited sites the whole year. The journey of Chardham yatra is considered divine and is believed to fulfill the soul’s journey on the earth. People proceed to these sacred places of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamnotri, and countless other religious sites by road or air.

These famous holy places in the Hindu religion are said to bring salvation after visiting and worshiping at these holy places. In Hinduism, sacred traveling to these places is also called Teerth yatra. It is considered one of the five duties, which include dharma, sanskaras, worshiping, and observing religious festivals. It is believed that every Hindu should make a visit to Char Dham places, once in a lifetime. 

Four dhamas in India is considered an exercise where devotees, along with their willpower, faith, humility, and dedication, travel to challenging routes, leading difficulties and, at last, reaching their sacred destination.

What is Bada Char Dham Yatra and Chota Char Dham Yatra?

Nestled in the Himalayan mountains rests some religious sites of 4 dham yatra. Well, the four religious and historical places in India such as Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri, and Rameswaram are together the authentic char dham and are peculiarly present in the four different corners of the map of India. These dharmas are defined by Adi Shankaracharya and hence are referred to as four epochs where Badrinath demonstrates the dham of Satyuga, Rameshwaram implies the dham of tretayuga, Dwarkas as the dham of Dwaparyuga and Jagganath Puri as the dham kali yuga.

Well, the above 4 dham names are specially called the char dham of the country, but there is another short route to it too. Chota char dham yatra, also called the char dham yatra of Uttarakhand, is a mini version of it. It includes Gangotri, Yamnotri, Badrinath, and Kedarnath. These high-altitude shrines stay closed in the winter (from October or November) and start again in summer (from April or May). 

The Yamnotri temple in Uttarkashi district is dedicated to the Yamuna river, the Gangotri temple in the Uttarkashi is dedicated to the most sacred river Ganga, Kedarnath in the Rudraprayag district resembles the god Shiv, and Badrinath belongs to Lord Vishnu.  

Traveling to these religious places in the proper clockwise order is essential. So, the journey should start from Yamnotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath.

Four Associated Places of Bada Char Dham Yatra 

Let’s gather some necessary information about the pilgrimages associated with the char dham yatra.

Badrinath

Badrinath

Badrinath, a 50ft temple with a small cupola on top and then with a gold gilt roof, is situated in the Uttarkashi district. It is believed to be re-established in the 8th century by Adi Shankara. 

People usually travel miles to visit this religious place. The architecture resembles the buddhism vihara (temple) and is considered the abode of Lord Vishnu. The temple is present at an elevation of 3,100 m at the banks of the Alkananda river and nestled between Nar and Narayan mountain ranges.

It is believed that Nar-Narayana visited here and performed a tapasya for Lord Vishnu in the Badri Van, which was named so because of the abundance of berries. Badrinath is the exact place where this tapasya was performed. 

The main attraction at the temple is the 3.3ft statue of Badrinarayana present at the entrance, which is constructed from black stone. The spiritual travel through Badrinath and nearby places like Charanpaduka, Vasudhara falls, Bheem Pul, and Brahma Kapal provides an exemplary experience. 

Badrinath opens during Akshaya Tritiya at 4:30 am in May, and closing takes place on Bhai Dooj and is set to occur in November. 

Dwarka

Dwarka

Located in the city of Dwarka and the state of Gujarat, Dwarka is one of the holy places in the 4 dham yatra names. This temple is dedicated to lord Krishna and is situated at an elevation of 12.19 m.  It is also known as Jagat Mandir and Dwarakadheesh and is called the city of Lord Krishna. This place is present on the bank of the Gomti river in the western lands of the country. The construction of the temple was Chalukya style, with the tallest peak of 51.5 m.

The temple is built on seventy-two pillars and has a five-story structure where the flag at the top shows the sun and moon, which showcases that Lord Krishna will stay till the sun and moon exist on Earth. It is changed five times a day. Interestingly, there are two entrance doors of the temple; the entrance door is called the Moksha Door (Door of salvation), and the south entrance is called the South Dwara (Door of heaven).

Puri

Jagannath puri temple

Puri, a sacred coastal city in the state of Odisha, is one of Chardham’s names. The temple is known for its grand Rath Yatra, which occurs every year and gathers innumerable devotees traveling for almost 3 km. The temple has Lord Jagannath, a form of Lord Vishnu, who is the supreme divinity in Hinduism. The deity here is built up of woo, unlike the others, like stone and metal icons, which too are replaced every 12 or 19 years. The temple complex was built numerous times by king Anantavarman Chodaganga in the 10th century CE for the Gajapati dynasty kings.

Visiting this majestic place will surely provide you with one of the best experiences, including the best sunrise and sunset at Chilika lake. You can also watch popular beaches like Puri and Swargadwr beach, and the best tradition and culture to watch at Raghuraj artist village. One can also explore Bhubaneshwar through various crafts like palm leaf engravings, stone and wood carvings, Tussar paintings, and wooden masks. If you are into architectural arts and Marvel, Konark is the best place for you to visit in August.

Rameshwaram

Rameswaram

Rameshwaram is the temple where Lord Shiva is worshiped, and a jyotirlinga is situated, where the temple is also called Ramanathaswamy temple. This Hindu temple has the most spectacular Dravidian style of architecture with ornate corridors, sculpted aesthetic pillars, and a sacred water tank present in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is believed that Lord Ram(incarnation of Lord Vishnu) built a shiv-ling here to get the blessings of Lord Shiva. 

The temple was built by Pandya Dynasty during the 12th century and is known to have the longest corridor among all the Hindu temples in the country. 

You can either have a bath in the water of Agni Theerthan, present at the east of the temple or watch the holy wheel (chakra) that is said to have imprints of Lord Rama’s feet. The temple and the town itself are considered holy pilgrimage sites and gather huge visitors every day. Ramanathaswamy also acquires the major area of Rameswaram.

If you are planning to visit here, make a visit to the beach of Rameshwaram which rises to a height of 3 cm to experience an outstanding view, and to Dhanushkodi housing the Kothandaramaswamy temple, which still remains intact after the 1964 cyclone. The Villoondi Theerthan, present 7 km away from the main temple, is believed to be the place where Lord Rama quenched the thirst of Sita. 

The other holy bodies that you can find here are Hanuman Theertham, Lakshmana Theertham, and Sugreeva Theertham.

Four Pilgrimage Sites of Chota Char Dham Yatra

The term chota in the chota char dham yatra was added at the beginning of the 20th century to separate it from the original one. This yatra contains Yamnotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath, and it is advised to visit in a clockwise direction, beginning from Yamnotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and at last, Badrinath.

Yamnotri

Yamnotri

The first pilgrimage to visit in the cycle of the 4 dham yatra name. The temple is dedicated to the holiest river Yamuna situated at a height of 3293 m and built by Maharani Guleria of Jaipur and later by Maharana Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal. A visit to the holy place of Yamnotri dham and a bath in the divine waters of Yamuna is said to refine all the sins and save the devotee from an unfortunate death.

Gangotri

Gangotri

Gangotri, 99 km from Uttarkashi district, is a Hindu pilgrim town. Located on the great Himalayas, with a height of 3,100 m is known to be the origin of the Gangas river. Interestingly, this river is known as Bhagirathi here and is known as Ganga itself from Devprayag. 

Completely dedicated to the goddess Ganga, the temple has a sacred stone where King Bhagirathi worshipped Lord Shiva and got goddess Ganga in the form of a river to dissolve all the sins of his predecessors. It is also believed that great Pandavas had performed the great ‘Deva Yagna’ here in Mahabharata. 

The temple stays open between May to November. For the rest months, the goddess is shifted to the village of Mukhba in the harsh winters.

Kedarnath

Kedarnath

Kedarnath temple located in the Garhwal Himalayas region is specifically dedicated to Shiva. The temple stays closed in the winter from December to March and the deity of the temple is taken and worshipped in the Ukimath till then. The temple is a 22 km trek from the Gaurimath and thus is not available on the road itself. It is believed that the temple has been built by the Pandavas and has been considered one of the 12 jyotirlingas, the holiest shrine of Lord Shiva.

Kedarnath affected by the floods of 2013 got the least damage due to the occurrence of a large rock among the debris that protected the temple itself. Kedarnath means “lord of the field” and has a height of 3,583 km. The earliest reference to Kedar comes from the Skanda Purana (8th to 9th century) where the Kedara has been referred to as the place where Shiva released holy water, Ganga from his hair.

Badrinath

Badrinath

Badrinath is present in the Chamoli region of the state of Uttarakhand. It is among the 4 dham yatra places and part of both Bada dham yatra and Chota dham yatra. The temple has gone through various natural calamities, from earthquakes to floods but has gathered a lot of pilgrims every year. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and has to gather major devotees from the group of Vashnavites.

Char Dham Yatra Place: Travel, Tickets, and Route Details

Now, let’s gather the most imperative part i.e. about travel, tickets, and route details of char dham places of India.

Primarily, one should know that the government of India has made it mandatory for pilgrims visiting the char dham yatra to schedule their registration. This year, the registration will start on April 22, 2024. 

  • Gangotri: Every means of transport like rail, air, and road is available to reach the holy place of Gangotri. Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is available, whereas the Rishikesh Railway station is only 250 Km away from the temple. Rest you can reach here by either taxis or buses, which are easily available from Rishikesh, Uttarkashi, and Tehri Garhwal to the destination itself.
  • Yamnotri: To reach one of the char dham places, Yamnotri, the nearest airport is Jolly Grant airport, Dehradun, or by rail the nearest station is Rishikesh. Rest, you need to travel either through your private taxi or bus. 
  • Badrinath: After reaching Dehradun from the Jolly Grant Airport, Badrinath is only 308 Km, from here you can either travel by road or helicopter. Sahastradhara helipad can directly board you to the Badrinath temple easily. Joshimath, the gateway for the Badrinath dham and only 45 km away from each other, has recently received various cracks. Government officials are ensuring safety and smooth operations here.
  • Kedarnath: If you are thinking of travelling by road, buses from Rishikesh and Kotdwar are easily available for your destination to Kedarnath. By air, you can reach Dehradun domestic airport, Jolly Grant Airport, 239 km away from Kedarnath, and by railway, the nearest train station is Rishikesh, 221 km away from the needed destination.
  • Dwarka: The City of Dwarka doesn’t contain any international, or domestic airports, but one in Jamnagar.  Flights from Rajkot, Mangalore, Auraganzebad, Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Hyderabad, etc., land here. If you are coming from international destinations, you can arrive at Ahmedabad, Vadodara, and Surat, where international flights arrive. 

If you are using the railway as the means of transportation, Dwarka railway station is the fastest source available. You can consider traveling by road only if the approx distance is 1000 km.

  • Puri: It is easy to travel to Puri by air, which is only 53 km away from Bhubaneshwar airport, or by any local transport like a cab, local bus, or taxi. Puri is the last railway station on the East Coast railway, which is easily connected to New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Okha, Ahmedabad, Tirupati, and many more.
  • Rameshwaram:  The nearest airport to Rameshwaram is Tuticorin and Madurai airport, which is 142 km and 149 km away from Rameshwaram, respectively. The place is also well-connected to the roads. You can easily reach here by either local buses or personal car. Rameshwaram railway station is also another means to reach this place easily.

Apt Time, Month, or Occasion to Visit Char Dham Yatra 

Well, as we have got to know the various ways to visit these char dham yatras, now let’s know the timings, months, and occasions to visit these places.

  • Gangotri: Ideal season to visit the holy shrine of Gangotri is in summer. The best time to visit is in the months of April, June, September, and October. The temple timings are 4 am to 2 pm and 3 pm to 9 pm. The morning Mangala Aarti timing is 6 AM behind closed doors. In sandhya aarti, public viewing is not allowed, and its timings are 7:45 PM in summer and 7 PM in winter
  • Yamnotri: Best time to visit here is May to June and September to November. The temple starts at 6 am and closes at 8 pm. The Aarti timings are 6:30 am in the morning and 7:30 pm in the evening aarti. From October to March, the place experiences winter falls, and the temperature reaches below zero degrees.
  • Badrinath: Ideal time to visit here is in the month of May to October. The timings of the temple from Monday to Sunday are 6 am to 12 pm and 4 pm to 9 pm. You would require not more than 2 days to visit the temple 
  • Kedarnath: The door of the temple opens from 7 am to 6:30 pm, and in between the lunch timing, it gets closed. The best month to visit is in the summer season i.e. from April to June. The devotees can perform various pooja, path, and aarti at the temple at pre-fixed rates.
  • Puri: Here the temple timings are between 6 am to 9 pm. The best time to visit here is from October to February. Prasadam’s timings are from 11 am to 1 pm. There is a dress code to visit the temple therefore, for both men, and women, it is essential to come in traditional dresses.
  • Rameshwaram: The morning hours for the temple visit are 5 am to 12 pm, and the evening hours are between 6 pm to 8:45 pm. The temple is open at all times of the week. There is a dress code that needs to be followed, for men, it’s traditional and vest, and for girls, it’s churidar and sarees.
  • Dwarka: The darshan timings start from 6:30 am to 1 pm and 5 pm to 9:30 pm. The morning aarti starts from 6:30am to 7am, sringar aarti from 10:30 am to 10:45am. Gwal bhog is served between 11:05 to 11:20 during which the darshan is closed.

Now that we know the best timings to visit char dham places with the aarti timings, it is essential to know a few safety traveling guidelines in the article ahead.

Things to Take Care of While Travelling for 4 Dham of India

Here is a list of things one should take care of while traveling for 4 dham of India. 

  • It is compulsory to register for the Chardham yatra places visits for both domestic and international pilgrims. 
  • It is important to pack the necessary medicines while traveling on long routes or trips.
  • Do keep your identification cards like Aadhar cards or voter ID cards for any mid-security checkups.
  • Wear only trek shoes, or else you might suffer to travel to the destinations and might end up with various foot issues. 
  • Weather conditions in the hills cannot be predicted, so make sure that you carry an umbrella and rain gear.

Closing Thoughts

Travelling to char dham has become easier with various government-constructed roads, highways, facilities, and much more. We tried to help you connect with the Chardham places easily by sharing the timings, traveling, and ticket details. Hope the article had the maximum imperative details and information that may come for your use.

Frequently Asked Questions
How many days will it take to travel to the chota char dham yatra pilgrimage?

It will take at least 6 days to visit the shrines in Uttarakhand.

Is char dham yatra difficult?

Yes, char dham yatra is difficult when visiting the Himalayan altitudes specifically as it may cause altitude sickness and much more.

What is the age limit to visit char dham yatra places?

Elders above 65 age and minors below 10 years of age should avoid this yatra.

Which is the best month to visit the char dham places?

The best month to visit char dham places is in the month of May and June.

Anoushka
Anoushka

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