There are many amazing pilgrimages to take in India, and India’s Char Dham Yatra is one of the most important ones. According to Hindus, visiting these four religious destinations will give you salvation, or what is known as Moksha. For those looking to get a spiritual awakening, here are the four most important religious centres in the country.

When speaking of the four dhams, we mean Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri, and Rameswaram. Each of these destinations has its own charm. Apart from being religious and spiritual in nature, they are also amazing tourist attractions. Puri for example is a beach town in Odisha, while Badrinath is a beautiful hill town in Uttarakhand. Here are some facts about the Char Dham destinations in India.

About Badrinath Temple

About Badrinath Temple The holy town of Badrinath is home to Lord Vishnu. It is only open for six months every year, from the last week of April to the first week of November. The ancient temple finds mention in ancient texts such as the Vishnu Purana, and sits in the Garhwal hills in Uttarakhand. Here in the main shrine, you will see a shaligram deity of Lord Badrinarayana. Legend has it that Lord Vishnu sat in meditation here at this spot, and he was unaware of the cold weather. Goddess Lakshmi then protected him in the form of a Badri Tree. Vishnu had then named this place Badrika Ashram.

About Puri Jagannath Temple

Dedicated to Lord Jagannath who is revered as a form of Lord Krishna, this is the third dham in the Yatra. The temple is one of the most important Hindu temples in the country that is home to Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra. According to legend, the temple was first commissioned by King Indradyumna. The temple is associated with the very popular Rath Yatra, which is celebrated with huge pomp and show. Non-Hindus are not permitted to enter the temple as of today. Three beautiful chariots are constructed for the occasion wherein the three deities sit and travel.

Tourists at a temple, Jagannath Temple, Puri, Orissa, India. (Photo by: Images Group via Getty Images)

About Dwarkadhish Temple

In Gujarat’s Dwarka lies the second dham, the temple called Dwarkadhish Temple. It is also known as Jagat Mandir, and is dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is believed that Dwarka was built by Krishna, and hence the city dates back to centuries. The temple is sitting by the Gomti River, and it is believed that Meera Bai merged with the deity residing in the temple. The temple is all of five stories in height, built atop 72 pillars.

About Rameshwaram Temple

The Ramanathaswamy Temple in Rameshwaram is dedicated to Lord Shiva, in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the Char Dham, apart from being one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples. Lord Shiva is worshiped here in the form of a lingam. It is believed that the lingam in the sanctum was originally built by Sita Devi out of sand. The iconic temple has 64 holy water bodies all around it, and bathing here in these holy water bodies is an important part of the pilgrimage. The Ramanathaswamy Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva has two lingams and it is believed to have been worshipped by Lord Rama. The two lingams are called Ramalingam, and Vishwalingam. While Ramalingam is believed to have been built by Devi Sita, the Viswalingam is said to have been brought here by Lord Hanuman from Kailasa.