India is a land native to the saints and sages who are mentors of spirituality and holy beliefs. The Indians are enthusiasts and have their firm belief entrusted in divine and supernatural powers. Thus this country has numerous temples of sacred and mythological importance. During the Puranic ages, the Indian sages established four shrines in the four regions of India and have declared them as the Char Dham for the devotees. As per the mythological belief, one should, at least once in their entire lifetime, visit these four abodes and attain salvage. Let us take you through these Char Dham and through one other temple which is believed to have equivalent significance to visiting the Chota Char Dham of Uttaranchal –
In the region of the Himalayas – the land of meditation, the holy abode of Badrinath has been situated. In the extreme north of India and at the confluence of the Rishi Ganga and Alaknanda rivers, this temple is at a height of almost 3110 metres above sea level. Badrinath is guarded by the Nar and Narayan range near the towering Neelkanth peak. Badrinath stands first in the char dham pilgrimage as it bears the highest degree of supreme faith and dedication to God as per the Hindu belief. This temple is divided into three parts: the Garbha Griha, the Darshan Mandap and the Sabha Mandap. The chanting of Vedic hymns together with the chiming of bells, creates a heavenly atmosphere in the temple.
Situated in the west of India, the Dwarkadheesh temple is an abode to Lord Krishna and is based near the Gomati River in the state of Gujarat. A lot of research is still on to find the original Dwarka city, which is known to be submerged in the olden times. A plunge into the salty waters of the Gomati River and then the sight of the Idol of Lord Krishna in the Jagad Mandir, delights the spiritual being. The 52 steps that take you to the temple are surrounded with shops loaded with Prasadam (food offered to God) and idols of the deity.
Photo by Sandyiit
The eastern state of Orissa in India is world famous of its dham Jagannath Puri temple and its Rath Yatra that is held in July every year. Apart from being a hot tourist destination for its beaches and scenic beauty, Puri is a spot that attracts thousands of visitors; Indians and foreigners throughout the year. This place is an ideal destination for the devotees to God and to scenic goodness. The Rath Yatra or the Chariot Festival is a major highlight of this place. The three embellished chariots of the deities Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadraare pulled by over a million devotees who throng Puri during this festival.
The fourth and last of the Char Dham pilgrimage, the Rameshwaram Temple is located in the Southern state of Tamil Nadu in India. The puja at Rameshwaram temple is a four step process; Mani Darshanam (glimpse of the emerald), followed by Samudra Snanam (a bath in the sea water), then the Teerth Snanam (holy bath with the well waters in the temple) and finally Main Pooja (offering religious rituals).
This is an unusual cave temple in the Uttarakhand state of India. This temple is considered to bring in the equivalence of visiting the char dham of Uttaranchal, namely; Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamnotri and Gangotri. It is an underground caved limestone, believed to be abode of Lord Shiva thirty three crore deities of Indian belief. The spectacular view of different formations of the limestone adds to the experience of visiting this holy place of worship.
India is a reservoir of religious beliefs and is popularly known to preserve spirituality. With its aura propagating religion, India is an attraction for tourists who are admirers of religious beliefs.
Rohit is an individual with religious and spiritual belief. In his quest to hunt places of salvage, he has come across the holy destinations in India and loves to share them through his writings with the like-minded.