Char Dham Yatra
Char Dham of Uttarakhand or Chota Char Dham (small four abodes) is one of the most important Hindu Pilgrimages in India. It comprises of four most holy sites of Uttarakhand, namely - Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. When and how these places got linked in a pilgrimage circuit together is not known. Each of the places has its own individual and legendary history. But perhaps it is the greatness and mysticism of each site that has qualified them to form a sacred pilgrimage tour. Char Dham, the literal meaning of this term is four abodes of God or Holy Destinations. These four shrines are in the region that is famous for the captivating mountains surrounded by a thick layer of snow and unadulterated atmosphere.
In India, the Hindus believe that the Char Dham tour opens the gates of salvation by washing away all their sins. It is also believed that this journey must be undertaken at least once in a lifetime. These four shrines have a great significance and place in Hindu mythology. According to this mythology, Shri Adi Shankaracharya acquired freedom from reincarnation in the Shri Badrinath Dham. The doorway to the Yatra is Yamunotri. Next destination is the renowned Gangotri shrine. Thereafter the pilgrim has to visit Shri Kedarnath Dham and finally Shri Badrinath Dham. After completing the Char Dham pilgrimage tour, the pilgrim achieves an absolute serenity of the mind.