The 4 Holy Dhams of Hinduism
The Char Dham (4 divine abodes) are among the most sacred pilgrimage sites in Hinduism located across India - Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri, and Rameswaram. Lesser known are the gems located near each destination.
Off the Beaten Track: Badrinath
Nearby Mana Village houses the ancient Anandmayee Ma Temple and Vyas Cave with a pit containing scriptures written by Sri Vyas. The cave provides stunning views of the Neelkanth peak.
Off the Beaten Track: Dwarka
On the route from Dwarka is the iconic Sudama Temple. According to legends, this is where Lord Krishna's friend Sudama had prayed before meeting Krishna. Its architecture is inspired by Lord Krishna’s palatial home. The 4 dham name of India are Jagannath Puri, Rameswaram, Dwarka and Badrinath. Jagannath Puri is located in Odisha and is associated with Lord Jagannath. Rameswaram is an island town located in Tamil Nadu and is the place where Lord Rama built a bridge across the ocean to reach Lanka to rescue Sita. Dwarka is located in Gujarat and is an important pilgrimage site for Krishna followers. Badrinath is located in Uttarakhand and is an important pilgrimage site dedicated to Lord Vishnu..
Off the Beaten Track: Puri
A 20km drive from Puri takes you to Astaranga, home to one of Odisha's oldest shrines - the 11th century Shantajeewani Temple. With intricate sculptures and motifs, it narrates tales from Ramayana and Mahabharata through its walls.
Off the Beaten Track: Rameswaram
Overlooking the famous Dhanushkodi Beach lies the Agnitheertham Temple. Believed to be the place where Lord Rama performed the last rites of Jatayu, its scenic location andconnection to the epic Ramayana make it worth a visit.
Hidden Gems to Explore
Each dhams' surrounding lesser visited temples hold hidden stories for those wanting to delve deeper into history and mythology in a peaceful environment.
Intricate carvings, figurines and motifs adorn these ancient shrines bringing tales of gods and goddesses alive through stone. Their architectures reflect influences from different periods.
Soak in Spirituality
The positive energy and serenity within these pockets of faith away from crowds offer an opportunity to engage in deeper reflection and prayer.
Picturesque locations amidst lush tropical forests, beaches and hills make for a memorable visit where one can admire vistas of mountains, rivers and seas.
Connecting with Culture
Interacting with local communities and learning about their traditions and offering prayers in their native language can give unique cultural perspectives on each region.
While the mainstream Char Dham attract millions, those seeking a quieter side should prioritize exploring lesser known temples near each site. Off the usual pilgrim routes lies a wealth of history, spirituality and magnificence waiting to be uncovered.