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Char Dham

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Char Dham is a group of four sacred sites in India.

Char Dham[edit]

Char Dham (Devanagari: चार धाम) (literally: 'the four abodes/seats') are the names of four pilgrimage places in India that are widely revered by Hindus. They are: Badrinath, Dwarka, Jagannath Puri, and Rameshwaram.

The Char Dham defined by Adi Shankaracharya consists of two Vaishnavite, one Shaivite, and one mixed site. Earlier known as Chota Char Dham or 'Little' Char Dham to differentiate them from the bigger circuit of Char Dham sites, after the mid-20th century they themselves started being called the Char Dham. Today, the term "Char Dham" usually refers to the all-denomination Himalayan Char Dham.

The Char Dham are often considered the most revered sites for Hindus that have to be visited in one's lifetime.

History[edit]

The great 8th century reformer and philosopher Shankaracharya (Adi Sankara) was prominently involved in reviving the Hindu Dharma in India (Bharat). He travelled throughout the country and grouped the four sacred places Badrinath, Rameshwaram, Puri and Dwarka as the Char Dham which are dedicated to the Vishnu Avatars (incarnations). Geographically speaking the char dham make a perfect square with Badrinath and Rameswaram falling on same longitude and Dwarka(old) and Puri on same latitude, representing the farthest north east west and south points of India( at that time, before coastlines changed).

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