Guide to Char Dham Yatra

Guide to Char Dham Yatra: Badrinath, Dwarka, Rameswaram, Puri

The Char Dham Yatra is a renowned Hindu pilgrimage circuit that takes you to four major Hindu shrines – Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. These places are tucked away in the stunning Himalayan mountains and the scenery alone is worth the trip! Each of these four destinations has its own special significance in Hindu mythology. For example, Yamunotri is the source of the Yamuna River, and Gangotri is where the holy Ganges River originates. Kedarnath, which is way up at over 3,500 meters above sea level, is dedicated to Lord Shiva, while Badrinath has this ancient temple for Lord Vishnu.

But the Char Dham Yatra isn’t just about visiting these places – it’s a whole spiritual experience. Pilgrims have to trek through some pretty intense mountain terrain and deal with crazy weather conditions, all for the goal of finding inner peace and getting blessings from the divine. For those of us from outside India, the Char Dham Yatra is an incredible opportunity to really immerse ourselves in the rich culture and traditions of Hinduism. Seeing the unwavering devotion of the pilgrims and experiencing the spiritual energy of these sacred sites is truly humbling and life-changing. And let’s not forget the breathtaking beauty of the Himalayas! The landscapes you’ll encounter on this journey are simply mind-blowing– it’s an experience you’ll never forget.


In the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand, Badrinath is a spiritual haven situated at an altitude of 3100 meters. The place is an important pilgrimage for the Hindus and has the ancient and iconic Badrinath temple and the Tapt Kund, known for its purifying and medicinal properties.


Best Places to Stay

Luxury Picks

  1. Amritara the Avadh
  2. Shankar Shri Badrinath
  3. New Hotel Snow Crest

Budget/Backpacker Options

  1. Hotel Laxmi Divine
  2. Hotel Shiv Inn
  3. Sarovar Portico

Must Visit Sights & Landmarks in Badrinath

The main site to visit at Badrinath is the Badrinath Temple. Perched at an altitude of 3,100 meters in the Garhwal Himalayas, the temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu is one of the holiest in Hinduism. The architecture dates back to the 9th century! For the Badrinath Dham tour, experience spiritual rejuvenation in the natural hot springs of Tapt Kund, believed to have medicinal properties. Pilgrims take a dip before visiting the temple, considering it purifies the soul and body. Take in the breathtaking views of the Neelkanth Peak, often referred to as the ‘Garhwal Queen.’ The peak, standing tall at 6,596 meters, is believed to be the sacred abode of Lord Shiva.


Located on the Saurashtra peninsula in Gujarat, Dwarka is a spiritually significant place as per mythology and history. The main attraction here is the Dwarkadhish temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna, who once resided and ruled the kingdom there. Legend has it that Dwarka was once a flourishing kingdom, now submerged under the Arabian Sea. 

Dwarka, India

Best Places to Stay

Luxury Picks

  1. Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham
  2. The Fern Sattva Resort
  3. Lemon Tree Premier

Budget/Backpacker Options

  1. Guruprerna Beacon Resort
  2. Damji Hotel
  3. Hotel Swati

Must Visit Sights & Landmarks in Dwarka

Visit the Dwarkadhish Temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna, and witness its five-storied structure adorned with intricate carvings. Visit one of the 12 Jyotirlingas at Nageshwar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple boasts a massive Shiva statue. Explore the island at Bet Dwarka, a boat ride away from Dwarka. It is believed to be one of the places Lord Krishna resided during his childhood.


Rameswaram is a sacred pilgrimage site situated on the Pamban island in Tamil Nadu. The famous Ramanathaswamy temple here is dedicated to Lord Shiva and attracts a huge number of devotees daily. The Pamban bridge, connecting the town to the mainland is an architectural marvel too.


Best Places to Stay

Luxury Picks

  1. Hyatt Place
  2. The Residency Towers
  3. Daiwik Hotels

Budget/Backpacker Options

  1. Hotel Rameswaram Grand
  2. Hotel Hare Rama Hare Krishna
  3. Hotel Strawberry Grand

Must Visit Sights & Landmarks in Rameswaram

Visit the main highlight of Rameswaram, the majestic Ramanathaswamy temple, known for its colossal pillars and the longest corridor among all Hindu Temples. This temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas as well. Cross the iconic Pamban Bridge, that connects Rameswaram to the mainland. If you wish for an extension, visit the ghost town of Dhanushkodi, a town destroyed in the 1964 cyclone.


Situated on the Eastern coast of India, in the state of Odisha, Puri is renowned for the Jagannath Temple, the epicenter of the world famous, annual Rath Yatra. Puri is also famous for its pristine beach and coastal beauty. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Konark Sun Temple, is just an hour long drive away from Puri. 

Jagannath puri

Best Places to Stay

Puri is about an hour’s drive away from Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Orissa. Bhubaneswar has a bunch of 5 star hotels unlike Puri, having just one.

Luxury/5 Star Picks

  1. Sterling Puri
  2. WelcomHotel by ITC Bhubaneswar
  3. Trident Bhubaneswar

Budget/Backpacker Options

  1. Ananya Palm Beach Puri 
  2. The Pearl Puri
  3. Hotel Golden Tree

Must Visit Sights & Landmarks in Puri

Tour the Jagannath Temple where the annual Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra takes place. During this grand event, deities are taken on chariots, attracting millions of devotees to the spectacular celebration. One thing to keep in mind if you’re a non-Hindu wanting to visit the famous Jagannath Temple in Puri is that entry inside the main temple premises is restricted only to Hindus. But don’t be disheartened! Even from the outer courtyards, you can experience the vibrant energy and catch glimpses of the temple’s magnificence. It’s an amazing sight to behold. Relax at the pristine Puri beach and venture to Orissa’s famous Surya Temple or the Konark Sun Temple, only an hour’s drive away from Puri. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is known for its architectural brilliance– it is designed in the shape of a colossal chariot with carved wheels and sculptures around.

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