The Char Dham of India i.e. Badrinath, Dwarka, Jagannath Puri and Rameshwaram are known for their pious potency and their ability to cleanse the souls of devotees of all mortal sins. It is said that every devout Hindu should visit the Char Dham at least once in his/her life. A visit to the Char Dham is always enjoyable and an ideal tour plan would go like this.
On arrival at Bhubaneshwar airport/railway station you’ll be duly greeted by our tour executives who are there to facilitate your Char Dham trip. You will get transferred to Puri…the city of famous beaches and the revered Jagannath temple. View the glories of Lord Jagannath (the avatar of Sri Vishnu) and his divine companions Balaram and Subhadra. The Jagannath Puri is one of the holy Char Dhams of India. Dot miss out the delicious holy Bhog served at the temple and make sure you pack some sweet and crispy Khajas for friend and family back home. You will be escorted to your allotted hotel for a late evening check in. After a delicious dinner, you can take rest and prepare for an activity filled day ahead.
Day 2 of the tour will see you embarking on a journey to the resplendent Sun Temple in Konark. The Sun God hosted on his seven magnificent steeds who draw his holy chariot is carved in stone. The architectural brilliance of the Konark Sun Temple is appreciated widely by art lovers as well as devout Hindus. It is a well-known fact that the Sun God or Surya Devta plays a central role I the life of devout Hindu. After a drive around the quaint town of Konark you will be escorted back to Bhubaneshwar…the capital city of Orissa where you will be checked in a comfortable hotel for a warm dinner and a night’s rest.
Post breakfast you will leave for Bhubaneswar Airport and then board a fight to Jamnagar via Mumbai. Jamnagar is fondly referred to as the jewel of Kathiawar and it is filled with revered temples, palaces, beaches, forests, and marine and bird sanctuaries. Jam Nagar is named after the famous Kutch warrior Jam Rawal and has a rich historical heritage. However, there will be limited time for you to explore Jamnagar as soon you must leave for Dwarka…the host of the holy Dwarkadhish temple…the member of the holy Char Dhams. Sri Krishna is worshipped here by the name Dwarkadhish and the original temple was built by the grandson of Krishna; Vajranabh. The original temple was built over the presidential palace of Sri Krishna and it soon became known that this temple was the 108th Divya Desam or Holy Dream of Lord Vishnu. The Dwarkadhish temple is made of pure limestone and there is beautiful intricate detailing done by successive dynasties who controlled the region.
On day 4 after breakfast your plan for the day is to indulge in sigh seeing and temple visits around Dwarka. There are many attractions which you can see today like the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga, Rukmini temple and the Talab of Gopis. The Rukmini temple is dedicated to Krishna’s wife Rukmini who is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi (Vishnu’s consort and Goddess of beauty and health). If you have time you can also see the Meerabai temple and the Matsyaavatar temple (Vishnu’s incarnation as a fish). A major highlight of the day is the trip to Beyt Dwarke which is glorious 19th century Hindu Temple situated on an island. The temple contains a huge series of images and statues of Krishna and his 56 consorts.
Later after sightseeing is done, you can check into hotel for dinner and night stay.
After Breakfast, you can embark on a trip to Somnath by road. On reaching the holy town of Somnath, your first stop will be the Somnath temple that is the oldest Jyotirlinga of Shiva. The Somnath temple is the first amongst the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. This is a religious pilgrimage destination that is considered sacred due to Lord Soma legends that surround it. The exquisite Chalukya style of architecture and the huge 15 m Shikhara. The temple is in such a position that there is no land found (in a straight line) between it and Antarctica. The Gaeta Temple and the Moksha Dham temple are the other two religious attractions for the day. Post the tour you can go Back to your hotel for dinner and night stay.
On the 6th day of your tour, you will catch a flight to Madurai from Jamnagar Airport via Chennai. Madurai is one of the most visited cities in India because of its rich cultural and religious tapestry. The city is called “Athens of East” as it has a distinctive Greek architectural style. The first stop is the famed Meenakshi temple that awe inspiring in its beauty. The temple is built around a Shiva Lingaa that lies inside. The temple complex spans more than 15 acres and the temple has more than 4500 pillars (each with different carvings). At any point of time you can see dozens of couples waiting to get married in the holy temple. Dedicated to Shiva’s wife; Parvati…the beautiful Meenakshi temple lies on the Southern banks of Vaigai.
After the temple visit you can decide to do some more sightseeing or check into hotel for dinner and night stay.
The town of Rameshwaram is situated at the mouth of the Indian Peninsula and thus is cut off from the mainland. This rich historical city has seen the glorious rule of many dynasties and is mentioned in Ramayana. Shiva Bhakts consider Rameshwaram as a must visit spot. The Rameshwaram temple is built in the Dravidian architectural style and was maintained by the Pandya kings. This temple was the place where Lord Rama offered prayers to Shiva after he came back from Sri Lanka. Try attending the special Aarti and worship ceremony which starts with a dip in the holy Rameshwaram pond. After Darshan and Prasadam you can check into a hotel for dinner and a night’s rest.
You must get up at 4 a.m. to 5 a.m. for Mani Darshan at Rameshwaram. Samurai Shaman or a bath in the 22 wells inside temple (also called Teertha Snanam). Mani Darshan is said to cleanse the soul of all evils and impurities and invoke the blessings of the most powerful Jyotirlinga. On day 8 of the tour you can indulge in some sightseeing and shopping (Madurai is famous for silk sarees) post breakfast when you return from Mani Darshan. You must then rush off to Madurai airport to catch the flight to Delhi via the city of Chennai.
Day 9 is given completely to the exploration of Haridwar …the famous temple town of North India. After you reach Delhi, have a hearty breakfast and prepare yourself for the 4-hour drive to Haridwar. On reaching Haridwar you will visit the famous temples of Mansa Devi, Bilkeshwar Mahadev Temple and Chandi Devi temple. These temples all have rich tapestries of myths and history surrounding them and are also “jagrata” (religiously potent). A visit to these magnificent temples can fulfill the wishes of the devotees. Do not miss the Ganga snan in the evening as it will make you feel refreshed in body, mind and heart. After your Haridwar temple visits you can check into the hotel for a delicious dinner and an overnight stay.
Next morning your destination is Guptakashi which is quite near the holy town of Haridwar. Guptakashi is well known for its Vishwanath temple that is dedicated to Ardhanarishvara (mythic body comprising of half male (Shiva) and half female (Parvati). On the journey to Guptakashi you can stop at the religious attractions of Devprayag (abode of Gods), Rudraprayag (abode of Shiva) and the Mahadev temple. Guptakashi also has a romantic mythological innovation as Lord Shiva proposed to Parvati here before they got united at Triyuginarayan. Lord Shiva also performed his vanishing act here and this gave the sacred town the name “Guptakashi’. After your Guptakashi Darshan your ca check into a hotel for a warm diner and a night’s rest.
Post breakfast you must journey to Phata where you can catch a flight to Kedarnath. At Kedarnath you can perform Darshan at Kedarnath Ji and the Samadhi of Shankaracharya. Kedarnath is one of the famous Chota Char Dham of India. The trek to the Kedarnath Temple is quite arduous ad you must mentally and physically prepared for the Darshan. This is one of the most revered sites of Hinduism and a visit to Kedarnath is said to prepare the human soul for attaining Moksha. After Kedarnath Darshan you will again be driven back to Phata where a comfortable night’s rest and delicious food await you.
After breakfast, you will journey for Badrinath (another member of the Sacred Char Dham in India) and will first stop at Jyotirmath. Witness the grandeur of Narsimha temple (Lord Vishnu’s avatar as half lion half man). Along with the revered temples of Shankar Acharya and Pandukeshwar temple. Badrinath has many spiritual and natural attractions like the Vyas Cave (the place where Rishi Vyas penned the epic Mahabharata) and the Ganesha Caves along with the source of the holy river Saraswati. Do not miss the participation in holy Vishnu Sahasranamam Path in the evening. Later after the spiritual sojourn in Badrinath is over, you will check into a hotel for a comfortable night’s rest and dinner.
The Badrinath Temple Mahabhishek Pooja is very famous and it is highly recommended that you participate in this Pooja the first thing in the morning. After the Pooja, which floods your soul with happiness and purity you can have your breakfast and start your journey towards the beautiful land of Srinagar. On the way to Srinagar there are many holy and beautiful attractions like the Vishnu Prayag, Nanda Prayag and the Karnaprayag (abode of the soul of mighty warrior Karna; half-brother of the Pandavas). After your stops at these sacred destinations you will be able to reach Srinagar by late evening after which you can check into a hotel and stay there overnight. If you have time you can do some late evening shopping in Srinagar.
This is your last day of sightseeing and pilgrimage and you should make the most of it. Leave the town of Srinagar post breakfast and prepare for a sojourn to Rishikesh which is now officially known as the Yoga capital of the world. On the way, you will stop for a break in Shivpuri where a visit to the mystic cave of Rishi Vashisht is due. This is a great place for meditation and learning about the power of Vashishtha who was one of the 7 sacred sages. Thereafter you will visit the serene Shiva Nanda ashram that is full of spirituality and natural beauty. The famous Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula are your next stops and these are ideal places for photography. After a visit to some nearby temples and a hearty lunch, take rest before you prepare your mind to participate in the famed Ganga Aarti. Singing hymns and kirtans to the sound of cymbals and flutes and drums while thousands of lamps float on the Ganges is a heavenly experience.
Like all good things, your sacred Char Dham trip is over. After breakfast you can leave for Delhi by road and then proceed to your next destination. We assure you that you will leave the Char Dham with lots of happy memories and a happy heart.