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dhāma


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A specific location thought to be infused with the light of divine power. There are four of these (H.: cār dhām—‘four dwelling places’) in the subcontinent, located at the cardinal points of the compass: Badrīnāth in the North, sacred to Viṣṇu as Nara-Nārayaṇa, Purī in the East, sacred to Kṛṣṇa as Jagannātha, Rāmeśvaram in the South, sacred to Rāma, and Dvārakā in the West, Kṛṣṇa's capital city. Individually and collectively, as well as microcosmically in Vārāṇasī, they are major pilgrimage sites. A smaller network, also referred to as cār dhām, is the Himālayan grouping of Badrīnāth, Kedārnāth, Gaṅgotrī, and Yamunotrī.

Subjects: Hinduism.


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