Char Dham (literally: 'the four abodes/seats') are the names of four pilgrimage sites in India that are widely revered by Hindus. It comprises Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri and Rameswaram. It is considered highly sacred by Hindus to visit Char Dham during one's lifetime. The Char Dham defined by Adi Shankaracharya consists of three Vaishnavite and one Shaivite pilgrimages.
According to Hindu mythology, Badrinath became prominent when Nar-Narayan, an incarnation of Vishnu did Tapasya there. At that time that place was filled with Plum trees. In Sanskrit language they are called Badri, so the place was named Badrika-Van i.e. the forest of Plums. The particular spot where the Nar-Narayan resided was therefore called Badri-Nath i.e. the Lord of Plum forest. This all happened in the Sat-Yuga. So the Badrinath came to be known the first Dham. The second place, the Rameshwram got its importance in the Treta-Yug when Lord Rama built a Shiv-ling here and worshipped it to get the blessings of Lord Shiva. The name Rameshwram means "the God of Lord Rama". Rama himself is considered an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
The third Dhaam Dwarka got its importance in Dwapar Yug when Lord Krishna another incarnation of Lord Vishnu, made Dwarka his residence instead of Mathura, his birthplace. The Four Shankaracharya Peeth(Seats) at the Chaar Dham school of Hinduism, created at least four Hindu monastic institutions. He organised the Hindu monks under four Maṭhas (Sanskrit: मठ) (monasteries), with the headquarters at Dvārakā in the West, Jagannatha Puri in the East, Sringeri Sharada Peetham in the South and Badrikashrama in the North.
Haridwar is the headquarters and the largest city of the district. Today, the city is developing beyond its religious importance, with the fast developing industrial estate of State Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarakhand (SIDCUL), and the close by township of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited in Ranipur, Uttarakhand as well as its affiliated ancillaries.