Pilgrimage in India

Pilgrimage in India
Pilgrimage in India

The Spiritual Destination of the World, the Land of Gods (Dev Bhumi), the Country of Believers! These are some of the phrases which are used in the context of India. India is the country where people come to find their lost faith and rediscover their inner peace and serenity. Since times immemorial, Indians have believed in the existence as well as the powers of the Supreme Being. It is this faith that enables them to move forward in their life and face the toughest of situations, with a smile on their lips.

No wonder India is also called the ‘Land of Miracles’. People of the country have been witness to miracles since ages and even today, they believe that if you pray to God with full faith and devotion, He definitely answers your prayers. The numerous Indian pilgrimages, comprising of temples, churches, mosques, gurdwaras, monasteries, mosques and dargahs, stand testimony to not only the devotion of its people, but also the country’s rich architectural and historical legacy. They also serve as a proof of the peaceful co-existence and religious freedom of the citizens of the country, who belong to different religions.

Most of the pilgrim places in India have some or other legends associated with them and seem to be immersed in mythology. Some of the most popular pilgrimages in India comprise of Vaishno Devi, Char Dhams, Golden Temple, Meenakshi Temple, Tirupati Temple, Jagannath Puri Temple, Shirdi Sai Temple, Haji Ali Dargah, Mecca Masjid, Jama Masjid, etc. Then, there are the numerous Buddhist monasteries in India, concentrated around Ladakh and North-eastern states of the country. Come and visit these pilgrimages to rediscover your faith.

Pilgrimage in Uttar Pradesh

When it comes to religion, Uttar Pradesh is like a melting pot. In spite of its horrendous record of communal riots, Uttar Pradesh is a very heterogeneous society. Nearly all the major religions have some or other pilgrimage center in UP. These pilgrimage centers attract lots of pilgrims every year and add to the coffer of state government.

Hindus constitute the majority of the inhabitants of Uttar Pradesh. Some of the most important pilgrimage sites of Hindus are in Uttar Pradesh only. None is holier than Varanasi if it comes to that. Varanasi, on the banks of the Ganges, is invariably popular among the followers of all the sects of Hinduism but has a special place in the hearts of Shivites. Equally popular if not more is Allahabad. The significance of Allahabad lies in the fact that it is situated on the confluence of Ganges, Yamuna and a mythical river called Saraswati. A fair, known as Kumbh Mela, takes place every 12 years at Allahabad and attracts millions of people.

  • Mathura
  • Vrindavan
  • Varanasi
  • Sarnath
  • Allahabad
  • Garhmukteshwar
  • Ayodhya
  • Kushinagar
  • Dewa Sharif
  • Kaushambi
  • Naimisaranya

Pilgrimage in Rajasthan

The state of Rajasthan encompasses almost all the religions of the world. People of different religious inclinations live peacefully and in harmony with one another. This religious tolerance is also demonstrated by the existence of pilgrimages in Rajasthan for the people of each and every faith. Some of the India’s most famous holy places are in Rajasthan. Hoards of pilgrims visit Rajasthan pilgrimage destinations every year. The religious shrines of Rajasthan are also a treat for the eyes. They are fine examples of the architectural brilliance of the state of Rajasthan.

There are numerous Hindu temples, Jain temples and Muslim dargahs that can be included in Rajasthan pilgrimage tour. The trip to Rajasthan is incomplete without a visit to at least some of these holy places. However, covering all the religious shrines of Rajasthan in one trip is a task next to impossible. We are providing a list of some of the well-known pilgrimages in Rajasthan:

  • Brahma Temple
  • Dargah Sharif
  • Dilwara Jain Temples
  • Eklingji Shiva Temple
  • Ranakpur Jain Temples
  • Karni Mata Temple
  • Shrinathji Temple

Pilgrimage in Kerala

The rich tradition and culture of Kerala has resulted in numerous places of worship in Kerala. These religious places of Kerala can also be called as Kerala pilgrim centers as most of them have become important pilgrimage with time. So read on further about the major religious places of Kerala. Click on each one given below to know further about that pilgrimage.

  • Aruvikkara Pilgrimage
  • Aruvippuram Pilgrimage
  • Guruvayoor Temple
  • Kodungalloor Pilgrimage
  • Ochira Pilgrimage
  • Sabarimala Temple

Pilgrimage in Sikkim

The angelic beauty of Sikkim is forever bewitching. The lovely ambiance of the state becomes divine in presence of monasteries. Sikkim has not less than 200 monasteries in its periphery. Here, a monastery is known as ‘Gompa’ in the local dialect. The literal meaning of ‘Gompa’ is a ‘solitary place’. These Buddhist monasteries have been directing the cultural heritage and lifestyle of Sikkim dwellers. Monasteries also depict the ancient times in the form of their rituals that are practiced even today.

Most of the monasteries are sited at remote locations to aid the practitioners in meditation. Upkeeping the traditions, Monasteries are built in such a manner, so that they face towards the east and capture the glimpse of the rising sun. The edifice is supposed to lie along the axis of hill and it is fortunate to have a lake in the forefront. Pursuing these instructions, Sikkim monasteries are to be found in scenic and picturesque locations.

  • Rumtek Monastery
  • Enchey Monastery
  • Tsuk La Khang Monastery
  • Labrang Monastery
  • Phensang Monastery
  • Ralang Monastery
  • Pemayangtse Monastery
  • Tashiding Monastery

Pilgrimage in Maharashtra

  • Shirdi
  • Trimbakeshwar
  • Alandi
  • Siddhivinayak Temple

Pilgrimage in Kashmir

Pilgrimages of Kashmir are as famous as its picturesque natural beauty. The valley abounds in pilgrim sites, both within as well as nearby. There are a number of Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist holy places in Kashmir, dotting the landscape. These temples, mosques and Buddhist gomphas attract numerous tourists to the valley. Along with being spiritual and meditation centers, the pilgrim destinations of Kashmir are also a treat to the eyes. A look at the shrines, located amongst beautiful and scenic surroundings, is enough to leave you spellbound & speechless.

Kashmir pilgrimage tour includes visits to a number of ancient temples, shrines and monasteries. The best point about the pilgrimages of Kashmir is that they reflect the peaceful co-existence of various religions in the state. A number of famous Hindu temples exist along with equally renowned Muslim shrines. And the best part is that these shrines are visited by people of every religion. The living proof of this harmony is the Hari Parbat pilgrim center. Here, a temple (Hindu), a mosque (Muslim) and a gurudwara (Sikh) are standing side by side. Some of the famous holy places in Kashmir are: Amarnath, Charar-e-sharif, Hazratbal Mosque, Jama Masjid, Kheer Bhavani, Khanqah-e-Moula, Martand Sun Temple, Shankaracharya Temple, Shiv Khori, Vaishno Devi, Awantipura, Chatti Padshahi, Makhdoom Sahib, Sharika Devi Temple etc.

  • Amarnath Yatra
  • Charar-e-sharif
  • Jama Masjid
  • Kheer Bhavani Temple
  • Khanqah-e-Moula
  • Martand Sun Temple
  • Shankaracharya Temple
  • Shiv Khori
  • Mata Vaishno Devi
  • Hazratbal Mosque

Pilgrimage in Karnataka

Throughout the ages, most of the major religions of India have flourished in Karnataka and as such one witness a profusion of pilgrimages across the length and breadth of the state. These religious places are held in high reverence and pious devotees from distant lands come here to seek blessings.

The majority of sacred pilgrimages owe allegiance to Hinduism even though Jain religious places are found in many regions. The predominantly Hindu dynasties patronized the building of temples and shrines across the state. Great religious scholars like Shankaracharya and Basaveshwara established sacred maths and consecrated many pilgrimages.

Shravanabelagola, Dharmasthala and Karkala are prominent Jain pilgrimages of Karnataka. These sacred shrines are marked by the colossal statues of Bahubali or Lord Gomateshwara. The Gomateshwara statue of Shravanabelagola is one of the largest monolithic statues in the world and during the auspicious occasion of Mahamastakabhisekha, devotees descend here in large numbers.

  • Banavasi
  • Basavakalyan
  • Dharmasthala
  • Mudabidri
  • Murudeshwar
  • Shravanabelagola
  • Sringeri

Pilgrimage in Tamil Nadu

With thousands of temples occupying the landscape of Tamil Nadu, the state is also called the land of temples. The diversity in ethos and religious practices in Tamil Nadu has led to setting up of numerous places of worship, belonging to the followers of different religions. Since Hindus are more in number, their places of worship (temples) dot the entire landscape. On the other hand, the followers of many other religions such as the Muslims, Christians, Jews, Jains and Sikhs also inhabit Tamil Nadu. A number of Churches, Mosques, Synagogues, Gurdwaras etc represent the sentiments of the abovementioned religions. Of all the worship places, temples are the oldest.

Many temples in Tamil Nadu are more than thousand years old. Most of the temples in the state are built in Dravidian style i e huge gopurams (gateways) and towering Vimanas (storeys). These temples are proof of the architectural genius of the bygone era. The temples at Mahabalipuram and Tanjore belong to this category.

  • Kanyakumari Temple
  • Murugan Temple
  • Meenakshi Temple
  • Rameshwaram Temple
  • Swamimalai Temple
  • Velankanni

Pilgrimage in Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand is also called ‘devbhoomi’ which means, the land of gods. The state is home to some of the holiest and the most revered pilgrimage destinations in the country. Often called the abode of Gods, Uttarakhand is a state that offers to captivate tourists with its mystic charm. Home to countless holy sites – temples, shrines, rivers and lakes, every year Uttarakhand attracts visitors in huge numbers for pilgrimage.

Uttarakhand, with its numerous sacred shrines, is the most preferred destination of every devout Hindu. A visit to holy places like the Char Dham, Haridwar and Rishikesh is considered a must for every Hindu. According to ancient Hindu scriptures, a visit to the Char Dham leads one to salvation. This abode of Gods is dotted with ancient temples and shrines made thousands of years ago giving testimony to the rich religious heritage. Visitors from all over the world come to Uttarakhand for pilgrimage.

Uttarakhand is a state that is completely enveloped by spiritual air. It is not surprising to find a holy site or temple every few meters in this enchanting state. While in terms of natural treasure, Uttarakhand is blessed with the best – deep cut valleys, virgin sylvan surrounds, snow capped Himalayan peaks, beautiful meadows, icy glaciers, shimmering lakes, springs and waterfalls and so on, in terms of spiritualism and religiosity, the state is home to some of the holiest shrines, temples and rivers.

  • Badrinath
  • Kedarnath
  • Gangotri
  • Yamunotri
  • Hemkund Sahib

Pilgrimage in Bihar

  • Bodh Gaya
  • Gaya
  • Rajgir
  • Vaishali