India is the land of various religions and Spiritual thoughts are also known for various religious journeys. India is a country under whose shelter exits different religions in utmost peace and harmony, the country is also called as the ‘Land of Faith’. The presence of multiple numbers of temple, mosques, churches, gurudwaras, and monasteries in India beckons the traveler to visit a country that is tolerant, spiritual and most of all diverse yet united. In the upper hand to the country, spirituality has propelled many ordinary destinations into significant religious places in India. In the country, every pilgrimage center has a different mythological story associated and religious significance.
As a result, along with multiple numbers of temples that visit these religious destinations once a year, many travel enthusiasts have started to throng these hubs. The tourism of India has grown manifold and so has the fame of the country. Now, get us together we get familiar with a different and vital side of the country and learn about these fascinating religious tourism places in India:
Char Dham, Uttarakhand
In the state of Uttarakhand, the Yatra of Char Dham is one of the pious journeys that attract devotees in great number, every year. In Char Dham Yatra the destinations are in this religious voyage are-
Char Dham Yatra is also famous as Chota Char Dham. As seen, the devotees embark from Haridwar, call as the temple town of India. As soon, the devotees also start the journey from Dehradun or Rishikesh.
To this starting points, the journey of Char Dham goes in an order stated as follows:
Yamunotri: The origin of the River Ganga and abode of the Goddess Yamuna.
Gangotri: The origin of the River Ganga and abode of the Goddess Ganga.
Kedarnath: In the Kedarnath, Hindu God Shiva reverenced as one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India.
Badrinath: The abode of Lord Vishnu. The deity manifests in the form of Badrinarayan.
Char Dham Yatra is also a provision of Do Dham Yatra that is available for devotees. In this Yatra, pilgrims are to select any 2 religious sites out of the 4. For more about the pilgrims with time as the constraint or problem with altitude travel, there also is Chardham Helicopter Yatra available.
How to reach
Nearest Airport: Nearest airport Jolly Grant Airport (160 km away) to Uttarkashi.
Nearest Railway Station: The nearest railway station is in Rishikesh (143 km away).
The Uttarkashi city is well connected with major destinations in Uttarakhand state. Facility of Bus and taxi service are easily available from Rishikesh, Dehradun, Tehri, and Chamba.
Where to stay:
The Uttarkashi town, every second building is either a shrine or an ashram as it is amidst formidable pilgrimage places in India. If you do not stay in an ashram, you may also book resorts and hotels based on your preference.
Many more things to do:
Trekking in the Himalayas and walking through charming old villages.
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi is the spiritual energy center of India, the city is located on the banks of River Ganges in the state, Uttar Pradesh. The city is also known as Banaras or Kashi, is renowned for its musical and educational heritage, exceptional silks, and colorful Ghats. Varanasi city is one of the oldest permanent inhabit places on earth. The city has its a unique standing in India’s Hindu cultural identity. Varanasi is the center of faith for the Hindus, and it is the land of Lord Shiva.
It is Incredibly colorful and sacred, the beauty of Varanasi lies in the crowd of devotees who throng here every single day from one part of the country or the other. Believer of God keeping faith in the power of the city to provide Moksha and cleansing their sins keep Varanasi always a favorite religion places in India.
Banaras is an ancient city, with dotted of numerous ancient and modern temples like some as-
1. New Vishwanath temple
2. Dhanvantari temple
3. Durga temple
4. Sankat Mochan Hanuman temple
5. Kashi Vishwanath temple
6. Tulsi Manas temple and others
The other part from the temples, Varanasi city contains 88 ghats which lead to the holy river, Ganges.
These 88 ghats and the Ganga river are the iconic spots for many rituals including the famous Ganga Aarti. According to the report says that the city had 23,000 temples in the past. Banaras city also holds approx of 15 unique and ancient mosques. Most unique mosques of the region are
1. Abdul Razzaq
2. Bibi Razia
3. Hazrat Sayyed Salar Masud Dargah
How to reach Varanasi
Nearest Airport: Nearest Airport is Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport in Varanasi. It is well connected to other Indian cities.
Nearest Railway Station: Varanasi Junction railway station is connected to all major cities in India.
By Road: The service of Buses are easily available from Delhi and adjoining cities in Uttar Pradesh.
Where to stay in Varanasi:
In Varanasi city, the plenty of ashrams offering accommodation to the tourists are available. You may also choose to stay in budget and luxury hotels.
Many other things to do:
You go on a day trip to Sarnath and a boat ride in the Ganges river.
Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab
Golden temple is the holiest place for Sikhs. The Temple and its neighbouring complex in Amritsar, Punjab, is the most sacred Sikh Gurudwara in not just India, but the whole world. Basically, the name of the Golden Temple is Harmandir Sahib, It is also known as Darbar Sahib. This temple was founded by the 5th Sikh guru, Guru Arjan and completed in 1604. The environment of the gurudwara is acute the spirituality and peace.
In the complex of the temple, the most stunning feature is the Amrit Sarovar, it is a holy tank, with its pristine waters that are said to have healing powers. The part of the central temple, that is basically situated at the end of a causeway on the tank. The beauty of its architectural, the temple with its gold and marble structure is matchless. This Sikh pilgrim there are thousands of people from all walks of life visit the Golden Temple every day.
The of the fact is that the Golden Temple of Amritsar receives more tourists than compare to the Taj Mahal, Agra. Visiting of the Golden Temple are considering as a very holy activity of the Sikhs. There are a few more temples in this region like-
1. Durgiana temple
2. Model town temple
3. Shivala Mandir
Note:- Pilgrims prefer to dine at least once during their vacation in the community kitchen of the temple, which serves food for thousands of people every day.
How to reach Golden Temple
Nearest Airport: Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport (ATQ)(11 km away from the Temple). At this Airport, there are daily flights from Indian as well as some international cities such as Toronto, Dubai, London, Singapore, and Tashkent.
Nearest Railway Station: Amritsar Railway Station(1 Km away) This railway station is well connecting to other Indian cities.
By Road: The service of Buses are easily available from other cities in Punjab as well as from Delhi, Shimla, and Jammu.
Where to stay in Golden Temple:
In the Golden Temple Complex, the accommodation is available based on the first-come-first-serve basis. Airbnb and luxury hotels can also be available in the city.
Many more things to do:
You may attend the Wagah Border ceremony at the India-Pakistan international border, and visit the Jallianwala Bagh. You may also enjoy local street food and traditional Indian wear.
Rishikesh city is situated on the Himalayan foothills in the state of Uttarakhand. The name of Rishikesh city belongs to the name of Lord Vishnu, and the meaning is ‘Lord of Senses’. The city is a famous spiritual center of India. Rishikesh is a pilgrimage town, which is a visit by knowing from the ancient times for meditation and learning. Top Temples in Rishikesh are-
1. Nilkanth Mahadev temple
2. Kunjapuri temple
3. Parmarth Niketan temple
4. Geeta Bhawan temple
5. Bharat temple
6. Tera Manzil temple
In Rishikesh there is a Triveni Ghat it is a spot where three mountain streams join. It is a holy spot where you can find many rituals and other activities. Haridwar city is the nearest town of Rishikesh and it is also an important Hindu pilgrimage & religious spots. Rishikesh is also famous for as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’. Since the middle ages, the Hindu saints and sages have been visiting and settling in Rishikesh. At the Rishikesh, one can acclaim the nature in its accurate forms and take a chance to lose himself in it. Rishikesh is an exceptional city that makes for an incredible religious place to visit in India.
How to reach
Nearest Airport: Jolly Grant Airport that is in Dehradun (38 km away from Haridwar) and (21 km away from Rishikesh).
Nearest Railway Station: The nearest railway station is Haridwar Junction that is (38 Km away from Rishikesh). You may take a bus or a private taxi to reach Rishikesh.
By Road: The service of buses are easily available to Haridwar and Rishikesh from Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla, and Lucknow.
Where to stay:
Haridwar and Rishikesh – These are two of the most prominent pilgrimage places in India – Approx than or may be over than 300 Dharamsala and ashrams that offer accommodation to the pilgrims.
Many more things to do:
River rafting and camping in Rishikesh. You may also visit the Rajaji National Park that is 18 km far away from the Rishikesh.
Mathura and Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh
Mathura is known for the birthplace of the Hindu God Krishna. The Mathura city is in the state of Uttar Pradesh and it can rightly be called a blessed land. Nowadays, the town is dotted with a large number of temples including the Krishna Janbhoomi Temple that is thronged by a large number of devotees all through the year. At the time of Janmashtami, It is one festival during which this small town becomes overcrowded yet full of colors.
Vrindavan is also in Uttar Pradesh. It is the city where Lord Krishna spent his childhood. The city holds an innumerable flash from the historical pages, Vrindavan offers a journey back in time when Bal Gopal becoming Kanha and then finally Lord Krishna. Each point in the Mathura has traces of holiness and is the blessing with small and big temples those are dedicating to Radha and Krishna. The sweet of the Mathura, that is Peda is world famous, so is the ‘Radhe Radhe’ of Vrindavan to the ears. Mathura and the Vrindavan is one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in India, Vrindavan lets you experience the spiritual illumination.
Some major religious attractions Point:
Banke Bihari Temple
Hare Rama Hare Krishna Temple
Shyama Shyam Dham is some of the revered temples in the Brijbhoomi.
How to reach Mathura
Kheria Airport is the nearest airport that is in Agra (60 km Away from Mathura). Indira Gandhi International Airport is another nearest airport that it is in Delhi (170 km Away from Mathura). You may take a bus/private taxi to the airport and then reach the Mathura.
Nearest Railway Station: Mathura railway station is connected to all the major cities in India.
By Road: After the construction of Yamuna Expressway that ensures swift connectivity. The services of Buses and private taxis can be easily available from Delhi NCR.
Where to stay in Mathura:
In the Mathura city, budget and luxury hotels and guesthouses are easily available to stay. Homestays are also an option.
Many more things to do:
You may visit Mathura and Vrindavan during the month of March and get a chance to experience the graphic Hindu festival of Holi. You may also plan a trip during the time of the Janmashtami festival.
Shirdi, Sai Baba
If you forget about religion, caste, creed and other forms of Favoritism, Shirdi in Maharashtra is the gateway to sheer spirituality. The whole life of Sai is the highly revered Sai Baba preached about One God (Sab Ka Maalik Ek) and thus earned himself many followers. Nowadays, his birthplace, Shirdi is thronged by the multitude of devotees irrespective of religion, color or creed seeking peace, spirituality and paying homage to this great saint. A report says that Shirdi is one of the most visited religious places in India.
The Shirdi Sai temple is under the shrine trust that was built over the Samadhi of Shri Sai Baba. The city Shirdi is located almost 296 Kilometers from Mumbai (Bombay) City in India. It is a popular temple of Shri Sai Baba. The temple was established in the year of 1922 to carry out the services of Shri Sai Baba.
Shri Saibaba of Shirdi is lived between 1838 and 1918, whose real name, birthplace and date of birth are not known. An Indian spiritual guru and a fakir, Shri Saibaba in Shirdi were regarded with great reverence by both Hindu and Muslim followers. The Lord Sai Baba is lived in a mosque and after his death, the body of Sai Baba was cremated in a temple.
Some major cities that are near Shirdi
How to reach Shirdi
Nearest Airport: Pune Airport that is in 196 km away from Shirdi.
Nearest Railway Station: The nearest railway station is Sainagar Shirdi. Saibaba Temple is 5 km away from the station.
By Road: The service of buses are easily available to Pune and all major cities of India. And Shirdi is well connecting by road.
Where to stay in Shirdi:
In the Shirdi Saibaba, there are many accommodations like Dharamshala and Shirdi trust hotels is available based on the first-come-first-serve basis. Airbnb and luxury hotels can also be available in the city.
Ajmer Sharif, Ajmer
Ajmer Sharif is a fine example of secularism, it is a famous worship place in India visiting by Muslims and Hindus alike but also for the people of other faiths who grip the saint with high esteem and reverence. The History behind this, the Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti lay in peace here, listening to people’s wishes and fulfilling them. The believer says that Khwaja saheb is a ‘living spirit’ of peace and harmony, enjoys universal respect and devotion ever since he set his holy feet on the soil of Hindustan.
In Ajmer Sharif, once you enter through the gate of the Dargah a queer peace takes over you. The divine in holy place Ajmer, Dargah Sharif is visited by millions of devotees every year from all over the world. There are many reasons behind that the Dargah is captivating one’s heart; there is certainly something that is magical about this place that people from different faith come and worship here. Although the dargah is always crowded.
The suitable time to go Ajmer and visit Ajmer Sharif is during the Urs festival. In the time of Urs, the place comes to life during this festival that is held annually.
The Ajmer City is also the base for visiting Pushkar, the abode of Lord Brahma which is 14 km away. Ajmer Sharif is a must visit place for those having a penchant for old ramparts and gateways.
Major attraction Point in Ajmer
1. Ajmer Sharif Dargah, it is one of the biggest and oldest dargahs in South Asia
2. Nasiyan Ji Mandir
3. Adhai-din-ka-Jhonpra is among the popular religious places in India
How to reach Ajmer
Nearest Airport: Jaipur International Airport (135 Km Away from Ajmer).
Nearest Railway Station: Ajmer Junction railway station is the nearest railway station.
By Road: The services of buses are easily available to Ajmer from Delhi and most of the cities in Rajasthan.
Where to stay in Ajmer
In the Dharamshala and budget and luxury hotels are easily available.
Many more things to do
You may also visit the Taragarh Fort and Magazine Museum in Ajmer city. In Ajmer city, the Anasagar Lake and Daulat Bagh are also the most popular places to visiting this city. The city has also some shops where you can shop for antiques and silver jewelry.
Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu
From all the popular pilgrimage places in South India, this enigmatic island city is laden with history and culture. Rameshwaram is located in the state of Tamil Nadu is one of the sites of the pious Char Dham yatra in India. It is basically situated on an island called Mannar, this sacred destination is believed to be the place where Lord Rama worshipped and repented after killing Ravana. In Rameshwaram, the Ramanathaswamy temple is the iconic pilgrimage & religious spot here. Apart from this, you can find
1. Kothandaramaswamy temple
2. Gandhamathana Parvatham
There are four Shiva temples that are located on four corners of India, which are important religious spots. In southernmost the Ramanathaswamy temple is one of those. Rameshwaram city is considering as the place where people wash off their sins.
Rameshwaram town is also known as the temple town and it has a very close link with mythologies of India. This city is also popular for many other elements like
1. The Adam’s bridge, rail route over the sea
2. Palk Strait
Major attraction Point in Rameshwaram
1. Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple
2. Hanuman Temple
4. Ram Setu
Rameshwaram is considering along with Badrinath, Puri, and Dwarka, which makes up the Char Dhams.
How to reach
Nearest Airport: The nearest airport is the Madurai International Airport (175 km away). The service of Bus and private taxis can be hires from Madurai.
Nearest Railway Station: The Rameshwaram railway station is connected to Madurai, Chennai, Trichy, Coimbatore, and Thanjavur.
By Road: Rameshwaram city is well connected by road to other cities in Tamil Nadu and all over India.
Where to stay in Rameshwaram
Dharamshala and budget hotels are available easily in Rameshwaram. There is also an option that you stay in yatri Niwas palaces.
More things to do:
A long drive on the Pamban bridge or a visit to Kushi and Dhanuskodi beach. You may also visit other nearby religious places in south India.
Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh
This City holds many Buddhist monuments and temple. It is located near 13 km from Varanasi city. In Sarnath, the deer park is the place where Gautama Buddha first taught about Buddhism and Dharma to his five companions. The foremost of these disciples, Kondanna attained enlightenment in Sarnath after Buddha’s teachings. He founded the first Buddhist monastic community.
The Ashoka Pillar, the historic lion-headed is also found here. From the all over the world, the Buddhists are come to visit Sarnath annually. This Pilgrim place is also a significant pilgrimage site of Jainism, as the eleventh Tirthankara, Shreyansanath was born there. There’s a temple dedicating to him, which is visits by many Jains. In Sarnath, you may see many monuments of Jainism in Sarnath.
Some Basic Facts Of Sarnath
Sarnath is one of the four main Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the world, apart from Bodh Gaya, Lumbini, and Kushinagar.
How to reach Sarnath
Nearest Airport: Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport (20 Km away From Sarnath).
Nearest Railway Station: Varanasi Junction railway station (11 Km Away From Sarnath)
By Road: Buses are easily available from Delhi and adjoining cities in Uttar Pradesh.
Where to stay in Sarnath
You may also stay in Varanasi city, the plenty of ashrams offering accommodation to the tourists are available. There are also option to stay in budget and luxury hotels.
Somnath Jyotirlinga, Gujarat
Somnath Jyotirlinga is the most scared among the 12th jyotirlingas in India. It is first to look upon to be the Dwaadash Jyotirlinga (Pillar of Light) of Lord Shiva, where Lord Shiva is believing to have seen as a fiery column of light. The Jyotirlinga of Somnath holds an important place in India. The survivor of many attacks in the past, the temple was remodeled in Nagara style of Hindu temple architecture and completed in May 1951.
The Jyotirlinga of Somnath is a source of divinity and spirituality for many Hindu pilgrims. The temple situated on the shores of Arabian Sea, this sacred shrine calls out to devotees from afar and blesses innumerable times. In the Somnath, you may feel the power of spirituality and lose yourself in the devotion at this holy place in India.
Somnath is one of the popular Indian pilgrims and also a popular religious place in Gujarat. Basically, the meaning of Somnath is ‘Lord of Moon’ and the town gets its name from the Somnath Temple. The history behind that, Som, the Moon God built the Somnath Temple out of respect after Lord Shiva cured his illness that was causing by Som’s father-in-law Daksha Prajapati’s curse.
The temple of Somnath is one of the top Hindu temples in India and is visited by pilgrims all-round the year. Somnath temple has been construct at the tip of the landmass in Gujarat and no land exists between the temple and the South Pole.
Some Major attraction Point in Somnath
1. Triveni Sangam
2. Panch Pandav Gufa
3. Somnath Museum
4. Somnath Beach
5. Parasuram Temple
6. Junagadh Gate
There is also one of major attraction is sound and Light Show held in the temple.
How to reach Somnath
Nearest Airport: Diu Airport (60 Km away from Somnath)
Nearest Railway Station: Somnath railway station
By Road: Somnath is well connected to major cities in Gujrat and India
Amarnath, Jammu & Kashmir
Lord Shiva is also known as the Baba Barfani. Believer of God says that Baba Barfani calls out to his devotees spread all over the world to first take up an enthralling trek and then receive bountiful blessings from him. Amarnath Cave is a Hindu temple, and it is situated in Jammu & Kashmir, India and it is an altitude of 3,888 m near Srinagar and can be reached through Pahalgam town.
This pilgrim is dedicating to Lord Shiva and is considering to be one of the famous sites of pilgrimage in India. The Yatra of Amarnath is the popular annual tourist pilgrimages for the people in India. The History behind of Amarnath is the place where Lord Shiva reveals the secret of immortality to his consort Goddess. Which was overheard by a pair of pigeons.
Amarnath is famed for an ice stalagmite Lingam formed annually in the caves due to the freezing of water during the month of Shravan. The science says that the lingam in the cave grows and shrinks with the lunar cycle. The whole cave is covering with snow most of the year except for a short period of time in summer when it is open for pilgrims.
Some Facts of Amarnath
This Yatra is an annual event in which pilgrims are allowing to trek to the cave temple. A report says that in every year more than 450,000 pilgrims visit Amarnath Cave from various parts of India.
In nowadays there is a believes that a pair of pigeon can be seen in the cave.
Some Major attraction Point in Amarnath
1. Amarnath cave
2. Amarnath Yatra
How to reach Amarnath
Nearest Airport: Srinagar Airport (72 Km away from Amarnath)
Nearest Railway Station: The nearest railway station is Jammu that is (178 Km away from Amarnath).
By Road: The service of buses are easily available to Jammu and major cities in India. From the Jammu railway station, you can hire a taxi to reach either Baltal or Pahalgam. To the Baltal, it is a 1-2 day trek (15 km) to reach Amarnath. However, the Pahalgam route is relatively long and takes around 3-5 days (36-48 km).
There is also a special facility, helicopter packages range up to Rs. 50,000 that is all inclusive of stay at Srinagar and also railway station drop services.
You have to complete and proper documentation must before going to the yatra. You have to need to register for the Yatra before devotees head for Amarnath. Now you may get register for Amarnath Yatra:
Before your yatra, you have a medical fitness certificate from a doctor authorize by SASB (Amarnath Shrine Board), which certifies you are fit for the physically arduous Yatra.
Some essential documents like Voter ID, Driving License, Passport etc for your identity, you will need during the Yatra.
If you want to gain knowledge about multiple religions and you also want to explore where you came from, then you must visit these religious places to learn about Indian culture. It will help you get in touch with the world which is so bigger than you. In this article, some religious place and its information are given that may help you to plan a trip to visit these sites. A trip of religious places with your family is the best way to develop faith in both your kids and yourself.