Religions in India are known for their diversity of religious beliefs and practices. In India, there is n number of pilgrimages to visit. India is the only country where you may see pilgrimage of all religions, and all this is very famous. If you are looking for a top 10 pilgrimage places of India then trust me this article will definitely help you. I have researched a lot on the web, referred books, and the tourist leaflets and it was very difficult to conclude the top 10 but as per popularity and people’s attractions I have concluded following top 10 sites:
The Varanasi is treated as the heaven for Hindu people. The holy Ganga river flows through many districts but Varanasi is especially known for the Ganga river because it is believed that, if you die near Ganga shore of Varanasi or your last rites performed near this shore of Ganga in Varanasi, then you will get salvation which is known in India as moksha. The city which has thousands of years of history, is a must-visit place to visit numerous valleys built on the Ganges, hundreds of temples on the ghats, and hundreds of devotees standing in the Ganges at a sunrise People outside of India never go back without visiting Varanasi.
The Best period to visit Varanasi is from October to March. The famous Kashivishweshwar Temple which is one of twelve jyotirlingas also located near Varanasi There are many ways through which you can come to Varanasi such as through air, water by road or even train also. But as there are so narrow roads in Varanasi so if you want to take a look of inner Varanasi then you must choose Rikshaw. Vishwanath Temple of Varanasi is so much famous all over India. The world popular BanasrsiSaree is made in Varanasi. So basically, it is the city of Spiritual importance.
In Hinduism, the four sacred areas are called four dhammas, and four pilgrimages are mentioned. Badrinath, Dwarka, JagnnathPuri and Rameshwaram are the four dhammas that come in this Chardham list. Basically this all dhammas are situated in four directions of India. Badrinath is situated in the Uttarakhand state. It is of Lord Vishnu’s Temple. It was built around the 7th – 8th century. It is situated between ranges of Himalayas hence it is only available to visit from May to October.
The Dwarka is located at Gujrat. It is believed that the Dwarka was established by Lord Krishna. There is a big temple of Lord Krishna present in Dwarka City.
The JagnnathPuri is located in the Orisa state of India. It is the temple of Lord Jagannath with GodessSubhdra and Sudarshan. The idols are made of wood. The world-famous Rathyatra of Jagannath begins on Ashadh month according to the Hindu calendar.
Rameshwaram is situated in the Tamilnadu state. It is exactly located in the Gulf of Mannar which is between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. Ramnathswami Temple which is one of twelve Jyotirlingas is located in the Rameshwaram. Due to this, Rameshwaram is considered as one of the most sacred places in Hinduism. So these four are Chardham of India which is considered as holiest places and it is said that, if you visit this Chardham then your birth will become meaningful
3. Tirupati Balaji
The Venkateshwara Swami Temple which is located in the Andhra Pradesh state is like heaven for the Vaishnav community of India. But not only for Vaishnavas, had all the people around the world come here to receive blessings from Lord Tirupati. Lord Tirupati is another form of Lord Vishnu. Devotees call the temple as Tirumala temple or Tirupati Temple also Tirupatibalaji Temple and Calls Venkateshwara as Balaji, Govinda and Shriniwas.
The Tirumala hill range is the part of Sheshachalam Hills. There are 7 peaks to this hill range. Hence, this temple is also known as “The Temple of 7 Hills”. It is one of the richest temple in the world. Daily around 50 thousand people visit this place. On the Bramhotsav festival, around 5 lakh people came here to join the celebration and to worship Lord. So it is situated in a very natural place, India’s most glorious pilgrimage.
4. Vaishnav Devi
Vaishnav Devi is considered as an incarnation of the goddess Durga in Hinduism. Vaishnodevi Temple, located in the Himalayan Mountains of India, is a popular Hindu temple. About 1 crore devotee visits the temple yearly. To visit Vaishnav Devi Temple, one has to climb a ghat about 12 km from KatraVillage.It is the second most visited temple of India after the Tirumala temple.
Recently a railway attached from Udhampur to Katra to make easy to visit Temple. There are many scenic spots and hill stations near Katra and Jammu, where you can enjoy the cold beautiful hills of Jammu. Amar Mahal, Bahu Fort, Mansar Lake, Raghunath Temple, etc. are the places to see in Jammu. ‘Patni Top’ is a famous hill station at a distance of about 112km from Jammu.
Amarnath is a holy pilgrimage place in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India and it has a natural cave. The cave is located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and is at an altitude of 135600 feet above sea level, about 135 km from Srinagar.
In the cave here, ice shiv linga is formed. The shiv linga is usually 8 to 10 feet high, but the size of Linga varies as per temperature. There are still some small ice blocks in the cave which are considered as Ganesh-Parvati.
There is a natural water source on the top of Shivlinga called Ghali locally. Because of Ghali, the shiv linga gets formed naturally. But, this part of Jammu and Kashmir is very sensitive to extremist activities.
There are mainly two roads leading to the cave. The first one is from Sonmarg-Baltal-Amarnath. This road is only 13 km and most devotees prefer this path. The second path is Pahelagam- Chandanwadi- Pissuttop – Sheshnag – Panchtarni – Amarnath. This path is about 45-50 km and is very hard. But if one has to see delightful places during travel then he must prefer this path.
There is good convenience for devotees for Yatra to Amarnath(Visit to Amarnath). Those who no problem breathing can easily visit Amarnath. Those who are not able to walk there are special palkhi for them. Basically, this place is best to visit in Summer. It will relax you and give you the view of Delightful Places of Jammu and Kashmir.
6. Konark Surya Mandir
The Sun Temple at Konark is a Hindu temple built in the thirteenth century and was built by King Narsimhadev. This temple is located in Konark village in the state of Odisha, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Architectural idea of this temple is a massive Surya Rath that has huge twelve wheels and & horses attached to the rath. The concept of this Suryarath is not found in other Surya Temples. The Natmandir is an independent pavilion next to the Gabhara and Jagmohan Temple. All these buildings are adorned with sculptures This temple was dedicated to Suryadev(sun), which locals used to refer to as “Birch-Narayan”.
The word Konark is the combination of the words ‘kon’(angle) and ‘Ark’(Sun). The temple is built of red sandstone and black granite stones. The temple built in Kalinga style, the Surya deva is enshrined as chariot and stones are engraved with exquisite carvings. This temple is also famous for its sculptures with erotic postures. There are 3 idols of Surya dev in this temple. There are many more interesting facts about this temple but those facts will understand when you will go there.
If you are interested in Indian Architecture then no other place is as good as Hampi for you. Hampi is a village in Bellary district in the state of Karnataka. This village was the capital of the ancient Hindu Vijaynagar Empire. ShriVirupaksh Temple in Hampi is famous. Hampi has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The “Must Visit” Article published by New York Times consists of Hampi in Second place! There are thousands of temples and monuments in the Hampi which are the great specimens of sculpture. The city was destroyed by the Muslim Invaders in the Battle of Talikot in 1565.But still, these relics stand today, bearing witness to a rich history.
There is Vitthal Temple where if you beat the columns of the temple with your hand slightly, it will lead to a wave of music. The famous “ShilaRath” is also present in Hampi which used to walk on stone wheels in the past. The tourist can see the temples and monuments but can also enjoy the rock climbing and basket boat. Trust me guys, if you visit Hampi, you will feel like you are in heaven.
Somnath temple is one of the oldest, selected and important temples of Indian history and Hindus located in the Gujarat state of India. It is considered as the first Jyotirlinga among 12 jyotirlingas of India. It is said about this temple located in the port of Veraval in Saurashtra region of Gujarat that it was built by Chandradeva himself, which is mentioned in the Rigveda. This temple has been a symbol of the history of the rise and fall of Hinduism.
The temple is built in the Chalukya style. To the south of a temple is a pillar along the sea. It is indicating that there is no Earth terrain between Somnath Temple and the South Pole! Can you imagine? This describes the intelligence if ancient Indians. The world-famous Dwarkais just 200 km’s away from Somnath. So, if you want to seize an opportunity, you may visit Dwarka and Somnath both!
9. Golden Temple of Amritsar
Amritsar has been the main religious place of the Sikh community since the 16th century. The golden temple here is on the bank of Amrit Pond. The roof of the Golden Temple was of brass, but in 1830, about 100 kg of gold water was mounted on it. Golden Temple is also known as ShriHarimandir Sahib.
The map of this Gurudwara, about 400 years old, was prepared by Guru ArjunDevJi himself. This Gurudwara is a unique example of craft beauty. Its carving and external beauty are made on seeing.There are four big doors which invite all four religions which were present at that time. The entire Golden Temple is made of white marble and its walls are carved with gold leaves. Sound waves of Gurbani echo throughout the day in Harmadir Sahib.
In the temple, 24*7 Langar goes on. (Langar is the concept in Sikh where the food served to you in a unique way). The very important Vagha Border is very near to the Golden Temple. There is much more information to say about this beautiful temple, But I suggest you go there and experience it by yourself!
10. Jama Masjid
Last but not the least; Jama Masjid is one of the most famous Masjids in India situated in Delhi. It’s built-in 1656. This mosque is made of red stones and marble. Just 500 m away from LalKilla(Delhi) located at a distance of Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in India. It was built by Shahjahan. Its prayer house is very beautiful. It has 11 arches with the middle arch is a little larger than others. It takes 6 years and around 10 lakh rupees to build this beautiful mosque.
North and South gates can be used to enter Jama Masjid, while the Eastern gate opens only on Fridays. The mosque is open from 7 am to 12 pm and then from 1.30 pm to 6.30 pm. In this 25000 people can pray at a time! So, you are in Delhi, the capital of India, you must visit LalKilla the pride of India along with visiting Jama Masjid.
India has thousands of pilgrimages. Every corner of the nation has something which is locally pilgrimages. India is the country of devotees, believers and Gods.
So, if you really want to explore India and its diversity, you must visit all of these pilgrimages as they will define you the real India and its prosperity!