Holy Places in India. Need a break from the onset of stress and routine life? Plan a vacation to the ancient holy temples that hold mystic powers. Holy places in India never fail to amaze people around the world. Their ancient architecture, scenic beauty, devotion, and positive vibes make pilgrim centers excellent study places.
Here one can learn about ancient architecture and scriptures which hold hidden science and knowledge of oneness. Let us dive into the pilgrim destinations in India.
Holy Places in India
I personally recommend few temple destinations in India for tourists who are looking for some adventure and others who are ready for an architecture expedition.
Shree Siddhivinayak Temple, Maharashtra
“City of dreams” is adorned with an ancient and powerful temple of Lord Ganesh. The most celebrated god of Maharashtra is Lord Ganesh and this Siddhivinayak temple is visited yearly by millions of devotees across the country. People visit this temple with the belief that all their wishes will come true.
In fact, during the Ganesh festival season, this place floods with millions of devotes along with Bollywood Celebrities. As per the temple history, it was built to grant the boon for childless women. However, people come here with different wishes.
If you want to visit this powerful temple of Lord Ganesh, plan in prior by booking online to save time. All the puja ticket prices are affordable and unfortunately, due to Covid, Prasadam distribution has been halted temporarily.
Kashi | Varanasi
This is the most prominent and spiritually important place of Hindus. Kashi is a place that holds answers to the human quest. Kashi is one among the Moksha Dhams(salvation).
Here, in this Dham devotees feel like they are in Mount Kalish an abode of Lord Shiva. Especially the Ganga Arthi during twilight brings goosebumps to the onlookers, the Vedic mantras, and the reverberating bell sounds at the bank of Maa Ganga is a sight to see.
Are you in search of answers to life and death? Then visit the most underrated place in Kashi, Manikarnika Ghat. The temple town has numerous temples apart from the Kashi Vishwanath temple. Like Dashashwamedh Ghat, a very sacred place, also it provides an amazing view of the Kashi.
Plan accordingly and visit all the nearby temples and ghats to get the blessing of gods. Take a dip in Ganga at your own risk as we all aware of its water pollution. If you’re prone to skin problems, it is advisable to avoid taking a dip in the holy river Ganga.
Phugtal Monastery, Ladakh
Are you up for an adventure along with spiritual knowledge-seeking, then keep this Buddhist monastery in your holy places in India. This monastery was built at the height of 3,800 meters from sea level in a cave.
Many monks come here and detach themselves from the outside world by surrounding themselves with natural beauty and meditation. This monastery was built in the 12th century but stay isolated and hidden from others.
The common question is ” are visitors allowed in this honeycomb monastery?”Yes, but the trek to the monastery is quite challenging. Moreover, it takes around one or two days to trek to reach this place.
To reach this remote Buddhist monastery you need to get a cab to reach a remote place called Raru. From there, actual terking starts towards two remote villages Chatang and Purne. After reaching Purne relax and have light snacks before starting to the monastery which is 7km from here.
A moksha Dham of Hindus, one of the most sacred holy places in India. It is one among the 108 Vaishnav Divya deshams and prominent temples in Char Dham yatra and Chota Char Dham yatra. Millions of devotees visit this Dham to have darshan of Badrinarayan, a form of Lord Vishnu.
As the temple situates between Nar Narayana mountain and the Alaknanda river gives the devotees a surreal experience. After paying homage to Badrinarayan visit nearby spiritual places like Charan Paduka, a hill that has Lord Vishnu’s foot mark on it.
Bramha kapala, a place where they pay rituals for ancestors. Vyas cave, a place where Maharishi Veda Vyasa wrote Vedas and Mahabharata. Mana Village, the last village in India.
One among the 12 Jyothir Lingas, visiting Kedarnath is a bit difficult, especially for senior citizens since one needs to trek 14 km uphill from Gauri kund. The holy place is cognate with the story of Mahabharata. The holy Dham is situated between two rivers and the view of the place makes this a worth visiting destination.
Also, visit Triyuginarayan temple, a place where Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati’s marriage took place. Gauri Kund is the place where Maa Parvathi did severe penance to attain the heart of Lord shiva. Besides one can visit the doom or ashram of Adi Shankaracharya where he believed to be in Samadi. If time permits visit Rudra caves and Bhairavnath temple as well.
Kartik Swami Temple, Uttarakhand
A holy Dham is not familiar to many people as it is mostly masked by the white clouds on top of the Himalayan mountains. The temple is located in Garhwal Himalayas. From here one can have a jaw-dropping view of the Himalayan valley along with nearby mountain peaks.
The view of Ice capped mountain along with the singing of Himalayan birds makes this place heaven on earth. The specialty of the idol is one can see the bones of the Lord.
To reach this sacred Dham, one has to trek the Garhwal Himalayas region by crossing the dense forest and the trek offers you to experience the beauty of the Himalayas. One will forget themselves by seeing the beautiful and divine idol of Lord Karthik Swami.
The temple legend is a popular story that we all heard from our childhood. A race between Lord Ganesh and Lord Karthik Swami who circumambulated the universe first. The intelligent Ganesh circumambulated his parent as they represent the entire universe.
Lord Shiva who witnessed the intelligence of Ganesh declared him as the first deity to pray before starting any ritual. This angered Lord Karthik Swami, he gave up his bones to Lord Shiva and flesh to Maa Parvathi.
Kamakhya Temple, Assam
One of its kind temple which you never find anywhere in the world. The temple tells about womanhood and childbirth. A divine Dham tells about the creation of the universe. Kamakhya temple, one among 51 Shakti Peethas.
The sacred temple is present in the heart of the capital city which makes this place easily accessible. There are many legends regarding this temple. However, the popular one is cognate with Sati Devi and Lord Shiva where Maa Sati Devi goes to an uninvited Yajna performed by her father.
During Yajna her father starts insulting Lord Shiva. She couldn’t bear the insult to Lord Shiva by her father and leaves her mortal body and reaches her original abode. Unable to bear the loss of Devi, Lord Shiva starts Tandavam(fierce dance) which starts annihilating the three worlds.
As unable to pacify Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu releases his Sudarshan chakra which cut Devi’s body into 51 parts. Devi’s Yoni happens to fall here. Hence, the idol in the temple is the sacred Yoni. There are few other Devi temples in the Nilachala hills and along with that visit some local sight-seeing places.
Baidhyanath Temple, Jharkhand
The only temple that allows the devotee to do Abhishek on the Jyothir lingam. It is one of the 12 sacred Jyothrilingam. Also, inside the temple complex, one can have the darshan of Maa Parvathi and Lord Ganesh.
The Legends says wicked Ravana wanted to rule the three worlds and he does furious penance here and to please the God and he even severs his ten heads. Lord Shiva pleased by his devotion appears before him and grants him a boon and even cures Ravana’s wound.
Hence the name Vaidyanath. The holy river Mayurakshi which flows near temple premises is of clear waters. You can safely take a dip if needed. But if you have any skin-related problems make sure you check twice before taking a dip.
Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh
One of my favorite Pilgrim centers with a personal attachment towards Lord Venkateshwara. World’s richest temple top among holy places in India. The Seven hills are not just normal hills. It holds many cosmological and geoscience secrets along with Lord Vishnu Powers. The famous place is what we all know as Tirumala.
Each hill has a story and devotional connection towards Lord Venkateshwara. The main temple idol is Swayambhuva (Not sculpted by humans). Yearly, millions of devotees visit this temple to get a glimpse of their beloved god.
As we all know getting darshan here is quite difficult as you need to stand in queue for a long time but the wait makes it worth it when you enter the main temple sanctum.
The main sanctum reverberating with the Lord’s names makes you feel as if you’re in Vaikuntam (abode of Lord Vishnu). The Lord’s idol captivates the devotees and one experiences an immense bliss in the main sanctum.
Besides Lord Venkateshwara temple there many places where devotees can access. Like Silathoranam( a natural rock formation), Aakaasha Ganga, Sreevaari Paadalu.
Brihadeswara Temple, Tamil Nadu
For enthusiastic architecture lovers, this temple is a delight. The marvelous construction of Chola king Raja Raja Chola blows the minds of the visitor. Indeed, the entire temple is carved from a single stone.
Locals popularly call the main temple sanctum ‘Vimana’ which is about a height of 66 meters, the tallest temple tower in the world. This temple comes under the UNESCO world heritage site list for its extraordinary architecture.
The statue of Nandi at the entrance of the temple is about 13 feet in height whereas 16 feet wide. The enormous Nandi is carved out of a single rock. Another amazing fact about the temple is it has one of the largest Shiva lingams in India.
After spending an extraordinary time in the temple you can plan a visit to Tanjavur royal place which displays ancient Chola kingdom arts. Along with this visit Cholan art village.
The last temple to visit is Char Dham yatra. This divine temple is located in the island town of Tamil Nadu. This place has significance in the great epic ‘Ramayana’.
The main temple idol, Shiva lingam is consecrated by Lord Rama after returning from Lanka along with Maa Sita. Another big attraction in the temple is the colorful corridor, the biggest in the world with 1200 pillars.
Danushkodi, another picturesque place one must visit in Rameswaram. The ‘ghost town’ offers tempo rides in the Indian Ocean providing an excellent view of the ocean.
Also, there is a special ride to Rama Sethu Bridge(Adam’s bridge) where you can see few floating stones. Moreover, the bridge is engulfed in deep waters.
Aren’t you curious about the floating stone used in Rama Sethu construction? If yes, visit the Panchmukha Anjaneya temple. A popular belief is that it is the place where Lord hanuman revealed his five faces. Also, here they display floating stones for devotees to view and understand.
Golden Temple Amritsar
A holy Dham Gurudwara of Sikhs falls in one of the top 10 holy places in India. Also, it is not only famous as the spiritual destination but also plays a main role in the administration. It is an administrative center for Sikhs around the world.
One of its kind temples, here the main temple sanctum is made up of 750 kilos of pure gold. Another beauty of the temple is it has three sides covered with sacred waters.
Guru Ramdas Sahib built the Gurudwara which is original name is Sri Harmandir Sahib. He is 4th among the famous 10 Sikh gurus. Devotees take bath in the holy waters whereas few wash their legs. Others take the holy waters home.
Jallianwala Bagh brings the memory of a heinous act of the British, but tourists visit here to know about history and sacrifice.
Wagah border (Indo-Pak Border) is where each country guards salute each other. This spectacular demonstration of both country’s soldiers brings patriotism among the viewers. Don’t forget to taste authentic Punjabi food at Zaika restaurant in High Land Inn which offers the best food with a good ambiance.
A very popular place among Sai baba followers, devotees from different states yearly visit the holy land to get the blessing of Sai Baba. In my opinion best time to visit Shiridi is the off-season where you can relax and stroll around temple premises without any crowd.
Another interesting and must-taste food is Guava and pomegranate juice. They provide the best juice here, along with the best cuisines from different states. Basil leaves restaurant offers the best food in Shirdi.
Ajmer sharif, Jaipur
Ajmer Dargah is one of the holy places in India. Tourist whoever visits Jaipur also pay to visit the twin cities known as Pushkar and Ajmer. Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, a Persian saint happens to visit India at the command of Muhammad.
The Sufi saint preaching got immense popularity at Ajmer Dargah. People of all religious sects, gender, nationality, and race are allowed in this Dargah.
After a holy visit, you can spend some in nature by visiting Ana Sagar Lake, palaces which display the rich cultural heritage of the Ajmer. Besides this, if time permits pay a visit to Pushkar and take a bath in the holy waters.
Basilica of Bom Jesus,Old Goa
A beautiful church monument that holds the greatness of St. Francis Xavier. The construction of this church took around many years that date backs between15th and 16th centuries. The major attraction here is even after 400 years it is in excellent condition.
This church comes under UNESCO world heritage site for its architecture. Coincidence is the beginning of Christianity in India and the Church construction happened at the same time.
Besides this, you can also visit nearby churches and visit museums to know the history of Goa.
Do and Don’t at the Holy places in India
- Always follow temple rules led out by the temple authorities for smoother and good darshan.
- Using mobile phones in the main temple sanctum is considered offensive
- Both men and women should wear appropriate dress, whereas in some Hindu temple only traditional dresses are allowed.
- In a few temples, other religious people are not allowed inside the main temple sanctum. Respect the temple tradition and behave accordingly.
- Don’t write name on the temple walls
- Don’t throw waste or spit in and around the temple premises
Tips to Women travelers to holy places in India
Women’s safety is at most important while traveling to a religious place. Here are few tips to follow:
- Plan a temple tour during offseason to escape from pushing and touching. However, during festival season one can’t avoid pushing in the temple queue line due to huge gatherings.
- Wear Indian dress to avoid uncomfortable staring from the local men.
- Always travel with the group. If you are visiting with family stick with them, If visiting with friends, don’t wander alone. Avoid solo traveling, join a travel group.
- Beware of while talking to strangers and taxi drivers. Have a basic idea about route and place in prior.
- Learn few basic words of the local language of the place which you are travelling.
India, the land of devotion and belief has numerous places for worship. Another beauty about India is every 5 to 10 km in any urban or rural area you find one worship place. The above-mentioned are some of the most visited holy places in India. Check out our detailed and most-read article based on Ashrams in India
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