Popular Pilgrimage Destinations of India
India has always been known for its distinctive quality of being a mystic country with many religions and pilgrimage places. Since ages, Indians have believed in several religions and their ultimate faith in their God to realize their wishes. In this honor, many devotees, especially Kings of different dynasties and times built temples and monuments. Moreover, as we called India a magical land some pilgrimage destinations were built eventually. In fact, a pilgrimage is a long journey or search of great moral significance. Therefore, devotees or pilgrims wish to visit these places to attain inner peace and strength. As they say, India is a land where unity lives in diversity and thus, the pilgrimages comprised of temples (for Hindus), Dargahs (for Muslims), Monasteries (for Budhhists), Gurudwaras (for Sikhs) and Churches (for Christians). Read on to this article to know about popular pilgrimage centers of India.
Amarnath: Located at a distance of around 145 kilometers from Srinagar (the summer capital of the state of Jammu & Kashmir), Amarnath ranks as the leading pilgrimage destinations in India. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is a cave shrine sited 4, 175 meters above the sea level. This pilgrimage destination holds huge significance for the devotees of Lord Shiva and visited by a large number of pilgrims during the lunar month when the Shivalinga of ice takes shape in the cave.
Vaishno Devi: The next in the line is ‘Vaishno Devi Shrine’, which is also located in Jammu & Kashmir and also a pious cave. This shrine is located at an elevation of 5200 feet above the sea level. It is situated in the town of Katra, just about 50 km from Jammu. In order to reach the cave of Vaishno Devi, one has to trek for about 13 km after reaching the base camp / hotel in Katra. After the trek, the devotees need to take a bath and then, enter into the cave of Vaishno Devi. In the cave, there is no a statue or images rather one can find 3 natural rock formations popularly known as ‘Pindis’. For north Indians, especially Punjabis, it is the most popular pilgrimage destinations.
Varanasi: Renowned to be the religious capital of India, Varanasi is another spiritual pilgrimage destination which one must visit. Apart from that, it is one of the oldest surviving cities of the world which have been called with different names at different times from Kashi to Benaras. Laced along the pious River Ganges, this city is best known for its temples and ghats (river banks). Believed to a place of Lord Shiva, Varanasi is visited by a huge of devotees as well as by foreign tourists who enjoys the spiritual beauty of this place.
Ajmer Sharif: Famous as Dargah Sharif, Ajmer Sharif is amongst the most religious destinations of India for Muslims rather for all religions. Located in Ajmer, Rajasthan Dargah Shrif is the burial place of renowned Sufi Saint “Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chishti”. It is believed that no one goes vacant handed from this place and gets their wish fulfilled.
Amritsar: Absolutely symbolizing the meaning of its name, Amritsar (a combination of two words, Amrit meaning ‘Nectar’ and Sar meaning ‘Lake’), is a popular pilgrimage destination for Sikhs. It is the homeland of Harmandir Sahib, renowned as ‘the Golden Temple’, surrounded by the same lake. Only because of the Golden Temple, Amritsar is also called as Golden City!