India is a country that is noted for its rich cultural diversity. It’s a country known for its rich cultural heritage. India is land of immense history from Rajputs to Mughals to British. India has the style of all of them. When Mughals came to India, they gave us forts, mosques. When the British came they build church, chapel. Coming to faith, religion India is a secular state which means it is neutral within the matter of religion. It means that it does not state anything pertaining to religion. It treats all citizens equally. One could follow or worship any religion. Due to its great history and cultural heritage, India has been precocious with several spiritual places. From temples to mosques and churches to monasteries India has them all.
India enlightens all the human folks with the sense of spirituality. It endows in them the holiness, whether they are the believer of god or not. One would feel the existence of god. Pilgrimages will divert your mind from all the surrounding sins.
Every phase in history has given something to India. It has been ruled by different individuals from different culture, and all of them gifted their cultures to India.
We will list the foremost famed pilgrimage sites for you whoever wanted to explore the religious side of India.
1. CHAR DHAM YATRA
It is set of four pilgrimage journeys, which are taken into account to be the foremost sacred for the Hindus. It includes the Badrinath Temple, Dwarkadhish temple, Jagganath Temple, Ramanathswamy Temple. It is the journey to the four corners of India. People believe that whoever had this journey attain MOKSH in their lives, which means freedom from the cycle of death and birth. The journey to the four pilgrimage leads to salvation. The perfect time to for this journey is in the month of April to June in summers.
The first Dham Badrinath is a holy town located in the state of Uttrakhand. It is present besides the river Alaknanda. It is known as to be established by the saint Adi Shankracharya who is the devotee of Lord Vishnu. It presents the snow-laden mountains.
Second is Shree Dwarkadhish temple which also known as Jagat Mandir. It is present in city Dwarka, in Gujrat. It is known for the temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is said that Lord Krishna has resided in that holy shrine. Dwarka has a significant mention in Mahabharat [Hindu’s religious book].
The third is Ramanthaswamy temple which is found within the island of Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu. It is a lord Shiva Temple. It is also reckoned as one of the twelve Jyotirlinga. It said to be a lightening shrine of Lord Shiva.
Last, The Jagannath Temple which is located in the city of Puri in Odisha. It is present on the eastern coastal line of India. It took three generations to build this historic structure. The temple’s annual Rath Yatra has every traveler eye.
There is also one Chota char Dham yatra means set of small four pilgrimages. This includes the temple within the state of Uttrakhand. It includes Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamnotri, Gangotri. This journey starts with celebrations of Akha Teej.
2. GOLDEN TEMPLE
It is also known as Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib settled within the city Amritsar in the north-western part of India. It’s the place reckoned for its sanctity. The temple has four doors which give a very significant message that Gurudwara is open for anyone a Sikh, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Christian.
There is Amrit Sarover, which suggest the pool of nectar built by Shri Guru Ram Das Ji. The fifth Guru of Sikhism Guru Arjan Dev Ji, asked Muslim Pir to lay the foundation of the Sarover. It has Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, The Holy Book resting at the centre, known as the Akal Takht. The Akal Takht is made of gold. It has a Langar hall which feeds the hungry folks anytime. It is one of the giant Kitchens of The World.
3. AJMER SHARIF DARGAH
It is settled within the city Ajmer in Rajasthan. It is a Sufi shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. It is said that here rests the grave of Chisti saint.
He was a philosopher and a preacher of Sufi mysticism. Mohammad-bin-Tughlaq laid the foundation of this Durgah. It has a huge gate, known as the Nizam Gate, donated by Nizam of Hyderabad. The floor is made of white marble. It comprises buildings organized in two courtyards. The protection of this Sufi shrine is given to the Durgah Khwaja saheb protected under the act.
The SAI BABA temple in Shirdi is a famous temple known for a saint or you could say a fakir Sai Baba. Fakir is the one who lives in poverty and devotes his life to god. The temple is located in Shirdi in Maharashtra. It is about 270 km away from Mumbai. The temple is recognized by the followers of Sai Baba. Sai Baba was known for his preaching. He taught his followers not to differentiate in caste or religion. He always taught about “sabka malik ek” which means God is one. It is being said Sai Baba was born as Hindu and brought up by a Muslim.
It is said that he had done many miracles in his lifetime. Shirdi has become a place of importance for most Hindus and Muslims. The temple is carved by the Italian marble. Both the exterior and interior cone of the temple is covered by gold. The upper part of the exterior is made of Italian marble, and the rest is made of old bricks.
5. HEMKUND SAHIB
It is also known as the Hemkunt Sahib, and formerly known as the Gurudwara Shri Hemkund Sahib Ji, is dedicated to the tenth guru of Sikhism Shri Guru Govind Singh Ji. The guru has written a book referred to as Dasam Granth. The Gurudwara is found within the Chamoli district of Uttar Pradesh. It is about 275 km away from Rishikesh. It is encircled from all sides by seven mountain peaks, and each peak is adorned by a Nishan Sahib. Nishan Sahib is a flag embellished with a Sikh symbol on it.
The best time to leave for the journey would be from July to August. Take off point for the journey would be from Govindghat to Govinddham by bus. To start the journey, it would be either by a pony or a walk. There is a long valley of flowers which is about three km away from the Gurudwara. The Indian government has declared it a national park. There is one flower that blooms after 12 years known as chrysanthemum.
6. VENKATESWARA TEMPLE
It is the richest temple in India, also better-known as Tirumala, Tirupati, or Tirupati Balaji. It is located in the town Trimula in Chitoor district, of Andhra Pradesh. It is located on Sheshachalam hills, consisting of seven mountain peaks. The temple is known for Venkateswara or Srinivasa form of lord Vishnu. He took this form to vanish the sins from kali yuga.
The place is known as the resting place for Lord Vishnu, Goddess Lakshmi, and Padmavati. They turned in stones. It is reckoned as the richest temple regarding donations and funds from the devotees. This temple is known for hair tonsuring, the ritual of donating the hairs. There is a golden entrance, which leads to Garbhagriha, where there is a deity of Lord Vishnu.
7. HAZRAT NIZAMUDDIN DURGAH
It is the Durgah located in Delhi. It is located close the Humayun’s tomb about 15 minutes walking distance. Durgah is dedicated to one of the Sufi saint of Chisti order, Nizam-ud-din Auliya. The market close to this place is named after this Sufi saint. It was built in 1325, the year when Nizam-ud-din died. This place is known for its Qawali’s [the Muslim religious music]. The Qawali of this Durgah has also been featured in many movies.
Qawali got famous because of Amir Khusro, who was a great, musician and a scholar. He was one of the devotees of Nizam-ud-din. You could find the tomb of amir khusro. You could see the outer market selling chadar, flowers, etc. the best time to visit would be on Thursday for the Qawali session.
8. CHRIST CHURCH
It is the largest and the oldest church of north India. It represents the Anglican community of this region. It is located on the ridge road in Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. It is located in the most awesome location. It is the most visited tourist destination of Shimla.
This is the church build in British rule, and it is the most endured of those times. It is made up of a neo-gothic style of architecture. It has long lasted structure from the British times. It has five shining glass windows, which represent hope, Faith, patience, charity and fortitude. The clock embellished on the church was donated by Colonel Dumbleton. It has the largest pipe organ of the Indian sub-continent.
9. BASILICA OF BOM JESUS
It is one in all the oldest churches of Goa and India. It’s been created a landmark and a world heritage site by UNESCO. It is located in old Goa, the former capital of Portuguese India. This is an example of the baroque style of architecture. The baroque style of architecture is most prevalent in Europe. It is a highly decorative style of church which is seen largely in the region of Europe.
It is an example of the Portuguese style of architecture too. The floor is made up of marble. The interior of the church is simple except the Alter. Alter of the church, is embellished with the sculpture of Saint Ignatius Loyola. The church contains the body of Saint Francis, a friend of Saint Ignatius Loyola. He was also the renowned priest of those times. They conjointly founded the Society of Jesus.
10. MAHABODHI TEMPLE
It is the temple situated in the city of Bodh Gaya in Bihar. It is about 97 km away from the capital of Bihar, Patna. It is reckoned as the place where Buddha attained enlightenment. It has the residual of a tree under which Buddha used to meditate. Under that tree, he spent about seven days to reach the stage of enlightenment. Behind the temple, there is one museum which also has the carvings of those times.
Ashok of the Maurya Dynasty is said to have laid the foundation of this temple. Unfortunately, the temple was being destroyed. Ashok was also a follower of Buddha and also preached his teachings. The current temple was built during years of Gupta dynasty.
Since it’s considered as UNESCO World Heritage Site, the authority for the protection of this site is in the hands of Bihar state government. The temple has the inscription of Kharoshthi script.