India is appropriately known as the “Land of Faith” and has many scared places you can’t keep count of. You can sense heavenly presence as you make your way through the majestic mountains, or you can travel through the winding lanes where spirituality and history are waiting to quench your need for the divine. India’s abundance of temples, mosques, churches, Gurudwaras, and monasteries entice tourists to come and explore this tolerant, spiritual, and diverse yet united nation.
Many everyday locations in India have become important holy sites thanks to spirituality. As a result, many travelers have begun to swarm these hubs in addition to the vast number of pilgrims who visit these religious locations once a year. Both tourism and India’s reputation have increased significantly. Following is a list of some of the most sacred places in India:
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1. The Golden Temple, Amritsar
The Golden Temple, also known as the Sri Harmandir Sahib, is the most well-liked Gurudwara among Sikhs. The construction of this Gurudwara was made possible by Guru Arjan, the fifth Sikh Guru. The Adi Granth Sahib, the Sikhs’ sacred text, is also present here. Numerous significant historical occurrences in the Sikh religion have taken place in this Gurudwara. Every Sikh aspires to come here at least once in their lifetime.
2. Ajmer Sharif Dargah, Ajmer
The Ajmer Sharif Dargah, 2 kilometers from the Ajmer railway station, is where Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, a revered Sufi saint, is buried. Shah Jahan erected the mosque in this location. It is reported that the great Mughal emperor Akbar brought his wife here on an annual pilgrimage. From Agra, they walked. They did so as a result of an oath they had made while each was asking God for a son. Rough estimates indicate that 125,000 devotees stop by this location every day.
3. Badrinath Temple, Uttarakhand
The Badrinath temple, commonly known as Badrinathji, is devoted to Lord Vishnu and is situated on the magnificent Himalayan Range. When Lord Vishnu became aware that he was becoming overly interested in worldly affairs, he came here to meditate. Due to the severe weather in the Himalayas, this temple is closed for six months every year. Visitors during the summer are also required to bring bulky wool clothing. The four “dhams” of Hinduism include the Badrinath temple as well. The phrase “Chota Dham” is also used by the people of Uttarakhand.
4. Jagannath Temple, Puri
According to Hindu doctrine, visiting one of the “char dhams,” which includes Puri’s Jagannath Temple, can lead to salvation for people. Lord Jagannath’s temple’s primary deity. There are also idols of the goddesses Subhadra and Balabhadra. The festival is known as “Rath Yatra” and is the ideal time to visit this temple. You’ll be astounded by how everyone celebrates it. At this point, the crowd is very animated, and the believers’ fervor will give you goosebumps.
5. Vaishno Devi, Jammu & Kashmir
High in the highlands, there lies a Vaishno Devi shrine that is devoted to Adi Shakti. It is positioned atop Jammu’s impressive Trikuta Hill. Every day, a large number of devotees visit the site. Usually, people embark on a trip to ascend the hill. The neighborhood is vibrant thanks to the followers’ fervor and lovely surroundings. For those who don’t want to walk as far, there are helicopter choices. There are alternatives for palanquins, so if you’re traveling with an elderly companion but still want to go on the trek, they can ride along with you instead of walking with you.
6. Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa
The most popular pilgrimage site for Christians is the Basilica of Bom Jesus. The bones of St. Francis Xavier are located in this church. Every ten years, the body is shown for public viewing, drawing visitors from all around the world. UNESCO is in charge of looking after this church because it is a World Heritage Site. In addition, it is India’s oldest church. It represents a significant turning point in Christian history. In the year 1594, the church’s construction got underway. This church’s interiors are gorgeous and exquisitely embellished with priceless marble and stones.
7. Amarnath Dham, Jammu & Kashmir
The Amarnath Dham is one of the four “Dham” of the Hindus, and it is situated in the high highlands of Jammu and Kashmir. This Dham, which resembles a cave more than a temple, is well-known for the lingam, a statue of Lord Shiva, which spontaneously forms each year. Legend has it that Lord Shiva and his wife, Goddess Parvati, were having discourse here, hundreds of years ago. Two pigeons overheard their talk as he revealed the key to immortality to her. Two birds are allegedly always visible in this cave, according to locals. This celestial shrine is accessible only after a strenuous journey.
8. Somnath Jyotirlinga, Gujarat
The first Jyotirlinga shrine of Shiva is the Somnath temple, which is situated in Gujarat. Lord Shiva is worshipped in the shape of a lingam, and the word “jyotir” signifies “radiance.” Jyotirlingas are thought to be the locations from which Lord Shiva manifested as light. This temple is the subject of several stories, the most fascinating of which is its past. Who knows when or how it was constructed. The Hindu kings had this temple restored after each of the numerous times the Islamic kings attacked it. Varanasi and Dwarka are two other locations where Jyotirlingas can be found.
9. Ranakpur Temple, Rajasthan
The greatest virtue is humility, and Jainism extols this ideal. One of the top destinations for Indian pilgrimage tourism is Ranakpur, located in the Rajasthani village of Ranakpur. One of the oldest Jain temples in India, the Ranakpur temple is highly revered by its followers. This temple is visited by pilgrims from all over the world because of its magnificent architecture and lovely surroundings. If you immerse yourself in this serene atmosphere, you will undoubtedly seek a kind of spirituality that is unlike anything else.
The oldest city in India is Varanasi, sometimes referred to as Shiv ki Nagari. There are about 20,000 temples in the city, one on each corner of the road. The holy city of Kashi is thought to be the spiritual capital of India because it is stated that Lord Shiva built it with his hands. According to a widely held belief, if you pass away in this city, you will achieve Moksh (salvation).
Varanasi is known for its holy Ghats, which offer the deepest spiritual serenity together with the most picturesque and serene vistas of the revered river Ganga. The Manikarnika Ghat, Dashashwamedha Ghat, Pancha-Ganga Ghat, Asi Sangam Ghat, Varana Sangam Ghat, Kashi Vishwanath temple, Bindhu Madhava, Adi Keshava, Durga, and Sankat Mochan temples are Varanasi’s top tourist attractions.