India, often called the 'Dev Bhumi' or the abode of the gods, every inch of this land is heavily steeped in mythology and every glade has its own legend. India is covered with holy sites associated with the exploits of the gods, the waters of sacred rivers or the presence of holy men. Millions of people have been traversing its length and breadth to reach these centers of worship. In this land of diversity, the journey to these holy places has been the main form of interaction between people from different parts of the country. Carrying on this long tradition, pilgrimage tours in the country today has attained unprecedented levels.
Amarnath is considered to be one of the major Hindu Dhams. The holy cave is Amarnath Yatra (Ice Siva Lingam)located at a height of 3,888mts and is the abode of the holy trinity, Lord Shiva. The guardian of the absolute, Lord Shiva, the destroyer, is enshrined in the form of an ice-lingam in this cave located at farther end of the Lidder Valley. This lingam is formed naturally of an ice stalagmite which wakes up and wanes with the moon.
Location: 145-km From Srinagar, Kashmir Region
Altitude: 4,175m (13,700ft).
Route: Delhi - Srinagar - Pahalgam - Sheshnag - Panchtarni - Amarnath cave
Season: The Amarnath Yatra is organized every year during the month of shravan (July and August); the dates however, vary every year looking at the weather conditions and according to Purnima (Raksha Bandhan).
Skanda - also known as Murugan, Kartikeya, Subramanya is one of the most revered deities in the southern state of Tamilnadu. All these temples are located in South India - in the state of Tamil Nadu. Though there are thousands of temples for the Hindu god Lord Muruga - around the globe, these six specific temples enjoy unparallel sanctity and popularity among the devotees of Muruga or Balasubramanya - and deserve a very special mention. These six temples that constitute the Arupadai veedu group of shrines are Thiruparamkunram Subramanya Swami Temple, Tiruchendur Sendhil Andavar Temple, Swamimalai Swaminatha Swami Temple, Palani Dandayudhapani Swamy Temple, Tiruthani Subramanya Swamy Temple and Palamudhircholai Subramanya Swamy Temple.
Char Dam Yatra
The holy river Ganges and her tributaries flow past the Four Dams that are located in the state of Uttaranchal in North India. It is believed that Goddess Ganga descended upon the Earth in the form of a River to help the suffering humanity. It was split into four channels that include Alakananda (in Badrinath), Mandakini (in Kedarnath), Bhagirathi (in Gangotri) and Yamuna (in Yamunotri). Each of the Four Dams is blessed with spellbinding scenic beauty and countless ancient temples. Every year, countless tourists from across the world, visit here in search of peace and tranquility.
These temples represent the influence of cosmic and planetary forces and showcase the divine power of the nine planets. Navagraha Dieties
Alangudi: Guru Temple/ Jupiter
Thingalur: Chandiran Temple / Moon
Thirunageswaram: Raagu Temple / Raagu
Suryanar Koil: Suriyan Temple / Sun
Kanchanur: Sukhiran Temple / Venus
Vaitheeswaran Koil: Shevvai Temple / Mars
Thiruvengadu: Budan Temple / Mercury
Keezha Perumpalam: Kedhu / Kedhu
Thirunallar: Saneeswaran Temple / Saturn
A south Indian holy place famous as the residence of world famous Sri Satya Sai Baba and a center of his activities. Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the most colourful and Puttaparthi Saibabamultifaceted prophet, modern India has produced, is believed to be the very avatar (incarnation) of love and the voice of one’s own innermost heart speaking to each individual externally. The teachings of the Baba are based on the famous ‘five props’ of Sathya (truth), Dharma (righteousness) Santhi (peace), Prema (universal love) and Ahimsa (non violence). Prasanthi Nilayam, over the years, has attracted people from all over then world. The Ashram has a code of conduct which every visitor should follow. The 23rd of November is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm by the devotees of Baba at the Prasanthi Nilayam. Over a million people gather here on the occasion of the Baba’s birthday. Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is proclaimed as the tenth and final Avatara-incarnation of Lord Narayana, as prophesied in the ancient Indian scripture Vishnu Purana.
Shiridi is a small village in Kopargam taluk, in Ahmadnagar district of the Maharastra State. Shirdi is a very sacred, powerful and important place of pilgrimage in Shirdi Sai BabaIndia. Shirdi is about 285-km and 6 hours drive from Mumbai (Bombay), was established in 1922 to carry out the noble service of the saint Shri Sai Baba. The saga of Shri Sathya Sai Baba of Shirdi started in the middle of the last century when, as a boy about 16 years of age, he first appeared here under a neem tree absorbed in a hard penance. He devoted 60 years of life to the enlistment of the poor and suffering. The saint was believed to be an incarnation of lord Shiva and his teachings transcended all religions and beliefs. A pilgrimage for his followers, Shirdi provides various facilities for the devotees. Even today the last few surviving elders of the village vividly recall the miraculous wonders of the sage. He died in 1918 leaving behind grieving villagers. Khandoba Mandir, Samadhi of Shree Sai Baba, Dwarkamai mosque, Mhasoba temple all these places are within a periphery of 1km & can be covered on foot.
Tirupati is famed for the shrine on the Seven Hills of Tirumala Tirupathi Balajidedicated to Lord Venkateswara. The town of Tirupati is one of the most ancient and sacred pilgrimage spots in India. The hill near the temple is called ‘Tirumala’ or the “sacred hill.” The temple is said to be the busiest in the world and the Brahmotsavam is undoubtedly celebrated for its oriental pomp and pageantry in September every year.
Great Himalayas have been the abode of gods and here once walked gods and sages. Among these shrines dedicated to various gods and goddesses scattered all over the Himalayan and sub-Himalayan belt, Mata Vaishno Devi shrine near Katra 3 deities Mahakali,Mahalakshmi,Mahasaraswathi at Vaishno Devi templein Jammu, is the most popular and those who have visited there in faith speak of the returns on their labor, proof and manifestation of the all seeing power that meets out justice to the wanting and the fair. The Goddess is a personification of the all-pervading power (Maa Shakti) of the all-powerful Lord. In the cave there are images of three deities viz. the Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati. The Goddess is one but the names are many. She is the 'Aditi'- mother of gods; she is 'Lakshmi', goddess of fortune; 'Saraswati', goddess of wisdom, 'Maha Kali', destroyer of the evil, 'Prithvi, goddess of earth; 'Shailaputri', daughter of the Himalayas; 'Annapoorna', goddess of food; and 'Siddhidattatri', giver of Siddhi, success or perfection. She is tile supreme knowledge, greatest good fortune and supreme bliss.
Location: The holy cave shrine of Vaishno Devi is nestled in a beautiful recess of the Trikuta Mountains forming a part of the lower Himalayas. It is located 61 km north of Jammu at a height of 5,200 feet above the sea level.
Season: The shrine is visited all through the year, but the path is difficult during the winters when the route is often blocked by snow-fall.
Route: Jammu - Katra 48kms (by road) - Vaishno Devi 14kms (on foot)
The best way to catch the essence of Varanasi is to travel down the Ganges by boat at six o’clock in the morning. Boats can be hired by the hour from the main Varanasisteps of the Dasawamedha Ghat. The steady creek of ancient oars, the slap of wet garments, incessant chatter of the bathers amid a tinkling of scattered temple bells, watching Varanasi from the environs of a gently swaying boat is truly an experience worth treasuring.
Although Varanasi is famous as a Hindu pilgrimage center, one cannot ignore its distinct Muslim heritage. The powerful Sultans of Delhi and later the emperors of the Mughal dynasty were instrumental in constructing several mosques, and this predominantly Hindu city gradually attained a degree of cosmopolitanism. Aurangzeb, the last of the mighty Mughals, hastened this process of evolution and the mosques that he built still stand today. The great mosque of Varanasi, Gyanvyapi Masjid, has minarets towering 71 m above the Ganges and is an integral part of the city's skyline.
Jagannath Dham Yatra
Jagannath Dham Yatra PuriJagannath Rath Yatra (chariot journey of Jagannatha), observed in the month of Ashadha (June-July), is a festival that celebrates the annual visit of Jagannath or Lord Krishna to his birthplace. The Jagannath Temple at Puri, Orissa, is the venue for all celebrations. Several lakhs of people converge at Puri for this festival.
The River Ganges
Holy River Ganga HaridwarHaridwar is a town of great pilgrimage importance, a fascinating collection of temples, bathing ghats, Ashrams, Sadhus. Gurus and wandering cows. The most sacred place in Haridwar remains the Har-Ki-Pouri - where people take a dip in the holy River Ganges to cleanse them of their sins
Velankanni - Goa Pilgrimage TourVelankanni is situated on the coastal line of Bay of Bengal at a distance of 14 kms. south of Nagappattinam. Sacred Arokkiya Madha Chruch here,is a holy place for the Christians.
Hemkund Sahib GurudwaraSet amidst towering snow-capped mountains and lying beside a lake of pristine blue water, the Sikh shrine of Sri Hemkunt Sahib looks, even to the not-particularly-pious, a place of almost unbelievable beauty and peace. Seven peaks - known as the Sapt Sring- surround the shrine, looming over lush green pastures.
Golden TempleSituated in Amritsar, Punjab, the Golden Temple or Darbar Sahib, it is steeped in the history and ideology of Sikhism
BodhgayaMost significant of all the Buddhist pilgrimage destinations in India, it is a significant archaeological site, and a vital Buddhist centre.
RishikeshLocated barely 24 Kms from Haridwar at the base of the lower Himalayas, it is a scenic and spiritual paradise with the Holy Ganga flowing through.
HaridwarSet along the right side of the bank of the holy Ganga, it is associated with both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, and is one of the four venues for the famous Kumbh Mela.
KanyakumariLying at the junction of the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal it is associated with goddess Devi Kanya, an incarnation of Shiva’s wife.
MaduraiAlso called the Meenakshi Temple, it is located along river Vaigai. Believed to have been set up by the Pandyan King, Kulasekara in the 6th century BC, it is also referred to as the Athens of the East.
MathuraSet along the right banks of the Yamuna this town has a continuous line of ghats (riverbanks) which is picturesque in itself.
HampiOne of the earliest Hindu pilgrimage destinations of India, Hampi has many temples, flaunting Hindu style of architecture
PushkarPushkar is famous for its biggest cattle fair which falls in the month of Kartik. It commences two days before the full moon of the month and ends a day after it. Men and women congregate from all over Rajasthan and other nearby places with their horses, camels and cattle to buy and sell. In addition to its commercial importance, the fair is also a window to the cultural richness of Rajasthan. Days before it begins, tradesmen, craftsmen, troupes of dancers and singers, all gather here.
RanakpurOne of the five most significant pilgrimage sites of Jainism, it is located about 60 km north of Udaipur in Pali district
Andhra Pradesh Temples | Tamil Nadu Temples | Karnataka Temples | Kerala Temples
North India Temples :-
Temples in Delhi
Some of the most ancient and sacred temples in Delhi
Lakshmi Narayan Temple
Temples in Rajasthan
Some of the most ancient and sacred temples of India are situated in the state of Rajasthan
Temples in Punjab
Gurdwara Alamgir Sahib
Devi Talab Mandir
Temples in Uttranchal
Naina Devi Temple
Mansa Devi Temple
Temples in Uttarpradesh
Some of the most ancient and sacred temples of India are situated in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Banke Bihari Temple
Famous Pilgrimage Destinations of North India