India is the birthplace of mythological Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Indians are known to be true believers and devotees of various Hindu Gods. Therefore, there are places in India that offer mind blowing architecture and makes one feel the spiritual connection with the Almighty. These places are the main reasons of India being a famous pilgrimage country where millions and millions of pilgrims come to feel the divine intervention that these places are perfect for. India is a country that offers devoted pilgrims an opportunity of seeking redemption and washing off their sins. And it’s not some old norm or belief, people do actually, lose sense of their physical existence, and escape into another world where they only realize their spiritual existence and the presence of God. Rituals and daily worships still takes place in these places and they’re a traveler’s delight.
1) Golden Temple.
Located in Amritsar, Golden Temple is the holiest shrine is Sikhism and has become an increasingly popular site for people all over the world. What’s special about Golden Temple is that in the early 19th century, 100 kg of gold were applied to the inverted lotus-shaped dome and decorative marble was added, hence the name ‘Golden Temple’. You’ll be amazed to see the striking architecture, all done manually, making the temple look even more resplendent. It is the people, so selfless and giving in nature that truly believe in society’s welfare. You can see common people from all ranks and walks of life washing utensils, singing, cleaning the temple complex which is they think is the truest form of service. The Sarovar, the pond that makes the Golden Temple look surreal is believed to be sacred and pilgrims wash off their sins by taking a dip in the holy water. Golden Temple is definitely a one in a million experience.
2) Vaishno Devi.
The Vaishno Devi temple is one of the busiest and oldest sacred destinations of India, situated at at a height of 5300 feet. Dedicated to India’s most prominent mythological Goddess, Goddess Vaishno, it is located at Trikuta Hills of the Shivalik Hill Range. The Holy cave is 13 Kms from the Base Camp Katra. Enthusiastic pilgrims can be seen singing devotional songs while trekking from the base camp to the main temple. The indominable spirit that the pilgrims show once they reach the camp is amazing. Vaishno Devi temple lies in the lap of rugged mountains, which prove to be very risky at times. Though there are helicopters that can directly transport pilgrims to the temple, people prefer walking because they feel that is what real devotion means. Conquering all odds to become one with God.
3) Har ki Pauri.
Situated on the banks of the river ganges of Haridwar, har ki pauri is known as the most sacred bathing ghat. Har Ki Pauri is believed to be the exit point of the river Ganga from the mountains into the plains. Har ki Pauri is mainly famous for the arti( prayer) that happens on the ghats each evening. The arti is purely magnificent and attracts huge number of pilgrims and tourists each day of the year who come to take a dip in the holy river and wash away their sins. Devotees float thousands of earthen lamps and pray for the well being of their loved ones. The water of the river reflects the light of the diyas and it is a breathtaking sight to look at. The experience in itself, is so pure and divine that you feel you have taken birth into this world, again.
4) Ajmer Sharif
India’s very own Mecca-Medina, Amer Sharif is located in Ajmer, Jaipur. It is in fact, the most prominent Muslim shrine after Mecca. It is old saying that people who visit Ajmer Sharif and pray with pure faith and loyalty at his Dargah will free their soul. They say that if you pray for something at dargah ajmer sharif, your wish will be granted. So much so, top bollywood actors and actresses have turned visiting the Dargah into a trend, right before the release of their films. The qawwalis which are sung by singers throughout the day here in praise of Moinuddin Chishti, leave the pilgrims enthralled. The kind of faith that is shown by the devotees here is unparalleled. The dargah is open throughout the year and is the best place to multiply one’s affection for the higher power.
5) Tirupati Balaji.
Tirumala Venkateswara temple is a famous temple of Hindus, located in Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh. It is situated in the Tirumala Hills which has 7 peaks in total and each peak represents the head of Adhisesha. The balaji temple is located on one such peak called Venkatdri. Lord Venkateswara is the main diety, which is one form of Hindu God Vishnu. It is a top spot for tourists throughout the year. Most find it hard to believe but sources claim that the Tirupati Balaji temple is the most visited worship place in the world because during all the important festivals, the visits shoot up to 30-40 million a year. Such incredible display of unadulterated devotion can only be witnessed in India.