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Popular Pilgrimage Destinations In India

Acknowledged as the Land of Gods and Deities, you are sure to find an unfathomable number of Pilgrimage Places in India. Eminent as the most ancient civilization, India is not only bloated with heritage opulence but also has a glorious mythological past. Every year, people in umteen numbers en route towards the holy shrines, either to find solace or to seek blessings. The enduring journey to many popular pilgrimage destinations attracts tourists from all over the world. Religion and beliefs are deep-rooted and there are many Religion Tours in India that you might wish to explore.

1. Vaishno Devi

One of the holiest shrines in India, Vaishno Devi is situated at an altitude of 5200 ft and the trek is almost 12 km from the base that lies in Katra, Jammu. The famous shrine in the north of India observes a footfall of more than a million devotees from all over the world, annually. With no statue or idol, it’s three natural rock formations called the Pindies in the cave situated on the mountain peak, are believed to be Goddess Shakti, Goddess Saraswati, Goddess Laxmi. The unflinching faith, that all the wishes of her devotees are taken care of by Mata Vaishno Devi makes the enduring trek most rewarding.

2. Char Dham

Char means four and Dham means abode of God, hence the set of four pilgrimage sites in India, which includes Badrinath, Dwaraka, Puri and Rameshwaram together are considered as Char Dham. It is believed that every Hindu must cover these four pilgrimage sites once in their lifetime to attain salvation from the cycle of birth and death. Due to the great significance of these four holy shrines, every year more than 2 lakh tourists visit here even if the climatic conditions are tough.

3. Golden Temple

One of the biggest Sikhism shrines in India, Golden Temple, also known as Harmandir Sahib is the holiest Gurudwara in the world. It is located in the heart of the city of Amritsar, Punjab, close to the Pakistan border. The Golden Temple derives its name from the dome of the Gurudwara which is made with 750kg of gold. Its architectural marvel flaunts the blend of Hindu and Islamic style. The temple holds great respect in the heart of every religion as the place is an amalgamation of diverse beliefs under one roof. With utmost respect, The Golden Temple is amongst the most sacred places in India.

4. Shirdi

Also known as Sai Ka Dham, it is the major pilgrimage destination for the devotees of Sai Baba. Situated in the western part of India in the state of Maharashtra, Shirdi is believed to be the home of spiritual leader Sai Baba. The main condominium includes the magnificent marble statue of Baba alongside his tomb, Dwarkamai and a mosque where Baba used to live. People of different religions have faith in him and throng to the land of spiritual significance all through the year.

5. Ajmer Sharif

Sufi shrine of the famous Sufi saint, Moinuddin Chishti, located in Ajmer, Rajasthan is the main pilgrimage center in India that is majorly followed by Islam however, people from all the religions pay a visit to the pilgrimage with great respect and unshaken faith. Every day after namaz is offered in praise of Allah, hymns are sung by Sufi qawwals inside the hall. The famous Urs Fair is organized every year in the month of March, which makes it an ideal time to visit, however, it's crowded all throughout the year.

6. Haridwar

The land where the holy river Ganga flows is situated at the foothills of the Himalayas in the state of Uttarakhand towards the north of India. The famous ghat, Har ki Pauri is venerated by thousands of people who visit here every day to take a holy dip and to attend the most auspicious evening Aarti. During that time the entire expanse gets lit up with a trail of small diyas floating over the Ganges. Haridwar is the most revered pilgrimage site that mesmerizes you and brings solace to your heart.

7. Amarnath Yatra

Situated at the height of 3,888m, 141 km away from Srinagar, Amarnath Yatra is the toughest. Amidst snow-clad mountains is this beautiful cave where Shiva Linga is formed due to the melting of ice from the roof onto the floor. It is believed that Lord Shiva entered the Amarnath Cave with his wife Parvati to enlighten her with the secret of life and eternity. It is the most famous Hindu pilgrimage site in India where devotees of Shiva throng in huge numbers every year during the 45 day season of July and August enduring hardships upon them to reach the cave.

8. Jyotirlinga Yatra

India is vast when it comes to pilgrimage to cover Jyotirlinga Yatra is not so easy. It has the greatest significance amongst the disciples of Lord Shiva. Originally there are 64 Jyotirlingas out of which 12 are considered to be the most auspicious. Together these 12 Jyotirlingas are called Dwadash Jyotirlingas and it is believed that people who pay a visit to these 12 holy shrines are sure to find salvation. Also, there is a belief that people who attain a higher spiritual level are only the fortunate ones who get the opportunity to visit this Shivalinga. Spread across the country, one cannot complete the 12 sites in one go.

9. Mathura and Vrindavan

The most revered deity, Lord Krishna was born in the land of Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, India. It is believed that Lord Krishna spent his childhood here due to which every particle of the dust is treated as auspicious. Devotees smear the dust on their forehead in a firm belief that they will seek his blessings by doing so. The most significant pilgrimage site attracts 5lakh pilgrims every year from around the world. Many people from foreign lands have devoted their life to Lord Krishna hence, making their abode in the Braj region which includes Mathura and Vrindavan primarily.

10. Madurai

An ancient city in the south of Indian state Tamil Nadu, Madurai was the site of Pandya's capital. Famous for the Chithrai Festival which is held every year in the months of April and May, the city is filled with millions of followers who pour in to attend the carnival. India's most outstanding pilgrimage destination, Madurai is also named as the city of temples.

25 Beautiful Religious Places in India

India is a spiritual land of different religions. People from all around the world come to visit to find themselves. The monk places and the grave historical stories about Gods, has made the hearts of people living here with faith and positivity. India has a lot of beauty, but on the same note, if you want to get to know the core of India, you must visit the famous religious places spread out in all parts of this country. We have listed for you the most beautiful religious places in India, where you can go with your friends, family or by yourself.

1. Amritsar

Golden Temple is one place which surpasses the beauty of all other places in this city and is enough to mark this city as one of the best on this list. People from nearby cities, love to visit Amritsar and bend their knees in front of God in this beautifully carved temple. It is the most popular heritage in Punjab and is marvelous to look at. It was built many years ago by fifth Guru, Guru Arjan and the “Sarovar” was finished by Ram Das in the year 1577.

Known for : Being the holiest pilgrimage city for the Sikh community.
Religious significance : Akal Takht which is built opposite the Golden Temple symbolizes in giving away only justice and temporal activity.

2. Vaishno Devi, Jammu Kashmir

There might be only a few Indians who haven’t been to this holy place in Jammu and Kashmir. It is widely popular all over India and remains very crowded. It is marvelously high at the altitude of 5300 ft and people go with their families and relatives quite regularly. They don’t mind they long uphill walk, when their faith is higher than it.

Known for : It is believed that Mata Vaishno Devi viewed the fight of Lord Rama and Ravana and prayed for the victory of Lord Rama, from this hill.
Religious Significance : Mata Vaishno Devi turned herself into a rock which is worshipped here in the temple and devotees believe that she blesses them with peace of mind and strength.

3. Sabarimala

Sabarimala in Kerala is known to be a spiritual land because it has the well known Lord Ayyappan Temple on the famous and magnificent Western Ghats of the region. It is surrounded by thick lush green forests and almost 18 hills. There are around 40 to 50 million devotees who visit this temple every year! But, somehow women between the ages of 10 to 50 are not allowed in this temple.

Known for : Lord Ayyappan started meditation at this place when demoness Mahishi was assassinated.
Religious Significance : This temple welcomes people of all religions, as values like equality and fraternity were believed by Lord Ayappa.

4. Shirdi

People of all religions have been known to have faith in Saint Sai Baba. It is one of the few places where both Hindus and Muslims come to worship God. It is located 296 km far from Mumbai and thousands of people pay their respects in the Sai Baba temple here every year.

Known for : Dedicated to Sai Baba, who is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva.
Religious Significance : Devotees believe in unison of all religions, just as Sai Baba believed in.

5. Madurai

South India is famous for its n number of temples. One of the most popular is Meenakshi Amman Temple which beautifully designed by architects and is located on the banks of River Vaigai. It attracts around 15,000 people every day, who pray to the almighty here.

Known for : Meenakshi Temple, the most famous temple here, is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi, who was another form of Goddess Parvati.
Religious Significance : It is believed that this temple was founded by Indra, King of Deva when he was atoning for his bad deeds.

6. Belur

Belur is a holy place which has very popular Chennakeshva Temple, which was known as Vijayanarayana Temple in earlier days. It is nestled on the banks of the River Yagachi. It is known to be constructed many years ago by Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana. They say, that Chennakeshwa was one of the appearances of Lord Vishnu. People love to visit this temple because of gorgeous architecture it has.

Known for : Built-in 12th century, it got damaged during wars but this is the temple which has always been repaired since then.
Religious Significance : The artwork done in the temple discusses how the life of Hindus used to be and also states illustrations based on Ramayana and Mahabaratha.

7. Sabarimala

Sabarimala in Kerala is known to be a spiritual land because it has the well known Lord Ayyappan Temple on the famous and magnificent Western Ghats of the region. It is surrounded by thick lush green forests and almost 18 hills. There are around 40 to 50 million devotees who visit this temple every year! But, somehow women between the ages of 10 to 50 are not allowed in this temple.

Known for : Lord Ayyappan started meditation at this place when demoness Mahishi was assassinated.
Religious Significance : This temple welcomes people of all religions, as values like equality and fraternity were believed by Lord Ayappa.

8. Puri

There are many Jagannath Temples in India, but the one in Puri, Odisha is the most popular. It is one of the Char Dhams of Hindu. The devotees worship the three idols Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra. These idols are constructed using Daru Brahma, which is a kind of wood.

Known for : Being one of the most sacred pilgrimage places for Hindus
Religious Significance : It is known to be created by King Indradyumna who worshipped the Lord and held a fast to death unless the God pays him a visit and then, he saw the vision of Lord in his sleep and made the idols.

9. Uttrakhand

Situated in a small city of Uttrakhand, the most famous place to be visited here is the Badrinarayana temple in Northern Dham. This is also one of the Char Dhams of India amid the Hindus. It is nestled on the banks of the River Alakananda and devotees have to walk all the way up in order to reach this famous Badrinath temple which is at a high elevation of 10170 ft.

Known for : It is also one of the 108 abodes (Divya Desams) of Lord Vishnu.
Religious Significance : The main idol placed in this temple was discovered in the 9th century by the scholar and great saint Adi Shankara.

10. Trivandrum

Temples in this region are visited by people in South India on a regular basis. Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple situated in Thiruvananthapuram is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is one of the most amazing pilgrimage sites in India. Also widely popular for being the principal worship place of Lord Vishnu and thus, people tend to pay their respects here on a yearly basis.

Known for : It is one of the richest Hindu temples in India.
Religious Significance : It is one of the 108 Divya Desams in India, that is the holiest abodes of Lord Vishnu.

11. Konark

Konark is the city of Orissa which is most famous for Sun Temple. Sun Temple is usually visited for its architectural beauty, more than it is visited for devotion. Created many years ago for the devotion of Sun God, it is one of the most ancient temples in India. UNESCO called it a World Heritage site as it attracts millions of people from all over the world, throughout the year.

Known for : It was made in a shape which resembles a big chariot, having 7 horses and 12 wheels.
Religious Significance : After assassinating the demon Gyasur, Lord Vishnu is known to place his belongings at different spots to announce his victory and he places his lotus at Konark.

12. Kedarnath

When you are able to get your eyes off the scenic beauty of Kedarnath, the temple is what you must visit. Situated on the banks of Mandakini River, the temple is one of the very popular religious places all over India. But it is only open in between April and November.

Known for : It is known that it was built by Pandavas and then again revived by the saint Adi Shankaracharya
Religious Significance : Dedicated to Lord Shiva, in the appearance of Lord Kedar Khand.

13. Tungnath

There are five Kedar temples in India, known for worshipping Lord Shiva. One of them is Tungnath, situated in Rudraprayag district, where people have to trek in order to reach the temple which is at the altitude of 12073ft. There is also a trekking place nearby, which is why many tourists come to visit.

Known for : It is the highest shrine built for the worship of Lord Shiva.
Religious Significance : It is a majestic place and Lord Shiva is known to have lived at the point.

14. Ramanathapuram

This city is famous for being one of the holiest places in India an has various pilgrimage sites. It is one of the Char Dhams of India which has been known to be the four holiest places for Hindu religion. It is located on the Pamban Island, connected to the city by a channel, also known as the Pamban Channel.

Known for : It has the longest corridor, in comparison to all Hindu temples in India.
Religious Significance : It is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines, where Lord Shiva is worshipped as the God of Light.

15. Palani

Palani in Tamil Nadu has a famous Murugan temple, situated in the foothills of Palani Hills in the northwest of Madurai. It is known to be one of the most important pilgrimage place in India for the Hindus. Dedicated to the son of Lord Shiva, Lord Kartikeya, who is believed to have come here when he chose to welcome mature hood and not remain a boy anymore.

Known for : Panchamrit and Javaadu Vibhuti
Religious Significance : It is one of the six abodes of Lord Murugan, also known as Lord Kartikeya.

16. Halebid

Halebid in Karnataka is visited by many spiritual people because of Hoysaleswara Temple, also known as Dorasamudra. This temple was attacked by Muslim invaders in the 14th century, which led to a lot of damage. But it still is admired because of the magnificent architecture that it sustains. There are two significant shrines made of soapstone which is created for the King and Queen, whose name was Shantala Devi. Her shrine is called Shantaleshwara.

Known for : The exquisite architecture here is the reason people from all around the world come to visit this pilgrim site.
Religious Significance : It has one of the largest temples in South India, which is created for the worship of Lord Shiva.

17. Tirupati

Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh is very popular because of Trimula Venkateswara temple and its richness. Around 50 thousands to 1 lakh people visit this temple in India every year, even though it is at the seventh peak of Tirumala Hill. They even host a festival called Brahmotsavam, which gathers a large crowd.

Known for : Being India’s Richest Pilgrimage
Religious Significance : Body is known to attain bliss when they visit the Lord Venkateshwara here who is always in a state of bliss.

18. Varanasi

One of the most religious and cultural places in India is the beautiful Varanasi. Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi attracts many tourists and is located on the banks of River Ganges. Devotees of Lord Shiva visit this temple frequently, or at least once in their life. Some Hindus believe in cremating their ancestors in the holy city of Varanasi and nowhere else.

Known for : Its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, and beautiful sculptures.
Religious Significance : It is also known as another temple where Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of light, and also for the devotees of Vishvanath.

19. Gujarat

The fourth Dham of Hindus is in the west, that is in Gujarat. It is built in the Dawarka city, popular for being the capital of Lord Krishna. The most famous temple here is Dwarkadhish Temple. This building is about five stories tall and is put together strong by 72 pillars.

Known for : It is one of the seven most religious cities in India and saint Adi Shankaracharya visited this site, making it one of the sacred pilgrimages.
Religious Significance : The Dwarka town is even mentioned in the Epic Mahabharata.

20. Rajasthan

Rajasthan is known for its culture and faith in God. Situated in the city Deshnoke, this temple is created to worship Karni Mata who is known to be one of the incarnations of Goddess Durga. It was constructed by Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner many years ago and is worshipped by people who have grave faith in her.

Known for : It is also known as Temple of Rats and attracts tourists from all around the world for the same reason.
Religious Significance : Presence of about 20,000 black rats which are worshipped by many people in India for blessings.

21. Kerala

Situated in a town of Kerala, another famous temple in South India is Guruvayoor Temple which is also dedicated to Lord Krishna. This temple is also known as ‘Bhooloka Vaikuntam’ which is a translation of “holy abode of Lord Vishnu”. It was built by a great architect Viswakarma.

Known for : Here, the rays of the sun touch the feet of the deity.
Religious Significance : It is known that Lord Krishna himself ordered his disciple Uddhva to place the idol of the deity properly.

22. Madhya Pradesh

Central India attracts many tourists from all over the world and one of the reasons is the Khajuraho group of temples and monuments which are designed magnificently and were constructed in the medieval era. The sculptures and carvings on the pilgrim sites and other monuments are eye-captivating, telling different stories.

Known for : Having one of the seven wonders of the world
Religious Significance : Built together for both Hindu and Jain religious beliefs.

23. Hampi

Hampi in the city of Vijayanagar is a holy place is India where Virupaksha temple is built in the dedication of Lord Shiva. Mythology states that the temple was built in 7th Century AD. It is built on the banks of the river Tunghabadra.

Known for : It is one of the oldest temples in India.
Religious Significance : People with grave faith in Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva come from different parts of the country to worship these Lords in different temples here.

24. Sravanabelagola

Sravanabelagola is a small district in Karnataka which is visited by people of India because of the Jain Temple. One of the very popular is Gomateshwara Bahubali. It has two peaks Chandragiri and Vindhyagiri. Those who abide by this religion love to visit and it is also ideal if you want to learn about Jainism.

Known for : 57-feet tall statue of Lord Gomateshwara Bahubali, second tallest in Karnataka
Religious Significance : A Jain King built the Gomateshwara Bali statue in the year 1432 and hence, is quite ancient.

25. Prabhas Patan

One of the Jyotirlinga temples is Somnath Temple situated in Prabhas Patan, which is in Gujrat, near the Western Ghats. People come from different parts of India to pay their respects to Lord Shiva. It is one of the most important pilgrimage places for the Hindus and has also become a popular tourist spot.

Known for : The name “Somnath” itself means ‘protector of Moon God’.
Religious Significance : It sustains one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva and the name has been mentioned in the epic Shreemad Bhagavat.

FAQs Popular Pilgrimage:

Which is the famous pilgrimage in India?

Haridwar-Rishikesh, Mathura-Vrindavan, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Ayodhya, Dwarka and Rameswaram.

What are the four pilgrimage of India?

The four Dhams are, Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri and Rameswaram.

Which place is famous for religious tourism in India?

Kedarnath, Varanasi, Tirupati, Shirdi, Madurai, Ayodhya, Vaishnodevi Devi, Sabarimala, Ranakpur, Haridwar, Amritsar, Bodh Gaya, Amarnath, Mathura, Rishikesh, Badrinath, Vrindavan, Rameshwaram, Pushkar, Puri.

What is the 7 holy places for Hinduism?

Seven of holy cities of Sapta Puri are Ayodhya, Mathura, Maya (Haridwar), Kasi (Varanasi), Kanchi (Kanchipuram), Avantika (Ujjain) and Dvaravati (Dwarka).

Which is more difficult Kedarnath or Yamunotri?

The Kedarnath Yatra is considered to be the most difficult.

Which is a famous religious place?

Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, India is dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva. Widely considered one of the most important temples in Hinduism, it is set on the western bank of the River Ganges. Varanasi is an important place of pilgrimage for Hindus.