When we think of India the thing that immediately strikes our mind is the beautiful religious diversity that exists here. It is so rich and resplendent that it attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world. Reflecting this diversity are a considerable number of religious destinations in India. Some also find a spot in the list of top religious cities of the world. People from so many faiths flock to India for pilgrimage tour every year to visit these cities for some soul-searching.
We would like to highlight that not only Hindu faith temples but there are . some world famous Churches, Mosques, and Gurudwaras in India. Having said so much, let us take you to a tour of the top five religious cities of India, read on:
People also take a holy dip in the Ganga as it is believed that the sacred water washes away the one’s sins committed knowingly or unknowingly. Talking about the temples, Kashi Vishwanath temple (dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva) is the most famous and one of the oldest temples in Varanasi. Hindu people from all over the world long to visit this temple once in their lifetime. Pilgrimage tour at Varanasi proves to be one of the most fulfilling experiences one could ever have.
Situated in the western state of Rajasthan, Pushkar is one of the holiest towns in India. People often plan trips for soul-searching in Pushkar as it is here that the Hindu deity Lord Brahma has a temple dedicated to him. Legend says that Pushkar was formed at the site where one of the three petals fell from the Lotus flower weapon of Brahma. This highlights that this town is one of the oldest towns and is thus deeply revered by the Hindus due to its religious importance.
Not only Brahma Temple but the Pushkar Lake and surrounding ghats are crucial holy destinations here. People from all over India and abroad visit Pushkar in Kartik Maas (October- November) to take a dip in the sacred waters of the lake. One should not miss the evening prayers at the Varah Ghat during a pilgrimage tour at Pushkar because the atmosphere ringing with divine sounds of chime bells and the set up illuminated with the light of myriad lamps looks just out of this world!
Rishikesh is a beautiful city located in Uttarakhand. Apart from adrenaline rush giving adventure activities, Rishikesh is widely known for its religious sites. This city has a great mythological importance as it has been attached to Lord Vishnu and sages and saints of the olden times. This city being constellated with several temples, ghats, ashrams etc, is a perfect place for the ones who embrace spirituality as a way of life. One can go for some soul rejuvenation and renewal activities like yoga and meditation taught at many ashrams here.
Rishikesh is also known as the Yoga capital of India because of this. The two principal tourist attractions of Rishikesh pilgrimage tour are the Triveni Ghat and Laxman Jhoola. Triveni Ghat is the spot where the three sacred rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati Unite and Laxman Jhoola is a massive bridge which was crossed by Laxman (brother of Lord Rama) so that he could do self-abasement for killing a Brahmin.
Madurai is an ancient city in the state of Tamil Nadu famous for its temples and religious destinations. Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple is the temple which lies at the heart of Madurai city and around which the city is built in a Lotus shape. This beautifully carved temple attracts a large number of pilgrims every year. Having precisely 985 pillars in it with each pillar bearing distinct carvings, this temple is one which leaves the onlooker spellbound.
Pilgrimage tour at Madurai will take you to some other important temples like Azhagar Koli, Koodal Azhaar Temple, Pazhamudhirsolai etc. Legend says that this city has received divine blessings of Lord Shiva in the form of nectar that fell from his hair locks and that’s why it is called as Madurai- the city of Nectar.
Khajuraho is one of the most visited tourist destinations in India because of the Khajuraho group of temples located here. These are a group of Jain and Hindu temples depicting the culture and traditions of local people during the Chandela Dynasty. Situated in the state of Madhya Pradesh, these together have been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO due to the exemplary representative artwork of Chandela dynasty it puts on display. Erotica themed sculptures carved out intricately is the most well-known feature of the Khajuraho group of temples.
If you are planning a trip to Khajuraho then it will be more of a religious heritage exploration trip. Some of the temples which are worth exploring among the group are Laxman, Vishwanath, Chitragupta, Kandariya, Jagdamba, Parsvanath, Mahadeva, Adinath temple etc.
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