India is a land of pilgrimage. A pilgrimage is a long journey or search of great moral significance. Indian pilgrimage is as old as the Indian civilization. A journey to a sacred place or shrine can lead to eternal peace and more faith in that Divine power which runs through each and every one of us, irrespective of the religion. Here is a list of the Top 10 Pilgrimage Sites in India :
Meherabad is a popular place of pilgrimage for both Eastern and Western followers of Meher Baba, who was an Indian mystic and spiritual master who declared publicly in 1954 that he was the Avatar of the age. Meherabad was originally an ashram established by Meher Baba near Arangaon Village (Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India). It is now the site of Meher Baba’s samadhi (tomb-shrine) as well as facilities and accommodations for pilgrims. From 10 July 1925 to the end of his life, Meher Baba maintained silence, communicating by means of an alphabet board or by unique hand gestures.
Dargah Shariff of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti is indeed an ornament to the city of Ajmer. It is one of the holiest places of worship in India not only for the Muslims but also for the people of other faiths who hold the saint the high esteem and reverence. As mentioned previously. The Khwaja Saheb, as a ‘living spirit’ of peace and harmony, enjoys universal respect and devotion ever since he set his holy feet on the soil of Hindustan.
The Harmandir Sahib also Darbar Sahib and informally referred to as the Golden Temple is a prominent Sikh Gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. It was built by the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjan Dev, in the 16th Century. In 1604, Guru Arjan Dev completed the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism, and installed it in the Gurdwara. Sri Harmandir Sahib is considered holy by Sikhs. The most holy text of Sikhism, the Guru Granth Sahib, is always present inside the Gurdwara. Its construction was mainly intended to build a place of worship for men and women from all walks of life and all religions to come and worship God equally. Over one lakh people visit the holy shrine daily for worship.
Shirdi Sai temple is a beautiful shrine that was built over the Samadhi of Shri Sai Baba. Shirdi is located approximately 296 Kilometers from Mumbai (Bombay) City in India. Shirdi is famous temple of Shri Sai Baba. It was established in 1922 to carry out the services of Shri Sai Baba. Shri Saibaba of Shirdi lived between 1838 and 1918, whose real name, birthplace and date of birth are not known. An Indian spiritual guru and a fakir, Shri Saibaba in Shirdi was regarded with great reverence by both Hindu and Muslim followers. Lord Sai lived in a mosque and after death his body was cremated in a temple.
Vaishno Devi Mandir is one of the holy Hindu temples dedicated to Shakti, located in the hills of Vaishno Devi, Jammu and Kashmir, India. In Hinduism, Vaishno Devi, also known as Mata Rani and Vaishnavi, is a manifestation of the Mother Goddess. Vaishno Devi Temple is near the town of Katra, Jammu and Kashmir|Katra, in the Reasi district in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is one of the most revered places of worship in India.
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple is a Hindu temple in the hill town of Tirumala, near Tirupati in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. It is around 600 km from Hyderabad, 138 km from Chennai and 291 km from Bangalore. It comprises seven peaks, representing the seven heads of Adisesha, thus earning the name Seshachalam. The seven peaks are called Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabhadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri. The temple is on Venkatadri, the seventh peak, and is also known as the “Temple of Seven Hills”. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Venkateswara, a form of the Hindu god Vishnu.
Char Dham are the names of four piligrimage places in India that are widely revered by most of the “Hindus”. They are: Badrinath, Dwarka, Jagannath Puri, and Rameshwaram. The Char Dham are often considered the most revered sites for Hindus that have to be visited in one’s lifetime. Badrinath is located in the North Indian state of Uttarakhand. Dwarka located in the West is in the state of Gujarat, India. Puri located in the East is located in the state of Orissa, India. Rameswaram located in the South is in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Shikharji, also known as the Parasnath Hill, located in Giridih district in Jharkhand, India, is a major Jain pilgrimage destination and considered one of the most sacred place for Jains in the world. According to Jainism, following 20 out of 24 Tirthankaras attained Nirvana here. Parasnath Hill with a height of 1,350 metres make up the highest mountain in Jharkhand state. This place is surrounded by a deep forest called Madhuban. It is accessible from nearby towns and cities through arterial roads.
Vrindavan, also known as Vraj is a town in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is the site of an ancient forest which is the region where according to the Mahabharata, a grand Epic of Sanskrit literature dating back to the 3000 BC, the deity Krishna spent his childhood days. The town hosts hundreds of temples dedicated to the worship of Radha and Krishna and is considered sacred by a number of religious traditions such as Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Vaishnavism, and Hinduism in general.
Rishikesh is a city in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, it is known as The Gateway to the Himalayas. Rishikesh is surrounded by three other districts namely Tehri Garhwal, Pauri Garhwal and Haridwar. The sacred river Ganges flows through Rishikesh. It is here that the river leaves the Shivalik mountains in the Himalayas and flows out into the plains of northern India. Several temples, ancient as well as new, can be found along the banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh. As with Haridwar about an hour south, Rishikesh is considered by Hindus to be a holy city.
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