The most popular hindu pilgrimage places have spiritual and religious importance in society due to great belief of people to the god.
Hinduism is the oldest religion among the existing larger religions. Hinduism believes god and religous and pilgrimage destinations. The spiritual air in the country humbly carries the fragrance of Karma, Dharma and most importantly Forgiveness. India is a vast country, with diverse cultures and ancient civilization. There are a number of religious groups residing in India. A secular country under whose shelter dwells multiple religions in utmost peace and harmony, India can rightly be called the ‘Land of Faith’. Lots of tourists from around the world visit India to seek spirituality at India’s numerous holy places. Even non-religious individuals are visiting these places as sites of cultural importance or just to get an idea about Hinduism and India in general.
Most everyone likes to travel and see new countries and sights and inspiring places, and some of the most stimulating places are those of spiritual importance where historical events or miracles have taken place, or where significant spiritual incidents have happened as described in various spiritual texts and epics, such as the Ramayana, Mahabharata, etc.
Importance of temples in Hinduism
Often even the names of the temple towns have a story behind them. For example, there are stories about why Naimisaranya got its name. Nemi in Sanskrit means a circle. It is said that when celestial beings asked Brahma where they should do penance, Brahma flung his ring, and told them that they should do penance in the place where the ring fell. It fell in the place we now know a Naimisaranya. It acquired its name from Brahma’s ring. Another story says that after Lord Narayana used His discus (Sudarsana) to slay demons, He told Sudarsana to clean himself up in the place now called Naimisaranya. Because the discus bathed there, it came to be called Naimisaranya.
In some temples, the Lord appeared of His own accord. Then there are other temples where the image was installed by sages, celestial beings or human beings. Seven places are said to be very holy — Ayodhya, Kasi, Mathura, Puri, Kanchi, Avantika and Dwaraka. It is important to visit these places.
Mathura – A pilgrimage place in Hinduism
Mathura is the place where Ambarisha did penance. It was at Mathura that the young boy Dhruva did penance. It used to be originally known as Madhu vanam. It was here that Krishna was born. In Kanchipuram, there is a temple where the deity is known as Deepa Prakasa. Vedanta Desika composed a Sanskrit work in praise of this deity. In one of the verses, he points out that Narayana is worshipped in temples according to one of two agamas — Pancharatra or Vaikhanasa. The Pancharatra was taught by the Lord Himself. As for the Vaikhanasa agama, it was taught by the sage Vikhanasa. Although the celestial beings worshipped the Lord on many occasions, their worship was invariably for a purpose. They wanted to get back lost power, or they sought protection of their status..
Significance of Char Dham in Hindu Religion
Chardham Yatra have a great importance and significance especially among the people of Hindu religion. Pilgrims believe that Chardham yatra washes away all sins and opens doors for “Moksha”. Every human being should consider visiting these four Holy places at least once in their lifetime. The Char Dham Yatra is considered as a must visited pilgrimage tour in order to get salvation. Every year, more than 2 Lac tourists visit these holy shrines. In Hindu mythology, it is believed that the prehistoric Hindu philosopher Shri Adi Shankaracharya coined the term ‘Char Dham’. The literal meaning of this term is four abodes of God or Holy Destinations. These four shrines are in the region that is famous for the captivating mountains surrounded by a thick layer of snow and unadulterated atmosphere. In India, the Hindus believe that the Char Dham tour opens the gates of salvation by washing away all their sins. It is also believed that this journey must be undertaken at least once in a lifetime. These four shrines have a great significance and place in Hindu mythology. According to this mythology, Shri Adi Shankaracharya acquired freedom from reincarnation in the Shri Badrinath Dham. The doorway to the Yatra is Yamunotri. Next destination is the renowned Gangotri shrine. Thereafter the pilgrim has to visit Shri Kedarnath Dham and finally Shri Badrinath Dham. After completing the Char Dham pilgrimage tour, the pilgrim achieves an absolute serenity of the mind.
Religious and spiritual importance of ‘Kumbh’
‘Kumbh’ is an abode of Sea, Earth and all 4 ‘Vedas’ : Sages, Saints and Brahmins have honored ‘Kumbh’ as a symbol of greatness of Deities, natural wealth, materialistic prosperity, grace of Sree and Lakshmi and a storage of knowledge and science. As per the science, ‘Kumbh’ is an abode of Deities. In the opening of ‘Kumbha’, there is abode of Bhagavan Sri Vishnu; in its neck, abode of Sri Mahadev and at its base, there is abode of Sri Brahmadev. It is also stated that in the centre of ‘Kumbh’, there is abode of all Deities, all Seas, Mountains, Earth and 4 ‘Vedas’; therefore, ‘Kumbh’ has religious and spiritual importance.
Characteristics of Varanasi religious pilgrimage
Perhaps the most famous of all holy places is Varanasi, situated on the banks of the Ganges some 450 miles south of Delhi. It is also called Benares and Kashi. It may be one of the oldest cities in the world and is included in the list of India’s “seven ancient cities.” It is mentioned in the Epics and Puranas as “the foremost city of Shiva.” Its most famous mandir, the Golden Temple dedicated to Visvanatha (Shiva), was destroyed and then rebuilt under Muslim rule.
Popular hindu religious places in india
Bodh Gaya: The founder of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, attained enlightenment under the sacred Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya. Bodhgaya is one of the four most sacred pilgrimage places for the Buddhists.
Char Dham: Char Dham (sacred Hindu shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri) are situated in the snow-covered reaches of the lofty Garhwal Himalayas, Uttaranchal.
Ajmer Sharif: The Lake city of Ajmer is well known for the Dargah of Sufi saint Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chishti. The ‘Dargah Sharif’ in Ajmer is held in great esteem by devotees of all communities.
Golden Temple: The Golden Temple or “Darbar Sahib” at Amritsar is the most sacred place for the Sikhs. The Golden temple symbolizes the magnificence of the Sikhs all over the world.
Haridwar: Haridwar is one of the most important Hindu pilgrim places of India. Haridwar has very rich religious and cultural heritage. In the Hindu scriptures, Haridwar is known by the name of Mayapur.
Jain Pilgrimage: India is the land where Jainism originated. Today, around 3.2 million Jain devotees live in India. Across the length and breadth of India lay the Jain temples and shrines and hold immense attraction.
Mathura: Mathura is an important place of Hindu pilgrimage. Mathura is also known as the Brajbhoomi – the land where Lord Krishna was born and spent his youth. Mathura is located on the banks of River Yamuna.
Badrinath: Badrinath Temple is located in the state of Uttranchal in India. Nestled between the twin mountains of “Nar” and “Narayan”, the holy Badrinath pilgrimage is visited by scores of devotees every year.
Dwarka: The holy Dwarka temple is located in the state of Gujarat located on the West of India. It is an important pilgrimage for all Hindus and is considered to be the ancient kingdom of Lord Krishna.
Vaishno Devi: Located in the mighty Trikuta Mountains at a distance of 60 kilometers from Jammu, is the famous Vaishno Devi Temple. One of the most visited and worshipped pilgrimages in India.