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Top 8 Hindu Pilgrimage Sites in India

Top 8 Hindu Pilgrimage Sites in India

India is a land of culture and tradition. We are known for our rich heritage and some of the most beautiful pilgrimage sites. Every year, millions of devotees visit to seek the blessings of deities in these temples. In addition to their cultural and spiritual importance, some of these temples are also well-known for their remarkable beauty. Today, we are going to discuss some of the most famous Hindu pilgrimage sites in India.

 

Tirupati Balaji

One of the most visited temples in India is Tirupati Balaji. This temple is dedicated to Sri Venkateswara Swami, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is located at an altitude of 3202 feet above sea level in the Tirumala Hills in Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh). As per the holy scriptures, it is said that Lord Vishnu took birth in the form of Vehkateshwar Swami to save humans from Kaliyuga. It is one of the most visited temples in India, and as per the report, more than 23 million people visited Tirupati Temple last year. The temple is run by Tirumala Tirupati Devsthanams (TTD) and is considered one of the richest temple trusts in India. Some of the prominent festivals celebrated in this temple are Vaikunth ekadasi and Brahmotsavas. There are thousands of miracles that happen around the clock around the temple, which boosts the belief of devotees in the deities. But the most prominent one that leaves everyone stunned is that, after the morning abhisheka of the lord, the idol sweats throughout the day, which is being wiped by the priest with a silk cloth at regular intervals. It is also said that the hair of the Lord is original and was donated by one of his devotees. Many people also claim that the sound of the ocean can be heard clearly when anyone places his or her ear on the backside of the idol.

Kedarnath Temple

The second most prominent Hindu pilgrimage site in India is Kedarnath Temple. Being a part of 12 jyotirlingas, panch kedar, char dham, and do dham temples, this is a dream destination for many devotees in India and abroad. This temple remains open just for six months a year and is closed during the winter season due to heavy snowfall in this region. Every year, millions of devotees take the Kedarnath Yatra to receive the blessings of Lord Shiva within a short time of six months. The exact date of construction of Kedarnath temple is yet unknown, but as per the holy scriptures, it is said that the temple was first constructed by Pandavas when they visited this place in search of Lord Shiva. This is also the only temple where shiv linga is found in the shape of a prism, as it is a part of panch kedar, and shiv linga is similar to the hump of a bull. So the bull-hump-shaped rock is being worshipped as shivlinga in this temple. Kedarnath temple got the most popularity after the flood of 2013, when buildings constructed using some of the most modern technologies shattered like a house of cards in the flood, but this temple, which was constructed more than 1200 years ago, came out unhurt after this flood.

Maa Vaishno Devi Temple

Another most famous temple in India is Maa Vaishno Devi Temple. This temple is located at an altitude of 5200 feet on the Trikuta mountain in Jammu and Kashmir. As per the holy scriptures, it is said that before the war of Kurukshetra, Arjuna, the hero of the war, went to the Trikuta mountain to worship Maa Durga. Getting pleased with the tough penance done by Arjuna, Maa Durga appeared in front of Arjuna in the form of Maa Vaishno Devi and blessed him with victory in the war. Then Arjuna created the temple there out of gratitude. Since then, millions of devotees have visited this temple every year to seek the blessings of the deity.

One other temple of Bhairav Nath is also located just a few kilometres away from Mata Vaishnodevi Bhavan, and as per the holy scriptures, it is believed that a yatra to Mata Vaishno Devi is considered to be incomplete. Although this temple remains crowded throughout the year, this region experiences huge traffic during the Navratra season.

Mahakaleshwar Temple

Another famous jyotirlinga in India is the Mahakaleshwar jyotirlinga, which is located in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, on the bank of the river Sipra. This unique temple is known as Dhakshineshwar, as the face of the idol is in the southern direction. This temple is well known for its unique Bhasma aarti, which is said to have been done earlier with the ash of human corpses, but nowadays this tradition has changed, and this Bhashma aarti is performed with the ash of cow dung cake. This tradition is followed to awaken the Conqueror of Death, Mahakal. Mahashivratri is the main occasion on which this region observes huge traffic and full-night worship of Lord Shiva occurs in this region.

mahakaleshwar temple

Vrindavan

Known as the city of love, Vrindavan is one of the most spiritual cities in the Mathura district of Uttarakhand. This city has more than 5,500 temples dedicated to Lord Krishna and his chief consort, Radha Rani. As per the legends, it is said that Lord Krishna spent some of the quality time of his childhood in this region. Some other prominent places like Gokul, Govardhan Parvat, Barsana, Nandgaon, and Mathura are all around this place where Lord Krishna's childhood stories surround.

Out of the 5500 prominent temples around this region, Prem Mandir (Love Temple) is gaining huge popularity due to its beautiful architecture and serene environment all around the temple. Different leelas of Lord Krishna and Radha Rani were depicted on the wall of this temple, making it even more beautiful and attractive.

Jatayu Temple

Another most famous and one of the most beautiful temples not dedicated to any deity but to a bird, Jatayu Temple is the most prominent one. As per the holy scriptures, it is said that Jalayu, the giant vulture, tried to protect Maa Sita when Ravana abducted him. But Ravana had cut his feather, and he fell on a rock where the huge idol of Jatayu was being constructed in an area of 15000 square feet in Kollar district, Kerala. In addition to its historical significance, this place has also been developed as a natural park. Some other recreational activities also developed around the temple, which is primarily known for the beautiful views of sunset and sunrise from this location.

Varanasi

One of the most ancient cities and favourite cities of Lord Shiva is Varanasi, which is also known as Kashi and is located on the bank of the Ganga River in Uttar Pradesh. This is one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in India and is known for preserving its ancient culture, art, and tradition. Although this city has a lot to see and feel, one of the most prominent locations is Kashi Vishwanath Temple, which is considered the original and most ancient abode of Lord Shiva. It is also a part of the 12 jyotirlingas and, in fact, the most famous among all the jyotirlingas in India. Another one is Assi Ghat, which has recently been renovated by the government, and it's one of the most famous ghats in Varanasi. Another prominent ghat in Varanasi is Manikarnika ghat, which is the biggest crematorium in this area, and it is said that at Manikarnika ghat, cremation never stops. This is the only city in the world where death is celebrated. This place is also well known and famous for its unique style of Holi, called Masaan Holi. This is considered the Holi of Lord Shiva and Aghoris, but nowadays people from all over the world visit this place to witness this unique style of Holi. In this celebration, people apply ashes from the funeral pyre to each other. Varanasi is also known for its most ancient tradition, Ganga aarti, which holds multiple records worldwide.

Varanasi temple

Siridih Sai Mandir

Last but not least, Siridih Sai Mandir is another famous pilgrimage spot in India. Sai Baba was an Indian saint who did a lot for society and spread awareness about the malpractices in Hindu tradition. Some consider him a normal social activist, but many consider him the incarnation of Deity. The best part of Sai Baba is that he has disciples from Hindus, Muslims, and Parsis. The temple of Sai Baba is located in Siridih village in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. The trust that manages this temple is the second richest trust in India after the Tirupati Balaji Temple Trust.