Amritsar

25 Most Sacred Pilgrimage Sites in India

India is a vast country, with diverse cultures and ancient civilization. There are a number of religious groups residing in India. Over 80% of India’s population practice Hinduism while Islam, Sikhism, Jainism, Christianity and Buddhism are other major religions. India is a nation that believes in the ideology of unity in diversity. The practice of pilgrimage in India is so deeply embedded in the culture.

India, the mystical motherland with deep-rooted traditions and culture is blessed with numerous holy shrines of different religions. These religious sites are the places where the physical world meets the spirituality and hearts are filled with divine holiness. The secular India believes in the philosophy of sarva dharma sambhava, which means equality and respect for all religions.

Trawell.in presents the top most famous & sacred pilgrimage centers in India.

Vaishno Devi Temple, Jammu & Kashmir

Vaishno Devi

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Vaishno Devi Mandir is a Hindu temple, dedicated to the Goddess Mahalakshmi, located at Katra in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Situated at an altitude of 5200 feet, Vaishno Devi is amongst the most popular temples in India and also one of the most visited religious sites in Jammu & Kashmir. More than eight million devotees visit the temple every year.

The Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi which is a narrow hilly cave and it contains images of three deities – Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati who are all reincarnations of Goddess Durga. The Mata Vaishno Devi Temple is acknowledged as one of the Shakti Peeths of Goddess Durga. Bhairon Temple, Bhumika Temple, Kalika Temple, Shiva Goompha, and Ban Ganga Temple with the spring of the holy river Ban Ganga are the other places nearby. The temple is 14 km from Katra and various modes of transportation are available from Katra, including Ponies, electric vehicles and paalkhis. Helicopter services are also available up to Sanjichhat, which is 9.5 km from Katra.


Badrinath, Uttarakhand

Badrinath

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Badrinath Temple, also known as Badrinarayan Temple, is situated along the Alaknanda River in the hill town of Badrinath in Uttarakhand state. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Badrinath is one of the most famous pilgrimage places in India and also the most important of the four sites of famous Char Dham pilgrimage, along with Kedarnath, Yamunotri and Gangotri in Himalayan region of Uttarakhand. According to epic Mahabharata, Badrinath is the site where Nara and Narayana, the dual forms of Vishnu, did meditation.

The present Badrinath Temple is believed to have been established by saint-philosopher Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century AD. Tapt Kund, Brahma Kapal, Sheshanetra, Vasudhara Falls, Charan Paduka, Satopanth Lake, Neelkanth and Mana Village are the popular places to visit in Badrinath. The best time to visit Badrinath is from May to June and again from September to October. The Badrinath Temple is closed from November to April.

Reference : Badrinath Travel Guide

Kedarnath, Uttarakhand

Kedarnath

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Kedarnath Temple is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. It lies at an altitude of 3584 m near Chorabari Glacier, the head of river Mandakini in Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand. Kedarnath is one of the top temples of India and also one of the four major pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand known as Chota Char Dham pilgrimage. It is the most remote of the four Char Dham sites and is flanked by breathtaking snow-clad peaks.

The famous Kedarnath Temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas and is thronged by thousands of tourists each year. Other than Kedarnath temple, Bhairavnath temple, Chorabari Tal, Shankaracharya Samadhi, Vasuki Tal, Deoria Tal and Ukhimath are some other religious places near Kedarnath. Kedarnath can be reached by 14 km steep climb from Gaurikund to the temple of Kedarnath and can be done on foot or on ponies. Ponies or horses are available on rent from Gaurikund. The extreme weather condition of Kedarnath prompts the temple to be open only for 6 months from the end of April to the beginning of November.

Reference : Kedarnath Travel Guide

Tirumala / Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh

Tirumala

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Tirumala, the adobe of Lord Sri Venkateswara (also known as Balaji – an incarnation of Lord Vishnu), is situated in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. Tirumala Balaji Temple is one of the most celebrated pilgrimage sites in India and it attracts millions of devotees every year. The Tirumala Tirupati Balaji Temple is situated atop the Tirumala Hills which consists of seven peaks known as Sapthagiri at an altitude of 3,200 feet. The temple of Lord Venkateswara was built by the Tamil king Thondaimaan. It is considered as the world’s richest temple with an estimated annual income of over 300 crores.

The Tirumala shrine is a masterpiece of Dravidian architecture. The main sanctum contains 2 m high standing idol of Venkateswara on a lotus flanked by his consorts Bhudevi and Sridevi. The most striking feature of the awe-inspiring black idol is its fabulous diamond crown, which is said to be the most precious single ornament in the world. The Sanctorum ‘Ananda Nilayam’ has a glittering gold covered Vimana and gold covered gates. Apart from the main temple, other tourist places on Tirumala hills include Akasa Ganga, Srivari Padalu, Chakra Theertham, Papavinasam, Shilatoranam, etc. There are several attractions in Tirupati town along with Kanipakam, Srinivasa Mangapuram, Tiruchanur, Talakona Falls, Srikalahasti, etc.

Reference : Tirumala Tirupati

Rameshwaram, Tamilnadu

Rameshwaram

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Rameshwaram, one of the most famous Hindu temples in India, is situated on the Pamban Island in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. Rameshwaram Temple is one of the most famous Shiva shrines in India. It is significant for Hindus as a pilgrimage to Banaras is incomplete without a Pilgrimage to Rameshwaram. According to the legend, Rameshwaram is the place where Lord Rama, built a bridge across the sea to rescue his consort Sita from Ravana. This is also the place where Rama worshipped Lord Shiva to cleanse away the sin of killing Ravana. Rameshwaram along with Dwarka, Puri and Badrinath form the four Char Dhams.

Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple stands as an epitome of Dravidian architectural style of the medieval ages and is renowned for its magnificent corridors and massive sculptured pillars. The third corridor of Ramanathaswamy temple is the longest one in the world. The presiding deity here is in the form of a Linga with the name Sri Ramanathaswamy, it also happens to be one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. Agnitheertham, Gandamadana Parvatham, Dhanushkodi, Kothandaraswamy Temple and Erwadi are the popular and the most visited pilgrimage attractions of Rameshwaram.

Reference : Rameswaram

Amritsar, Punjab

Amritsar

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The Golden Temple is a prominent gurudwara and one of the historical heritage monuments of India, located in Amritsar city of Punjab. Popularly known as the Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib, this gurudwara is one of the most important Sikh holy places in India. Guru Ram Das Ji, the fourth Sikh Guru began the construction of this gurudwara in 1585 AD. The construction was completed by his successor, Guru Arjan Dev Ji in 1604. Fondly known as Swarn Mandir, this two storied structure is covered with around 750 kg of gold.

The Guru Granth Sahib, which is the holy book of the Sikh, lies inside the Golden Temple. The temple is surrounded by a large lake, which is known as Amrit Sarovar. The water in this lake is believed to have medicinal properties and curative powers and hence, devotees bath in the tank to cleanse their soul. There are four entrances to the temple that signify the importance of acceptance and openness. Within the temple complex, there are shrines dedicated to the Sikh gurus, saints and martyrs. Jallianwala Bagh, Mata Temple, Summer Palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Baba Bakala, Goindwal Sahib, Tarn Taran and Baba Sahib and Wagah Check post are the other prominent attractions of Amritsar.

Reference: Places to visit in Amritsar


Puri, Odisha

Jagannath Temple

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The Jagannath Temple of Puri is a sacred Vaishnava temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath and is located in the coastal town of Puri in Odisha. Puri is one of the four pilgrimage destinations of original Hindu Char Dham and also one of the famous temples in India. Lord Jagannath is regarded as the supreme god and the sovereign monarch of the Odishan Empire. The Jagannath temple was built by King Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva of Eastern Ganga dynasty in 12th century AD.

The main deities of the temple are Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra. The temple iconography depicts these three Gods sitting on the bejewelled platform or the Ratnabedi in the inner sanctum. The Rath Yatra of Jagannath Puri temple is well famous annual festival celebrated in the month of June. The spectacular chariot festival involves the procession of three colossal chariots bearing the images of Jagannath, Balarama and Subhadra through the streets of Puri. Puri Beach, Konark Sun Temple, Gundicha Temple, Chilika Lake and Sanctuary, Chandrabaga Beach and Konark Beach are the popular places to visit in Puri.


Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Varanasi

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Kashi Vishwanath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located on the banks of holy river Ganges in Varanasi town of Uttar Pradesh, India. The main deity is known as Vishwanatha or Vishweshwara meaning Ruler of the Universe. This is one of the oldest temples in India. Vishwanath Temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas and is the holiest of all Jyotirlinga temples. The temple was constructed in the year 1780 by the Maratha monarch, Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar of the Indore. The Varanasi city is also called Kashi, and hence the temple is popularly called Kashi Vishwanath Temple.

Kashi Viswanath Temple has most religious importance for the worship in the Hindu religion. The holy Ganga meandering through the city and is believed that the one who will take bath in the Ganges in the holy city Varanasi will get Moksha. Dasaswamedh Ghat, Assi Ghat, Ramnagar Fort, Kedar Ghat, Harischandra Ghat, New Viswanath Temple, and Manikarnika Ghat are the other popular places to visit in Varanasi. The evening Ganga Aarti attracts many devotees, who immerse earthen lamps in the water of holy Ganges, providing a beautiful view of the dusk.


Shirdi, Maharashtra

Shirdi

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Shirdi, also known as the Land of Sai, is famous for the shrine of Shirdi Sai Baba and is located in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. This is one of the popular temples  in Maharashtra. Sai Baba, who belonged to 20th century, is known as one of the greatest saints of India. Sai Baba visited Shirdi when he was 16 years old and stayed there until his death in 1918. Sai Baba transformed this small village into a holy pilgrimage site for his devotees. Shirdi is the place where Sai attained his ‘Samadhi’ or final abode.

Shirdi Temple is one of the richest temples in India with estimated donations of INR 4 billion per annum. Irrespective of religion, caste, creed and other forms of discrimination, Shirdi is the gateway to sheer spirituality. Large number of devotees of all faiths flocks to the temple of Shirdi Sai Baba throughout the year. On an average, daily 50,000 devotees visit Shirdi village, to have the darshan of Sri Sai Baba. In the festival season, more than 100,000 devotees visit the temple every day. Maruti Temple, Khandoba Mandir, Sai Heritage Village, Shanisinghnapur and Nashik are the other places of attraction situated in and around Shirdi.

Reference : Shirdi Travel Guide

Madurai, Tamil nadu

Madurai

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Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, also called as Meenakshi Amman Temple, is one of the biggest and most popular temples of India and also one of the top pilgrimage places to visit in Tamilnadu Tourism. Dedicated to Goddess Parvati and Lord Siva, the temple is considered an architecture marvel. It was shortlisted as one of the top 30 nominees for New Seven Wonders of the World. The original temple was built by Kulashekara Pandya, but the initiative to rebuild the structure was taken by first Nayak king of Madurai, Viswanatha Nayak (1559-1600). The temple was substantially expanded to the current structure during the reign of Thirumalai Nayak between 1623 and 1655 CE.

The complex is built in around 45 acres of land and is a massive structure measuring 254 by 237 meters. The temple is surrounded by 14 towers. The temple has four entrances, while the entrance on Eastern side being the main temple entrance. There are several corridors, halls and shrines inside the temple. The corridors and pillars are adorned with wonderful artwork. The annual 10-day Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival, celebrated during April and May, attracts 1 million visitors. Along with Meenakshi Temple, Thirumalai Nayak Mahal & Koodal Alagar Temple are the other important places to visit in Madurai. Madurai is also a base station to visit Trichy, Thanjavur, Rameswaram and Kodaikanal.

Reference : Madurai

Somnath, Gujarat

Somnath

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Most sacred among the 12 jyotirlingas in India, Sri Somnath Temple is located in Prabhas Patan near Veraval in Saurashtra on the western coast of Gujarat. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Somnath Temple is believed to be the first among the twelve jyotirlinga shrines, where Lord Shiva is believed to have appeared as a fiery column of light. It is one of the famous Indian temples and also a popular religious place in Gujarat. Somnath means ‘Lord of Moon’ and the town gets its name from the Somnath Temple. According to legend, Som, the Moon God built the Somnath Temple out of respect after Lord Shiva cured his illness that was caused by Som’s father-in-law Daksha Prajapati’s curse.

Destroyed and reconstructed several times in the past, the present temple was reconstructed in Nagara style of Hindu temple architecture and completed in May 1951. The temple of Somnath is one of the top Hindu temples in India and is visited by pilgrims all-round the year. The temple has been built at the tip of the landmass in Gujarat and no land exists between the temple and the South Pole. Triveni Sangam, Panch Pandav Gufa, Somnath Museum, Somnath Beach, Parasuram Temple and Junagadh Gate are the popular attractions in Somnath. The Sound and Light Show held in the temple is another attraction.


Amarnath, Jammu & Kashmir

Amarnath

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Amarnath Cave is a Hindu temple located in Jammu & Kashmir, India and is situated at an altitude of 3,888 m near Srinagar and can be reached through Pahalgam town. The shrine is dedicated Lord Shiva and is considered to be one of the famous sites of pilgrimage in India. Amarnath Yatra is the popular annual tourist pilgrimages for the people in India. According to the legend, this is the place where Lord Shiva revealed the secret of immortality to his consort Goddess, which was overheard by a pair of pigeons. It is also believed that even today, a pair of pigeon can be seen in the cave.

Amarnath is famed for an ice stalagmite Lingam formed annually in the caves due to freezing of water during the month of sharavan. It is said that the lingam in the cave grows and shrinks with the lunar cycle. The cave itself is covered with snow most of the year except for a short period of time in summer when it is open for pilgrims. The Amarnath Yatra is an annual event in which pilgrims are allowed to trek to the cave temple. Every year more than 450,000 pilgrims visit Amarnath Cave from various parts of India.


Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh

Ujjain

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Mahakaleshwar Temple is a popular Hindu temple situated on the banks of Rudra Sagar Lake in the ancient city of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, India. It is one of the most famous temples in India and one of the twelve Jyotirlinga temples which are supposed to be the most sacred abodes of Lord Shiva. Pilgrims from far and wide visit the temple to pay their homage to the Swayambhu Mahakal, a form of Lord Shiva who has emerged by himself at this temple site. The shrine is revered as one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peethams. The upper lip of Sati Devi is said to have fallen here and the Shakti is called as Goddess Mahakali.

The idol of Mahakaleshwar is known to be dakshinamurti, which means that it is facing the south, which is a unique feature among the 12 Jyotirlingas. The images of Ganesh, Parvati and Kartikeya are installed in the west, north and east of the sanctum sanctorum. To the south is the image of Nandi, the vehicle of Lord Shiva. Sri Mahakaleshwar is the most important temple in Ujjain city and is also famous for its Bhasm Aarti. Harsiddhi temple, Kal Bhairav Temple, Chintaman Ganesh Temple, Gopal Mandir Temple, Bade Ganeshji Ka Mandir and Bhartrihari Caves are other must-see religious destinations of Ujjain. The City of Ujjain is situated on the banks of Kshipra River and the Maha Kumbh Mela is hosted in this city in every 12 years.


Ajmer, Rajasthan

ajmer

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The Ajmer Sharif Dargah or Ajmer Sharif is situated at the foot of the Taragarh hill in Ajmer town of Rajasthan. This is among the famous Muslim pilgrimage places in India and is also one of the popular Places to visit near Delhi. Dargah Sharif, venerated by both Hindus and Muslims, is the tomb of Khwaja Muin-ud-din Chishti. He was a Sufi saint who came from Persia and devoted his life to the service and welfare of the poor and downtrodden.  The shrine was built by Mughal Emperor Humayun in honour of the saint.

Constructed in several stages, the gate with silver doors form the entrance of the site. The actual tomb of the saint is enveloped by a silver railing and a marble screen. Akbar and his queen used to come here by foot on pilgrimage from Agra every year in observance of a vow when he prayed for a son. Nasiyan Jain Temple, Ana Sagar Lake, Nareli Jain Temple, Adhai-din ka Jhonpra Mosque, Chittorgarh Fort, Savitri Temple, Udaipur and Rangji Temple are some places to visit in Ajmer. It has been estimated that around 150,000 pilgrims visit the site every day. In his remembrance, every year ‘Urs’ is held in Ajmer for six days and the place comes to life during this festival.


Dwarka, Gujarat

Dwarka

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Dwarka is a holy city located on the coast of Kutch in Gujarat. Dwarka, meaning ‘Door to Moksha (Salvation)’, is one of the sites of the original Char Dham Yatra. Also known as Golden City, Dwarka was established by Lord Krishna with his elder brother Balaram. It was the abode of Lord Krishna for nearly 100 years. After Lord Krishna’s death, the city is believed to have been submerged into the sea.

Dwarkadhish Temple, popularly known as the Jagat Temple, was built in the 16th century and is dedicated to Lord Krishna. One of the ancient temples in India, the original Dwarkadhish Temple was built by the great grandson of Lord Krishna, King Vajranabha. The temple is known for its Krishnashtami celebrations. Devotees from all over India throng the city of Dwarka during Janamashtami. Lord Dwarkadhish is adorned with lot of gold jewellery and other precious stones such as Diamonds and Topaz. Nageshwar Mahadev, Rukmini Temple, Bhalka Tirth, Gomati Ghat Temples, etc. are some other popular pilgrim spots in Dwarka.


Haridwar, Uttarakhand

Haridwar

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Haridwar or Hardwar is an ancient religious city on the banks of River Ganges in Uttarakhand. Haridwar is one of the popular pilgrimage sites in India and also one of the best tourist places to visit in Uttarakhand. Haridwar, literally translated as Gateway to God, is one of the seven holiest places for Hindus. It is the place where river Ganga descends to the plains. Haridwar is one of the venues for famous Kumbh Mela which takes place once in every 12 years.

Har-ki-Pauri is the most important place of Haridwar where thousands of people take a dip in the holy waters of the Ganges. Chandi Devi Temple, Mansa Devi Temple at Bilwa Parvat, Vaishno Devi Temple, Bharat Mata Temple, Maya Devi Temple, Bhimgoda, and Shanti Kunj are some of the important historical shrines in Haridwar. Rishikesh, Sapt Sarovar, Triveni Ghat, Kanva Rishi Ashram, Chila Wildlife Sanctuary are the other nearby attractions.

Reference : Haridwar

Srirangam, Tamilnadu

Srirangam

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Srirangam is an island formed by the twin Rivers Cauvery and Kollidam and a part of the city of Tiruchirapalli in Tamilnadu State. Srirangam is well known for Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple which is the foremost of the eight self-manifested shrines of Lord Vishnu. The temple is considered first among 108 prominent Vishnu temples and also one of the popular temples of South India. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple was constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture. Built across an area of 156 acres, this temple is dedicated to Ranganatha, a reclining form of Lord Vishnu. This temple is the biggest functioning Hindu temple in India.

This temple is also known by other names such as Thiruvaranga Tirupati, Periyakoil, Bhoologa Vaikundam and Bhogamandabam. Some noticeable features in its architecture include 21 surrounding gopurams along with an ornate gateway, which is also the tallest gopuram of India. There is also a royal temple tower in the place, which covers a base area of 32500 sq. ft. It also comprises a hall containing 1000 pillars. This temple also holds the annual chariot festival of Tamil Nadu that lasts for 21 days. Rock Fort Temple, Jambukeswarar Temple, Sri Ayyappan Temple, Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Maariamman Temple and Vayalur Murugan Temple are some popular attractions in Srirangam.

Reference : Srirangam Temple

Bodh Gaya, Bihar

Bodhgaya

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Bodh Gaya is a religious place associated with the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Gaya district of Bihar and is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in India. The place has a historic prominence as it is the place where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under a Bodhi Tree. The famous Mahabodhi Temple was established during the reign of Ashoka the Great in 3rd century BC and it is one of the earliest Buddhist temples. The original structure of Mahabodhi Temple was completed in 7th century AD during the reign of Gupta kings. The temple underwent several restorations, renovations and repairs in subsequent period in which the Burmese greatly contributed.

The Mahabodhi Complex comprises of 50 m tall Mahabodhi Temple, the Vajrasana, sacred Bodhi Tree and other six sacred sites of Buddha’s enlightenment. Owing to all these factors, Bodh Gaya is the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha, the other three being Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath. Inside the temple, is the giant image of a seated Buddha depicting the supreme enlightenment.


Sabarimala, Kerala

Sabarimala

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Sabarimala is the most famous Hindu temple in Kerala and is situated in Pathanamthitta district. Sabarimala Temple is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa and is one of the most visited temples in India with an estimated 45 – 50 million devotees every year. Sabarimala Dharmasasta temple is one of the oldest temples in India, with history of more than 5000 years old. The temple is situated in the midst of 18 hills, at an altitude of about 3000 feet. It is believed that Lord Parasurama installed the idol of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala.

The pilgrimage season begins in the month of November and ends in January (the temple remains closed during rest of the year except for the first five days of each Malayalam month). The devotees following Ayyappa Vratam (a 41 days Vratam with strict restrictions) carry Irumudi Kettu containing traditional offerings to the Lord. Mandalapooja (Nov 17th) and Makaravilakku (Jan 14th) are the important events of the temple. Sabarimala temple has no restrictions of caste and religion. The temple is open to males of all age groups, but women between 10-50 years age group are NOT allowed into the temple. Pamba, Erumeli, Pandalam, and Pathanamthitta are the other Tourist Places in Kerala situated in and around Sabarimala.

Reference : Sabarimala

Kanchipuram, Tamilnadu

Kanchipuram

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Kanchipuram or Kanchi is a temple town in Tamilnadu and also one of the most famous South Indian temples. Kanchipuram is one of the most popular weekend getaways from Chennai and one of the major religious places to visit in Tamilnadu. Kanchipuram has rich history and it is one of the oldest cities in India. The city served as the capital of Pallava dynasty, and most of the known temples were built during their reign.

Kanchipuram is located on the Palar River and known for its temples and silk sarees which are woven manually. There are several big temples, like Kamakshi Amman Temple, Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kailasanathar Temple, Karchapeshwarar Temple and Ekambaranatha Temple. Kamakshi Amman Temple is the landmark of Kanchipuram. It has been told that there are three major Shakti’s in India. They are Kanchi Kamakshi, Madurai Meenakshi and Kaasi Visalakshi.

Reference : Kanchipuram Travel Guide

Velankanni, Tamilnadu

Velankanni

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Velankanni Church or the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health is located in Velankanni town of Tamil Nadu. The Roman Catholic Latin Rite Basilica is devoted to Our Lady of Good Health. Situated on the coast of Bay of Bengal, this is one of the most popular Christian pilgrimage sites in India. The chapel was built by Portuguese sailors and became a parish church in 1771. Later in 1962 it was granted a Special status of a Minor Basilica and merged with the Major Basilica of Mary in Rome on 3 November 1962 by Pope John XXIII.

Representing a Gothic style of architecture, the building of the church is painted white, while the roof is covered with red tiles. Velankanni is fondly known as the ‘Lourdes of the East’ referring to the great Lourdes in France. The nine-day festival conducted in September every year draws nearly 2 million pilgrims. There is an interesting practice here that pilgrims offer candles to the mother to cure themselves where the candles are in shape of the respective ailment. Velankanni Beach is another attraction close to this shrine.

Reference : Velankanni

Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh

Srisailam

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Srisailam is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva situated on the banks of River Krishna in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. It is one of the most important Shaiva pilgrimage centers in India and also one of the top places to visit in Andhra Pradesh. Srisailam is also one of the most popular weekend getaways from Hyderabad. Srisailam is famous for Sri Mallikarjuna Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The sanctum enshrines Lord Mallikarjuna in the form of a linga protected by a three-hooded cobra. This ancient temple built in the Dravidian style with lofty towers and sprawling courtyards is one of the finest specimens of Vijayanagara architecture.

The unique feature of this place is the combination of Jyothirlingam and Mahasakthi Peetham (in the form of Bhramarambika) in one campus, which is very rare and only one of its kind. The great religious leader Adisankaracharya is said to have visited this shrine and composed his immortal Sivananda Lahiri here. Srisailam Dam, Akka Mahadevi Caves, Pathala Ganga, Shikaresvara Temple, Sakshi Ganapathi Temple, Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Sanctuary and Mallela Theertham are the other attractions here. Mahasivarathri festival in the month of February/March is celebrated as Brahmotsavam (annual festival) at this temple and is visited by large number of devotees.

Reference : Srisailam Temple

Ranakpur, Rajasthan

Ranakpur

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situated near Udaipur, Ranakpur is one of the five most important Jain temples in India. The Jain temples in this town are dedicated to Lord Adinath, who was the first Jain Tirthankara. The most popular Jain temple here is Chaumukha Temple. Maharana Kumbha allotted land and encouraged his minister Dharana Shah to build this famous Jain temple in 1496. Jain Pilgrims from all over the world pay a visit to this temple that has majestic architecture and beautiful surroundings.

The temple is dedicated to Tirthankara Adinath. The complex structure of the temple has four separate entrance doors to penetrate in the chambers. These chambers lead to the main hall or garbhagriha, where the idol of Lord Adinath is placed. The idol of the Lord is encircled by many other smaller shrines and domes. The complex of Chaumukha Temple consists of several other Jain temples like the temple of Parshvanath, Neminath, and the Sun God. Kumbhalgarh, Kumbhalgarh Wildlife sanctuary, Nathdwara and Udaipur are other popular Tourist Places in Rajasthan which are situated near to Ranakpur.

Reference : Ranakpur Temple

Nashik, Maharashtra

Nashik

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Nashik or Nasik is a religious city situated on the banks of River Godavari in Maharashtra, India. Nashik is the top places to visit in Maharashtra and also one of the popular religious places to visit in India. According to legend, Lord Rama, along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana stayed here for a while during their 14 year exile.

Nashik is famous for its numerous temples constructed during the reigns of different rulers. These include the magnificent shrines at Anjaneri, Trimbakeshwar and those in the city itself. Panchavati, Someshwar, Ram Kund, Muktidham Temple, Coin Museum, Pandavleni Caves are some of the important tourist sites of Nashik. Kumbha Mela, the largest religious gathering held once in every 12 years, is one of the most important festivals celebrated in Nasik. Large number of pilgrims, sadhus and holy men attend this magnificent fair and take bath in the holy river Godavari. Ramnavami Rath Yatra is another famous festival celebrated with great pomp and fervor in Nashik.

Reference : Places to visit in Nashik

Udupi, Karnataka

Udupi

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Udupi is a famous temple town in Udupi district of Karnataka. Udipi is one of the top pilgrimage places in India and also one of the most famous tourist places to visit in Karnataka. Udupi is famous for Sri Krishna Temple. The Udupi Krishna Math was established in the 13th century by the great philosopher, Madhavacharya. The temple attracts pilgrims from all over India and is also a center of Dvaita philosophy. This temple has a fascinating idol of Lord Krishna that is richly adorned with jewels. Another attraction of Sri Krishna Temple is the Kanakana Kindi, a small window through which Lord Krishna is believed to have given darshan to his devotee, Kanakadasa.

Udupi is also famous for the wonderful beaches including Malpe Beach, Kaup Beach & St. Mary’s Island. Udupi is synonymous with the world-famous Udupi cuisine, which is served all over India in the efficiently-run Udupi restaurants, famous for dosas, idlis and other snacks. Saptotsava or the Seven Utsavas celebrated in mid of Jan are considered as the annual festival of Sri Krishna Temple.

Reference : Places to visit in Udupi

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REFERENCE

Top Pilgrimage Places in Andhra Pradesh

Popular Religious Places in Uttarakhand

Best Pilgrimage Sites in Tamilnadu

Kerala Temples

Karnataka Hindu Temples

Famous Temples in Maharashtra

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