Pilgrimage means a journey. This holy journey is taken by believers to gain spiritual wisdom and visit the sacred shrines of their beliefs. In India, pilgrimage is a holy journey that everyone must perform once in their lifetime. Be it the hidden cave temples or ancient shrines, or places blessed by the almighty, pilgrimage tours in India help connect with the higher powers.
On your spiritual quest, here are the top options in India.
Varanasi – The Holy City as Old as Time
The holiest city in India, Varanasi is an ancient city, believed to be the abode of Gods. Settled on the banks of the holy River Ganga, the city is dotted with ancient temples, holy river ghats, ceremonies and other blessings.
Visit to the city is among the holiest pilgrimages in India. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple, one among the 12 Jyotirlingas in India is the revered temple. After prayers at the many temples, head to the river ghats or the city lanes. Life comes to full circle at the river banks. From rituals from birth to death the river is witness to all. Take a dip in the holy river or enjoy a boat ride at sunrise. The spectacular Ganga aarti is a spiritual experience that transcend you very being to higher powers.
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Chardham Yatra – Journey to the divine abode of Gods in the Himalayas
The four destination pilgrimage in Uttarakhand, the Chardham Yatra is believed to be one of the holiest traditions. The four holy sites in the mountains are Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. Every year the pilgrimage begins in April-May and continues till October-November. Devotees start with prayers at Yamunotri, the shrine of the River Goddess Yamuna and also the origin of the river. Next is Gangotri, the shrine of the Goddess Ganga and the origin of the river Ganga. Kedarnth is the next stop, the sacred pilgrimage of Lord Shiva and one among the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. End the holy yatra in Badarinth, the shrine of Lord Vishnu, one of the Chardhams in Uttarakhand and India.
Though the journey is strenuous due to the high-altitude location devotes feel the ultimate feeling of bliss. The pilgrimage can be completed by road and foot along with specially-crafted Chardham Yatra by helicopter.
Golden Temple Tour – The Holy Shrine of Akal Takht
The golden-domed Harmandir Sahib Guridwara is the holiest shrine of Sikhs. The Golden Temple is set right in the middle of Amrit Sarovar and is an ethereal sight. The shrine of the Akal Takht, the Guru Granth Sahib is a sacred place for belivers. Bow down your head, savor the divine langar and perform acts of service for human beings. The blessings of Golden Temple transforms people’s lives.
Amarnath Yatra – Get blessed by ice-lingam of Lord Shiva
The Amaranth Cave in the Himalayas is the shrine of the ice-lingam formation of the Lord Shiva. Amaranth Yatra is the holy journey to the divine shrine that opens up for devotees for only a little more than a month. This pilgrimage is a test of faith for devotees. There are options of Amarntha Yatra by helicopter as well as by foot.
Mansarovar Yatra – Visit the sacred abode of Lord Shiva
The ultimate abode of souls, Kailash Mansarovar is one of the holiest pilgrimages. Settled in the lap of the mighty Himalayas in Tibet, the yatra is one of the toughest. The dip in the Mansarovar Lake is believed to cleanse all sins and let the soul revel in the divine. The Kailash Mountain in the backdrop is a sight that purifies one’s life. The parikrama, circumambulation of the mountain is a ritual that brings belives from all over the world. Mansarovar Yatra by helicopter is a time-saving and hassle-free way to visit the sacred abode of Lord Shiva.
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Mata Vaishno Devi Darshan
Nestled in the cave of the Shivalik Hills of the Himalayas, the Vaishno Devi Darshan is a visit to the holy mother goddesses. The shrine of pindis, form of the Goddess is believed to be a mother. Believers from all over the world walk barefoot or go by palis or horses to the cave temple. There are also options of helicopter yatra and ropeway rides.
Tirupati Temple Darshan
A holy temple town in South India set in the mountains, it is dedicated to Lord Sri Venkateswara, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Tirupati Temple Darshan is a sacred pilgrimage that devotees believe purifies sins and cleanses the soul. The richest temple in India, here devotees donate their riches to win the favor of the Lord.
So, wherever you plan your pilgrimage, there are multiple options of pilgrimage packages in India. On completion of your journey, feel close to the divine.