India is known around the world over for its flavorful cuisines, awesome cinema and well-known historic sites but travelling in India, is so much more than just this. It is a sumptuous mix of traditions, spiritual beliefs, festivals, and landscapes, that will make your memories blaze strong and bright even after you’ve left its shores. A standout amongst the most intriguing things about India is that it is home to a diverse range of spiritual and religious beliefs, conventions and places of worship. The Indian mythologies describe the country India as the land of austerity, pilgrimages, rituals and magical traditions. Furthermore, it turns out to be true, when one leaves on a journey as a pilgrim.
Stroll into the lanes of India and in each two squares, you will find idolization of God in every possible form. You will find a mosque, a Gurudwara, a temple or a church that symbolize religion and spirituality. The array of sacred sites and rituals pay testament to the country’s long and colorful religious history. Innovation and technology can get a cutting edge and become more advance, but the deep rooted craft of yoga, meditation and spirituality is the thing that saves the day for those looking for inner peace.
A journey to these heavenly yet holy sites of India is considered a lifetime accomplishment and endows the pilgrims with genuine feelings of serenity and mental strength.
Here is the list of top spiritual Indian destinations you should embark on to get blessed with the divine feel:
1.Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, Tibet
A journey towards the heavenly divine, a stroll around to meet the Supreme Being, Kailash Man Sarovar Yatra is considered among the most profound pilgrimage site among the Hindus all over the world. The journey is centered on the profoundly impressive mountain pinnacle of Mount Kailash which is located in the Himalayan mountain scopes of Tibet.
Spiritually enhanced and bestowed with picturesque view, this spiritual site is alluded to as the earthy adobe of Lord Shiva in several scriptures and is highly regarded by the Hindus, Buddhists, Jainas and the supporters of a Tibetan religion called Bon. Each year thousands of devotees undertake the treacherous and rigorous journey through the mountains and plains of Nepal and China to reach this sacred land. Man Sarovar, a blue and emerald green lake is around 20 km from Mount Kailash which was accepted to have risen up out of the brain of the maker of this world, Brahma.
2. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
India’s centre of profound spiritual energy, Varanasi is situated on the banks of River Ganges in Uttar Pradesh. Varanasi is also called Banaras or Kashi and is eminent for its melodic and educational heritage, remarkable silks, and brilliantly colorful Ghats. The city is one of the oldest permanent inhabited places on earth. Varanasi is one of the holiest Hindu and Jain cities in India. It is known as ‘The spiritual capital of India’, as it is said to be established by the Lord Shiva; the divine force of creation and devastation. It is believed that anybody that bites the dust in Varanasi will be released from the cycle of death and rebirth.
The Ghats of Varanasi, play an important role in the mysticism, with some being designated for puja ceremony and others being only utilized for cremation sites. There are additionally five key Ghats that play an important role in building up the city as a blessed one. Also the 23,000 temples that can be found over the city make the city a blessed town. Visitors can easily take a walk along the river front and experience the local culture. Not to miss is the Dasaswamedh Ghat, where each evening visitors assemble for ‘aarti’. Along with this a must visit spot is the Vishwanath Temple, built in 1776, a prevalent Hindu holy place. The city of Varanasi gleams in the light of sprit and magic in winter, when waterway banks are decorated with little lights and people take a holy bath.
3. Vaishno Devi, Jammu and Kashmir
Situated in the three-peaked Trikuta Mountain in Jammu and Kashmir, the Vaishno Devi Temple is the second most visited temple in the nation after Tirupati Balaji Mandir. The shrine of the Mother Goddess is reached after a 13 km trek from the town of Katra. It is a sacred and spiritual journey that requires colossal devotion, enthusiasm and devotion. The arduous journey can be taken through horses, human palanquins, or helicopters. Vaishno Devi is considered as the incarnation of Goddess Durga and her temple is considered among the 108 Shakti Peethas found all over the globe. The divinity is worshipped inside a dull, dark cave in the form of three pindies (rocks) as Maha Kali, Maha Saraswati and Maha Laxmi. A few mythological stories are related with the emergence of the altar of Vaishno Devi, among which the story of Bhairon Nath and Vaishnavi is viewed as the most famous one.
It is said that the three major manifestations of Goddess Durga united and made a young girl who later took birth as the daughter of Ratnakara. The young girl was later blessed by Lord Rama when she was meditating in a thick forest. Bhairon Nath, a mischievous Yogi wated to take revenge on the divinity and over the span of time Devi butchered the head of Bhairon Nath. Realizing the power of Vaishnavi, Bhairon Nath looked for forgiveness of the divinity and therefore Mata blessed him with the boon that whoever will visit Vaishno Devi should visit the temple of Bhairon Nath to finish their journey. Not long after the episode, the deity sat on meditation and transformed into a stone face which are worshipped today as pindies.
4. Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
The city of Rishikesh is located on the Himalayan foothills in Uttarakhand. Rishikesh is a name of Lord Vishnu which means the ‘Lord of Senses’, and is a famous spiritual centre of India. It is also known as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’. Since antiquity, Hindu saints and sages have been visiting and settling in Rishikesh. People from all over the world visit Rishikesh to learn Yoga and meditation in its chilly, refreshing mountain air. The Ganges rapids in the city are also popular for river rafting.
Trekkers and backpackers stop by Rishikesh on their way to the higher regions of Himalayas. Another famous spot in this place is the Triveni Ghat, especially in the evenings during the aarti. In the evening, an almost supernatural breeze blows down the valley, setting temple bells ringing as sadhus, pilgrims and tourists prepare for the nightly ganga aarti. Rishikesh is not all spirituality and contorted limbs, it’s much more.
5. Haridwar, Uttarakhand
This ancient city sits along the River Ganga just a little away from its source at the edge of the Gangotri Glacier. It is considered to be one of seven of the holiest places for Hindus because drops of Amit were accidentally spilled here when being carried in a pitcher by the celestial bird Garuda. This is celebrated in Hardiwar every 12 years during the Haridwar Kumbh Mela, which is listed on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Even when people visit at other times they will take a dip in the waters to wash away their sins. The sheer number of people gathering around Har-ki-Pairi Ghat give Haridwar a chaotic but reverent feel. In addition to the river, there are also plenty of other holy sites around the mountainous city, including Mansa Devi Temple, Chandi Devi Temple, the sacred Ghat Har Ki Pauri and Bharat Mata Mandir.
Don’t miss out on these amazing and beautiful spiritual places of North India. Take a spiritual tour with Sumeru Holidays. Enjoy all the material joys of this world, for that’s no crime. Just enhance your life experience with some soul-searching quests on these top 5 spiritual holiday places in India! Have a hassle free trip, let Sumeru plan it for you!