The pursuit of spirituality often takes people great distances, even within. Do you sense a calling too? Where would you begin your spiritual journey? Amisha’s list of 5 mystical places of worship in India could be the answer.
5 Important Places Of Worship In India
#1 Char Dham Yatra – The Uttarakhand Circuit
One of the most sacred pilgrimages (yatras), the Char Dham yatra includes a tour of the temples of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath. ‘Char Dham’ in Hindi means ‘four abodes’ (of the Gods), the yatra involves visiting all four in Uttarakhand. Yamunotri and Gangotri are temples at the sources of sacred rivers Yamuna and Ganga whereas, Badrinath and Kedarnath are temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva respectively.
The Char Dham Yatra is covered from east to west (clockwise, as per the concept of ‘Parikrama’ in Hinduism) and hence, starts with Yamunotri, followed by Gangotri, both in Uttarkashi. It continues in Kedarnath in the Rudraprayag district and concludes at Badrinath in Chamoli district. The routes of all four abodes cover some beautiful locales, but with treacherous paths and testing climates. And yet, people of all ages set out for it in the hope of redemption.
Char Dham Yatra 2018 dates: April to October/November
Travel Tip: Char Dham Yatra by helicopters are ideal for senior citizens.
Discover divinity with Char Dham Yatra
See Char Dham Packages
#2 The Amaranath Yatra
The holy Amarnath temple is a mystical ice-stalagmite ‘Shiv Lingam’ that forms naturally inside a cave, during summer and also, waxes and wanes as per the lunar cycle (yes, believe it or not)! It is therefore, not surprising that believers of all ages, trek a section of the Himalayan range in South Kashmir, especially to seek His blessings.
Also Read – Everything You Should Know About Amarnath Yatra
Located in a gorge in the Lidder valley, with Pahalgam and Sonmarg as base points, the Amarnath Mandir is quite difficult to access and the Amarnath yatra route, quite challenging. But not to worry, it is because of its precarious nature that Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) takes extra care and measures to ensure a peaceful and safe yatra.
Amarnath Yatra 2018 dates: From 28th June 2018
Registration: 1st March 2018 onwards. Group registrations can also be done.
Travel Tip: Check the health advisory here before planning your Yatra.
Feel blessed in the holy Amarnath temple.
Amarnath Yatra Packages
#3 Kailash Mansarovar
Mount Kailash (Kailash Parbat), believed to be the home of Lord Shiva, and the Mansarovar Lake near Kailash are two spots of religious importance for various religions, including the Hindus. The Hindus believe that circumambulation (doing Parikrama) of the Kailash on foot can help them earn Lord Shiva’s blessings and a dip in the holy Lake can wash their sins away.
Must Read – All You Need To Know About Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
The Yatra starts at the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, continuing to Mt. Kailash, and then Mansarovar. The Parikrama involves trekking through and camping at some mesmerising locations situated at high altitudes in the Himalayas and also a helicopter ride between picturesque Simikot and Hilsa.
Best time for the Yatra: April to June and September to mid-October
Good to know: Dolma Pass, the highest point covered during the Parikrama is situated at a height of 5650m. The Pashupatinath Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Seek divine blessings in the temples of Mt. Kailash.
Kailash Mansarovar Yatra Packages
#4 The Golden Temple
The city of Amritsar was founded by the fourth Sikh Guru, Shri Guru Ram Das. Today, the city is home to many spots important to the Sikhs, including the much popular – Golden Temple.
The Temple is actually known as Shri Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib, and is a complex with a pure and a welcoming vibe. Located amidst a pool, representing the pool of nectar, the Golden Temple is open to people of all faiths. The customary, free meals served here, known as ‘Guru ka Langar’ are as popular and blissful as the Temple itself.
Also Read – 5 Popular & Unusual Temples In India
Best time to visit the Temple: Early morning and late night, if you want to beat the queues.
Keep in mind: Remove your shoes at the entrance, wash your feet, cover your head with a scarf or a covering provided by the temple, and then proceed inside.
Things to do in Amritsar: Pay respects at the Jallianwala Bagh, watch the Flag Retreat ceremony at the Wagah Border, and eat and shop at the Lawrence Road market or the Old City Bazaar.
Travel Tip: Do not miss Amritsari Kulchas at All India Famous, near the Temple, and the Fruit Cream and Kulfa (same as Kulfi) at Hall Bazaar. Avoid visiting the temple on weekends and festivals.
Feel the spiritual satisfaction in Amritsar.
Visit The Golden Temple
The peaceful hilly town of Dharamshala is synonymous with Buddhism, hence, monks in red robes and colourful Buddhist monasteries are a common sight here. In fact, Upper Dharamshala or McLeodganj, also known as Little Lhasa, is where the Dalai Lama resides.
Must Read – A Quick Travel Guide Of Himachal Pradesh
Here you can visit the monasteries, meditate at special centres, and attend a talk by the Dalai Lama (check his schedule here). You can also pursue courses on Reiki, Vedanta, and Vipassana at centres spread across this town. You will love the town’s ancient churches and temples, nestled amidst its cedar forests and snowy hills.
Best time to visit Dharamshala: March to mid-June
Things to do at Dharamshala: Shop for Tibetan artefacts and attend the Dharamshala International Film Festival in November
Must-visit Monasteries: Namgyal, Kirti, Mani Lhakhang Stupa in Uprali Barol, and His Holiness Dalai Lama Main Temple.
Discover divinity in Dharamshala.
See Dharamshala Packages
No matter which path of the divine you choose, we hope you find a spot that resonates with you and your spiritual quest.